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Idaho State University celebrates 50 years as a university

July 1, 2013
ISU Marketing and Communications

On July 1, 1963, after a tough battle in the Idaho legislature, Idaho State University was born.

This year, the university celebrates 50 years since the transformation from Idaho State College to Idaho State University with a full slate of events at the 2013 Homecoming celebration, 50 Years of Celebrating U, Oct. 3-5.

The transition from college to university began in 1961, when Idaho State College President Donald Walker asked the legislature for university status. The measure passed the Idaho House of Representatives in a 41-10 vote, but failed in the senate 21-23. In 1963, the measure passed with no dissenting votes in the house, and only one in the senate.

Nine student representatives, from the Associated Students of Idaho State College lead by ISC President Judi Day, stood in attendance as Governor Robert Smylie signed the legislation creating Idaho State University. With the same pen used in 1902 to create the Academy of Idaho and in 1947 to create Idaho State College, Governor Smylie authorized the creation of Idaho State University.

Prophetically, ISC Student Body President Jack Johnson said, "A university is not made with name alone. Idaho State University will not be born by the legislators of our state; it is we who work, study, and learn here now, and those who follow us who will give birth to Idaho State University."



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