Boise State University presented an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Marilyn Shuler, former director of the Idaho Human Rights Commission, at the May 17 Commencement ceremony. Shuler, who earned her master of public administration degree at Boise State in 1978, is known for her untiring efforts on behalf of human rights.
Her comments upon receiving the award drew lengthy applause and prompted a standing ovation. Listen to her speech here.
Shuler co-founded, built and promoted the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, is a founding member of the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment, supported the development of the Idaho Black History Museum, founded the Peaceful Settlements Foundation and established the John Shuler Fund at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in support of foster care.
In addition to her work as a guardian ad litem for foster children and as a Boise River Greenbelt patrol volunteer, she is a program chair for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Boise State, a board member for the Boise Commission on Foreign Relations, the Casey Family Program Community Advisory Board and other organizations, and a volunteer lead teacher for the YMCA Kindergarten Project, among other activities.
Boise State awards honorary doctoral degrees to recognize individuals of outstanding accomplishment in scholarship, creativity, public service, education or contributions to human welfare. Previous recipients include Michael Hoffman, former Gov. Cecil Andrus, Steve Appleton, John Elorriaga, Ralph Peterson, Barbara Morgan, Bethine Church, Velma Morrison and Allen Dykman.