About 3,000 people attended the free event, with about 900 of them sitting in overflow rooms. Another estimated 200 folks were turned away, according to Boise State spokesman Greg Hahn. The Boise State Honors College presents the free lecture series.
“It’s really been important to the honors college ... to make this available to everyone,” Hahn said, noting that since it’s free, sometimes event staff will need to “scramble” to accommodate attendees.
The series has an average attendance of 800 people, but the last set of speakers have drawn larger crowds. In fall of 2015 about 1,100 people watched author Margaret Atwood speak at the Student Union Building’s Jordan Ballroom and about 1,000 people watched Australia’s first female prime minister speak. More than 2,000 people watched author Salman Rushdie speak in the fall of 2014, Hahn said.
Attendees posted to social media about the event, partly due to its popularity. Some complained about the long lines and sound or video problems in the overflow rooms, and others said they were happy to see the high turnout.