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Boise State Celebrates Opening of Honors College and Sawtooth Hall

By: Sherry Squires   Published 12:13 pm / October 24, 2017

Honors College and Sawtooth Hall

Boise State University celebrated the opening of the new Honors College and Sawtooth Hall with a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 24.

Home to 656 students, the new five-story, $40 million building includes Honors-dedicated living and learning spaces, as well as housing for other students, a dining venue, classrooms and spaces designed to boost the student experience on campus. The 236,000-square-foot building is located in the center of campus on University Drive across the street from the Student Union Building.

Boise State’s Honors College has more than doubled in size in the past five years, growing from 400 students to 925 students. In 2017, 750 students applied, up from 350 applications in 2016, and numbers for next year are ahead of the current pace.

“The new building helped drive that explosive growth, and it provides a first-rate facility to take our program to another level of distinction,” said Honors College Dean Andrew Finstuen. “Students already report a great experience in the new building, commenting on its central location, excellent classroom space, stunning views and modern style, and newly opened dining facility.”

The honors program is designed to support and challenge the highest achieving students on campus. Having a dedicated Honors College with a full living and learning community puts Boise State in rare company across the country.

During a dedication ceremony Tuesday, Boise State President Bob Kustra said the building was designed to positively impact both student learning and living, and noted that it also is unique in that it was made possible by a public-private partnership — the first of its kind in Idaho. Boise State partnered with EdR Collegiate Housing, who built and will operate the facility. EdR owns or manages more than 42,000 student beds across 77 communities, and built the new Honors College building without taking on any debt that could affect Boise State’s debt capacity or high credit rating.

“We look forward to a long and productive partnership with Boise State,” said Randy Churchey, EdR’s CEO. “The commitment and forethought of the administration here at Boise State to modernize student housing and the on-campus living experience, through the Honors College and Sawtooth Hall, demonstrates the dedication they have to student success.”

Boise State’s Honors College has been a challenging and dynamic academic home for some of the university’s top students from all majors for nearly 50 years. It has helped make Boise State a top choice for high-performing students in Idaho and across the country.

About Boise State’s Honors College:

  • The Honors College is home to 925 students from almost every major.
  • This is the largest Honors class in Boise State history.
  • Honors students hail from 19 states and 23 countries.
  • 65 percent of Boise State Honors College freshmen indicate that the Honors College was an important factor in their choice of Boise State University over other schools.
  • The Honors Program was founded in 1968, making it among the oldest in the Northwest.
  • Last year, Honors students completed more than 1,000 hours of service to the Boise community.
  • The Honors College offers specialized funding for student research and international study.
  • Honors courses range across every discipline — from science to theater — so students can diversify their academic experience.
  • Honors College students have earned graduate degrees at some of the world’s top programs, including: Oxford, Yale, Cambridge, Rice, California Institute of Technology, Georgetown, University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins and others.
  • Current and recent Honors students have been selected for the prestigious Truman Scholarship, as well as the Marshall Scholarship, one of the most competitive scholarships in the world.

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