BYU-Idaho (or Ricks College)

In August 2015, I took a group of kids to BYU-Idaho to attend the school’s Especially for Youth program. After I dropped the kids off, I walked around the BYU-Idaho campus noticing the changes since I attended more than 20 years earlier. This portfolio is a collection of photographs taken as I walked around the campus and parts of Rexburg, Idaho, where BYU-Idaho is located.

For those who aren’t familiar with BYU-Idaho, it grew out of Ricks College. Ricks College was the largest privately owned junior college with an enrollment around 7,500. In 2001, Ricks College became a four-year institution. The school was renamed to BYU-Idaho, following the pattern of other Brigham Young University institutions in Provo, Utah and Hawaii. As part of the change, all intercollegiate athletics were eliminated.

This transformation included the expansion of the campus which now supports approximately 17,500 students. Today, there are many new buildings, as well, many new options for student residences. I am not going to describe all of the transformations. One reason, I didn’t have the time identify them all. I can say that when I drove into the city of Rexburg I was initially thrown off because many of the roads veer in different directions than before. The main drag up to the campus and past the Hyrum Manwaring Student Center is blocked off and transformed into an open courtyard. Some new additions include the Gordon B. Hinckley Building, John Taylor Building, Thomas E. Ricks Building, Ezra Taft Benson Building, and BYU-Idaho Center. Most of the older buildings on campus have been renovated including the Manwaring Center, David O. McKay Library, Joseph Fielding Smith Building, and most notably, the ancient Jacob Spori Building.

My journey begins at the parking lot by the men’s and women’s dorms. I walk around the south-side of campus past the Manwaring Center until I veer northward past the new BYU-Idaho Center, John W. Hart Building, and the old football stadium. Then I turn east towards the George S. Romney Building and Eliza R. Snow Performing Arts Center. I circle around the north side of the Spori Building, near the John L. Clarke Building, in front of the Joseph Fielding Smith Building, until I am on the north side of the Manwaring Center looking at the David O. McKay Library. I then go in and explore the renovations to the Manwaring Center which looks much different than before. Finally, I drive by the Rexburg Idaho LDS Temple and into town past Porter Park.

For those who have never seen BYU-Idaho and Rexburg, Idaho, you might not find these pictures all that interesting – except that it may surprise you to know such a big school exists in this part of eastern Idaho. Those who might be the most interested in this portfolio are those who once attended Ricks College and have never been back to see how it has changed. Unfortunately, this portfolio doesn’t capture expansive set of transformations, but it does provide a current glimpse.

Please forgive me if any of these buildings or locations are misidentified.

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