Wednesday, Sept. 5, was a signature day in Rexburg, Idaho. The era of Ricks College ended and Brigham Young University-Idaho began its first full day of classes and 9,204 students converged on campus.
"We were shooting for 9,200, and it's incredible we came that close," said Don Sparhawk of BYU-Idaho media relations, who added that 1,651 are upperclassmen, meaning students with 60 or more credits.
"We've geared up. We hired 25 additional faculty members. Over the next four years, there will be a total of 100 new faculty."
Brother Sparhawk said the number of students will gradually increase over the next few years as construction projects continue. Buildings currently under construction are a multi-use facility and the new Spori Building. In the planning stages is the Thomas E. Ricks Building.
Ricks College was founded in 1888 as Bannock Stake Academy before becoming a college in 1923. President Gordon B. Hinckley announced in June 2000 that Ricks would become Brigham Young University-Idaho.