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Idaho State University

Red Hill I

Restoration Project

The "I" on Red Hill, which had been a fixture on campus since 1916, was removed in 2014 due to safety concerns related to ongoing erosion. Since that time, alumni and campus and community members have met to make plans to replace the icon.

To celebrate the return of the “I,” and to acknowledge the generous gift made by the Rice Family, President Satterlee announced a 60-day campaign beginning Monday, Aug. 12, with all money raised benefiting student scholarships.

Project Updates

Estimated completion: Early October 2019
The planned schedule shows completion prior to Homecoming 2019, but there are many variables that can affect the construction schedule, including lead times for materials and climate conditions.

Alum steps up to fund Red Hill “I” as construction continues

Rice and his family are giving back by completely funding the construction of a new “I” on Red Hill.
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August 2019

Initial work on the new "I"s foundation began, including rock anchors.

Returning the “I” to Red Hill

For almost 100 years, Idaho State University’s iconic Red Hill was home to the beloved “I,” which was placed on the hill by some of the first students on campus in 1916.
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August 2018

A&E Engineering and Strata Geotechnical Engineering were commissioned to do soil samples and engineering studies on Red Hill. The results will be used to guide future design concepts and construction options. This information will inform Idaho State what it will take to make a permanent re-installation of the "I”. The plan is to restore the "I" in the same location on Red Hill but higher above the erosion cut.

July 2018

President Satterlee sent a memo to ISU faculty and staff to take part in the Red Hill "I" Action Group. Thirty-five members participated in the first action group meeting. Input from the action group will be used to finalize the project, including feedback on the design, fundraising options and communicating updates to constituents.

Historical Timeline

Since its addition to campus in 1916, the icon has undergone a number of changes.


  • 1916


    Originally a "T," the campus symbol was first placed on Red Hill in 1916 in recognition of the institution’s evolution from the Academy of Idaho to the Idaho Technical Institute.

  • 1926

    "T" MODIFIED TO BE A "4"

    The "T" became a tool for the students to display their desire for a four-year institution by changing their letter into the number "4."

  • 1927

    "T" BECOMES AN "I"

    Finally, when the Tech was made the University of Idaho Southern Branch in 1927, the Students couldn't wait to turn the "T" into an "I."

  • 1927-2014


    The iconic mark keeps a watchful "I" over campus for 87 years. Occasionally requiring upkeep in the form of whitewashing and chicken wire. A number of campus traditions related to the "I" existed.

  • 1960s


    In the late 1960s, erosion problems on Red Hill were discussed, and the campus explored the feasibility of moving the "I" to a new location.

  • 2014


    The "I" was eventually removed completely in June 2014 due to safety concerns related to ongoing erosion.

  • 2014 – Present


    During this time, Idaho State alumni, students, faculty, staff and community members have rallied to build a new "I" on Red Hill.