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Brigham Young University (BYU)

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigham_Young_University

Brigham Young University (often referred to as BYU or, colloquially, The Y) is a private research university located in Provo, Utah, United States. It is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and, excluding online students, is the largest of any religious university and the 3rd largest private university in the United States, with 29,672 on-campus students. BYU does not currently publish online enrollment statistics, but BYU's Independent Study programs are offered worldwide, including being available in Family History Centers the LDS Church maintains in 134 countries.

Approximately 99 percent of the university's 30,000 students are members of the LDS Church, and one-third of its American students come from within the state of Utah. Students attending BYU are required to follow an honor code, which mandates behavior in line with LDS teachings such as academic honesty, adherence to dress and grooming standards, and abstinence from extramarital sex and from the consumption of drugs and alcohol. Many students (87 percent of men, 19 percent of women) take a two-year hiatus from their studies at some point to serve as Mormon missionaries. An education at BYU is also less expensive than at similar private universities, since "a significant portion" of the cost of operating the university is subsidized by the church's tithing funds.

BYU offers programs in liberal arts, engineering, agriculture, management, and law. The university is broadly organized into 11 colleges or schools at its main Provo campus, with certain colleges and divisions defining their own admission standards. The university also administers two satellite campuses, one in Jerusalem and one in Salt Lake City, while its parent organization, the Church Educational System (CES), sponsors sister schools in Hawaii and Idaho. The university's primary focus is on undergraduate education, but it also has 68 master's and 25 doctoral degree programs.

BYU's athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the BYU Cougars. Their college football team is an NCAA Division I Independent, while their other sports teams compete in either the West Coast Conference or Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. BYU's sports teams have won a total of fourteen national championships.

Brigham Young University's origin can be traced back to 1862 when a man named Warren Dusenberry started a Provo school in a prominent adobe building called Cluff Hall, which was located in the northeast corner of 200 East and 200 North. On October 16, 1875, Brigham Young, then president of the LDS Church, personally purchased the Lewis Building after previously hinting that a school would be built in Draper, Utah in 1867. Hence, October 16, 1875 is commonly held as BYU's founding date. Said Young about his vision: "I hope to see an Academy established in Provo... at which the children of the Latter-day Saints can receive a good education unmixed with the pernicious atheistic influences that are found in so many of the higher schools of the country.

The school broke off from the University of Deseret and became Brigham Young Academy, with classes commencing on January 3, 1876. Warren Dusenberry served as interim principal of the school for several months until April 1876 when Brigham Young's choice for principal arrived—a German immigrant named Karl Maeser. Under Maeser's direction the school educated many luminaries including future U.S. Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland and future U.S. Senator Reed Smoot among others. The school, however, did not become a university until the end of Benjamin Cluff, Jr's term at the helm of the institution. At that time, the school was also still privately supported by members of the community and was not absorbed and sponsored officially by the LDS Church until July 18, 1896. A series of odd managerial decisions by Cluff led to his demotion; however, in his last official act, he proposed to the Board that the Academy be named "Brigham Young University". The suggestion received a large amount of opposition, with many members of the Board saying that the school wasn't large enough to be a university, but the decision ultimately passed. One opponent to the decision, Anthon H. Lund, later said, "I hope their head will grow big enough for their hat."

In 1903, Brigham Young Academy was dissolved, and was replaced by two institutions: Brigham Young High School, and Brigham Young University. (The BY High School class of 1907 was ultimately responsible for the famous giant "Y" that is to this day embedded on a mountain near campus.) The Board elected George H. Brimhall as the new President of BYU. He had not received a high school education until he was forty. Nevertheless, he was an excellent orator and organizer. Under his tenure in 1904 the new Brigham Young University bought 17 acres (69,000 m2) of land from Provo called "Temple Hill". After some controversy among locals over BYU's purchase of this property, construction began in 1909 on the first building on the current campus, the Karl G. Maeser Memorial. Brimhall also presided over the University during a brief crisis involving the theory of evolution. The religious nature of the school seemed at the time to collide with this scientific theory. Joseph F. Smith, LDS Church president, settled the question for a time by asking that evolution not be taught at the school. A few have described the school at this time as nothing more than a "religious seminary". However, many of its graduates at this time would go on to great success and become well renowned in their fields.

Franklin S. Harris was appointed the university's president in 1921. He was the first BYU president to have a doctoral degree. Harris made several important changes to the school, reorganizing it into a true university, whereas before, its organization had remnants of the Academy days. At the beginning of his tenure, the school was not officially recognized as a university by any accreditation organization. By the end of his term, the school was accredited under all major accrediting organizations at the time. He was eventually replaced by Howard S. McDonald, who received his doctorate from the University of California. When he first received the position, the Second World War had just ended, and thousands of students were flooding into BYU. By the end of his stay, the school had grown nearly five times to an enrollment of 5,440 students. The university did not have the facilities to handle such a large influx, so he bought part of an Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah and rebuilt it to house some of the students. The next president, Ernest L. Wilkinson, also oversaw a period of intense growth, as the school adopted an accelerated building program. Wilkinson was responsible for the building of over eighty structures on the campus, many of which still stand. During his tenure, the student body increased six times, making BYU the largest private school at the time. The quality of the students also increased, leading to higher educational standards at the school. Finally, Wilkinson reorganized the LDS Church units on campus, with ten stakes and over 100 wards being added during his administration.

Dallin H. Oaks replaced Wilkinson as president in 1971. Oaks continued the expansion of his predecessor, adding a law school and proposing plans for a new School of Management. During his administration, a new library was also added, doubling the library space on campus. Jeffrey R. Holland followed as president in 1980, encouraging a combination of educational excellence and religious faith at the university. He believed that one of the school's greatest strengths was its religious nature and that this should be taken advantage of rather than hidden. During his administration, the university added a campus in Jerusalem, now called the BYU Jerusalem Center. In 1989, Holland was replaced by Rex E. Lee. Lee was responsible for the Benson Science Building and the Museum of Art on campus. A cancer victim, Lee is memorialized annually at BYU during a cancer fundraiser called the Rex Lee Run. Shortly before his death, Lee was replaced in 1995 by Merrill J. Bateman.

Bateman was responsible for the building of 36 new buildings for the university both on and off campus, including the expansion of the Harold B. Lee Library. He was also one of several key college leaders who brought about the creation of the Mountain West Conference, which BYU's athletics program joined — BYU previously participated in the Western Athletic Conference. A BYU satellite TV network also opened in 2000 under his leadership. Bateman was also president during the September 11th attacks in 2001. The planes crashed on a Tuesday, hours before the weekly devotional normally held at BYU. Previous plans for the devotional were altered, as Bateman led the student body in a prayer for peace. Bateman was followed by Cecil O. Samuelson in 2003. Samuelson was succeeded by Kevin J Worthen in 2014.