John Barnes, former Boise State president, dies

John Barnes, who was Boise State president between 1967 and 1977, took the school through significant growth and was a force behind Bronco Stadium, one of the school’s most enduring landmarks.

He died this week at age 89.

“The Boise State family has lost a great leader and friend,” said Bob Kustra, Boise State president “Though we mourn John Barnes’ death, we celebrate his legacy through the bold and thriving campus his vision helped create.”

In 2007, he reflected on his time at Boise State for the school’s alumni magazine.

‘“My first challenge was to fund new buildings,” he said. “We were adding [hundreds of] new students each year and I was hiring faculty like mad. … I knew this wouldn’t be a small place for long.”

Among the building construction he oversaw: business and economics,  and the  Special Events Center.

Barnes wife Shirley died in 2010. He is survived by daughters, Brandee Lynn Meissner and Rebecca Kay Wallace; grandchildren, Robin Brown, and Scott Meissner Jr.; and his sister, Mollie Belle Cooke of Iowa, La.

In accordance with Barnes’ wishes, there will not be a service.


Posted in In The Classroom, Our Towns