Boise State University is a public university located in Boise, Idaho. Originally founded in 1932 as a junior college by the Episcopal Church, the university became an independent institution in 1934, and has been awarding baccalaureate and master degrees since 1965. With nearly 20,000 students, Boise State has the largest enrollment of higher education institutions in the state of Idaho.
Boise State offers 201 degrees in 190 fields of study and has more than 100 graduate programs, including the MBA and MAcc programs in the College of Business and Economics; Masters and PhD programs in the Colleges of Engineering, Arts & Sciences, and Education; and the MPA program in the College of Social Sciences & Public Affairs. The university's athletic teams, the Broncos, participate in NCAA Division I athletics (FBS for football) as a member of the Mountain West Conference
The campus is nestled along the south bank of the Boise River, directly across from Julia Davis Park and Downtown Boise. The primary campus covers 175 acres (708,000 sq m), and includes more than 170 buildings. As Boise State evolves into a Metropolitan Research Institution of Distinction, students and alumni are becoming increasingly involved in the University community and 'Bronco Nation'. The campus sits at an elevation of 2,700 feet (823 m) above sea level.
Albertson's Library:The school's library, named for grocery pioneer and longtime Boise resident Joe Albertson, is a 200,000-square-foot (19,000 sq m) facility in the center of the campus. The library is said to be large enough to fit the entire student body of Boise State. It houses more than 550,000 books, has 80 public terminals for student use, and features a Starbucks and public lounge area. An extensive library remodel was completed in the mid-1990s.
Student Union Building: The "SUB" brings together an eclectic mix of services under one roof, including the Boise State Bookstore, Bronco Gear apparel shop, bowling lanes, arcade, an art gallery, several fast food restaurants, banquet facilities and other student services. The building is located along University Drive, and is connected to the "SPEC" or Special Events Center. This part of the building houses a smaller auditorium used for community productions, including the Idaho Dance Theatre. The SUB was recently remodeled and added significant space.
Morrison Center: The "Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts" has 2,000 seats in its primary performance hall, and hosts a wide variety of fine arts performances, including the Broadway in Boise series, concerts and other events. The venue opened its doors in April 1984. It is designed to be shaped roughly like the State of Idaho when viewed from above.
Boise State once operated a "West Campus" in Nampa, Idaho that featured a 65,000-square-foot (6,000 sq m) building with 28 classrooms, a bookstore and a library. However, in January, 2009, the West Campus transitioned into the College of Western Idaho, a two-year community college. Additional education centers can be found at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Gowen Field and in Twin Falls, Idaho.
An active student association provides a large number of activities and programs to engage students outside the classroom. In addition, the school rallies around its popular football program in the fall - and to a lesser degree, men's basketball during the winter months.
The Distinguished Lecture Series brings speakers such as journalist Seymour Hersh, author Michael Cunningham and Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Wałęsa to campus. Other notable lecturers are sponsored by the Brandt Foundation and the Campus Read Committee. The university hosts the Martin Luther King, Jr./Human Rights Celebration every January and presents numerous cultural festivals and activities, including the International Food Song and Dance Festival and the Seven Arrows Pow Wow.