8 fun facts you didn’t know about the BYU campus


Before reading, take our 10-question BYU Myth or Fact? quiz to see how well you know BYU.

College mysteries are popular on any campus and BYU is no different. Here are eight facts about BYU to set the record straight.

1. There is a manikin that gives birth in the SWKT.

The high-fidelity manikin’s name is Lucina, also the name of the Greek goddess of childbirth, according to College of Nursing Public Relations Manager Jeff Peery. The manikin is not only capable of simulating vaginal delivery but can also hemorrhage, go into maternal cardio-respiratory arrest and simulate pregnancy-induced hypertension and seizures, Peery said.

Lucina has realistic breathing and two separate heartbeats — one for her and one for the baby. She can give birth in multiple positions and pushes out a fetus manikin in a delivery time frame that can vary from one minute to two hours.

Peery said all nursing students are required to complete three birthing scenarios in the lab with Lucina prior to completing a clinical practicum in a labor and delivery unit of a local hospital.

2. A giant Po the Panda statue stands in the lobby of the Talmage Building.

Computer science professor Parris Egbert was on a trip to DreamWorks Studio with a few other professors when he first saw Po’s statue in the DreamWorks lobby. After finding out the statue would be retired to a warehouse, he said his group asked for the statue to be given to BYU, where they would display it. He said DreamWorks finally agreed after multiple requests.

Egbert said he believes DreamWorks consented because of the good relationship DreamWorks has with BYU. He said many BYU alumni have gone to work for DreamWorks, including Jason Turner, who created the data for Po’s character as modeling supervisor at DreamWorks.

3. The Joseph Smith Building has a baptismal font.

The JSB baptismal font is connected to rooms 103 and 107, according to campus scheduler Lauren Greer. She said missionaries reserve the rooms for a baptism about once every other month.

The font is used for students who decide to be baptized as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while attending BYU.

4. There is a prayer room on campus for Muslims to perform daily prayers.

According to Greer, room 3241 in the Wilkinson Student Center is reserved from 1 p.m. to the evening every day in order for Muslim students to have a space to pray. Greer said a larger service is held in room 3250 every Friday. According to the Muslim Students Association of BYU Facebook page, the service is open to people of any faith.

5. The BYU ballroom dance program is the largest collegiate ballroom dance program in the world.

According to the Ballroom Dance Company fact sheet, the BYU Ballroom Dance Company has performed in 36 foreign countries since its formation in 1971, and the program is the largest collegiate ballroom dance program in the world. Department of dance assistant professor Brent Keck said the team is undefeated in the United States and came in first place internationally in their most recent competition at the British Open Ballroom Dance Championships.

The company has performed for the princess of Thailand and participated in the opening of the Beijing Olympic Cultural Festival proceeding the Summer Olympics in Beijing, according to the fact sheet.

6. The Maeser Building is built on a cemetery.

The Provo City Cemetery used to be located where the Maeser Building now stands, according to the Provo City Library website. The website says the cemetery, named Temple Hill, was abandoned as a burial ground by 1880 because the soil was too sandy and caused graves to cave in before burials could take place.

7. The Native American statue on campus was sculpted by the same man who created the Angel Moroni statue for the Salt Lake City Temple.

According to the statue’s plaque, Cyrus Dallin, who was born and raised in Springville, Utah, created both statues.

The Native American statue depicts Chief Massasoit, who, along with his tribe, befriended the Pilgrims when they landed at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620. His tribe protected them from other tribes and saved many from starvation by teaching them how to grow crops such as corn.

According to BYU tour guide Kiera Knight, the statue is meant to encourage students to befriend everyone.

8. BYU food science students have worked with General Mills, the BYU Creamery and Basic American Foods in developing food products.

BYU food science students have worked with a variety of real-world companies in producing products like frozen Belgian waffles, hot chocolate mix, chili sauce, granola and heart-healthy oatmeal cookie mix, according to food science professor Michael Dunn.

Anyone can participate in the BYU Food Science Sensory Laboratory, where people sample and rate certain products, according to the sensory lab website. Participation in the food sampling takes approximately 15 minutes, and panelists usually receive about $3 in compensation. People can sign up to be included in the sensory lab database; they will then be emailed about each new panel to see if they qualify.

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