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History department creates a new scholarship for incoming freshmen

Friendship bridge on the Boise State Campus in early fall

Joanne Klein was frustrated after a group of incoming freshmen applied for history scholarships. Since the department’s scholarships are renewable, most had already gone to upperclassmen.

“I felt so bad because any of them would have been great,” Klein said.

Klein, associate chair and undergraduate advisor in the Department of History, talked to Lisa Brady, chair of the department.

“She identified this need and wanted to do something to support our students,” Brady said. “I thought, ‘Absolutely, I will do everything I can.’”

Klein and Brady worked with Melanie Bannister, development director for the College of Arts and Sciences, to create a scholarship specifically for incoming freshmen who declare history as their major.

To name the scholarship, Klein and Brady looked, appropriately, to the past. Klein recalled that Warren Tozer, a former history faculty member, spearheaded the Boise Green Belt group that, in 1977, built the Friendship Bridge that connects campus to Julia Davis Park.

The bridge, visible from the door of the history department, and part of a mural inside the building, has become an unofficial mascot of the department, Klein said. “So calling the new scholarship the Friendship Bridge History Scholarship just seemed like a natural thing.”

Both Klein and Brady attended college on scholarships.

“Not everyone has parents who are able to help so this is my way of helping the next generation of history majors,” Klein said.

Brady said she hopes that students from rural Idaho and from underrepresented communities apply for the scholarship. “If someone is willing to commit to being a historian from the get-go, I want to support them all the way.”

Klein and Brady are both contributing to the Friendship Bridge History Scholarship. It will award  $650 per year to an incoming freshman who declares history as their major.

Donate online: Friendship Bridge History Scholarship.