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.


Old photograph of Bannock Stake Academy from the eighteen hundreds. A group of about 70 pioneering men, women, and children in front of a log cabin and a clap-board meeting house.

Bannock Stake Academy established, offering elementary school-level courses in log schoolhouse.

Serving 59 students ranging in ages from 5-20.


Old photograph from the eighteen hundreds, of construction scafolding, wagons, and men with tools.

Curriculum expanded to include high school-level courses.

Cornerstone laid for Spori Building.


Old photograph of the Spori building. A large, three-story, stone buiding, surrounded by prairie grasses, a log cabin, dirt paths and wooden fences. Large wooden letters 'R' and 'A' adorn the roof. Two students in suits approach the building on a dirt path.

Name changed to Ricks Academy in honor of founder Thomas E. Ricks.

Spori building construction completed.


Early nineteen hundreds photograph of four men, leaning on work benches, holding tools, with a large selection of tools hung on the wall behind them.
Curriculum expanded to include college courses.


Photograph of college graduates formally seated in cap and gowns with an instructor in their midst. 21 men and 10 women.

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


Students studying in the Ricks gardens at springtime, dressed in clothes from the 80's.

Ricks College celebrates its centennial.


Aerial photo of campus, looking south from the North-end. Pre-dates the I-Center construction.

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


Close-up photo of President Gordon B. Hinckley and Elder Henry B. Eyring during the announcement of the change from "Ricks College" to "Brigham Young University-Idaho".

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.


Dusk with the sunset shining through metal frames with lights that spell "BYU-I".

Ricks College officially becomes BYU-Idaho.


Seven studentsand a teacher in a classroom, sitting around a table and having a discussion.

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.


Several thousand students standing on the football field in groups that spell "BYU-I".

Tenth anniversary of transition to university status.


Still water on the Taylor Quad pond reflecting the Taylor buidling with beautiful stone path, bridge and wall.

  • Campus spans 430 acres with over 40 buildings.
  • Students come from all 50 states and over 80 countries.
  • More than 28,000 students attend each calendar year, with over 16,000 full-time students at any given time.
  • Online Learning offers 159 courses and degrees.
  • Pathway sites have grown to over 135 locations in 16 countries.