University President, Boise State 1978-91
Inducted into the Boise State Hall of Fame in 2007
Dr. John Keiser was president of Boise State University from 1978 to 1991, and was the initial driving force to elevate the Bronco football program to membership at the NCAA I-A level, which happened in 1996 when Boise State moved from the I-AA Big Sky Conference to the I-A Big West Conference. Dr. Keiser was heavily involved with the Bronco athletic program during his tenure — from participating in Alumni-Varsity spring football games to supporting the 1980 NCAA I-AA national football championship team to arranging the complex financial package that funded the BSU Pavilion (now Taco Bell Arena), which opened in 1982. The arena became one of the premier facilities in the West, hosting numerous NCAA National Championships. Through Dr. Keiser’s leadership the Idaho Sports Medicine Institute and the Simplot Center for Athletic Excellence were built adjacent to the Nicholson-Yanke Athletic Center. Projects also accomplished under his guidance include the construction of the Morrison Center, restoration of the BSU Marching Band, creation of the Hemingway Western Studies Center and the Frank Church Chair of Public Affairs, National Public Radio affiliation for KBSU, construction of the Simplot-Micron Technology Center and an addition to the Student Union, and the establishment of the colleges of Technology and Social Sciences and Public Affairs. He also secured funding for an addition to the Albertsons Library. Boise State’s only two Rhodes Scholars were also named during his tenure — filmmaker Michael Hoffman and former track and field student-athlete Karl Knapp. Dr. Keiser went on to become President of Missouri State University. He retired in 2005 and now lives with his wife Nancy in Boise and Pine.