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Idaho State University

In 1901, Idaho State University was founded as the Academy of Idaho by state senator and Pocatello mayor Theodore F. Turner. Proposed as a people's school with college prep and industrial courses, the institution was open to all elements of society. The academy, founded by Idaho Senate Bill 53, was dependent upon private land donations for its site. After much fighting in the community and among real estate owners, an 8.5-acre tract at ISU's present lower campus location was selected, and construction began. The first two campus structures were the Main Building, a three-story stone edifice, later named Swanson Hall, that opened in 1902, and a 25-room men’s dormitory, later named Faris Hall, that opened for occupancy in 1903. The first women’s dormitory opened in 1906. It was named Turner Hall after Senator Turner, the school's lifelong friend, who started the academy’s agriculture department with the gift of a 160-acre farm in 1909. In 1920, the pharmacy school opened with four students. ISU made its first move into intercollegiate athletics by hiring its first physical education and athletic director, Ralph H. Hutchinson, a Princeton alumnus. He adopted Princeton's Bengal tiger as ISU's athletic mascot. Today Idaho State University has an enrollment approaching 13,000 students. More than 2,000 students attend ISU's Idaho Falls campus, and hundreds more attend in Boise, Twin Falls, Lewiston, and other cities. Students can gain credit hours via distance learning courses given off campus and on the Internet — signifying how well ISU has adapted to the education of the future as the school moves into the 21st century.