New documentary premieres about early BYU history

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Homecoming week this year coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Karl G. Maeser Memorial Building, and to celebrate, a new documentary entitled “Journey to Temple Hill: The Brigham Young University Story,” will premiere on BYU Broadcasting stations.

The documentary, which premieres on Oct. 6, 7 and 13, chronicles the university’s early history. It is an expanded version of a popular documentary shown in the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center.

The documentary draws upon interviews with historians, BYU faculty and descendants of BYU founders to describe the university’s establishment and the challenges faced in its first three decades.

[/media-credit] Faculty members at the Brigham Young Academy, including Karl G. Maeser (center).
Actor and theatre professor Rodger Sorensen, associate dean of the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications, portrays Karl G. Maeser.

“Standing in those shoes even for such a short time opened to my heart and mind the magnitude of this man, the significant mission of BYU and my own insufficiencies,” Sorensen said. “The past five years have been informed by the lingering influence of his footsteps and the lasting brilliance of his vision.”

The program includes original recordings of early academy students Eva Maeser Crandall, daughter of Karl G. Maeser, and Bryant Hinckley, one of Maeser’s students and father of the late President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Gordon Daines is an archivist in the Harold B. Lee Library and is an expert on the Karl G. Maeser building.

“Today the Maeser Building reminds us of the university’s commitment to intermingle the sacred and the secular,” Daines said. “It is representative of the university’s deep spiritual roots and stands as a physical reminder of the work of Karl G. Maeser.”

[/media-credit] The Karl G. Maeser building was the first building on what is now BYU Campus.
The program was produced by BYU University Communications in conjunction with the L. Tom Perry Special Collections at the Harold B. Lee Library. Julie Walker with University Communications produced and directed the film.

“I love that idea that BYU is more than just a building or a physical campus,” Walker said. “Maeser was truly a visionary who believed in this institution, and the Maeser Building is a fitting tribute to him.”

The program airs on BYU-TV Saturday, Oct. 6, at 1:30 p.m. It will then air on KBYU Channel 11 on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 8 a.m. and Saturday, Oct. 13, at 6 p.m. The documentary will also be available on the university’s YouTube channel and on the BYU Broadcasting website.

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