Built Upon a Solid Foundation: The History of BYU-Idaho
At Brigham Young University-Idaho, you will find a legacy of dedicated service and faithful perseverance that began more than 100 years ago on the newly settled plains of the Upper Snake River Valley. In keeping with the belief in education held by the area's Latter-day Saint pioneers, the Bannock Stake Academy opened in a meager log church building in 1888.
After several name changes and the construction of a new building, the academy became known as Ricks College in 1923, honoring founder Thomas E. Ricks. New buildings and facilities were added and the curriculum expanded. By the latter part of the 20th Century, Ricks College had blossomed into the nation's largest private junior college with a student body of nearly 9,000.
In 2000, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made a historic announcement: Ricks College would become a four-year university and take the name Brigham Young University-Idaho. A miraculous transformation was set in motion as the campus community worked to fulfill the prophetic vision for the new university. In 2004 BYU-Idaho received accreditation at the baccalaureate level by the Northwest Association on Colleges and Universities.
Building on the bedrock of Ricks College, the foundation of an outstanding university has been laid. BYU-Idaho's growth and development will continue because of the faith and devotion that has characterized this institution from the very beginning.
To read the original announcement of the transition from Ricks College to BYU-Idaho, click here. For a more detailed look at BYU-Idaho's past, click here for a general history or here for The Spirit of Ricks: A History of Ricks College by David L. Crowder.