College of Idaho

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The College of Idaho
Former names
Albertson College
of Idaho (1991–2007)
Motto Rex Lex Dux Lux
Motto in English
My Leader, my Light, my King, and my Law
Established 1891, 131 years ago
Type Private liberal arts college
Religious affiliation
Non-sectarian (has ties with the Presbyterian Church (USA)[1]
Endowment $111 million
President Charlotte Borst
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 1,140
Location Caldwell, Idaho, United States
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Campus Suburban, park;
50 acres (20 ha)
Annual Fees $25,400 (2015–2016)
Athletics NAIACCC, Frontier Conference (football only)
Sports 20 varsity teams
Nickname Coyotes ("Yotes")
Mascot Coyote[2]
Affiliations APCU
Collegeof Idaho is located in USA
Collegeof Idaho
of Idaho
Location in the United States

The College of Idaho is a private, residential liberal arts college in the western United States located in Caldwell, Idaho. Founded 131 years ago in 1891, it is the state's oldest private liberal arts college, with an enrollment of 1,140 students.

The C of I has produced seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors and four NFL players. Its PEAK Curriculum allows students to study in the four knowledge areas of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to earn a major and three minors in four years.

For sixteen years, from November 1991 until October 2007, the C of I was known as Albertson College of Idaho.[3][4][5]


Collegeof Idaho is located in Idaho
Collegeof Idaho
of Idaho
Location in Idaho

The college was conceived in 1884 when the Presbyterian Church's Wood River Presbytery, meeting in Shoshone, formed a commission to examine the possibility of establishing a Presbyterian college somewhere in the Idaho Territory. The commission found support for such a venture and in 1890 the Presbytery accepted an offer from a group of Caldwell citizens, led by William Judson Boone, to locate the institution in that community.

The college was founded 131 years ago in 1891 by Dr. Rev. William Judson Boone with the support of the Wood River Presbytery. It first opened its doors to students on October 7, 1891. Nineteen students showed up at The College of Idaho for the first classes in 1891. The first classes were held downtown in the Caldwell Presbyterian Church and a year later the college moved into its own downtown building. The campus moved to its present site on the east side of town in 1910 when Henry and Carrie Blatchley donated 20 acres (8.1 ha) of land. Sterry Hall, a classroom and administration building, and Finney Hall, the first residence hall, were built that year. Voorhees Hall, the second of what would become a total of five residence halls, opened two years later.

In 1893, it was incorporated under the laws of the State of Idaho and placed in the hands of a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. Dr. Boone served as president of the College for 45 years until his death in 1936.

In 1991, the college's board of trustees unanimously voted to change its name to Albertson College of Idaho to honor alumnus and long-time donor Joe Albertson (1906–1993) and his wife Kathryn (1908–2002).[3] The Albertsons, who founded one of the country's largest supermarket chains, Albertson's Inc., met in a chemistry class at C of I and were generous benefactors of the college. At the time of the name change, the enrollment was 640 students.[6]

On October 10, 2007, college president Bob Hoover announced that the name would revert to The College of Idaho, with the mutual agreement of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, to promote acceptance and gain financial backing from alumni who were unhappy about the original name change.[4][7] This coincided with a $50 million donation by the foundation to the college.


70% of students are from Idaho, and international students comprise nearly 10% of the student body. There are more than 20 states and 40 countries represented. The C of I maintains a 63% graduation rate, and there is a 12 to 1 student to faculty ratio. 85% of full-time faculty have their terminal degree. The college has a medical school acceptance rate of more than 85%. Minority students make up more than 20% of the student body, and more than one-third of the enrollment identifies as first-generation college students. 86% of freshman students move on to their sophomore year. The college accepts 68% of applications. More than 60% of students live on the close-knit, residential campus. Approximately 40% of students are varsity athletes, and the male/female ratio is 48:52.[8]


The College offers 26 majors, 58 minors, three graduate programs and a variety of collaborative programs through 16 departments. Popular majors include Biology, Business, History, Psychology, and Political Economy.[8]

Graduate programs

  • Master of Arts in Teaching[9]
  • Master of Education in Curriculum Instruction[10]
  • Master of Physician Assistant Studies[11]

Academic departments

  • Biology[12]
  • Chemistry[13]
  • Health & Human Performance[14]
  • Mathematical and Physical Sciences[15]
  • Art[16]
  • English[17]
  • Modern Languages[18]
  • Music[19]
  • Philosophy and Religion[20]
  • Theatre & Speech Arts[21]
  • Anthropology & Sociology[22]
  • Business & Accounting[23]
  • Education[24]
  • History[25]
  • Political Economy[26]
  • Psychology[27]

The College has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities since 1922. Its teacher education program has been approved by the Idaho State Department of Education since 1913, and its graduates are eligible for certification in all states participating in the Interstate Certification Compact. The College is accepted by, and the alumnae are eligible for, membership in the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Special academic programs

  • Asian Studies[28]
  • Environmental Studies[29]
  • Gipson Honors Program[30]
  • Leadership Program[31]
  • Judaic Studies[32]

Collaborative programs

Collaborative programs between The College of Idaho and other institutions offer degrees from both with students spending three to four years at C of I and two to three years at the cooperating university.

Collaborative programs in health professions include: nursing, clinical lab science, speech and language pathology and audiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, pharmaceutical science and public health.

Other collaborative programs include engineering and law.

PEAK Curriculum

"PEAK is The College of Idaho's highly distinctive, undergraduate curriculum. PEAK allows students to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years .... PEAK empowersstudents to design their own curriculum within a structure that gives both breadth and depth to their education."[33] The curriculum was implemented in the Fall of 2010. It is made up of four different peaks: humanities & fine arts, social sciences & history, natural sciences & mathematics, and professional studies & enhancement. Each student under this curriculum is required to major in one of the four peaks, while minoring in the other three.

Academic calendar

The academic calendar provides opportunities for experimental as well as conventional approaches to learning. During the fall and spring terms traditionally formatted courses are offered over a twelve-week term. Each twelve week term is segmented by a one-week break in the middle of the term, usually following midterms. Between the fall and spring terms, a four-week winter session is offered that stresses experimentation, innovation, creative teaching, and imaginative learning using tutorials, seminars, or independent research methods. Before the PEAK Curriculum was implemented in the Fall of 2010, the winter session was six weeks long.[34]

Student activities

The College has more than 50 student clubs and organizations, with an active student government, the Associated Students of The College of Idaho (ASCI)[35] and strong intramural and club sports programs. Intramural sports include: basketball, soccer, softball and flag football.

The College's Outdoor Program[36] takes advantage of Idaho's geography and include backpacking, hiking, fly fishing, camping, winter camping, snowshoeing, kayaking, rafting, rock climbing, backcountry skiing, inner tubing, and stargazing. The Outdoor Program leads week-long trips during the breaks between terms and after midterms.

Other student organizations include student government, the Resident Hall Association, the Student Philanthropy Council, Campus Ministries, the International Student Organization, etc. Some on-campus clubs are Circle K International, Swing Dance Club, Students for Life, and Philotech to name a few.

The College has three fraternities: Delta Tau Delta, Kappa Sigma, and Sigma Chi, and four sororities: Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Sigma Epsilon. and Alpha Alpha Alpha.[37]


The College of Idaho is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA). The College primarily competes in the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC), although it is a member of the Frontier Conference for football, the Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League (PNCLL) for men's lacrosse and the Northwest Collegiate Ski Conference (NWCSC) for men's and women's skiing. In 2014, the C of I reinstated its football program after a 37-year hiatus.[38] The Coyote is the school's mascot, but C of I teams are often referred to as the "Yotes."[39] The College offers 10 men's and 10 women's sports:

Since 2011, C of I student-athletes have won 23 national championships. The men's and women's ski teams have won 48 individual and team national championships while competing in the Northwest Collegiate Ski Conference of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association.[40] The College's track and cross country teams have won 13 individual and relay national titles. The men's baseball team has qualified for postseason play every year since 1987, winning the Division II NAIA national men's basketball championship in 1998. The men's basketball team won the 1996 NAIA Division II national title. The men's basketball team is currently coached by former UCLA assistant coach Scott Garson and has earned back-to-back Cascade Conference championships and NAIA National Tournament appearances while going undefeated on its home floor. In 2014, the C of I football team ranked No. 2 in the NAIA for attendance with more than 4,500 fans per game.

All 19 of The College of Idaho's NAIA teams were honored as NAIA Scholar Team for 2008-09 season. Each team maintained an average GPA of at least 3.0. This set an all-time NAIA record for number of Scholar Teams in one season.[41] C of I student-athletes continue to earn high marks in the class room and are among the annual leaders in scholar-athlete and academic All-America honorees.

Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History

The College of Idaho houses the Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History in William Judson Boone Science Hall. It is the only natural history museum for southwestern Idaho, southeastern Oregon, and northern Nevada. The natural history museum serves three main purposes: to support the educational programs at The College of Idaho, to provide a resource to the community, and to house resources for scientific research. The museum is a repository for some very large regional collections.[42] In fact, the College has loaned museum collections all across the world.[43]


President Charlotte G. Borst was introduced as The College of Idaho's 13th President in the summer of 2015. Dr. Borst earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Boston University, a master’s degree in history from Tufts University, and a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in the history of science and medicine. President Borst’s administrative career is grounded in the liberal arts. Prior to joining the C of I, Dr. Borst served as vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Whittier College in California, as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Rhodes College in Tennessee and as dean of arts and sciences at Union College in New York. She also is a nationally-respected historian whose research focuses on the historical relationship of medical science and the complex gender and racial aspects of professionalization in the United States.[44]

Notable alumni

Among the alumni who have become elected officials, successful business owners, and other community leaders are two former governors, current Idaho governor C.L. "Butch" Otter, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, an Academy Award-winning musician, seven Rhodes Scholars, 14 Truman, Marshall and Goldwater Scholars, the founder of Albertson's Inc. and the co-founder of Patagonia Outerwear

Noteworthy faculty

  • Howard Berger, History.
  • Lynda Danielson, Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Rob Dayley, Political Economy; named Carnegie Foundation Idaho Professor of the Year, 2011.
  • Sara Heggland, Biology.
  • Kerry Hunter, Political Economy; named Carnegie Foundation Idaho Professor of the Year, 2008.
  • Rochelle Johnson, English and Environmental Studies; named Carnegie Foundation Idaho Professor of the Year, 2010.
  • Jasper LiCalzi, Political Economy.
  • Steven Maughan, History.
  • John Thuerer, Psychology.
  • Joe Golden, Theatre.


The personal papers of Robert E. Smylie and the legislative papers of former senator Steve Symms are located at the College. The Steunenberg Papers, which detail Idaho's Trial of the Century, were recently donated to the Archives. The College of Idaho archivist is photographic artist/historian Jan Boles (College of Idaho '65).

Idaho's Gem and Mineral Collection is located at the Orma J. Smith Natural History Museum at the College.

Community involvement

Jewett Auditorium hosts the Caldwell Fine Arts Series[48] which was founded in 1961 as a co-operative effort between the college and community leaders to present world class events and artists. The performances sponsored by the Caldwell Fine Arts Series have included a wide variety of disciplines: solo artists, chamber music, orchestra, theater, opera, ballet, ethnic dance and jazz. Jewett Auditorium was built to house a three manual pipe organ donated by the Jewett family. The interior of the auditorium was designed for acoustical excellence and seats 850 people. The building was completed in 1962 with funds from the Presbyterian Synod of Idaho and the Jewett Foundation. Jewett Auditorium also serves as the home stage of Music Theatre of Idaho and Dreamweaver Musical Theatre.

Langroise Trio

The College of Idaho Langroise Trio was founded in 1991 from the Gladys Langroise Advised Fund. Samuel Smith, David Johnson, and Geoffrey Trabichoff make up the trio as artists-in-residence at The College of Idaho. Samuel Smith has been principal cellist of the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic where he was a frequent soloist and a member of the Freimann Quartet. Samuel was also a cellist for the Grant Park Symphony of Chicago. He has served as assistant principal cellist of the Florida Symphony, and has been on the adjunct faculty at Anderson College and the summer faculty at Ball State University. David Johnson has been principal violist of the Iceland Symphony and the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic, and a member of the Freimann Quartet. David was assistant principal violist for the Grant Park Symphony in Chicago and holds a Master of Music degree from Indiana University. He has been a featured soloist on numerous occasions and a featured artist on Iceland National Radio Broadcasts. Geoffrey Trabichoff is Concertmaster of the Boise Philharmonic. He is the former concertmaster of the BBC Scottish Symphony and former leader of the Paragon Ensemble of Scotland. Geoffrey has broadcast numerous concertos for the BBC. He has been guest concertmaster of the Royal Philharmonic and the London Symphony as well as the Northern Sinfonia, BBC Welsh and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras. He also served as concertmaster of the Mannheim Chamber and Hanover State Orchestras in Germany.[49]


  1. "Organizational Directory — Educational Institutions" (PDF). p. 64.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "C of I to unveil new coyote mascot". August 15, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "It's Joe Albertson's College of Idaho now". Idahonian. Moscow. Associated Press. November 9, 1991. p. 5A.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Boone, Rebecca (October 12, 2007). "Albertson College of Idaho gets millions, changes name". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. p. B2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "College's new name honors benefactor". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. Associated Press. November 10, 1991. p. E-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. ACI receives historic donation, changes name back to The College of Idaho, kicks off major fundraising campaign, Albertson College of Idaho press release, October 10, 2007
  8. 8.0 8.1 The College of Idaho Office of Institutional Research
  28. Studies&type=minor
  38. "College of Idaho reinstates football program". The College of Idaho. May 14, 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  39. [1]
  43. Attebery, Louie W. The College of Idaho - A Centennial History
  45. "Joe Albertson". J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. Retrieved September 25, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  46. "Kathryn Albertson". J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. Retrieved September 25, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  47. "Idaho Governor Robert E. Smylie". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 25, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links