Significant events in BYU History


1875 Brigham Young Academy established on a little over one acre of land.

1877 Brigham Young contributed three and one tenth acres of land to the Academy in June and then died on Aug. 29 at the age of 76.

1884 Lewis building gutted by fire. The cause was never determined.

1885 Half of the first floor of the ZCMI warehouse housed the academy from 1885 to 1892.

1891 Campus moved to new four-acre facilities on University Avenue and Fifth North.

1901 Inside toilets made available on campus.

1903 Name officially changed to Brigham Young University.

1906 The Y first appeared on the mountain. The Y is one of the largest school emblems of its kind in the United States.

1907 The first Ph.D., Joseph Peterson, employed as a faculty member.

1911 Maeser Building completed making it the first permanent building on upper campus.

1914 The school suffered financial struggles; its debt was more than $185,000. 1930 Despite the financial hardships during the Great Depression, enrollment increased by 50 percent in the 1930s.

1938 A survey showed 40 percent of BYU students were living on three to six dollars a month for food.

1946 Over 2,200 veterans enrolled as freshmen, amounting to more than one-half the school’s enrollment. 1949 Student newspaper publication began.

1950 Between 1950 and 1975, three general authorities, 34 mission presidents and 112 members of general Church committees were called from among the BYU faculty and staff.

1951 Ernest L. Wilkinson inaugurated as seventh president of BYU.

1952 President Harry S. Truman visited BYU campus and spoke at a special assembly.

1956 BYU enrollment reached 10,542. Heritage Halls completed.

1956 The first BYU student stake and 12 student wards organized.

1958 BYU football team defeated the Utah Utes for the second time ever and the first time in 16 years.

1958 Baseball team turned down an invitation to play in the College World Series because games were to be played on Sunday.

1961 BYU’s Engineering Department received its first computer.

1961 U.S. Forest Service deeded the Y on the mountain to BYU.

1962 LaVell Edwards came to BYU as an assistant football coach.

1963 Construction began on new Cougar Stadium.

1963 BYU enrollment hit a record 14,042.

1965 The Board of Trustees announced the Y Center would be named the Ernest L. Wilkinson Center after the then-current BYU president.

1965 U.S. sent troops to Vietnam. Over 60 BYU students gave their lives in the war.

1965 “The World Is Our Campus” and “Enter To Learn, Go Forth To Serve” entry signs unveiled.

1965 BYU football team defeated the University of Utah 25-20. This was the first victory over the Utes in Provo.

1965 Construction completed of the first five of eventually seven residence halls named Deseret Towers.

1970 LaVell Edwards named BYU’s head football coach.

1971 BYU first used computerized registration, eliminating long lines. System heralded to be “one of the finest computer systems in the world.”

1973 The Honor Code office permitted young ladies to wear knee-length skirts and dresses.

1974 The new 12-feet-high, 2000 pound bronze cougar mascot placed in front of Cougar Stadium. It was the graduating class’s gift to the University.

1976 Ronald Reagan visited BYU campus.

1984 BYU football team declared national champion after defeating Michigan 24-17 in the Holiday Bowl.

1989 BYU Jerusalem Center dedicated by President Howard W. Hunter of the Quorum of the Twelve.

1992 Rosa Louise Parks spoke at BYU to a crowd of 4,500.

1993 Museum of Art completed. Women’s Resource Center established.

1996 Lady Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, speaks at BYU’s graduation and receives an honorary doctorate.

1999 Men’s volleyball team made history by winning its first NCAA championship.

2000 Cougar Stadium renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium.

2003 Cecil O. Samuelson inaugurated as BYU’s 12th president.

2007 Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitor Center dedicated on President Hinckley’s 97th birthday – one year after the groundbreaking.

2008 Deseret Towers completely demolished. Students last occupied the buildings in 2007.

2010 Construction started on new Heritage Halls, new four-story residence halls.

2011 A BYU student-built electric car hit 175 mph establishing a world land speed record.

2012 Construction commenced for new Life Sciences Building to replace the aging Widstoe Building.

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