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Boise State marks 109th commencement

Boise State Winter Commencement 2021, morning ceremony, John Kelly photo.

Boise State honored summer and winter 2021 graduates during two commencement ceremonies on Dec. 18 at ExtraMile Arena.

In all, 2,407 students were eligible for 2,788 degrees and certificates. Of those, 656 completed their programs with honors; 62 graduated summa cum laude (with highest honors 3.95-4.0 GPA), 238 magna cum laude (with high honors 3.75-3.94 GPA) and 356 cum laude (with honors 3.5-3.74 GPA).

Nearly 60 percent of Boise State’s winter graduates are Idahoans.

Boise State President Marlene Tromp emphasized the many hardships students may have faced – a global pandemic, economic challenges, as well as cultural and political strife – on their way to earning their degrees. She encouraged graduates that these challenges not only will make them more resilient and creative, but tougher, stronger and smarter.

“You made sacrifices, invested energy and commitment, embraced challenges, and demonstrated tenacity and grit,” Tromp said. “You dedicated yourself to developing your mind and opening up your future. We celebrate you for this extraordinary success.”

The ceremonies featured student speakers Anita Suljic of Boise, who graduated cum laude with a bachelor of science in health studies with an emphasis in health informatics and information management, and Mariah Kidd of Meridian, who graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of science in geosciences and an emphasis in geology.

“As a first-generation college student, with parents who immigrated to the United States, and my first language not being English, I always viewed myself differently and made the comparisons that I wasn’t naturally gifted and had to work harder to find opportunities for myself,” Suljic said. “But amidst all of that I have become stronger and more confident in myself. Being different isn’t a setback because we are all unique in our own way.”

Kidd added that “resistance is a feeling that many people avoid. What if, rather than avoiding it, we leaned into the resistance because of the opportunity for growth that it brings?”

Suljic, Kidd and the rest of this year’s graduates now join more than 100,000 living Boise State alumni.