By Benjamin Griffiths
For some students, BYU has become a family legacy.
For one BYU student, that family legacy spans four generations and has had a profound effect on her life.
Andrea Laycock, 20, a senior majoring in communications, said she reflects often upon the way her life has been shaped by her family.
“I remember before I came to BYU, I had always heard school stories from my parents and grandparents. When the time came to choose a college, I didn’t even apply to any other schools. In my daily life, I think about what my parents and grandparents were doing at this stage in their lives; I want to do everything that I can to uphold the tradition of excellence that they have set,” Laycock said.
The tradition began back in 1898, when Laycock’s great grandfather, John A. Johanson, attended the Brigham Young Academy. He was a member of one of the first fielded football teams.
“After his graduation from the academy, John Johanson traveled north as an early Canadian pioneer in 1902,” son-in-law Delbert Palmer said. “He came north by choice, to claim land and to farm.”
“My parents, Brent and Kathy Laycock, actually attended BYU before my grandparents, who returned to study, and graduated, while in their 60’s,” Laycock said.
“Grandpa graduated from BYU in ’79 with a degree in international studies and (the late Mabel Palmer) his wife graduated with a bachelors in general studies. Afterwards, he was heavily involved in the international studies department, and was instrumental in the Canadian studies section,” Laycock said.
When asked about his great-grandfather’s time at BYU, Palmer said, “That was in between our missions.”
He then listed his many missions spanning a number of years and six countries.
Palmer quickly passed over his presidential citation that he received from BYU in April 1999, preferring to focus on his continued involvement at BYU.
“The Palmer family sponsors a lecture series featuring prominent Canadian citizens. This year in October, Dr. Grant Hill, a member of parliament from Alberta, will be addressing the international students,” he said.
Laycock moved on to the next generation.
“My parents knew each other before attending BYU, but did not date until they were here. My dad (Brent Laycock) graduated with a masters in fine arts, my mom (Kathy Laycock) with a bachelors in early childhood education,”
Although attending BYU at different times over the last century, Laycock’s relatives hold BYU in the highest regard.
“It is the greatest university in the world. The atmosphere is tremendous. Everything you can imagine is Christ oriented,” said Adrian’s Grandfather, Delbert Palmer.
Brent Laycock added to his father-in-law’s sentiment.
“There is a closeness within the student body at BYU that is missing at other colleges. The wholesomeness of the school environment flows into other facets of the student’s lives,” he said.
When asked if she would pass the BYU legacy on to the fifth generation, Laycock said, “There will be no pressure for my kids to choose BYU, but I hope that they will have BYU pride, and keep the BYU option open.”