MERIDIAN-Idaho State University has received a $100,000 gift from an iconic Idaho family to support health professions programs and the medical sciences at the ISU-Meridian Health Science Center, according to university officials.
The Smylie Family Legacy Fund—administered by the family of Idaho’s 24th governor, Robert Eben Smylie and wife Lucille— pledged the gift in honor of Smylie’s oldest son Robert William who died Feb. 17 after an eight-year battle with cancer. Friends and family called him “Bill.”
The gift is the family’s way of giving back to the health care professionals who treated Smylie at the Boise Veterans Affairs Medical Center—many of whom are graduates of ISU-Meridian’s health professions programs, which include nursing, physician assistant studies, medical lab sciences and pharmacy.
“Bill got such compassionate and amazing care. I’m absolutely certain that’s why we got six bonus years that he may not have had otherwise,” said Smylie’s brother Steve, a longtime educator who served in the Idaho Legislature for seven years.
ISU’s Kasiska Division of Health Sciences will use the Smylie gift to fund cancer research and purchase equipment and supplies to enhance training and education opportunities for students enrolled at ISU-Meridian.
“We are so incredibly indebted to the Smylie family for their generosity and thoughtfulness. Gifts like theirs will allow the ISU-Meridian Health Science Center the flexibility and timeliness to continue the excellent teaching, learning and community-building that happen there,” said Collette Wixom-Call, director of development for the Kasiska Division of Health Sciences.
ISU-Meridian offers 32 graduate and undergraduate programs, including online degrees, and serves approximately 1,000 students and working professionals in the Treasure Valley.