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Albion State Normal School

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Albion State Normal School was a public institution of higher learning in Albion, Idaho. It was established by the Idaho Legislature in 1893, as one of two Normal schools in the state. (The other, in Lewiston, is now Lewis-Clark State College.) Citizens of Albion had actively lobbied for the school's establishment, and donated land and labor for the new campus.

A normal school is a school created to train high school graduates to be teachers. Its purpose is to establish teaching standards or norms, hence its name. Most such schools are now called teachers' colleges.

The school remained a small institution throughout its history, focusing on the training of teachers and drawing its student body primarily from south-central Idaho. Albion Normal offered a two-year teacher training program until 1947, when it was renamed "Southern Idaho College of Education" (SICE) and authorized to confer baccalaureate degrees. The school remained troubled by low enrollment and a lack of funding, however, and was finally closed by the state in 1951, as was Lewiston's NICE. The academic programs at Albion were transferred to Idaho State College (now Idaho State University) in Pocatello.

During its existence, Albion Normal awarded some 6,460 degrees. Perhaps its most notable alumnus was Terrel Bell (1921–96), the Secretary of Education (1981–84) in President Reagan's original Cabinet.

The college's athletic teams were known as the "Teachers" until 1935, when they became the "Panthers." School colors were Cardinal and Black, and the annual student yearbook was called The Sage.

After SICE closed in 1951, the campus remained vacant until 1957, when Magic Valley Christian College opened at the site. Magic Valley Christian, in turn, closed in 1969. The campus was deeded to the city of Albion the following year, which continued to maintain the grounds while alternative uses for the property were explored. Finally, the empty and deteriorating property was sold at public auction on June 2, 2007; The Mortensen Family were successful with a bid of $810,000. The new owners have begun rehabilitating a portion of the campus to serve as a conference and retreat center, called "Campus Grove at Albion."

Since the closing of the school there have been rumors of paranormal activity, and several paranormal investigation groups have come to try to find any forgotten spirits left in the abandoned college.

The campus was added to the National Register of Historic Places in November 1980.

Scope of Project

This is a gathering place for all students, faculty, and anyone else involved with the school.

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