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Sign Shop’s Marlatt to retire

Steve Marlatt and his dog, Earl, pose on the basketball court of ExtraMile Arena.

After 18 and a half years at Boise State, Steve Marlatt, manager of the Sign Shop, will retire in January 2024.

Marlatt has seen a lot of change over the course of his tenure with the university as his time on campus coincided with tremendous growth in campus infrastructure and a booming athletics program. When he first started at the Sign Shop it was a one person operation that made mostly engraved name tags, name plates and few other types of signs. Since these early days, the Sign Shop has designed, created and installed interior signage packages for 17 new campus buildings including the Interactive Learning Center, Rec Center, Alumni and Friends Center, the Center for the Visual Arts, the Micron Center for Materials Science, the Stueckle Sky Center, Bleymaier Football Complex, Arguinchona Basketball Complex and more.

Marlatt and his team have been instrumental in bringing new sign creation technologies to campus. Advancements like wide format digital printing, the Raster Braille system and CNC routed dimensional signage have allowed the team to design and fabricate hundreds of complex and, sometimes enormous, signage displays.

Marlatt said his favorite project on campus has been the Bleymaier complex that included floor to ceiling graphics of players and the “Victory Tunnel” which connects the field to the locker room. As players rush to the field, they can run their hands along the blue turf on the wall and see the sign “Protect the Blue” that reminds them of the mission as they enter the stadium.

An illuminated sign says Protect the Blue and features blue colored synthetic turf below it

Marlatt has mentored over 20 student employees at the Sign Shop, including international students from The Netherlands, England, Canada and Columbia. He has also served as a faculty member teaching graphic design for the Selland College and College of Western Idaho when they were part of the Boise State campus. Working with students and teaching them the trade was a high point of his career, he said.

Marlatt was an integral part of the “Blue Grass Jam” that used to happen on Fridays at noon in various locations across campus. He and others would get together and have a jam session with whomever showed up. He wants to continue to hone his guitar skills, travel to Nashville and work his way through the South, exploring all the music venues he finds along the way.

A wall is decorated with a Boise State Football player running and text that says Don't talk about it, be about it

In retirement, Marlatt plans to live in the mountains outside Baker City, Oregon, and spend time with family, friends and his dog, Earl. He is a member of the emeriti team and can be reached using his Boise State email address.

The sign shop will be left in capable hands as Kathryn Beesley, the Sign Shop’s current associate manager, takes over operations and will be the contact for all things sign related on campus.