Bruce M. Pitman Center
The Pitman Center is the central location for student administrative support and services for students and their families, including Student Accounts, Office of the Register, Financial Aid, the Vandal Card Office, Admissions and Campus Visits—on the first floor; and for general university business and U of I employees, the Pitman basement houses Asset Accounting, Accounts Payable, Records Management, and Professional Learning Development Offices and Learning labs to name a few. The third floor is the hub of student media on campus including the student newspaper, magazine and radio station.
The Bruce M. Pitman Center has a rich history dating back to beginnings of the University of Idaho. Today, it is considered the official entryway and welcoming location for U of I visitors, new and current students and prospective Vandals and their families.
The building has gone through three distinct name iterations over the years: in 1924, it was called the Blue Bucket Inn; in 1937, the name was changed to the Student Union Building (SUB) when the university purchased the property and did extensive remodeling; and then most recently, it was renamed the Bruce M. Pitman Center in 2015 in honor of the retiring dean of students and vice provost for academic affairs, who served the campus community for over 40 years.
Originally constructed in 1924 by then Dean of Women Permeal French, the Blue Bucket Inn was built to establish a place on campus for students to socialize and gather and it continues to serve this purpose today and more. The 1924 Blue Bucket Inn included a tea room, a soda fountain, two dining rooms and a kitchen. The name originated from a front door light — which was covered by a blue leaded-glass shade that shined on a nearby canopy and gave the impression of a blue bucket. “Bucket” quickly became the school’s most popular recreation, meeting and banquet area in those days.
Since 1936, when the university took ownership of the property, the SUB and now Pitman Center has gone through approximately eight additions and remodels of varying kinds with the most recent major facility renovation occurring in 2000. This SUB was the primary student area until the Idaho Commons opened in 2000.
Today, the Bruce M. Pitman Center is home to a number of key university and community services and functions as one of the core centers of the University of Idaho campus — supporting the needs of the entire U of I community and general public. Its three floors provide more than six meeting rooms of various sizes, a wide range of student and employee support services, space for studying and exchanging ideas and a location for events and entertainment.