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Two New Endowed Respiratory Care Scholarships Honor Influential Health Care Practitioners

Respiratory Care students will benefit from two new endowed scholarships: the Dr. Conrad Colby Respiratory Care Scholarship and the Thomas Raymond Gable Respiratory Care Scholarship.

The Dr. Conrad Colby Respiratory Care Scholarship was named in honor of Conrad Colby who began his tenure as program director and chair of Boise State’s Department of Respiratory Care in 1974. For the next 30 years, he provided leadership, vision, a strong commitment to academic excellence and student-focused education, and built the program into one of the best in the United States. Colby has a doctorate in biology from the University of Montana.

Colby believed strongly in community partnerships and the value of “giving back” in as many ways as possible. Colby also provided leadership to Boise State in his specialty of medical ethics. He believed that research was critical and endeavored to instill a love for research in faculty and students. One of Colby’s greatest achievements was his emphasis on student-focused education which created an educational climate in the Department of Respiratory Care where students knew that they were the faculty’s number one priority.

Because of Colby’s influence, the Department of Respiratory Care has continued to grow and remain one of the top respiratory care programs in the United States. This scholarship honors Colby, now professor emeritus, for all that he has given to the healthcare community in the Treasure Valley.

The Thomas Raymond Gable Respiratory Care Scholarship was named in honor of the late Tom Gable, a friend of the university who passed away in October 2014. Gable was a key pulmonary function technologist in the State of Idaho. During his career, he developed the Samuel Bloom Pulmonary Function Laboratory at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center and taught the Pulmonary Function Lecture and Laboratory course to respiratory care students at Boise State for more than 40 years.

Gable was also very active in the state and national respiratory care societies. His team was retired after, for three years straight, winning the National Sputum Bowl Championship, a knowledge contest that is similar to the game show “Jeopardy” held during the American Association for Respiratory Care annual conference. Gable is frequently referred to by respiratory therapists and pulmonologists as “the smartest person they ever knew.” Gable’s love for learning and advancing respiratory care will never be forgotten. This scholarship honors his memory and keeps his name a part of the Department of Respiratory Care forever.

The two scholarships will each be awarded annually based on a four percent payout of the initial investment of $25,000 each. Recipients will be respiratory care students who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and who are enrolled full time at Boise State. The Department of Respiratory Care resides in the School of Allied Health Sciences.