The University of Idaho is the state's oldest public university, located in the rural city of Moscow (population 21,700) in the northern portion of the state. As a land-grant university, UI is nestled in the rolling hills of the Palouse region at 2600 feet above sea level.
The territorial legislature of Idaho formed the school on January 30, 1889 and the first graduating class of 1896 consisted of two men and two women. The College of Agriculture was established in 1901 and the Department of Domestic Science (later Home Economics) was the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest in 1902. The College of Engineering was established in cooperation with the College of Mines in 1907.
The Administration Building, with its 80-foot clock tower was built from 1907-09 and has become an icon of the university. The building holds classrooms, an auditorium, and administrative offices, including the offices of the President and Provost. A north wing was added in 1912, the south wing in 1916 (extended in 1936), and an annex in 1950, displaced by the Albertson addition in 2002. A library was also housed in the Admin. Building until 1957, when a separate structure was completed.
The original Administration Building, with a single tall spire reaching to 163 feet was constructed in the 1890's and ultimately finished in 1899. However, it burned to the ground in 1906. Arson was suspected but never proven. After the fire, there was debate whether to rebuild from the remains or start from scratch; the remaining structure was eventually deemed infeasible to recover and was demolished with dynamite. The original building's steps were saved and currently climb the small hill immediately southeast of the south wing.
President Theodore Roosevelt spoke at the new Administration Building on April 9, 1911 (two years after leaving office) on a platform built of Palouse wheat. The 1909 Administration Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
The master plan for the UI campus was originally designed in 1908 by the Olmsted Brothers, the firm that designed the U.S. Capitol grounds, Central Park in New York City, and other notable college campuses.
In 1920, Idaho's School of Education was established. Idaho is best known for its law school, which was established in 1909 and accredited by the American Bar Association in 1925. The College of Mines building was completed in 1961. The UI Wilderness Research Center was established at Taylor Ranch field station, located in the Idaho Primitive Area (now the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness). In 1971, the College of Forestry Building was completed, which is now known as Natural Resources Building. In 1973, the College of Law Building was completed, renamed "Menard" in 1984.
There are currently over 11,000 students at the U. of I. The university offers 142 degree programs, from accountancy to wildlife resources, including bachelor's, master's, doctoral and specialists' degrees. The campus now includes 1,585 acres including 253 buildings, 22 computer labs, an 18-hole golf course, 80 acres of arboreta and 860 acres of farms.
"Hello Walk" is one of the best-known and traveled pathways on the Idaho campus. It navigates through a rich history of statues, landmarks and traditions. The Hello Walk includes Presidential Grove, where historical figures, such as Teddy Roosevelt and his wife, planted trees; the Spanish War memorial statue who had his hands cut off but was reconstructed by a handless sculptor and Administration Lawn that was designed by the same brothers who designed Central Park in New York City.
The walk was named after Alfred Upham, the president of the university in the 1920s. Upham insisted on saying "hello" to all those he passed on his walk from his house — now where the Campus Christian Center is — to the Administration Building where his office was. He then insisted that this act of kindness be required of all students and faculty on campus, which is how the walk acquired its name.
Referred to as "Tree City" or "The Arb" by UI students, the Arboretum is a 65-acre site adjacent to the golf course which features ponds, display gardens and a wide variety of trees and plants from throughout North America, Asia and Europe.
Rare Camperdown elms line the walkway between the Music building, Child Development Center and Administration Building. These "upside-down" trees have been greeting students for over 80 years and are among few of their kind in the Northwest.
The University of Idaho has granted 71,599 bachelor's degrees, 19,028 master's degrees, 2,270 doctoral degrees, 222 honorary degrees, 917 specialist degrees, and 3,157 law degrees from 1894 through the fall of 2006.
Here are some additional facts about the University of Idaho:
U.S. News & World Report ranks UI, nationally, as a tier 3 school.
Idaho Gem, the world's first cloned equine (a mule), was created by researchers at the University of Idaho and Utah State University.
University of Idaho Master of Architecture program is internationally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and Also National Architectural Accrediting Board.
Notable alumni of the University of Idaho:
Jeffrey Ashby, astronaut & naval aviator, veteran of three space shuttle missions, including Columbia in 1999.
Terrell Bell, former U.S. Secretary of Education under President Reagan.
Carol Ryrie Brink, author, winner of the 1936 John Newbery Medal for her book Caddie Woodlawn.
Lawrence H. Chamberlain, Dean of Columbia University in 1950, Vice President of Columbia in 1962.
Larry Craig, United States Senator from Idaho.
Bill Fagerbakke, actor, notably of Coach, also the voice of Patrick Star on the SpongeBob SquarePants series.
W. Mark Felt, former top official of the FBI and "Deep Throat", the source that Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein used to investigate the Watergate scandal.
John Friesz, 2006 College Football Hall of Fame inductee and NFL quarterback from 1990-2000.
Philip Habib, diplomat, special presidential envoy to the Middle East under President Reagan.
Jerry Kramer, NFL guard for the Green Bay Packers. Kramer helped the Packer win five NFL titles and the first two Super Bowls. Kramer was an All-Pro in 1960, 1962, 1963, 1966 and 1967.
Jack Lemley, construction manager for Europe's Channel Tunnel, the undersea rail tube linking England and France.
Jim McClure, United States Senator from Idaho.
Dan Monson, current head men's basketball coach at the University of Minnesota.
Jim Risch, Governor of Idaho and currently United States Senator.
Mark Schlereth, NFL offensive lineman; winner of three Super Bowl championship rings; ESPN commentator.
Frank Shrontz, past chairman and CEO of Boeing.
E.E. "Doc" Smith, science fiction author who wrote the Lensman series and the Skylark series, among others.
Bill Stoneman, Major League Baseball pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, Montreal Expos and California Angels.
Linda Copple Trout, Idaho Supreme Court Justice; former Chief Justice from 1997-2004.
Wayne Walker, NFL linebacker for the Detroit Lions and sportscaster.
One of the greatest sports in
Within two years, Monson had turned the
program around. The
1980 Vandal team was second in the Big Sky and 17-10 overall. The
Most of the key players returned for a
magical 1981-82 season. This
What made this team so special was that they truly worked as a team. They had a tremendous balance of inside-outside scoring and all five starters were a threat to score. They had great chemistry and teamwork and their play was beautiful to watch. Plus, they carried out Monson's brilliant matchup zone defense to perfection. Kenny Owens (6'0") was the consummate point guard, a penetrator who could score or pass at will. His play set up his teammates for easy shots. Owens was a star player at TVCC in
Guard Don Newman, although he didn't
play on those legendary teams, also deserves some credit. A
great player in his own right, Newman began his career at LSU before
were not so-called blue chip players," Monson said of the Vandals.
"They were kids who were good in their own areas. They weren't really,
really talented, but they were unselfish and together on everything and just
played with a passion and a mission, and you really had to play well to beat
Hopson blocked 133 shots in his two
became a cult hero in
Monson's teams from 1980-1983
won 43 consecutive games on the Kibbie Dome floor.
Although Monson is by far the
most beloved of all the
Prominent Vandal Players:
Johnson was a thrilling basketball player who was the Dr.
J of his day. He was one
of the first forwards to play above the rim, and possessed strength, great
leaping ability and speed. He
played two seasons at the collegiate level, one at Boise Junior
College and one at Idaho. Johnson
averaged 19 points and an incredible 20.3 rebounds per game for the Vandals who
went 20-6 that season. Upwards
of 5,000 fans crammed into a Vandal gym with a capacity of 3,500, a problem
ignored by the fire marshal (a self-proclaimed Vandal enthusiast).
nearly was #1 in the nation in rebounding, edged out by Creighton center Paul
Silas (20.6 per game). Gus
set the school record of 31 rebounds against Oregon. Idaho was
4-0 against the Ducks, 4-1 vs. Washington State and
1-1 against Washington.
In one play against Gonzaga,
Johnson snared a defensive rebound and began taking the ball up court. He
spotted a teammate at the other end of the floor and leaped to make the long
pass. A ‘Zag defender
jumped up to block the passing lane. Still
in the air, Johnson pulled the ball back, whipped it behind his back
three-fourths the length of the court, and hit Chuck White one step from the
basket for a lay-up.
must fit the story of "The Nail" into this tribute. One
evening at the Moscow landmark
"Corner Club", a tavern in town, owner Herm Goetz challenged Johnson to
demonstrate his amazing leaping ability to the other patrons. The
Club had hardwood floors and substantial beams on the ceiling. From
a standing start near the front bar, Johnson leapt and touched a spot on a beam
11'6" above the floor. That
spot was ceremoniously marked by Goetz with a nail, and Goetz thereby proclaimed
that anyone who could duplicate that leap could drink for free.
the 23 years that followed, no one could duplicate the feat although a
considerable number of people tried. 6'11"
UCLA All-American Bill Walton tried during the summer of 1984 and could not do
it. "Too much pizza and
beer tonight," Walton said. Finally
in 1986, the College of Southern
Idaho team bus stopped in Moscow on
their way toCoeur d'Alene for
a game with North Idaho College. Joey Johnson, the younger brother of NBA star Dennis Johnson, was brought into the
closed bar by his coach. Johnson
had already recorded a 48" vertical jump. Johnson
touched "The Nail" on his first try, but it was determined that he did not
begin from a standing start. He
did not reach The Nail on his second attempt. On
his third try, Johnson leaped, grabbed, and bent the legendary nail. After
this historic achievement, owner Goetz removed the nail and hammered it back in
a half inch higher. In the
1990's, a portion of the Corner Club was condemned and part of the demolished
section included the legendary nail.
was selected in the second round of the 1963 NBA Draft by the Chicago Zephyrs
who were moving to Baltimore. The
General Manager of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1960's said that "when we passed Gus Johnson in the first round, we blew two or three
NBA championships." Gus
was money as a post-up player, a thrill in the open court and one of the first
dunk shot artists in the NBA. He
also was a great defender, who had the speed to be paired with guard Oscar
Robertson and the strength to hold his own against the better forwards in the
league. Gus played with
the Baltimore Bullets for nine great seasons before his final year split between Phoenix of
the NBA andIndiana of the old ABA. Johnson
helped the Pacers win the 1973 ABA Championship.
averaged 17.3 points and 13.6 rebounds in his initial season and was a member of
the All-Rookie team in 1963-64. In
fact, Gus finished second to future Hall of Fame forward Jerry Lucas in
balloting for Rookie of the Year. Baltimore began
in the cellar but through wise draft choices, began building a team. The
Bullets drafted Johnson, Rod Thorn, Wali Jones, Jack Marin, Earl Monroe and Wes
Unseld. With that unit,
the Bullets catapulted to the top of the NBA's Eastern Division in 1968-69. They
fell to the New York Knicks in the playoffs, but got revenge the next season
with a dramatic win in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. However,
injuries racked up during the series caught up with them and Baltimore was
swept by Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Robertson, Bob Daindridge and the
You remember the story of The
Nail. While in the NBA,
three players in the world could pick a quarter off the top of the backboard, a
leap of 13 feet. They were
"Jumpin'" Johnny Jackson of the Harlem Globetrotters, Wilt Chamberlain and
his NBA career, Johnson averaged 17.1 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. He also
scored 25 points in 25 minutes in the 1965 NBA All-Star Game. In
his nine seasons with Baltimore,
Gus was a five-time NBA All-Star, was named to four All-NBA Second Teams, and
was twice selected as a member of the All-NBA Defense Team. Johnson's #25
was retired by the Bullets. In
2010, Johnson was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame, an honor that was
bestowed far too late for a player the caliber of Johnson. Sadly,
he was not there to enjoy the moment as he died in 1987 at the age of 48.
Boise State and Idaho,
however, teamed up to honor him during a conference basketball game between the
two teams on January 17, 1987,
four months before he was to die of brain cancer. A
sellout crowd of 12,000 at the Boise State Pavilion honored the all-time great,
setting a Big Sky attendance record.
is what others had to say about the great Gus Johnson:
Monroe--"Gus was ahead of his time, flying through the air for slam dunks,
breaking backboards and throwing full-court passes behind his back. He was
spectacular, but he also did the nitty gritty jobs, defense and rebounding. With
all the guys in the Hall of Game, Gus deserves to be there already."
Pollin, former Owner of the Baltimore/Washington Bullets/Wizards
franchise--"I first saw Gus on television...I had never seen a player
dominate a game so. Anyone
that ever had the privilege to see him play will never forget what a great
basketball player Gus Johnson was."
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, after
witnessing one of Johnson's backboard-shattering dunks—"That was one of
the greatest basketball plays ever."
Butch Komives--"You've got
to remember he was only 6-6. But he had the strength to play Wilt Chamberlain
and the quickness to guard Oscar Robertson. No one played the Big O tougher. In
my book, Gus was better than Elgin Baylor, Rick Barry or Dr. J. He did it all
and never backed down from anyone."
Ex-Idaho teammate Rich
Porter—"You hear so many stories, but believe me almost all of them are
true. He was really something special."
1987, during a ceremony in his hometown of
Brown excelled on both offense
and defense for the Vandals from 1987-89. He
finished his career fifth in scoring (15.8 ppg) and rejected 79 shots (also 5th). Brown
was an All-Big Sky performer in 1988-89. Raymond
had one of the top single performances ever, hitting for 36 points against
Curry stands third on the
all-time scoring list with a career 18.1 average from 1997-99. He
had one of the best scoring seasons in school history in 1997-98, when he
averaged 19.7 points a game. That
season, Curry hit a career high of 32 points against
selected to the All-Pacific Coast Conference team and made the Helms Foundation
All-America team in 1923.
Mac played his first season at
Hopson, #44 in photo, was a key contributor to
the #6 Vandal team in 1981. He
finished his great career (1980-1983) with a 56.6% field goal percentage (4th all-time). Hopson
had 733 career rebounds (also 4th) and 127 steals (3rd). Phil
is seventh on the career points list with 1,226. Despite
his obvious value and talent, he was Second Team All-Big Sky in 1981, '82 and
Hopson was a 9th-round
draft pick by
Kellerman finished his career
(1980-1983) with 1,585 points, second all-time. Brian
was 623-1,226 in field goals and nailed 337 free throws in his four-year career
Lightfoot was a scoring machine, ripping
the nets for 2,102 points in his career from 1991-1994. In
a game vs. Gonzaga in 1993,
He set a record that still stands when he
averaged 23.1 points in his career. He
hit 813-1,704 field goals and was 168-483 in three-point attempts, all records. Lightfoot
connected on 308 (4th all-time)
of 437 free throw attempts (3rd) and pulled down 766 rebounds (also 3rd all-time).
Lightfoot was the Big Sky's Newcomer of
the Year when he first graced the courts in 1992 and the conference's Most
Valuable Player in both 1992 and 1994.
Otis set a school record with 262
assists in the 1989-90 season. He
was named to the All-Big Sky team in 1990.
Ken was a long-range bomber from
1984-88. He finished his
great career with 1,571 points, third all-time. He
hit 614-of-1,363 field goal attempts. Luckett
nailed 272-383 three-point tries for 38.3% and dished out 257 assists in his
career (8th all-time). Ken
connected on a record 53.6% of his three-point tries in his freshman year. Luckett
made the Second Team All-Big Sky in 1986.
Dwight had perfect positioning
around the basket, resulting in numerous second chances for the
Lorenzo was one of the best at
spotting the open man. He
had 163 assists in the 1988-89 season, fourth all-time at
Newman played one year for LSU
before transferring to
Newman was drafted by the Indiana Pacers in the fourth round of the 1979 Draft (while he was a junior) and then
was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the third round of the 1980 Draft. He
nearly made the Celtics team but was the final player cut. Newman
played three seasons in the Continental Basketball Association for
Don spent five seasons as an
assistant coach at
Owens was a record-setting guard
for Treasure Valley Community College (TVCC) in
"I initially didn't offer
him a scholarship, and after a visit to campus, I drove him back down to
Monson did take Owens, and
Owens said the key to
"We just put egos
aside," Owens said. "We all had the same common goal, and that goal
was to win the Big Sky, put
"Brian Kellerman had been
there a couple years and he was the glue to our ball club," Monson said.
"When Kenny came aboard, it just turned over. He
was a guy who could run the team, he could score, he defended, he was extremely
strong with the ball and made very few mistakes."
Owens was ice from the free-throw
line, connecting on 80.3% of his career attempts, 8th all-time. He
had 101 steals in two seasons, good for fifth all-time and had 234 assists (10th).
As a junior, Owens was a
second-team all-Big Sky pick, but earned All-Big Sky All-Tournament honors and
was selected as the Tournament MVP. Owens
elevated his game in his senior season and was honored on the All-Big Sky Team
and chosen as the league MVP. He
had 36 steals that season, fifth all-time. Owens
again was named Big Sky Tournament MVP and was an honorable mention All-American
Kenny was chosen by the Seattle
Super Sonics in the fourth round of the 1982 NBA Draft. He
earned a Counseling degree from
Owens was selected to the Big Sky's 25th Anniversary Team in 1988 and was recently inducted into the Vandal Hall of Fame.
Quinn was a star player from
1942-47. Quinn helped the
Vandals record their first 20-win season in 1945-46 when they went 23-11. He
Simmons was recognized by four
organizations as a Second-Team All-American following his 1957-58 campaign in
which he led the Pacific Coast Conference in scoring (20.4 ppg). Simmons
beat out star football players Jerry Kramer and Wayne Walker as the "Best
Athlete on Campus" in 1958.
Simmons once made 26 consecutive
free throws and his 15-20 effort at the line and 37 points helped
A product of
Simmons became a successful
This great force inside hit 55.8%
of his shots from 1981-83, fifth all-time at
Smith was built like a truck and
he used his muscle to considerable advantage from 1988-1990. He
was simply unstoppable. Riley hit for a career-high 35 against
Watson was a versatile performer
from 1990-94, doing damage both inside and outside. Deon
scored 1,125 career points, 10th all-time,
and hit 53.3% of his shots. He
set an all-time mark with 877 career rebounds and connected on 38.2% of his
three-point tries (7th all-time). Deon
blocked 131 shots, second only to Kelvin Smith's 133. He
had 45 of those blocks as a sophomore. Watson
was chosen All-Big Sky in 1994.