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Longtime Boise State Donors Williams, Caven Pledge $5 Million to Bronco Stadium Expansion

By:    Published 8:08 am / November 10, 2010

Larry and Marianne Williams and Jerry and Muriel Caven, longtime donors to Boise State University academic and athletic initiatives, have pledged a total of $5 million toward the first phase of the Bronco Stadium expansion.

The $5 million donation is earmarked for the construction of a new football complex on the north end of Bronco Stadium. Phase I of the stadium expansion includes the new football complex, 5,000 additional seats in Bronco Stadium, an enhanced viewing and sound environment, and the completion and relocation of the track to Dona Larsen Park.

“We are at a significant disadvantage in supporting a nationally-ranked team with half the number of seats to raise the revenue to pay for the program and thereby forcing us to raise ticket prices too often,” said Boise State President Bob Kustra.

“The expansion of Bronco Stadium is another indicator of our rising stature,” Kustra said. “The Caven and Williams families are making a significant difference in the future of this university, and all of us are very appreciative of their commitment.”

“The Williamses and Cavens have been faithful supporters of Boise State University, and we are most thankful for their lead gift to this important undertaking,” said Boise State Athletic Director Gene Bleymaier.

These donors have previously joined together in making a significant contribution to a sports facility. The Williams and Caven families jointly donated $3 million to the Caven-Williams Sports Complex, Boise State’s 78,000-square-foot indoor training facility that opened in 2006.

The Williams family moved to Boise in 1966 from Midvale. Larry Williams founded the Idaho Timber Corporation in 1979, which grew to one of the top 10 private corporations in Idaho and operated facilities in eight other states. Larry and Marianne own Tree Top Ranches in Idaho and Oregon, where they raise cattle and horses.

“We have stepped forward with this gift because we believe in the need to expand Bronco Stadium and upgrade our football complex in the near term,” Larry Williams said. “We encourage other supporters to be part of this effort and contribute to the continued success we have enjoyed.”

The Caven family has had successful business ventures as restaurant entrepreneurs in dozens of states, real estate developers and owners of Half Moon Ranch. They also spend time volunteering overseas and at home, dedicating their time and resources to ministry work in Central America, India, Pakistan, Africa and Bangladesh.

“We recognize that this project is essential in attracting the best student-athletes available, supporting our coaching staff to be competitive on a national level and providing first-class facilities that we all can be proud of,” Jerry Caven said.

Bronco Stadium and Lyle Smith Field is the home of Boise State University football with a current seating configuration of 33,500. Originally constructed with 14,500 seats in 1970, Bronco Stadium has had three additions — in 1974 (east side upper deck), 1997 (southwest and southeast corners, Allen Noble Hall of Fame Gallery, and Larry and Marianne Williams Plaza) and 2008 (Stueckle Sky Center).

Boise State is in the midst of the most ambitious fundraising effort in its history known as Destination Distinction to support its people, places and programs. To date, $153.6 million has been given by alumni and friends in current and future gifts to support the university’s strategic plan for facilities, students, academic programs, athletics and research.