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The BYU-Idaho Story

A summary of the history of BYU-Idaho including Ricks Academy, Ricks College and BYU-Idaho.

Ricks Academy Era

Since the Bannock Stake Academy was created in Rexburg, Idaho, on November 12, 1888, the pioneering spirit of education has burned strong in the area. Jacob Spori, one of the first three academy teachers, served as the first principal from 1888 to 1891.
1888
Bannock Stake Academy established, offering elementary school-level courses in a log schoolhouse. Served 59 students ranging in ages from 5-20.
1900
Curriculum expanded to include high school-level courses. Cornerstone laid for the 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.
1923
High school-level courses phased out. Name changed to Ricks College.

Ricks College Era

By its centennial, Ricks College, had expanded to its enrollment limit of 7,500 students. It soon became the largest privately owned two-year institution of higher education in the U.S. by the end of the 20th century. Looking to increase opportunities for students to attend a church-owned school, Church President Gordon B. Hinckley announced a transition to a four-year school on June 21, 2000.
1988
Ricks College celebrates its centennial.
1999
Ricks College is the largest private junior college in the United States.
2000
Transition from Ricks College to Brigham Young University-Idaho announced, along with a year-round operations calendar to serve more students. Complete online courses begin.

BYU-Idaho Era

BYU-Idaho quickly expanded its reach by creating the BYU Pathway program, which allowed students to enroll in an affordable online education program from all over the world. The influence of BYU-Idaho continues to bless the lives of students all over the world.
2001
Ricks College officially becomes BYU-Idaho.
2009
Pathway, a program developed by BYU-Idaho to help individuals seek higher education, launches with sites in Manhattan, NY, Nampa, ID, and Mesa, AZ. Enrollment begins with 48 students.
2011
Tenth anniversary of transition to university status.
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 has grown to include 159 courses and degrees.