Students describe the Spirit of Ricks

Students at BYU-Idaho have different perceptions of a university tradition known as the Spirit of Ricks.

To some students, the Spirit of Ricks is characterized by kind behavior.

“The Spirit of Ricks, to me, has really shown through other classmates or other people here at this school. It’s how we treat each other,” said Jessica Angus, a senior studying exercise physiology. “It’s people opening doors for you and just treating each other as you would want to be treated.”

For some, the exact definition of the Spirit of Ricks is unclear.

“I’ve just heard the term recently. I don’t really know what anyone means by it. I guess it’s just what makes BYU-Idaho special and different from other places,” said Matt Bonner, a junior studying electrical engineering.

For some, the Spirit of Ricks is best characterized by the good treatment of students by the faculty.

“The professors are always teaching us the gospel,” said Nelly Ricks, a senior studying art.

Ricks is married to a fifth-generation descendent of Thomas E. Ricks, for whom Ricks College was named. Nelly also attributed honesty, integrity and learning to the Spirit of Ricks.

For Bonner, the learning atmosphere at BYU-I is a key component of the Spirit of Ricks.

“Here I’ve found that I learn more in class. It’s about the education. It’s about actually learning things and not just the grades. The class sizes are a lot smaller, which makes a huge difference for me,” Bonner said.

For some, the Spirit of Ricks means the opportunity to study at a university with people that hold similar values.

“It’s not like a regular state school where you have to adjust to [other’s standards] and if you’re not the same I guess, they ridicule you because of your own views and values and morals, but here you feel protected and comfortable,” said Daphne Sopoco, a senior studying accounting.

In a devotional address on Sept. 9, 2007, President Kim B. Clark attributed the Spirit of Ricks to the virtues of love, humility, obedience and learning by faith.

At the dedication of the Thomas E. Ricks Building in 2005, David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twevle Apostles said, “I would like to reiterate the definitions I came to understand during my service here in Rexburg. The Spirit of Ricks is the Holy Ghost and its attendant spiritual gifts.”

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