Student Access & Success

Giving ‘Hands Up’

Glen Walker and Caile Spear outdoor portrait
Glen Walker (’98, ’14) and Dr. Caile Spear

Caile Spear and Glen Walker’s Leadership and Giving Help Shape UNBRIDLED

Helping students has long been a core value for Dr. Caile Spear and her husband Glen Walker (’98, ’14). When the couple moved to Boise in 1996 so Spear could take an assistant professor position in Boise State University’s Department of Kinesiology, one of the first things Spear did was begin contributing to scholarships. Her university employment also made Walker’s pursuit of two degrees possible.

“We both had people and organizations provide us a ‘hand-up’ versus a handout so we could achieve our personal, academic and career goals,” Spear said.

Together, they are active members of the Boise State community and staunch supporters of students, establishing and giving to multiple scholarships. Twenty-five years later, Spear “repurposed” from campus in 2021 to expand her community service; and Walker is a six-year member of the Boise State University Foundation and a prime mover behind the Boise State University Foundation Scholarship Bridge Program through the Unbridled campaign.

Through the Bridge Program, the Foundation “matches” the payout from the endowed fund created by donors. This enables the university to immediately begin awarding scholarships — and donors see the prompt and positive impact of their philanthropy. Boise State used a similar program in the past, but when Glen reintroduced it to the Foundation as it prepared to launch Unbridled, the university dusted off the strategy for endowed faculty positions, as well.

“I felt this model would be attractive to a lot of people — people like me,” Walker said.

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