Idaho State University History Walk

In 1996, the Alumni Board of Directors saw an opportunity to make history at Idaho State University. With the 2001 centennial celebration fast approaching, the group sought to commemorate the 100 preceding years with a walkway, detailing the chronological history of this distinguished university.

University Chronology

In 1901, Senator Theodore F Turner authored Senate Bill 53 which established the Academy of Idaho in Pocatello, Idaho. The academy served two functions: a college preparatory school and an institution providing two-year industrial courses. At that time, the campus consisted of Turner Hall, Swanson Hall and Faris Hall. In 1906, just five years after the Academy began, former students gathered to form the first Alumni Association.

15 years after the first students walked onto the campus of the Academy of Idaho, the institution evolved into the Idaho Technical Institute. This event inspired the student body to gather on the top of Red Hill with picks, hoes and shovels, where they erected a "T" to signify the change in title. At that time, Red Hill was often called Tech Hill or Red Bluff.

Another evolution in the history of the Pocatello institution occurred in 1927. Governor Hyrum Baldridge signed Bill 160, changing the Idaho Technical Institute to the Southern Branch of the University of Idaho. During this transition, the "T" was removed from Red Hill and was replaced with the "I" that is visible today.

As a four-year institution, colleges began to emerge from the institution. First to be established was the College of Pharmacy in 1930. The next college to develop was the College of Arts and Science in 1947. The founding of this new college coincided with yet another institutional name change. Governor C. Robins, himself and alumnus, created the independent, four-year institution, now named the Idaho State College. This institution saw the development of the Graduate program in 1954, the college of education in 1958 and the college of business in 1961.

These colleges gained University status in 1963 when Governor Robert Smylie signed the bill into current law. Following this final institutional name change, the College of Health Professions emerged in 1968 preceded by the College of Engineering in 1986.

The 2001 academic school year was dedicated to celebrating Idaho State University's 100 years of history. From a small preparatory and industrial academy to a major public research university, and from 40 students in 1901 to thousands of students today, the walkway serves as a proud chronology of Bengals who have come before.


921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209