By his own admission, Thomas Atkins (’12, ’14, ’20) was not a stellar student when he graduated from high school. Boise State University challenged him in new ways, propelled his academic and professional careers, and spurred a lifelong relationship with his alma mater.
“In college,” he said, “it was on me. It was my money, my responsibility, and it was just more difficult. I loved the professors, I loved to read and come to class. I fell in love.”
Now an attorney at Atkins Law Offices in Boise, Idaho, Atkins has received his bachelor’s degrees in English writing and communication, and master’s degrees in business administration and accountancy, all from Boise State, in addition to attending law school at the University of Idaho. He spent several years as an adjunct instructor leading discussion groups in seminars for first-year students and teaching business communication.
At his law office, Atkins said he values when his employees dress well, and gives his employees an annual $1,500 stipend for professional clothing. He calls it his “career closet,” and when he stopped teaching at Boise State in the spring of 2022, he made a gift to COBE’s resource for professional attire, renaming it the “Atkins Law Career Closet.”
The Atkins Law Career Closet offers students and recent graduates clothing for professional settings at no cost. Items there include tops and dress shirts, slacks, dresses and more for Broncos attending interviews, career fairs, internships, research conferences and more. Because of Atkins’ gift, more students will have access to more clothing.
“When I left teaching, I just wanted to continue to participate and give back,” Atkins said. “It seemed like the perfect idea.”