BOISE, ID – The Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that Boise State University President Dr. Bob Kustra is the 2017 recipient of the Chamber’s Hall of Fame Award. Dr. Kustra is the fifth recipient of this award, following Dennis Johnson in 2016, Skip Oppenheimer in 2015, Nancy Vannorsdel in 2014, and Doug Armstrong in 2013.
Dr. Kustra was selected for the award for his sustained, positive contributions to the betterment of the Chamber and support for its mission to advocate for a vibrant economy and outstanding quality of life. Dr. Kustra will be honored at the 2017 Small Business of the Year & Chamber Excellence Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, May 10th from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Boise Centre.
Dr. Kustra became President of Boise State University in 2003. Since then, the university has grown to more than 22,000 students with nearly 4,000 graduates each year. Dr. Kustra has led a transformation that has turned the campus into a metropolitan research university of distinction. In 2016, Boise State was designated a doctoral research university in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, a goal of Dr. Kustra’s since his first year on campus. After a 10-year, $300 million capital effort, the university now boasts state-of-the art multidisciplinary buildings, high-tech classrooms, clean rooms and laboratories, and cutting-edge facilities for the arts, business and economics, engineering, science, public policy, and more.
“No one has done more to shatter old images of Boise than Bob Kustra,” said Bill Connors, President & CEO of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce. “That Boise State University has risen to international prominence in academics, athletics, research and innovation from its past role as a small junior college is just one of Bob’s remarkable makeover projects. For the Chamber, Bob’s commitment to integrating the business community and our urban landscape into the university’s DNA is equally impressive. Dr. Kustra’s dream of making Boise State a major metropolitan research university of distinction has come to fruition and has transformed a sleepy, western capitol city into a rising urban star of the American West.”
Before coming to Idaho, Dr. Kustra had a long and distinguished career in public service in Illinois, serving two terms as lieutenant governor and ten years in the Illinois legislature. He chaired the Illinois Board of Higher Education, responsible for funding and oversight of the state’s nine public universities. Dr. Kustra served as president of the Midwestern Higher Education Commission and of Eastern Kentucky University. He has held faculty positions at Northwestern University, the University of Illinois-Chicago, Loyola University of Chicago and the University of Illinois- Springfield. Dr. Kustra holds degrees from Benedictine College and Southern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.