President Arthur Vailas and the ISU Family invite you to the New Student March Through the Arch

Gather for a welcome rally and the traditional new student "March through the Arch" with the Marching Band and student athletes.
Then meet on Hutchinson Quadrangle for feasting, fun and festivities.

RSVP (208) 282-5937 or


Since 1902,

thousands of students have passed through the Swanson Arch, the original entry of the first campus building.

Many long-lasting friendships

were formed in the corridors and classrooms of Swanson Hall, which provided a central location for students to socialize as well as pursue higher education.

Become part of the tradition

by passing through that same arch as so many have done before you. Learn the Bengal Fight Song and ISUís Alma Mater. Take those first steps into a new and exciting future while meeting others who are doing the same. Then look forward to passing back through with the traditional "Senior Salute."

Start your higher education

by getting a step up ...up through the arch and into a lifetime of friendships and achievements!

Map to the event


Idaho State University Traditions
Yesterday and today...

History Walk

The History Walk, extending from Carter Street at its junction with Seventh Avenue to Swanson Arch, was a gift from the Alumni Association to Idaho State University in commemoration of the University's Centennial in 2001-2002. The walkway, replacing the sidewalk that once was the main entrance to campus, is composed of brick pavers separated by 15 granite dividers. The dividers are engraved with significant dates in the University's history, beginning with the founding of the Academy of Idaho in 1901, including institutional name changes and establishment of each college, and concluding with a Centennial marker at Swanson Arch, all that remains of the institution's first building.

Centennial County Rock Walk

In commemoration of Idaho State University's Centennial, rocks indigenous to each of Idaho's 44 counties were donated from the respective counties. They are now located outside buildings on campus in approximate geographic orientation within the state of Idaho. Each rock is mounted on a circular stone base and bears a plaque with information about the rock and its place in Idaho history.

Get Connected at the White Tent

We hope to meet and greet you at this annual event welcoming students, faculty and staff back to Idaho State University on the first Wednesday of the fall semester. A huge white tent is erected on Hutchinson Quadrangle. Inside are booths representing organizations, clubs, facilities, and amenities at the University. During the lunch hour, a free barbecue is served outside the tent while a live band performs. Get Connected at the White Tent provides new and returning members of the campus community a chance to become acquainted with each other and with the many opportunities available on campus.

Commencement Traditions

Each spring a Senior Salute, companion to the fall March Through the Arch, is held for graduating students. During that ceremony, graduates march through Swanson Alumni Arch, from campus out into the world. A bell tolls as each student passes through the arch.

The Carillon

In September 2000 a carillon was installed in the brick clock tower rising above campus at the northwest corner of the Pond Student Union Building. The carillon chimes every quarter hour and is programmed to send the strains of the Alma Mater Hymn over the campus at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily. The Bengal Fight Song plays each day as the clock strikes noon. The carillon is programmed to play other songs for holidays and for other special occasions.

The "I" on Red Hill

The "I" began life as a "T" in 1916 when the Academy of Idaho became the Idaho Technical Institute. The institution was known as the Tech and the former Red Bluff was called Tech Hill. As the Tech grew, students rallied for a four-year school and briefly turned the "T" into a "4." When the institution became the University of Idaho Southern Branch, the figure on the hill was changed to a permanent concrete I and has remained through later name changes to Idaho State College and Idaho State University. Today, students refurbish the "I" each fall prior to Homecoming.

Athletic Traditions

Originally when the school was the Academy of Idaho in 1902, the school's athletic teams were dubbed "Bantams," and it stayed that way until 1917 when J.A. Fogt became head football coach. Now Idaho Tech, the team nickname was changed to "Tigers," due in part to Ralph Hutchinson, who was Director of Physical Education and Athletics. Hutchinson was a Princeton grad, so he brought the "Tiger" mascot with him. When the school became the University of Idaho-Southern Branch in 1927, the nickname switched to "Bengals", although many newspaper and yearbook accounts refer to the team by both "Bengals" and "Tigers". The freshman teams during this time suffered the unfortunate distinction of the nickname "Kittens." For many years, Idaho State Bengal Boosters pointed with pride to the National Championship boxing teams from 1953 and 1957, the basketball team's 1977 NCAA tournament victory over UCLA, and the 1981 Big Sky and NCAA I-AAchampions. However, ISU's recent athletic success is unprecedented. The football team won a share of the 2002 Big Sky championship, and the women's soccer team has four conference titles in six years, and an NCAA Tournament win as well. The women's basketball team has qualified for the NCAA or NIT Tournaments in four of the last seven years, and the men's and women's track teams havethree titles in the last three years. Meanwhile the Bengal Dancers are dancing their way to national fame, scoring in the top 10 for the past five years at the National Dance Alliance (NDA) Division I college National Competition, winning a national title in Hip-Hop. Former Idaho State University track star Stacy Dragila won the gold medal in the first-ever women's pole vault at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Dragila and another former ISU volunteer assistant coach, Tiffany Lott-Hogan, won the 2004 U.S. Championship in the pole vault and heptathalon, respectively, earning them shots at the Olympic Gold in Athens in 2004.

March Through the Arch
August 24, 2009
5p.m. in Frazier Hall


Frazier Auditorium


Libby Howe
Senior University Relations Coordinator


Dr. Lee Krehbiel
Vice President for Student Affairs

Ross Knight
President, Associated Students of Idaho State University

Jeff Tingey
Athletic Director

Alma Mater

Marching Band Members

Fight Song

Bengal Football Team

The Gauntlet

Marching Band

and March Through the Arch

Monte Grisť
Associate Director of Bands/Marching Band Director

Meet at Balloon Arch on the Hutchinson Quadrangle


President Arthur Vailas and Dr. Laura Vailas

Photos from Previous Marches