FALL SUMMIT 2003: Spori Timeline
The Jacob Spori Building Time Line
May 5, 1890 
The decision was made to construct a building for Bannock Stake Academy.

June 25, 1900 
President George Q. Cannon of the First Presidency of the Church laid the cornerstone.

Jacob Spori was the first principal of the school that began in 1888 as Bannock Stake Academy and has now matured into Brigham Young UniversityIdaho. A teacher and an administrator, Principal Spori also performed janitorial work and traveled to discuss ways and means for children to attend. When the academy ran desperately short of funds in its third year, Spori asked for a vacation so he could earn money to pay the other two teachers’ salaries. His rescue plan was approved. Years later, he was pleased to reflect on the fact that the academy continued without a break.

Born March 26, 1847, in the Swiss village of Oberwill, Jacob loved learning. He attended college in Bern, Switzerland, and graduated with degrees in mathematics, arts, and science. He was a linguist and was able to read thirteen languages, nine of which he could also speak.

In the late 1870s, Jacob accepted the restored gospel. He immediately faced persecution and was forced from his employment. His faith was undaunted. He is considered to be the pioneer of missionary work in Turkey and Syria. He translated several Church tracts into French and helped organize a company of Saints to journey to Zion.

He was asked to help establish an academy in southeastern Idaho. Following their trans-Atlantic voyage, Jacob and his family went directly to Rexburg. No housing was available, so they moved into a granary. Here the fifth of six Spori children was born. 

Jacob served as principal of the academy for three years. He later moved to Bear Lake and served as principal of the Bear Lake Stake Academy. Jacob Spori died Sept. 27, 1903, at the age of 56.



“The seeds we are planting today will grow and become mighty oaks, and their branches will run all over the earth.” – Jacob Spori

October 1903 
The academy building was completed for the opening of the school year.
November 12, 1906 
Building was dedicated by Elder John Henry Smith of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

April 16, 1915 
Large lighted “R” and “A” letters were affixed to the top of Ricks Academy building.

Fall 1941 
A student union room was provided. Pledges of 50 cents per student paid for a phonograph and radio.

Summer 1945 
The building was remodeled for administrative purposes as other buildings were constructed.

Summer 1956 
Some of the space in the Spori was converted into a library.

Mid-1963 to early 1964 
The library moved into a new facility enabling enhanced service of the Spori as the “Administration Building.”

December 11, 1963 
Elder Marion G. Romney of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles named the Administration Building in honor of Jacob Spori.

Summer of 1966  
The bookstore was moved to the new Manwaring Center.

Summer 1976  
Administrative offices moved to the east wing of the McKay Library. Spori space was utilized as classrooms and labs.   

Summer 1980  
The Spori was remodeled to accommodate academic needs. Radio and television facilities  were added.

June 22, 1999  
The Board of Trustees recommended a new building replace the Spori Building.

September 28, 2000  
The announcement was made that the new  building would retain the Jacob Spori name and features.

November 29, 2000 
During scheduled demolition, an early morning fire engulfed the Spori Building.

May 29, 2001  
Ground breaking for the  Jacob Spori Building was led by Elder Henry B. Eyring, commissioner of education.

August 22, 2003  
The dedication of new Jacob Spori Building was held with President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency presiding.