Brigham Young University–
Idaho or BYU–I) is a private
university located in Rexburg, Idaho. Founded in 1888, the university
is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints (LDS Church), transitioned from a junior college to a four-year
institution in 2001, and was known for the greater part of its history
as Ricks College.
Idaho offers programs in liberal arts including the sciences,
engineering, agriculture, management, and performing arts. The
university is broadly organized into thirty-three departments within
six colleges, and its parent organization, the Church Educational
System (CES), sponsors sister schools in Utah and Hawaii. The
university's focus is on undergraduate education, hosting 26
certificate, 20 associate and over 87 bachelor's degree programs; and
it operates using a three-semester system also known as "tracks".
Students at BYU-
Idaho are required to follow an honor code, which
mandates behavior in line with LDS teachings (e.g., academic honesty,
adherence to dress and grooming standards, and abstinence from
extramarital sex and from the consumption of drugs and alcohol).
Approximately 99 percent of the university's students are members of
the LDS Church, and a significant percentage of the student body take
an 18- (women) or 24-month (men) hiatus from their studies to serve as
missionaries. A BYU-
Idaho education is generally less expensive
than similar private universities, due largely to significant funding
LDS Church tithing funds, helping keep tuition rates low.
1.1 The Bannock and Fremont Stake Academies
1.2 Ricks College
5.2 Athletics as a four-year university
6 Student life
6.1 LDS atmosphere
6.3 Honor Code
10 External links
See also: List of presidents of
Brigham Young University-Idaho
The original Ricks Academy building, completed in 1903
The Bannock and Fremont Stake Academies
On November 12, 1888, the
LDS Church created the Bannock Stake Academy
in Rexburg. The precursor to BYU-Idaho, like several other colleges
and universities across the mountain west, was established as a "stake
academy" first, as
Mormon settlers colonized the eastern Snake River
Plain in the 1880s. As a stake academy, its purpose was that of a
modern secondary school as public schools had not yet been
established. As the population grew, it became necessary to divide the
geographical area designated by the
LDS Church as the Bannock Stake.
The Fremont Stake was created, and thus in 1898 the school was renamed
the Fremont Stake Academy.
In 1903, the school was renamed again as Ricks Academy in honor of
Thomas E. Ricks, the Bannock
Stake president at the time it was
founded and the chairman of the school's first Board of Education.
By the early twentieth century, stake academies had largely been
discontinued as public schools became more established in the western
United States. Ricks Academy survived as it had added a year of
college work to its curriculum and in 1917 was granted state
certification, which allowed graduates to teach in the state of Idaho.
At that point, it was known as Ricks Normal
College with George S.
Romney as its first president. In 1923 it was renamed Ricks College
and functioned as a two-year junior college. It would serve as a
junior college for most of the remainder of the twentieth century,
except for a brief period from 1948 to 1956 when it operated as a
Although the school was threatened with closing in the 1930s because
of the Great Depression, it emerged with the support of local patrons
and accreditation with the Northwest Association of Schools and
Colleges. The 1950s brought renewed consideration of closing the
school, and possibly moving it. However,
LDS Church president David O.
McKay decided against this course of action after a visit to the
campus. During the 1976
Teton Dam flood, Ricks
College was used as
a center for disaster relief operations. By the late twentieth
century, the college had become the largest private junior college in
the country with over 7,500 students.
On June 21, 2000, the
LDS Church announced that Ricks
become a four-year institution known as Brigham Young
University–Idaho. This change became official just over a year later
on August 10, 2001. Among the changes were the elimination of the
intercollegiate athletic program and the institution of a larger
activities and intramural athletics program. The school also
established a "three-track" system, which admits students on a
specific track of two semesters (including the Spring semester),
rather than the standard fall and winter semesters. Among other
changes to campus facilities to accommodate the associated growth, the
Hyrum Manwaring Student Center was renovated and enlarged and a new
auditorium building, the BYU-
Idaho Center, with seating for 15,000 was
built. The buildings were dedicated in December 2010.
Thomas E. Ricks Memorial Gardens
The campus sits on a hill overlooking the city of Rexburg and the
Snake River Valley and includes nearly forty major buildings and
residence halls on over 400 acres (1.6 km2). Off-campus
facilities include a Livestock Center and the Henry’s Fork Outdoor
Learning Center near Rexburg, the Outdoor Learning Center at Badger
Creek in Idaho’s Teton Basin, and the Natural Science Center in
Island Park, Idaho. The Teton Lodge and Quickwater Lodge near Victor,
Idaho, are utilized as student leadership and service centers.
The main campus includes a planetarium, an arboretum, and wildlife
museums. The school also operates several athletic fields and
facilities around campus, which are now used as part of the Activities
program, an alternative to intercollegiate sports. Facilities include
a baseball field, football and track stadium, tennis courts, as well
as the John Hart Physical Education building, which with 4,000 seats
in its main gym was used for athletic events, graduation, and
concerts. The building also includes a small field house, pool,
auxiliary gymnasiums, racquetball courts, and a workout area for
students. On December 17, 2010, the BYU-
Idaho Center was dedicated and
opened to students. The 435,000-square-foot (40,400 m2) building
contains a 15,000-seat auditorium used for the weekly campus
devotional, graduation ceremonies, and concerts. The building also
features a multi-purpose area large enough for 10 full basketball
David O. McKay
David O. McKay Library holds a collection of over 300,000
volumes, with about 142,000 transactions processed by the library's
circulation services annually.
In support of the fine arts and entertainment, the campus also
includes the Ruth H. Barrus Concert Hall, which houses the acclaimed
Ruffatti organ, the third largest organ owned by the LDS Church
after those housed in the
Salt Lake Tabernacle
Salt Lake Tabernacle and Conference Center,
respectively. KBYI-FM, a 100,000 watt public radio station, also
broadcasts to eastern
Idaho and parts of
Montana from the
Jacob Spori Building
Idaho is led by Henry J. Eyring, who began serving as president in
April 2017. Eyring is a former Academic Vice President and Advancement
Vice President of BYU-Idaho. Eyring is also the son of Henry B.
Eyring, former Ricks
College president and a member of the LDS
Church's First Presidency. Along with other members of the Church
Educational System, BYU-
Idaho is under the direction of a Board of
Trustees, which includes the First Presidency, members of the Quorum
of the Twelve, other general authorities, and presidents of auxiliary
Idaho is organized into six colleges:
Agriculture and Life Sciences
College of Business and Communication
College of Education and Human Development
College of Language and Letters
College of Performing and Visual Arts
College of Physical
Sciences and Engineering
U.S. News & World Report
Despite the change to a four-year institution, BYU-
Idaho still offers
several Associate-degree programs in addition to its Bachelor-degree
programs. Across the six colleges, there are thirty-three departments,
offering over eighty-seven bachelor-level programs and twenty
The academic year is divided into three equal semesters (fall, winter,
spring) of fourteen weeks and is known as the "three-track" system. It
was instituted in 2001 as part of the transition from Ricks
Idaho and the school's "Rethinking Education" campaign. When a
student is admitted to BYU-Idaho, they are also assigned to a specific
two-semester "track," (fall-winter, winter-spring, or spring-fall)
based partly on preference, degree program, and availability to
balance. Initially, the fall and winter semesters were slightly
longer (and thus more heavily attended) than the summer semester and
had more class options. Beginning in January 2007, the school adjusted
the academic calendar equalizing the amount of time available in
each semester, lengthening the class periods, and opening class
offerings in the spring to allow more students to attend in the spring
semester. There is also a short, 2-month summer session with
accelerated class schedules. BYU-
Idaho also offers "fast grad" which
allows students to attend all semesters and finish their degree
sooner. This is usually available as an option to students who
have an upper sophomore or higher standing.
The John Taylor building, used mainly for religious education
There were 17,980 full-time students enrolled at BYU–
the Fall 2016 semester. Students come from all 50 states and more
than 130 countries. According to fall 2016 enrollment numbers, 27% of
Idaho campus students came from the state of Idaho, with the
majority of students coming from five states:
Idaho 27%, California
14%, Utah 10%, Washington 8%, and Arizona 4.5%. Thus, the student body
Idaho is notably homogeneous—not only due to its geographic
representation but also due to ethnicity and religion. During the Fall
2016 semester, 83% of the students were Caucasian. Moreover, during
the Fall 2016 semester, 99.7% of the students were members of the LDS
Church. The school's
Board of Trustees
Board of Trustees approved an increase in the
single semester enrollment.
Idaho Stadium (formerly Viking Stadium)
Known as the Vikings, Ricks
College fielded an intercollegiate
athletics program from 1919-2002 in the National Junior College
Athletic Association, earning 17 national championships, 61 individual
national titles, and producing nearly 100 first-team
All-Americans. National title wins included Women's Cross Country
(1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001), Men's Cross Country
(1965, 1966, 1986, 1999, 2000, 2001), Women's Track and Field (1997),
and Women's Volleyball (1974; AIAW). More than 25 alumni who
played football for Ricks went on to play professionally in the
National Football League
National Football League or Canadian Football League.
It was announced in June 2000 that the athletics program would be
phased out as part of the change from a junior college to a four-year
college, due mainly to the costs associated with running a college
athletic department, and the desire to develop a more comprehensive
participatory student activities program.
Athletics as a four-year university
Since becoming a four-year institution, BYU-
Idaho no longer hosts
intercollegiate athletic teams but instead developed a competitive
(or, as the school uses, "intracollegiate") athletics program which
functions as part of Student Activities. Several teams from within the
school compete against one another in a variety of sports throughout
the year, complete with regular seasons and playoffs.
Idaho Temple, located directly adjacent to the BYU–Idaho
The atmosphere at BYU–
Idaho is different from most other
universities due to its affiliation with the LDS Church. For example,
almost every Tuesday that school is in session, a devotional is held
on campus. During the devotional, no classes are held, administrative
offices close, and students and faculty are encouraged to attend the
hour-long worship service either in person (in the BYU-
via campus TV, or on the radio at
KBYI 94.3 FM. Speakers are selected
from the campus and local communities, as well as from LDS Church
general authorities who share a spiritually uplifting message. The
school's honor code also requires students to regularly attend church
services, which are held every Sunday .
Until the construction of the Rexburg
Idaho Temple in 2008, BYU-Idaho
had been the only university affiliated with the
LDS Church that did
not have a nearby temple.
Despite its transition from Ricks
College to BYU-Idaho, leaders of the
university have maintained the desire to preserve what they call the
"Spirit of Ricks," a campus tradition of service, hard work,
friendliness, and compassion. The school's relative geographic
isolation from a metropolitan area, combined with the strong moral
standards taught and encouraged by the school and its sponsoring
organization, contribute to a unique student culture unlike that of
many universities, but with some basic similarities to the other LDS
Church-owned campuses in Utah and Hawaii. Alcohol and drug use is
virtually nonexistent, as these substances are strictly prohibited by
the school's honor code and the LDS Church. There is also no Greek
Students from the BYU–
Idaho Jazz Combos class performing at a local
Much of BYU–
Idaho student life revolves around events sponsored by
the school organization Student Activities, which frequently hosts
dances, concerts, sports events, and service projects.
Rexburg is situated in a strong northern climate in which winter
dominates, and as such, winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding,
ice skating, and ice hockey are popular. There are two nearby ski
Grand Targhee and Kelly Canyon, which are frequented by
students. However, Rexburg also experiences warm summers that are
ideal for many outdoor recreational activities.
University Honor Code
All students and faculty, regardless of religion, are required to
agree to adhere to an honor code. Early forms of the BYU Honor Code
are found as far back as the days of the
Brigham Young Academy
Brigham Young Academy and
educator Karl G. Maeser. Maeser created the "Domestic Organization",
which was a group of teachers who would visit students at their homes
to see that they were following the school's moral rules prohibiting
obscenity, profanity, smoking, and alcohol consumption. The Honor Code
itself was created in 1940 at BYU and was used mainly for cases of
cheating and academic dishonesty.
Ernest L. Wilkinson
Ernest L. Wilkinson expanded the
Honor Code in 1957 to include other school standards (at the time,
Wilkinson, as president of BYU, and the director of what was then the
Unified Church School System, had some authority over all of the
church's schools). This led to what the Honor Code represents today:
rules regarding chastity, dress, grooming, drugs and alcohol in
addition to academic honesty. A signed commitment to live the Honor
Code is part of the application process for all LDS-affiliated
schools, and must be adhered to by all students, faculty, and staff.
Students and faculty found in violation of standards are either warned
or called to meet with representatives of the Honor Council. In rare
cases, students and faculty can be expelled from the school for
excessive misbehavior. In addition to the general Honor Code
common at all LDS schools, the BYU–
Idaho Honor Code prohibits bib
overalls, baseball caps (worn inside classrooms), shorts or capri
pants, flip-flops (sandals), and also any worn, faded, or patched
clothing on campus.
Students must receive an ecclesiastical endorsement to be accepted to
the university. To receive this endorsement, applicants meet with
their local religious leaders and pledge their willingness to abide by
the honor code. Once admitted, students then meet with their
ecclesiastical leaders annually to renew their commitment to the honor
code. Failure to receive this annual endorsement can result in
temporary suspension or in rare cases expulsion from the
Single students are required to live in housing that is approved by
the university. All approved housing options are located within a mile
of the university. Co-ed housing is prohibited according to the Honor
Code, but some complexes have separate buildings for men and women.
Married students are not required to live in approved housing and may
live wherever they choose.
Main article: List of
Brigham Young University–
As of Fall 2017, BYU–
Idaho has approximately 200,000 alumni,
including those from the period when the school functioned as an
academy (equivalent to a modern high school). The school's alumni
include two-time Olympic gold medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling (2000)
Rulon Gardner and
MLB pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, Matt
Lindstrom. Another alumnus is Marion G. Romney, a former
counselor in the LDS Church's First Presidency, who was valedictorian
of the Ricks Academy class of 1918.
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^ "Notable Ruffatti Installations". centralmusic.biz. Archived from
the original on July 3, 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
^ a b Faith. "President
Henry J. Eyring assumes role as 17th president
of BYU-Idaho". Deseret News. Retrieved 2017-05-01.
^ "Academic Colleges and Departments". BYU–Idaho. Retrieved 17
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^ Bergera, Gary James; Priddis, Ronald (1985). "Chapter 3: Standards
& the Honor Code".
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^ "Lindstrom bio". Houston Astros. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
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^ Fowler, Glenn (1988-05-21). "Obituary: Marion G. Romney, 90,
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