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Campus Community Mourns Passing of Connie Thorngren

Connie Thorngren, the pioneer of competitive sports for women at Boise State and an advocate for health education, passed away recently at the age of 77.

Archive photo of Connie Thorngren in December 1976.

Archive photo of Thorngren in December 1976.

A memorial service for Thorngren will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, in the Allen Noble Hall of Fame gallery. The service will be open to the public. In lieu of flowers, Thorngren’s family asks for donations to the Women’s Basketball Endowed Scholarship.

Joining the faculty in 1970, Thorngren pioneered competitive sport for women at Boise State, introducing volleyball, track and field, basketball and field hockey to the women’s program as well as teaching in the areas of curriculum, methodology, health, sports skills, coaching, and placement and supervision of student teachers. Thorngren worked within the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department, which later became the Department of Kinesiology, and led the Physical Education and Health Teacher Education program.


Thorngren worked tirelessly for health advocacy serving in a range of roles for the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport; Northwest College Women’s Sports Foundation; Idaho Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; Northwest College Women’s Association; Idaho Division of Girls’ and Women’s Sports; the Kathryn Albertson Foundation Fitness Initiative Committee; Idaho Coalition for Health Education; the National Coalition for Sex Equity in Education, and more.

Thorngren presented countless research presentations in Idaho and beyond, was published numerous times and was awarded a number of grants while at Boise State.

Terry-Ann Spitzer Gibson, an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology, worked with Thorngren and said she made significant contributions to both the College of Health Sciences and to the College of Education, adding “I became a better educator and critical thinker because of Connie’s influence.”

Thorngren retired from Boise State in 2000.