State College. . . Historical Review
Our Heritage. . .
College was born of a pioneer era, deeply rooted in the spirit of
discovery and exploration that sent captains Meriwether Lewis and
William Clark through uncharted territory in 1804. Appropriately, the
college adopted the theme of Tradition, Discovery and Innovation to
celebrate its centennial in 1993 -- a reflection on the past, present
In a sense, LCSC's
history might be likened to the Lewis and Clark expedition. Its history
is filled with discoveries, hardships and challenges, failures and
triumphs, new relationships and lasting friendships, support in times of
need and rejoicing in times of success. It took the crafting of a new
history book by Keith C. Petersen "Educating in the American West:
One-Hundred Years at Lewis-Clark State College," to capture the essence
of this complex and dynamic institution. Here, in less vivid form, are
significant milestones in the college's history.
Infancy. . .
Legislature of 1893 created a normal school in name, but failed to
appropriate state funds to provide it with a permanent home. As was
typical of that era and the century that followed, the citizens of
Lewiston responded with open hearts.
The City of
Lewiston donated 10 acres on a barren, sandy hill overlooking its sparse
business district from the south to serve as the school's embryo. Soon
to bear the name of "Normal Hill" after the mission of its
principal occupant, the hill had no city services, no luxury of lights,
electricity or water. What it had, however, was potential.
Absent of state
funding, the school finally received authority from the legislature to
use some of its federal land-grant proceeds to hire an architectural
firm from Spokane and begin designing its first building. Blueprints
were expected to take form in a completed administration
building/classroom by 1894... Again, ambition seemed to run a distance
ahead of reality.
Proceeds from the
land grant sales were slower than anticipated, a reflection of the
stagnant economy. Fearing that its initial work would die a quiet and
untimely death, the first construction company from Spokane abandoned
the project. Excavation and foundation work turned dormant.
The vision failed
to stagnate, however. In 1895, the legislature issued bonds to complete
the first building on campus, and a new contractor was secured to pick
up where its predecessor left off. Construction delays, common even
around the turn of the century, tested the resolve of new LSNS President
George Knepper to open the school he'd been hired to pioneer.
In the absence of
a permanent home for his fledgling school, Knepper contacted local
businessmen to arrange for private, temporary quarters on the second
floor of a building in the heart of Lewiston's business district. With
carpenters and masons laboring on the hill above them, 46 students
assembled to become the first class of Lewiston State Normal School on
Jan. 6, 1896.
Almost six months
later, with the sound of cannon fire echoing from the surrounding hills
and a procession of townspeople and dignitaries, Lewiston State Normal
School and the community of Lewiston celebrated the completion of its
first building. The survivor of a disastrous 1917 fire, reconstruction,
changes in function, and a major 1993 renovation, that building still
stands -- the oldest one still used in the state's higher education
system. Named after the man whose vision and relentless lobbying for a
college in Lewiston, James W. Reid Centennial Hall now is the center for
student services and contains model computer classrooms and labs, as
well as offices and traditional classrooms.
mission of the new college was to prepare teachers for serving in the
region's many one-room, rural schools. Growth, in terms of students and
programs, continued steadily, prompting the Idaho State Board of
Education to expand the college's role in 1943 to a four-year
institution. At the same time it authorized the awarding of the bachelor
of arts degree in education. Reflecting that expanded function, the
state legislature changed the institution's name to Northern Idaho
College of Education in 1947.
enrollments and Idaho finances following the outbreak of the Korean War,
mixed with political maneuvering, led to the closure of NICE and
Southern Idaho College of Education at Albion in 1951. The legislature
reopened the Lewiston college in 1955 under the new name of Lewis-Clark
Normal School. However, its southern Idaho sibling remained closed
permanently. After reopening, LCNS operated as a branch of the
University of Idaho, still holding to the charge of preparing elementary
school teachers. In 1963, the legislature restored the college's
autonomy and returned its status as an independent, four-year
undergraduate institution with a unique niche in the state's higher
Idaho law defined
the purposes of Lewis-Clark Normal School to be the "offering and
giving of instruction in four-year courses in science, arts and
literature, and such courses as are normally included in liberal arts
colleges leading to the granting of the degree of bachelor."
Board of Education approved a four-year curriculum in education and
liberal arts and established Lewis-Clark State College as one of its six
postsecondary vocational schools in 1965. The practical and associate
degree nursing programs were instituted the same year. In 1971, the
legislature changed the name of the college to Lewis-Clark State
College, reflecting its expanded mission and maintaining its historical
roots based on the expedition by Lewis and Clark. At the time of its
latest name transition, the college held the distinction of being the
last "Normal" college in the nation.
regional accreditation as a four-year degree-granting institution in
1973 and was re-accredited for a 10-year periods in 1978 and 1988. It
had been accredited as a two-year college from the time it was separated
from the University of Idaho.
program was accredited by the National League for Nursing in 1970 and
was reaccredited in 1979 and 1987. The teacher education program was
accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher
Education in 1976 and again in 1980 and 1990. Each current teacher
education program also is accredited by the Idaho Professional Standards
Commission pursuant to the 1979 revised standards of the National
Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification.
The State Board of
Education reaffirmed the role of Lewis-Clark State College in October
1973, with a continued emphasis on serving undergraduate students in the
areas of liberal arts, sciences and education, and providing a strong
vocational-technical program. The board revised the role in march 1983
to add responsibilities as "a regional undergraduate institution
offering an alternative learning environment to site- and time-bound
students throughout the region.
Today, LCSC offers
liberal arts and sciences, professional programs in education, nursing,
business and criminal justice, and technical programs. The School of
Technology was granted authority in 1993 to introduce four-year
baccalaureate degree programs in technology -- the Bachelor's of Applied
Technology and Bachelor's of Applied Science -- reflecting the growing
demands for a highly skilled technical workforce.
in a variety of fields constitute a distinct mission for the college,
under the auspices of the Division of Extended Programs and Community
Development. The college operates outreach centers in Coeur d'Alene,
Orofino and Grangeville, and offers courses and programs in a variety of
alternative formats to students from Sandpoint to Grangeville. Through a
five-year federal grant that began in 1993, the college has begun
expanding educational opportunities to residents of rural communities
and to others who are site-bound or time-bound. Creation of the
Integrated Learning Network as part of that federal Title III grant has
extended access to college programs throughout the state.
Through more than
a century of growth and maturity, LCSC has remained faithful to the
pioneering spirit of its namesakes, Lewis and Clark, and its clear
mandate to provide a balanced, comprehensive education.
State Normal School (LSNS)
1947--North Idaho College of Education (NICE)
1955--Lewis-Clark Normal School (LCNS)
1971--Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC)
1903 to 1915--George H. Black
1915 to 1925--Oliver M. Elliott
1925 to 1941--John E. Turner
1941 to 1951--Glenn W. Todd
1955 to 1957-- Dr. H. Walter Steffens (executive dean under University
1957 to 1963--Cleon C. Caldwell (executive dean under University of
1963 to1968--Wayne Sims
1968 to 1978--Jerold D. Dugger
1978 to 1994--Dr. Lee A. Vickers
1994 to 1995--Dr. Michael Glenn (interim president)
1995 to 2000--Dr. James W. Hottois
2000 to 2001--Dr. Niel T. Zimmerman (interim president)
2001 to 2010--Dr. Dene Kay Thomas
2010-present--Dr. J. Anthony (Tony)