"Boise State’s campus graces Boise with its beauty, but a walk across the quad in 1932 would be over the airport runway, and 10 years before would have been a soggy marshland. Boise Junior College first opened in 1932 at St. Margaret’s Hall (near 100 W Idaho St.) formerly a prep school for girls. The idea for a junior college in Boise began with several studies to verify whether Boise had enough students interested in attending a local college. At that time, Boise had the largest population in the state but did not have its own college even though less populated cities did. Due to the economic upheaval with the 1929 stock market crash, parents could not afford to send their children to the other colleges in the state due to the distance and boarding requirements. So, Bishop Middleton Barnwell decided to open St. Margaret’s prep school for girls as a two-year college in 1932. The new Boise Junior College was born. St. Margaret’s Hall was a Gothic three-story brick structure built in 1892 by the Episcopal Church and had operated as a women’s preparation school for 40 years. The library contained about 2,000 books but seating was limited to 30 students. Students also utilized the Carnegie Library that was located a few blocks west. There were 78 students and 15 faculty members when the college opened in the fall with Bishop Middleton Barnwell as the president. The $73 tuition per semester included various fees for labs, registration and equipment damages. Students were required to take 15 credits per semester." (Source: Sherry Horton, "The 1929 Stock Market Crash Spawns Boise's First College," The Arbiter, April 7, 2011). @boiselibrarian
In 1934 the Episcopal Church ended its affiliations with Boise Junior College and in 1940 the campus moved to present site on the south bank of the Boise River which was formerly the Boise Airport. In 1965, the school gained four-year status and began awarding baccalaureate degrees. Four years later, the school joined the Idaho state system of higher education and was renamed Boise State College. In 1974, the school gained university status to become Idaho's third state university, finally becoming Boise State University.
Total enrollment at Boise State University. Based on information in registrar's reports and facts and figures. Some other sources have varying statistics based on different measuring tools, for example counting enrollment at the start or middle of the fall semester.
Created by Boise State University Library, Special Collections and Archives. Information gathered primarily based on Eugene Chaffee's Boise College: An Idea Grows (1970), Glen Barrett's Boise State University: Searching for Excellence, 1932-1984 (1984), and Pat Ourada's The Broncos: A History of Boise State University Athletics, 1932-1994 (1994). Intern Brandon Woodard conducted the initial research and proof-of-concept.