Members of the university community present and past are invited to help tell our story.
Have a favorite memory to share? Email us your discoveries!
Here's what we've collected so far, submitted from the Vandals who lived them. In addition, regular
Then and Now stories are part of our alumni newsletter, the Vandal Vibe.
“I came to the university in the fall of 1973 as a sophomore, transferring from Idaho State. I was married in January of the following year, and most of my memories include my wife. Some of best are the long hours spent with my classmates in the design studio of the Art and Architecture Building.
I remember how impressed people were when I would tell them I was an architecture student, primarily because they would notice the lights of our building burning brightly after midnight - even on Friday and Saturday night. They would see those lights as they were coming home from a weekend party and assume we were slaving away, but in reality, we were having a ball.
I remember more than once going up to the roof of the building to watch the sunrise after spending an all-nighter finishing my a project. I always remember the beauty of walking up or down Hello Walk in the midst of autumn colors with leaves rustling under my feet.
The beauty of campus and the Palouse have stuck with my wife and me as we fondly remember starting our lives together in Moscow. I graduated in 1977, and we returned for a short stay in 1979. Soon after that trip, we moved to the East Coast, and it wasn't until the summer of 2010 that I was able to combine a trip to Moscow with a business trip to Spokane. There are new facilities on campus, and the town has changed a bit. Thankfully, so much is the same, and I was able to relive many experiences one more time. Moscow and the University of Idaho is a unique experience - one we will always remember.”
- K. Lamonte John '77, of Washington, D.C.
The new swimming complex in the fall of 1970 replaced the old four-lane pool in the basement of Memorial Gym my parents had used in the 1930s. That meant we not only now had an eight-lane pool, but one with a minimum depth of six feet that could be super flooded to seven feet. In water polo, one is not allowed to touch the sides, and it is supposed to be impossible to touch the bottom during play. UI then had an NCAA team started by UI Athletics Hall of Fame men's swimming coach Chet Hall.
Dedication was held at halftime of our game against the University of Washington Huskies. We came into the match undefeated, including an opening win in the first-ever Vandal intercollegiate game where we beat WSU in Pullman. At the half, we trailed 6-4 but nearly pulled it out with a late tie at 9 all. The final score was 10-9. Of course, we were a little bit busy at the half, so we missed the speeches.
That was one game I never got off the bench, as Darwin Horn, our starting goalkeeper, played the entire match. I cannot complain, as I was one of two "exceptions." Kim Kirkland came from Moscow, so he had not played in high school. I came from Lewiston, so not only had I not played, my high school did not have access to a pool. I was also the only one on the team who was not also on the swimming team.
We finished the season with a 4-2 record, beating WSU at home and away, and Montana at home and away. We had another loss during the last game of the season, at home to Idaho State, which was the swimming powerhouse of the Big Sky in those days.”
- Dave Thiessen '72, of Clarkston, Wash.
It was 1955. I was a sophomore living in Lindley Hall (now a parking lot for Life Sciences North). I was an IK, hawking programs at a basketball game in Memorial Gym, when I ran into my sister, Idanne Schreiber Buhler (married Jay Buhler, football player and 'Mister Outside' to 'Mister Inside' Flip Kleffner). She introduced me to her new friend, Carol Jones, from Hansen, Idaho, and Forney Hall. I was smitten, as they say.
We married in 1957. All three of our daughters graduated from the university. Liz (John, also a Vandal) Hughes of St. Maries, Idaho; Kathy (Steve, a Vandal) Scott (deceased) of Kennewick, Wash.; and Chris Schreiber of Long Beach, Calif. Our two granddaughters, Sarah Hughes of Denver and Laura Hughes of Yakima, Wash., are also Vandals. I guess you could say we took, ‘Go Vandals’ to heart.”
- Robert (Bob) Schreiber ’57, of American Falls, Idaho
I spent my 78th birthday watching my grandson graduate from the UI. He graduated Magna Cum Laude, as his sister did two years ago. She came from Alaska, so we had a family reunion. I was impressed with the speaker, how clean and neat the campus is, and how big that dorm complex is. The whole student body could have lived there when I was on campus. I graduated in l957 and l960 with my master’s degree. I was amazed I remembered both school songs as we sang them at the end of the ceremony.”
- Lucille (Palmer) Gordon ’57, ’60, of Helena, Mont.
"My mother, Kathleen Bailey Irwin, graduated in 1937 in education. While attending the university, she took organ lessons from Hall Macklin. I attended the university from 1959 to 1963, Macklin also was my teacher.
I graduated in 1963 with a Bachelor of Education and later a master's. A few years ago, my mother and I decided to create a mother/daughter scholarship to assist those in the College of Education. We knew the UI helped us to grow and mature to make practical decisions on our journeys through life, and we wished to help others on their journeys. Kathleen, at 98, is doing well and so am I.”
- Kay Irwin Rowley '63, of Spokane, Wash.
I arrived in Moscow on August 28, 1979, after a 9-hour, 45-minute flight on a Pan American airline from London to Seattle. Getting to Moscow took me to Spokane via Hughes Airwest, then on a light plane to Pullman. A taxi dropped me off in front of the Student Union Building.
I lived in Shoup Hall. My Australian roommate and I shared something in common, we both had never come in close proximity with snow.
I can't recall the exact date, but the first snowfall that year was early. I was taken aback. Flying over northern Africa into Europe, I had spotted the hazy suspense over the Sahara and patches atop mountains on the European side of the Mediterranean, but nothing as beautiful as what I was seeing.
My roommate and I went out with bare feet to have a feel of what we were looking at. My mind kept taking me back to the hazy, dusty suspense over the desert. I kept thinking, if only nature could dump some of this over the desert, it would be a great relief.
I left Shoup Hall after one semester. Coming from Africa to the UI is still the best choice I made to acquire a college education. The school nurtured me through difficult times, with a very caring administration and faculty. Thanks, UI!”
- Che Sunday ’83, of San Leandro, Calif.
I graduated in 1954 with a degree in mechanical engineering. At graduation, I was commissioned as 2nd Lt. in the US Air Force. I worked at the sugar factory in Nampa, Idaho, part of the summer and then received my orders to report to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to muster into the Air Force. I was sent to Moultrie, Ga., for primary flight training and then to Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Okla., for training in the B25 to receive my wings.
I was assigned to Yuma Air Force Base, Ariz., and was in charge of an aircraft radar repair facility for the aircraft that came to Yuma for annual service practice. They flew against towed banner targets and fired 2.75 rockets (no guided missiles at that time).
I flew in L20 aircraft and T33 jets. We had to follow the aircraft who shot at the banner targets to make sure they were aimed at the target and not the aircraft towing the target. After my 3-year tour in the Air Force, I went to work with Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in Los Angeles, Calif., and trained as a field engineer for the corporal missile system. After a month of training, I was sent to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, to support the corporal battalions that came to New Mexico to fire training missiles.
In El Paso, our identical twin daughters joined us with our first child (a daughter) who was born in Idaho. I was sent to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., in 1959 to help train personnel at the missile school.
In 1960, I became a test engineer on the Pershing missile system. We were static testing the Pershing rocket motor. I spent a year at the Marshall Space Flight Center as a static test engineer for the Saturn One booster motor, before transferring back to the army missile command to support development of new missiles and guidance systems.
I supported the first laser-guided missile tracking head testing and transferred to the Lance missile project office as a quality engineer. I was supervisor of several engineers who were supporting the Lance, Hawk, Hercules and other older missile systems. The army decided to combine the development and existing missile systems into the army missile command. I supported the Patriot missile system and helped it become a classified system so it could be manufactured and fielded. I retired from the government and worked with CAS to support the Patriot missile system, and I am still doing so after 25 years even though we are now the CAS Group of Wyle Company.”
- Matt Matson of Pocatello, Idaho
“Hearing the pile drivers work on the new Idaho stadium in 1970. Watching the stadium taking shape from the practice field that was adjacent to the stadium. Having the first winning year in football in quite a few years. The football team went 8-3 in 1971 and beat Boise State for the first time. Idaho 22, Boise State 21 at Boise. Quarterback Dave Comstock '76 scored the winning 2-point conversion late in the fourth quarter, or as time ran out.
Living in Wallace Complex at Borah Hall. I came to the University of Idaho from Nampa, Idaho, in September 1970. I would start out as an accounting major, listening to lectures about accounting from Mr. Clark.
Borah Hall was on the northwest side of the complex and took up two floors. There was another men's hall above us and two women's halls on the southwest side.
School of business and economics was in the Administration Building at that time, which was a long walk anytime, but longer when it was -10 degrees outside and you didn't have a warm jacket. Okay, I had previously lived in Montana where it was colder during the winter, but we still liked to complain of the cold.
Walking proved to be the mode of transportation for college students. The city of Moscow didn't have a public bus system, and downtown wasn't that far. Six miles from the complex to David's/the Bon. But the hills around campus are hard on knees. There was no Kmart on Moscow-Pullman highway to shop at or hotels to stay at during the early '70s. Only entertainment near campus was the Varsity Drive-In, and you needed a car for it.”
- G. Casey Eldridge MBA ’75, of Everett, Wash.