“Ricks College,” New Era, Oct. 1973, 35
Historical Marker Ahead …
On November 12, 1888, five years after the settlement of the Snake River Valley, Bannock Stake Academy opened to sixty students ranging from six to twenty-four years of age. School was held in the first ward L.D.S. Chapel during the first years. In 1898 it became a high school and in 1900 all elementary work was discontinued. In 1903 the name was changed to Ricks Academy, honoring Thomas E. Ricks, the founder. In 1936 it became an accredited college. Its objective has been to train young people to adjust to their social environment and meet their community responsibility with moral leadership.
If you are a chronic historical marker reader like I am, you may have read these very words on the campus of Ricks College in front of the distinguished old Spori Administration Building. But a fleeting reading of a historical marker cannot really tell the story of the very dynamic two-year college crouched behind the old building ready to jump up and say, “World, here I am, maybe the best two-year college anywhere.” And whether that fact is absolutely true, or whether one could ever make such a judgment, it seems an undeniable fact that students, faculty, and administration are striving to make it just that—the best!
The historical marker suggests some traditions of the past that have helped build Ricks College. Perhaps you could be part of its growing future.
Step outside your dorm at Ricks and you are apt to see a variety of things: The beauty of the Snake River Valley stretching across to the west where a large capital “R” lies against the mountain; or the football team scrimmaging on the field near the John Hart Physical Education Building, preparing for the upcoming season. You might even see a herd of cows just on the horizon above the new tennis courts, or, on the right evening, you might see John Denver heading for the field-house to give a concert. It’s all part of the panorama of activity and experience that can be found at Ricks. But more than all this, ask a student what he likes about going to school at Ricks College. Courtney Stephens says that for him, the student-faculty relationship is the best he has ever seen. Faculty members will say that there is a cooperative spirit between student, faculty, and administration. The administration echoes the same thoughts.
Dan Hess, Assistant to the President for External Affairs, says that there is a spirit here that can be felt by all who work and go to school on the campus. The password on campus is simply, “Hi.”
One thing that stands out is that the faculty seems to measure their own success by the success of their students.
The atmosphere is relaxed but exciting. The rural community of Rexburg seems to revolve around the college, and the local people think very highly of their school. And the students on campus treat Rexburg as their community.
Students at Ricks come from every walk of life and from all over the world. Last year there was at least one student from every state in the United States and 29 foreign countries. This kind of mixing, along with the wonderful spirit, helps build the excitement and learning experience into something that may be found in no other place.
Steve Flint, studentbody president for this year, says of this mixture of students, “They are here to fulfill one portion of their eternal education.” Steve hopes that this year his administration can help keep what is good about Ricks College and improve where improvement is needed by more personal contact with students.
Ricks College offers a wide range of experiences academically, socially, and spiritually. The academic offering is viable and directed toward the improvement of the student. Two years of schooling at Ricks can be a good education in itself or can be preparation in pre-anything for continuing your education at another school later. Students who earn a 2.0 average (C) in their total college curriculum can receive one of the following:
The Associate Degree
The Associate Degree program is a general education program. Students can explore and examine their own interests and select a tentative major. Upon deciding on a major, students are encouraged to check the graduation requirements of the institution from which they wish to graduate later. Ricks can offer an excellent first two years for almost every academic program. Students who earn an associate degree at the present time are automatically accepted at Brigham Young University.
Junior College Diploma
Graduation requirements for the Junior College Diploma are adaptable to students desiring specialization; and if a higher degree is sought, this degree allows the student to transfer to his or her chosen university. Students who follow the prescribed courses to earn the diploma may have to complete some additional general education courses during the last two years at the institution to which they transfer.
For students who want to devote one year to a very specialized area, the one-year certificate is offered under ten academic divisions. They are:
Business and Economics
Education and Social Service
Mathematics and Physical Science
Academically Ricks College is a fine, totally accredited, two-year college. Students will find that the faculty and administration are interested in the individual and that their greatest satisfaction comes from seeing students grow through meaningful educational experiences.
For those interested in pursuing the possibility of scholarships to Ricks College, they will find three areas open. First, leadership scholarships are available to students who have served well in leadership positions in their high schools, seminaries, and civic organizations. In this area things like Duty to God awards, missions, and Church leadership can all be helpful aids in gaining a leadership scholarship. Academic scholarships are available to students with outstanding academic records and who show ability and proof that they have performed well in past learning situations. There are also some scholarship monies available to those who have shown special achievements in specialized areas. For information on any of these possibilities you should contact the Admissions Office, Ricks College, Rexburg, Idaho, 83440.
The David O. McKay Library is located centrally on the campus, and a new addition to enlarge the library is now under construction. The new addition will be completed in 1974 and will have three and a half floors. When the building is completed, it will be the second largest building on campus and will be a center for scholastic activity.
Opportunity for Activity
The opportunities for interesting and enjoyable activities around campus are numerous. Not only does the college itself offer a great number of interesting extracurricular programs and activities, but the geographical location of the college puts it in the midst of some of the most interesting country in the West. Skiing is great at Targhee National Forest and Jackson Hole; the hunting, fishing, and camping are popular pastimes in the area, especially at Island Park, Yellowstone, Craters of the Moon, and Jackson. The rural area of the Snake River Valley is some of the most beautiful country in the world, and taking time to appreciate it will be time well spent.
On campus the departments of music, dance, drama, speech, and broadcasting offer many opportunities for students not only to learn but also to perform. The college operates a program bureau that catalogs talent and then books talented groups and individuals for various engagements throughout the year.
Athletic programs are many and of high quality. Not only does the college run a tremendous intramural program on campus that can involve nearly every student, but Ricks also participates in intercollegiate athletics. The men compete in football, baseball, basketball, track, wrestling, and rodeo. The women compete in volleyball, gymnastics, softball, basketball, and track. The athletic teams get tremendous support from faculty and studentbody and continually come up winners.
Yes, Ricks offers the full spectrum of activities and programs for the student. Scholastic societies, service organizations, special programs and speakers, student government, student newspaper, yearbook, and many, many other opportunities for activity complete the life-style of the Ricks College student.
What is the spiritual state of affairs at Ricks College? Things are good. There is very little separation between church and school here. Your math teacher may very well be your bishop or branch president. There seems to be a warm spirit that moves around and about the campus, and that spirit seems to grow from the brotherhood of the gospel. The relationship between faculty and students must be one of the finest to be found anywhere, and certainly this wonderful attitude and spirit can be attributed to the common bonds of the gospel that help tie together the students, faculty, and administration.
Students housed on the campus attend student branches in one of the two student stakes that function during the school year. These 25 branches provide great opportunity for social activity, for leadership in the Church, and most important, they provide the atmosphere for students at Ricks College to explore new frontiers of spiritual living in the gospel.
In the setting of the student branch, surrounded by your peers, you can find opportunities that cannot be found in any other place. It is a place for growth in the gospel and a good chance to be of real service.
On campus you can find an abundance of opportunity for religious instruction. Special assemblies and forums, directed toward the spiritual needs of the student, are a frequent part of the activity calendar. These special gatherings are meant to balance the social and academic life of every student and to help you remember the importance of the eternal aspects of your own life.
Each full-time student is required to carry two semester hours of religion classes. This gives each student the opportunity to grow in many areas of religious study within the framework of the gospel. Classes are offered to study all the standard works of the Church, genealogy, Church history, religions of the world, a missionary approach to the gospel, and other meaningful subjects.
President Henry B. Eyring
It is very possible that if you register for a class in Book of Mormon, you will find yourself in a classroom with the president of Ricks College, Henry B. Eyring. He teaches a Book of Mormon class and is a dynamic part of the spiritual quality of Ricks College.
Not long ago President Eyring’s home teacher, Brother Moore, challenged him to get out and meet the people around the campus. President Eyring knew it was a good idea but, due to his concern over new changes and programs that were being explored and researched, he was a little slow to accept the challenge. Not long after receiving the first challenge, President Eyring received a call from Brother Moore. In his voice there was an apparent sense of urgency. “Have you made your visit?” he asked. President Eyring replied that he had not but that he had set aside some time for it in the next week. Brother Moore’s voice lowered and he said, “President, you had better not wait. I’ve been told twice now that you should be out there.” Nothing further needed to be said. President Eyring was out on campus that day. The priorities of the president of Ricks College were literally changed by the spirit and caring of a humble but dutiful home teacher. And the results? The president has had incredible experiences that have brought him closer to the pulse of Ricks College. Now he spends one morning every week just walking and moving about the campus to find out more about his stewardship.
The president of Ricks College is a great man—humble enough to listen to his home teacher, caring enough to search out those things the Lord would have Ricks College be, and dynamic enough to bring innovations and new programs to Ricks in an effort to make it the best two-year college in the world.
President Eyring is only one person but he is indicative of the whole. Ricks College is a place where young people can find the tools and helps to plan for their future, a place where students can be taught and be teachers, where they must be more independent, and where a faculty and administration find them to be their first priority. Maybe Ricks College is the place for you!
An application for admission folder can be obtained by writing Ricks College, Admissions Office, Rexburg, Idaho 83440.
Primary factors in admission are graduation from high school and taking the American College Test. Any person over 19 years of age may enroll as a special student provided he can show that he is qualified to carry on the course of study he plans to pursue. Any veteran may enroll at Ricks College whether he has completed high school or not. Appropriate U.S. Armed Forces Institute Tests will be administered to determine proper procedures as to high school deficiencies.
Where to Write for Information
Director of Summer School Summer Academy of Fine Arts
Director of Honors Program
General Catalog, send 50 cents to Office of Admissions. Letters containing questions of inquiry about several items may be sent directly to the Director of Admissions and Registration
Campus Visits & Tours
Office of Public Relations
Foreign Student Admission
Student Loans Office
Coordinator of Student Employment
Veteran and Selective Service Office
Coordinator of Student Housing