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Part 1. History and Status

Section I. History

B. The Early Years

A three-story Main Building was ready for occupancy in that first year of the Academy. This facility later became the central part of another building to be named Swanson Hall. The Swanson Hall Arch is still found on campus. The Academy operated as a two-year school offering college preparatory and industrial courses. John W. Faris served as principal. Although 40 students were enrolled at the time of the dedication ceremonies, Faris reported 70 students had enrolled by the end of the first term.

The campus continued to grow rapidly during those early years, particularly the physical plant. New buildings erected during the first decade of existence included not only Swanson and Faris Halls, but Turner Hall, the Dining Hall, and the Engineering Building.

In 1913, Turner, still in the Senate, sponsored another bill on higher education. He proposed that a four-year school be established in Pocatello to be called Idaho Technical College, an institution offering courses in the applied sciences, the practical arts, commerce and education.

Opposition to the bill was light and it passed the Senate unanimously and the House 49-1. But acting on the belief that the bill was “vague in its provisions and lacked adequate conception of far-reaching consequences,” Gov. John Haines vetoed the measure, an act sustained by the Legislature.

F.M. Bistline, a student at the Academy in 1913, recalled that students “threw up hats and shouted when the bill passed, and later wept when it was vetoed.”

As it turned out, the 1913 bill was 34 years ahead of its time, because the type of college envisioned in Turner’s Senate Bill 94 was substantially achieved in 1947 with the creation of Idaho State College.

In 1915, the Academy of Idaho was renamed Idaho Technical Institute and authorized to offer vocational trade courses and a junior college-type program of academic and occupational classes.

 

 


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