of Idaho (1991–2007)
|Motto||Rex Lex Dux Lux|
Motto in English
|My Leader, my Light, my King, and my Law|
|Type||Private liberal arts college|
|Established||1891, 130 years ago|
|President||Jim Everett, Doug Brigham|
|Undergraduates||964 (Fall 2019)|
|Campus||Suburban, park, 50 acres (20 ha)|
|NAIA – CCC, Frontier Conference (football only)|
The College of Idaho (C of I) is a private liberal arts college in Caldwell, Idaho. Founded in 1891, it is the state's oldest private liberal arts college and has an enrollment of 1,000 students. The college's alumni include seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, and four NFL players. Its PEAK Curriculum allows students to study in the four knowledge areas of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and a professional field, enabling them to earn a major and three minors in four years.
The college was conceived in 1884 when the Presbyterian Church's Wood River Presbytery, meeting in Shoshone, formed a commission to examine the possibility of establishing a Presbyterian college somewhere in the Idaho Territory. The commission found support for such a venture and in 1890 the Presbytery accepted an offer from a group of Caldwell citizens, led by William Judson Boone, to locate the institution in that community.
The college was founded 130 years ago in 1891 by Dr. Rev. William Judson Boone with the support of the Wood River Presbytery. It first opened its doors to students on October 7, 1891. Nineteen students showed up at The College of Idaho for the first classes in 1891. The first classes were held downtown in the Caldwell Presbyterian Church and a year later the college moved into its own downtown building. The campus moved to its present site on the east side of town in 1910 when Henry and Carrie Blatchley donated 20 acres (8.1 ha) of land. Sterry Hall, a classroom and administration building, and Finney Hall, the first residence hall, were built that year. Voorhees Hall, the second of what would become a total of five residence halls, opened two years later.
In 1893, it was incorporated under the laws of the State of Idaho and placed in the hands of a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. Dr. Boone served as president of the college for 45 years until his death in 1936.
In 1991, the college's board of trustees unanimously voted to change its name to Albertson College of Idaho to honor alumnus and long-time donor Joe Albertson (1906–1993) and his wife Kathryn (1908–2002). The couple, who founded one of the country's largest supermarket chains, Albertson's Inc., met in a chemistry class at C of I and were generous benefactors of the college. At the time of the name change, the enrollment was 640 students.
On October 10, 2007, college president Bob Hoover announced that the name would revert to The College of Idaho, with the mutual agreement of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, to promote acceptance and gain financial backing from alumni who were unhappy about the original name change. This coincided with a $50 million donation by the foundation to the college.
Sixty percent of its students are from Idaho, and international students comprise nearly 20% of the student body. There are more than twenty states and 100 countries represented. The C of I maintains a 63% graduation rate, and there is a 12 to 1 student to faculty ratio; 85% of full-time faculty have their terminal degree. The college has a medical school acceptance rate of more than 85%. Minority students make up more than 20% of the student body, and more than one-third of the enrollment identifies as first-generation college students. 86% of freshman students move on to their sophomore year. The college accepts 68% of applications. More than 60% of students live on the close-knit, residential campus. Approximately 40% of students are varsity athletes, and the male/female ratio is 48:52.
The college offers 26 undergraduate majors, 58 undergraduate minors, three graduate programs, and a variety of collaborative programs through 16 departments. Popular majors include Biology, Business, History, Psychology, and Political Economy.
The college has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities since 1922. Its teacher education program has been approved by the Idaho State Department of Education since 1913, and its graduates are eligible for certification in all states participating in the Interstate Certification Compact. The college is accepted by, and the alumnae are eligible for, membership in the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
Collaborative programs between The College of Idaho and other institutions offer degrees from both with students spending three to four years at C of I and two to three years at the cooperating university.
Collaborative programs in health professions include: nursing, clinical lab science, speech and language pathology and audiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, pharmaceutical science and public health.
Other collaborative programs include engineering and law.
PEAK is the college's unique undergraduate curriculum. It is intended to allow students to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years or two majors and minors if they choose. The curriculum was implemented in the Fall of 2010. It is made up of four different peaks: humanities & fine arts, social sciences & history, natural sciences & mathematics, and professional studies & enhancement. Each student under this curriculum is required to major in one of the four peaks, while minoring in the other three allowing a broad base of study with limited general education requirements.
The academic calendar provides opportunities for experimental as well as conventional approaches to learning. During the fall and spring terms traditionally formatted courses are offered over a twelve-week term. Each twelve-week term is segmented by a one-week break in the middle of the term, usually following midterms. Between the fall and spring terms, a four-week winter session is offered that stresses experimentation, innovation, creative teaching, and imaginative learning using tutorials, seminars, or independent research methods. Before the PEAK Curriculum was implemented in the Fall of 2010, the winter session was six weeks long.
The college has more than 50 student clubs and organizations, with an active student government, the Associated Students of The College of Idaho and emphasizes diversity in cultures(ASCI) and strong intramural and club sports programs. Intramural sports include: basketball, soccer, softball and flag football.
The college's Outdoor Program takes advantage of Idaho's geography and include backpacking, hiking, fly fishing, camping, winter camping, snowshoeing, kayaking, rafting, rock climbing, backcountry skiing, inner tubing, and stargazing. The Outdoor Program leads week-long trips during the breaks between terms and after midterms.
Other student organizations include student government, the Resident Hall Association, the Student Philanthropy Council, Campus Ministries, the International Student Organization, etc. Some on-campus clubs are Circle K International, Swing Dance Club, Students for Life, and Philotech to name a few.
The college has three fraternities: Delta Tau Delta, Kappa Sigma, and Sigma Chi each with their own houses just outside of campus, and three sororities: Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Sigma Epsilon.
The College of Idaho is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA). The college primarily competes in the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC), although it is a member of the Frontier Conference for football, the Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League (PNCLL) for men's lacrosse and the Northwest Collegiate Ski Conference (NWCSC) for men's and women's skiing, and competitive swimming. In 2014, the C of I reinstated its football program after a 37-year hiatus. The Coyote is the school's mascot, but C of I teams are often referred to as the "Yotes." The college offers 10 men's and 10 women's sports:
Since 2011, C of I student-athletes have won 23 national championships. The men's and women's ski teams have won 48 individual and team national championships while competing in the Northwest Collegiate Ski Conference of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association. The college's track and cross country teams have won 13 individual and relay national titles. The men's baseball team has qualified for postseason play every year since 1987, winning the Division II NAIA national men's baseball championship in 1998. The men's basketball team won the 1996 NAIA Division II national title. In 2014, the C of I football team ranked No. 2 in the NAIA for attendance with more than 4,500 fans per game. The men's lacrosse team has also won back to back PNCLL D II conference championships, in 2018 and 2019.
All 19 of The College of Idaho's NAIA teams were honored as NAIA Scholar Team for 2008–2009 season. Each team maintained an average GPA of at least 3.0. This set an all-time NAIA record for number of Scholar Teams in one season. C of I student-athletes continue to earn high marks in the class room and are among the annual leaders in scholar-athlete and academic All-America honorees.
The College of Idaho houses the Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History in William Judson Boone Science Hall. It is the only natural history museum for southwestern Idaho, southeastern Oregon, and northern Nevada. The natural history museum serves three main purposes: to support the educational programs at The College of Idaho, to provide a resource to the community, and to house resources for scientific research.
Orma J. Smith taught chemistry, zoology, and geology in the early 1900s. A small museum was established in the 1930s to house his collections but was closed in 1963. It was reopened in 1976 in the basement of Boone Hall, driven by the need to house collections from the College of Idaho expeditions led by Dr. Robert Bratz and the current director, William H. Clark.
Since the ‘70s, the Museum has been staffed primarily by volunteers, many the College of Idaho alums, and students. The first Saturday is dedicated to Museum Workdays, where the museum is open for work with Museum staff. A monthly education seminar takes place at noon on Workdays.
The museum is a repository for some very large regional collections.
The students in the Gipson Honors Program utilize the museum every year for a first semester project, writing research papers which are supposed to offer a unique perspective on one item in the extensive collections.
The personal papers of Robert E. Smylie and the legislative papers of former senator Steve Symms are located at the college. The Steunenberg Papers, detailing Idaho's Trial of the Century, were recently donated to the Archives. The College of Idaho archivist is photographic artist/historian Jan Boles (College of Idaho '65).
Idaho's Gem and Mineral Collection is located at the Orma J. Smith Natural History Museum at the college.
Jewett Auditorium hosts the Caldwell Fine Arts Series which was founded in 1961 as a co-operative effort between the college and community leaders to present world class events and artists. The performances sponsored by the Caldwell Fine Arts Series have included a wide variety of disciplines: solo artists, chamber music, orchestra, theater, opera, ballet, ethnic dance and jazz. Jewett Auditorium was built to house a three manual pipe organ donated by the Jewett family. The interior of the auditorium was designed for acoustical excellence and seats 850 people. The building was completed in 1962 with funds from the Presbyterian Synod of Idaho and the Jewett Foundation. Jewett Auditorium also serves as the home stage of Music Theatre of Idaho and Dreamweaver Musical Theatre.
The College of Idaho Langroise Trio was founded in 1991 from the Gladys Langroise Advised Fund. Samuel Smith, David Johnson, and Geoffrey Trabichoff make up the trio as artists-in-residence at The College of Idaho. Samuel Smith has been principal cellist of the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic where he was a frequent soloist and a member of the Freimann Quartet. Samuel was also a cellist for the Grant Park Symphony of Chicago. He has served as assistant principal cellist of the Florida Symphony, and has been on the adjunct faculty at Anderson College and the summer faculty at Ball State University. David Johnson has been principal violist of the Iceland Symphony and the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic, and a member of the Freimann Quartet. David was assistant principal violist for the Grant Park Symphony in Chicago and holds a Master of Music degree from Indiana University. He has been a featured soloist on numerous occasions and a featured artist on Iceland National Radio Broadcasts. Geoffrey Trabichoff is Concertmaster of the Boise Philharmonic. He is the former concertmaster of the BBC Scottish Symphony and former leader of the Paragon Ensemble of Scotland. Geoffrey has broadcast numerous concertos for the BBC. He has been guest concertmaster of the Royal Philharmonic and the London Symphony as well as the Northern Sinfonia, BBC Welsh and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras. He also served as concertmaster of the Mannheim Chamber and Hanover State Orchestras in Germany.