The Eloise Garmendia Bieter Chair in Basque Studies was created through an agreement between Boise State and the Etxepare Basque Institute of the Basque Government in July 2015. A professor is invited to teach graduate students, with the aim of increasing the study and research of issue related to Basque language and culture. This is one of several chairs of Basque Studies maintained by the Etxepare Institute around the world.
The chair is named in honor of Eloise Garmendia Bieter. Eloise was born in Boise in 1925 to immigrant parents from the Basque Country and remained active in the Basque community throughout her life, as did her husband, Pat Bieter, a former Boise State professor and Basque convert.
In 1974 their family lead the drive to launch a study abroad program connecting Boise State to the town of Oñati in the Basque Country. Eloise and Pat passed away in 1999, but the Bieter-Boise Basque ties remain strong.
This chair strengthens the academic presence of Basque culture at the university and Treasure Valley community. A scholar is invited to Boise State to teach a course to graduate students, with a stay that ranges from a few weeks to a few months.