The C of I rededicates Simplot Residence Hall
2009. 02. 09.
CALDWELL – The remodeled Simplot Residence Hall on The College of Idaho campus was rededicated today (Monday, Feb. 9) by The C of I President Bob Hoover, members of the Simplot family and current and former "Simplotians," the name given to Simplot Hall residents.
The rededication ceremony took place just a few weeks after what would have been J.R. Simplot's 100th birthday on Jan. 4. In 1945, Simplot gave $100,000 toward the construction of the original Simplot Residence Hall.
"If he was able to be here, J.R. would have said the rededication and remodel is 'awesome,' a word he used often to describe people and their accomplishments," said Ted Simplot, J.R. Simplot's grandson, who graduated from The C of I and attended today's ceremony. "Thanks for the memorial to my granddad."
Michael Simplot, J.R.'s grandson who also graduated from The C of I, said he originally wanted to go to Boise State University and approached his grandfather for a loan. "J.R. said he'd give me the loan, but I had to attend The C of I. He said he wanted me to get a good education."
J.R. Simplot was not an alumnus of the college, but served on its Board of Trustees for more than 60 years, spoke at commencement for more than 50 years and helped keep the College financially stable during hard times.
The residence hall underwent a major renovation last summer and reopened in the fall. Improvements included air conditioning, new floors and windows, disabled accessibility, and a new interior featuring modern electrical and plumbing fixtures.
During construction, work crews discovered items tucked into the crannies of the original building, including photos, driver's licenses, meal cards and mid-semester warnings dating back to 1948.
Cris Tietsort, a C of I student and hall director of Simplot Residence Hall, said he has met many alumni who have fond memories of the time they lived in the building.
"I'm overwhelmed by how much this dorm used to be a presence on the campus and how many traditions were associated with it," he said. "I look forward to adding to those traditions."
One of the alumni who used to live in the building was Justin Waldron, who now works in the college's Residence Life office.
"When I arrived at the dorm as a freshman, I didn't just pick up a key to my room," he said. "I was welcomed into a community."