Boise State University’s third Respiratory Care Alumni and Friends Celebration, held in the Stueckle Sky Center in late October, provided alumni, donors, faculty and staff with an overview of the departments’ success over the year. It also was an opportunity for Tim Dunnagan, dean of the College of Health Sciences, to announce the new Merrick Family Endowed Professorship in Respiratory Care, a gift given to the department by David and Kay Merrick.
The Merricks are among Boise State University’s dedicated philanthropists, having provided decades’ worth of student and department support. David Merrick served as the medical director for Boise State’s Department of Respiratory Care for more than 30 years. His passion for patient care was only matched by his love for teaching.
Due to his leadership and dedication, Boise State is nationally recognized as a leader in respiratory care clinical preparation. The gift of the Merrick Family Endowed Professorship in Respiratory Care is regarded as the ultimate recognition achievement, and will forever bolster the department he helped create.
“Our department is beyond lucky to have been able to maintain this long-standing relationship with the Merrick family,” said Lutana Haan, assistant dean for the College of Health Sciences and associate professor and chair for the Department of Respiratory Care. “Dr. Merrick brings joy to any situation and his sense of humor makes us all smile every time we think of him. We are fortunate that his impact on our department will continue to make a difference forever into the future. This endowment will allow us to expand our research and positively impact the lives of our patients.”
Endowed professorships recognize the distinction of faculty members’ prominence in their respective fields, while providing invaluable financial support – above and beyond salary – for use in research, teaching and service activities.
As the university continues to grow and advance the status of its research enterprise, endowed chairs and other endowed positions increasingly are important to competitively recruit and retain excellent faculty who nurture students, create new knowledge and maintain Boise State’s trajectory of innovation.
“The value of an endowed professorship cannot be overstated,” said Dunnagan. “The permanence brings a level of academic prestige to the department, as there are less than 10 faculty endowments within Boise State University and, because of our generous donors, the College of Health Sciences is one of them. These endowments enable people to create innovative ways of teaching and a permanent line of funding for research and service to greatly benefit the student experience.”