Ten years ago, a new university was born. It was a different kind of university, charged with taking a new approach to higher education. Some of the defining elements of a traditional university would be refashioned or left behind. This new university would be student-centered and teaching-focused, where the faculty was committed to providing a quality education in an environment of faith.
At BYU-Idaho, we enjoy a strong tradition of frugality and modesty blended with innovation and improvement.
Creative, year-round calendaring would allow a greater number of students to attend. A university-wide activities program would provide opportunities for all students to develop their talents and gain leadership experience. Powerful technology would be employed in ways that enhance learning and extend the university’s reach beyond its physical campus.
This new kind of university was Brigham Young University-Idaho. And although it was established in 2001, this new university was, in many ways, very old.
The seeds had been planted long ago, when BYU-Idaho’s pioneer forebear, Bannock Stake Academy, opened in a meager log building in 1888. The little academy grew and matured. Its curriculum and its 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.
As we mark ten years since BYU-Idaho was created, we can certainly see tangible signs of change and progress like new programs and new buildings. But what’s most important is our ongoing commitment to and realization of the university’s three imperatives: first, raise substantially the quality of every aspect of the student experience; second, make a BYU-Idaho education available to many more young people of the Church; and third, lower the relative cost of education.
These are ideals that have defined this institution since its earliest days. From the humble married student housing of the 1940s affectionately known as “lambing sheds” to the miracle of modern technology that makes a BYU-Idaho education available around the world, we enjoy a strong tradition of frugality and modesty blended with innovation and improvement.
In this edition of BYU-Idaho’s online magazine, we look back at the decade of progress we’ve enjoyed and forward to the possibilities that lie ahead. You’ll see how BYU-Idaho has grown and changed, and why the university is such a powerful blessing in the lives of current students and graduates alike. This is a remarkable institution with an inspiring past and a bright future. As always, we thank you for your continuing support of BYU-Idaho.
Kim B. Clark President, Brigham Young University-Idaho