Boise State University honored nearly 2,800 spring graduates with the university’s 106th — and first-ever virtual — commencement celebration on May 9.
In all, 2,785 students were eligible for 3,232 degrees and certificates, with 785 students eligible for honors; 389 cum laude, 311 magna cum laude and 85 summa cum laude.
Over the past academic year, nearly 5,000 Boise State students earned certificates and degrees. The spring 2020 class completed their studies in a virtual environment, due to COVID-19, and the May 9 ceremony honored that achievement.
“This one is like no other in Boise State’s history, and you are like no other class in Boise State’s history, ” said Dr. Marlene Tromp, Boise State president. “This road has had many twists and turns, some of them, like those that no students have ever faced.
“You dedicated yourself to the life of expanding your mind … For those who embrace that journey, life is full of wonder, even on its most difficult days.”
In addition to remarks from Dr. Tromp, the ceremony featured a military tribute, processional, marching band performance, student speaker, special presentation of graduate names, and dozens of video messages from faculty, students and surprise guests. Guests included Kellen Moore, offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.
“Like you guys, I was fortunate to be able to graduate from Boise State in 2010 … and I’m so thankful for that experience, for the opportunity to learn, to grow and to achieve at Boise State. It’s something that will stay with you for the rest of your lives. There is nothing better than to represent and appreciate Boise State as you go your separate ways.”
Boise State continued its tradition of featuring a student commencement speaker. Tyler Chapman from Hagerman, Idaho, graduated with dual bachelor’s degrees in information technology management and games, interactive media and mobile. During his time at Boise State, he completed an internship with NASA; was part of Boise State’s SUITS team that designed virtual reality experiences for astronauts; helped build Bronco BEAM, a phone app that has helped hundreds of students obtain food while reducing food excess on campus; and much more.
As a child, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and underwent two brain surgeries.
“With this sort of roller coaster of a childhood, I realized pretty quickly that whatever’s gonna happen, is gonna happen. So I might as well just live my best life for the people who aren’t fortunate enough to live theirs. And whenever the opportunity comes up to help somebody else in that same goal, you take it. Cause honestly, between you and me, that’s the only way we’re able to live our best life anyway. So might as well do it. So, fast forwarding a little bit, in that pursuit of livin’ my best life, I came to Boise State.”
The ceremony was streamed online on Boise State’s commencement site, and on Facebook and Instagram; those who missed the ceremony can watch it at boisestate.edu/commencement, as well as view a large social media gallery of student photos and videos, watch the university’s doctoral ceremony and access special congratulations videos from the academic colleges.
Boise State also is planning an in-person ceremony, when possible, for spring 2020 graduates who wish to participate. Student speaker Chloe Pampush, who earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and a minor in German, will represent the class of 2020 at that celebration.