On January 30, 1889, 135 years ago today, Idaho Territory’s Governor Stevenson signed the bill which established the University of Idaho. One year later Idaho was granted statehood. This land grant institution of higher education was Idaho’s only university for 71 years.
The original administration building was built in 1892. Construction was ongoing when early scholars took classes in rooms that didn’t even have desks. Students sat on boxes, the floor, and windowsills. It was nearly ten years before the building was finished. It stood as the University’s primary building until it was destroyed by fire in 1906.
A second administration building was constructed on the site of the original and is the one we are familiar with today. It continues to anchor the university to its past as the University of Idaho educates students to create our future.