Our Story

BYU-Idaho Story

The BYU-Idaho story begins on a cold November day in 1888, when Latter-day Saint pioneers in the newly settled town of Rexburg gathered for the opening of a new academy. Bannock Stake Academy, as it was first known, grew and matured over the ensuing decades. Its curriculum and name changed more than once. It forged ahead through uncertainty and difficulty to become Ricks College, the venerable institution that laid the foundation for BYU-Idaho.

Ricks Academy


Original College Building

1888

Bannock Stake Academy established, offering elementary school-level courses in log schoolhouse. Serving 59 students ranging in ages from 5-20.

Contruction on original Spori Building

1900

Curriculum expanded to include high school-level courses. Cornerstone laid for Spori Building.

Original Spori Building

1903

Name changed to Ricks Academy in honor of founder Thomas E. Ricks. Spori building construction completed.

1915

Curriculum expanded to include college courses.

Class Pic of about 28 people

1923

High school-level courses phased out, name changed to Ricks College.

Ricks College


Students studying near an iconic statue on campus.

1988

Ricks College celebrates its centennial.

Ariel view of campus

1999

Ricks College is the largest private junior college in the United States.

Gorden B. Hinkley and Henry B. Eyring.

2000

Transition from Ricks College to Brigham Young University-Idaho announced along with a year-round operations calendar to serve more students. Fully online courses begin.

BYU-Idaho


Giant BYU-I Letters stood up as ab outdoor sign

2001

Ricks College officially becomes BYU-Idaho.

Class with several students gathered around a teacher

2009

Pathway, a program developed by BYU-Idaho to help individuals seek higher education. Pathway launches with sites in Manhattan, NY; Nampa, ID; and Mesa, AZ. Enrollment begins with 48 students.

People in huge groups making BYU-I letters in the stadium feild.

2011

Tenth anniversary of transition to university status.

Taylor Building on the current campus with water feature in the forground.

2013

Campus now spans 430 acres with over 40 buildings. Students come from all 50 states and over 80 countries and there are more than 28,000 students attend each calendar year, with over 16,000 full-time students at any given time. Online Learning offers has grown to include 159 courses and degrees.