Our History

The College of Idaho marks its beginning six years before Idaho's statehood 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.

Nineteen students arrived at The College of Idaho for the first classes in 1891. Those 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 of land. Sterry Hall, then 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 1991, to celebrate the college's centenary anniversary, the College changed its name to Albertson College of Idaho, in honor of Kathryn and Joe Albertson. As alumni, the Albertsons were generous benefactors of the college and were founders of one of the country's largest supermarket chains, Albertson's Inc. In a historic announcement on October 11, 2007, Albertson College of Idaho President Bob Hoover announced that the College had received the largest gift ever given to an Idaho college or university, a $50 million cash gift from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, and that it was returning to its original name-The College of Idaho.