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Our History

The Communication Building - A History

Welcome to our Department!  We are so pleased to share a more in-depth story about the unique history of our program and our building.  This information has been organized in a timeline to guide you through some of the highlights of our journey over the past 80 years.  We hope that you will learn more about where we have been and share in our commitment to “Changing the World.”

The Communication Building - A Timeline

The Communication Building celebrates its 80th birthday in 2020. This two-story, sturdy red brick building is located west of the tennis courts and south of Taylor Hall. As one of the first three buildings constructed on the Boise State campus, our building has evolved over the years.

Initially built in the 1940’s to serve as the Student Union building, it was the known location for all dances and other social functions. By 1967 it was renamed the Music-Drama Building, and in 1984 the building was remodeled and acquired the current name of the Communication Building. Ever since, it has been the home to the Department of Communication.

As one of the oldest buildings on campus, it has long served as a haven for learning and self-discovery. True to the nature of older buildings, some myths have become associated with the aging structure. Most popular among these myths is the ghost named Dinah. Supposedly, Dinah is known to forlornly wander the halls of the building, with accounts dating as far back as the 1950’s.  There are many versions of the myth and its origins, but they all conclude with the tragic death of a young woman who experienced a broken heart after a Student Union dance. Below are a few links to more investigations of this novel myth:

Coast to Coast Ghosts: True Stories of Hauntings Across America: a novel by Leslie Rule

The Arbiter: “Spooky Communications” by David Collie

Idaho Architecture Project: Communication Building

KIVI Boise: News Report on Is the Boise State Communication Building Haunted?

Whether you believe the Dinah myth or not, such a tale continues to pique interest. Some find the folklore a fascinating conversation starter, others not so much. But wherever you stand on the matter, it doesn’t take away from the charm the ol’ building continues to bring to campus life.