REXBURG, ID — A new academic building to be named in honor of Ricks College founder Thomas E. Ricks was announced Saturday during commencement exercises at the Rexburg college.

During the final April commencement at Ricks College before it becomes known as Brigham Young University-Idaho, President David A. Bednar announced the new classroom building will be constructed on the southeast side of campus near the demonstration gardens. The exact location of the building has not yet been determined.

The entire area will be called the Thomas E. Ricks Building and Gardens. “It is most appropriate that this new academic building and beautiful garden area bear the name of Thomas E. Ricks as a lasting tribute to his valiant and pioneering educational efforts,” Bednar said. Ricks lived from 1828 to 1901 and was the founder of the Latter-day Saint settlement in 1883 that was named Rexburg and the stake president when Bannock Stake Academy was founded in 1888. The academy eventually grew into Ricks College.

In addition, Bednar said, “We will continue to have and refer to the ?Spirit of Ricks’ at Brigham Young University-Idaho.” He described the “Spirit of Ricks” as the supportive, caring and spiritual atmosphere of the institution.

He added the college will create theatrical and music remembrances of Thomas E. Ricks and the history and spirit of Ricks College. Bednar, who is the 14th president of the school, said he had thought a great deal about Thomas E. Ricks while preparing for commencement.