Harman building built in honor of ‘Aunt Carrie’



    The mirrored outside walls of the Caroline Hemenway Harman Building reflect the mountains as well a history of a woman respected by her family.

    As National Women’s History Month progresses, females who have made a difference on BYU campus are being recognized and “Aunt Carrie,” as she was fondly called, left more than just a building’s name when she died.

    The Caroline Hemenway Harman building was completed on March 18, 1982.

    Pete Harman, Caroline’s nephew and founder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in Utah, is the major benefactor of the building, according to BYU visitor Web site.

    “All his life, Pete had a great love for her and wanted to think of some tribute to her life,” said Duane Hiatt, director of editorial and media productions for Continuing Education.

    Pete Harman chose to build and name the building after his aunt because of continuing education’s dedication to serve others.

    In this way, Aunt Carrie could continue to help people, Hiatt said.

    Harmon, born January 2, 1873, in Salt Lake City, was the second of 11 children, and she grew up the daughter of a farmer and businessman, according to the Harman Building dedication program.

    She was married to George Reese Harman in the Salt Lake Temple on Jan. 26, 1895. The Harmans had six children.

    Caroline’s husband George died Aug. 12, 1912, from pleurisy after coming home drenched with water after working in the field, according to the April 13, 1982 Harman Building dedication program.

    Caroline was 39, the sole provider for her children and caretaker of the farm. She woke at 5 a.m. everyday to work in the fields and raise her young family, according Harman Building dedication program.

    According to the dedication program, Caroline received some support from her sister, Grace, who was married to George’s brother David. However, Grace died during childbirth shortly after, and Caroline was given care of Grace’s son, Leon Weston Harman.

    On Oct. 29, 1919, Caroling married David in the Salt Lake Temple.

    David and Caroline, with a combined family of 14 children, filled their home with laughter, love and dedication to service in the community, according to the Harman Building dedication program.

    In the spring of 1924, David died after a rash spread over his body. Caroline and her children were once again left to care for their 300-acre farm.

    Caroline believed that idleness was a sin and taught her children how to work, to love, to share and to literally bear one another’s burdens, the dedication program said.

    On March 11, 1925, Caroline married Eugene Robinson. Soon after their marriage, he suffered a stroke and was bedridden. Caroline cared for him until his death.

    Caroline served as Relief Society president for 18 years. She died July 29, 1940, according to the dedication program.

    The Harman building houses the offices for the American Indian Services and Resources Center, Study Abroad, Travel Study, Independent Study, CES Youth and Family Programs, CES Religion programs, conferences and workshops, according to the BYU visitor Web site.

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