POCATELLO-Eight students who co-wrote a book this academic year about the history of Idaho State University will sign and sell copies Friday, May 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the west entrance of ISU’s Frazier Hall.
The event occurs before the College of Business commencement ceremony which begins at 1 p.m. at Frazier Hall.
The students wrote and researched the book during the fall semester in a College of Business honors class focusing on team creativity and taught by Alex Bolinger, associate professor of marketing. Arcadia Publishing, a leading publisher of regional histories in the United States, has published the book it its Campus History Series.
Graduating students and their families as well as community members and alumni are invited to join the authors in celebration of the book’s release and the 115th anniversary of ISU. At the event, the authors will answer questions about the book and sign purchased copies which cost $22. You can also purchase copies online. Proceeds will fund ISU scholarships.
Students Kaitlyn Barkley, Kitanna Belnap, Maria Keller, Jenna Larson, Kirk Long, Kristine McCarty, Melisa Myers and Jordan Withers worked in groups to sort through hundreds of archived photos and documents to tell the story of ISU’s history from a student’s perspective. The book’s dedication reads: “This book is dedicated to the students, current and alumni, over the 115 years of Idaho State University’s history. Idaho State University could not have existed without the support of legislators, community leaders, faculty and staff, and the citizens of Idaho. However, it was (and remains) the students who give ISU its heart and soul. This is their story.”
The students divided the history of ISU into six chapters that covered the university’s earliest years (beginning with its origins as the Academy of Idaho in 1901) and covering academics, student life, athletics, buildings on campus, and more contemporary photos of the campus since it won recognition as a university in 1963.
“I can’t say enough about the work that our students put into this project,” said Bolinger. “Writing a full book as a group in less than three months presents all kinds of logistical and creative challenges and our students really stepped up to make this book a success.”
The book catalogs ISU’s beginnings as a college which struggled for survival in its early years, undergoing four name changes, economic uncertainties during the Great Depression, and sharp declines in enrollment at the beginnings of World Wars I and II. Readers will see photos of the school’s first football team in 1902, learn that ISU once had both an airport and skating rink on campus, and read about the integral role that the military played in saving and supporting ISU. The book includes rare photos, such as the “Shanty Town” development where some students, unable to afford on-campus housing during the Great Depression, lived in cardboard boxes, milk wagons, or tents next to present-day Davis Field.
“We are grateful to Ellen Ryan, director of special collections and archives at Oboler Library, for making thousands of photos available from ISU’s earliest years. The students in our class had a wealth of photos to choose from and I think readers will enjoy seeing rare photos going all the way back to the turn of the last century,” Bolinger said.