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David O. McKay Diaries – “Junior Colleges”

Below you will find diary entries on the topic of “Junior Colleges.” You can view other subjects here.

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Wed., 12 May, 1954:

“8:25 a.m.  President Ernest L. Wilkinson presented correspondence with Governor Lee on the Junior College Situation.  The Brethren then read and gave consideration to two suggested letters that had been prepared by President Ernest L. Wilkinson.  One of these letters was a letter addressed to the First Presidency by Governor Lee asking certain questions in regard to the attitude of the Church with reference to taking over the Junior Colleges, how they would be operated, etc.

The other letter was a suggested answer to these questions by the First Presidency in a letter addressed to the Governor.

The Brethren felt that there should be some modifications in the letters.  They decided to look over the copies that had been left with them.

At the invitation of the First Presidency President Wilkinson met with the First Presidency and made certain explanations regarding these letters.  He explained that it was necessary to submit both letters to the Governor so that he would know what the questions and answers would be.”

Fri., 14 May, 1954:

“At 10:30 a.m.  President Ernest L. Wilkinson of the B.Y.U. called and presented a redraft of a letter from the Governor containing questions regarding the Church’s attitude toward the State’s turning over to the Church certain junior colleges, also a redraft of letter answering the questions by the First Presidency.  President Wilkinson was requested to go ahead with the matter.”

Thurs., 23 Sept., 1954:

2 p.m.  Met at their request with Henry D. Moyle of the Council of the Twelve, and Ernest Wilkinson, President of the Brigham Young University.  They wanted to know who should sign the statement given to the Secretary of State, and the paper setting forth the reasons why the State should discontinue Weber, Snow,and Dixie Junior Colleges, a question that must be answered in the coming election.

Dilworth Woolley will sign as Chairman of the Committee to present it to the State.

Mon., 27 Sept., 1954:

Telephone Calls

2.  President Wilkinson called from the B.Y.U. in Provo.  He stated that he had the pamphlet regarding the Junior College issue ready for print.  He had found out that they could include the statement that was signed with the Secretary of State with reference to the transfer of the colleges without incurring any additional cost.  President Wilkinson asked my permission to include this in the pamphlet.  I told him that I would have to read it over before I could decide.  President Wilkinson said he would send the material to me today in order that I may read it over and give my opinion.

I thanked President Wilkinson for the article regarding the seminaries in Los Angeles and stated that I thought I would use it in my talk.  I asked President Wilkinson for some information on seventh grade enrollment in the seminaries.  President Wilkinson stated that he would send this information to me.”

Tues., 28 Sept., 1954:

Telephone Calls

1.  Henry D. Moyle of the Council of the Twelve called me by telephone regarding the meeting to be held by District Stake Presidents at which time a discussion will be held relative to the distribution of pamphlets concerning the Junior College situation and the Reapportionment.  I told him that the Stake Presidents are not to make a campaign that Gen’l. Authorities are in favor of the Church’s taking over the Junior Colleges, nor that they are in favor of the Reapportionment plan – also that they are not to quote the General Authorities on either issue.”

Wed., 29 Sept., 1954:

Telephone Calls

“2.  I called President Wilkinson at the B.Y.U.  I told him that he had better go to Washington to fulfill his appointment with the Chamber of Commerce in that City.  He asked if I had given Brother Moyle the material regarding the Junior College situation.  I told him that I thought it had been given to Brother Moyle, and that we should have to arrange to pay for both of them some way.”

Wed., 18 July, 1956:

“8:30 a.m. – Met by appointment at his request President Ernest L. Wilkinson of the Brigham Young University.

1.  I asked President Wilkinson to check on the report that I had received that one of the Professors at the Brigham Young University (Brother Bassett or Brother Berrett) had told the students all about the temple ceremonies in one of his classes.  (President Clark mentioned that one of his nieces had told him this).

President Wilkinson will investigate and report.

President Wilkinson then took up the following matters with me:

1.  Asked permission for the Brigham Young University and the Corporation of the President to join as parties plaintiff in a suit brought by P.L. Larsen and Company against Ray and Chester Davis for breach of warranty on insulating materials purchased in connection with Heritage Halls.

I asked Pres. Wilkinson to confer with the defendants to see if there is any possibility for settlement.  Also that he confer with President Wendell Mendenhall of the Church Building Committee to see if his (Pres. Wilkinson) proposal meets with this favor.

2.  It was agreed that we should not pursue further the matter of engaging Pete Couch of the University of Utah on the Physical Education Staff of the Brigham Young University.  He is obtaining a salary of $7200 for 9 month’s work at the University of Utah which is a salary the B.Y.U. cannot meet.

3.  The Music Department of the B.Y.U. would like the consent of the First Presidency to send the BYU Choir to England in the Fall of 1957 to sing at the dedication of the new temple there.

I told President Wilkinson that I felt impressed that we should not send this choir to Europe for the purpose stated above.

4.  Discussed the matter of a new Library for the B.Y.U., to accommodate 3,000 students.  At the present rates the building would probably cost about $4 million.  We agreed that this is very high, and Pres. Wilkinson will meet further with the architects and try and get them to cut down on the costs as much as will be consistent for the building they must have.  Pres. Wilkinson will report in the Fall to the full Board of Trustees on this matter.

5.  I authorized President Wilkinson to proceed with the following institute and seminary matters:  a) Instead of building a new building or an enlargement of the present institute building at Cedar City, which is authorized in the present budget, to proceed to remodel the present building which will cost approximately $7100 and will satisfy the needs for probably many, many years.  b)  I authorized a new appropriation for the purchase of land for a new seminary adjacent to a new high school in Mesa, Arizona, not to exceed $2,000.  This will not require a new appropriation of church funds.  c)  I authorized the completion of the institute project at Weber College which will cost approximately another $12,000.  This also can be taken out of funds authorized for other institutes and seminaries, the projects of which will not occur this year.

6.  I asked President Wilkinson to present to the full Board of Trustees this Fall, the question of whether Ricks College should remain at Rexburg, Idaho.

7.  President McClure of the Church Building Committee will examine certain land in Fullerton, California, which we may want to purchase for a Junior College.

8.  I took President Wilkinson in to the meeting of the First Presidency and there we authorized him to proceed again next year with an extension of the program for recruiting Indian students, that had been agreed upon the previous year.

Thurs., 2 Aug., 1956:

11:30 a.m.  Brother Wendell B. Mendenhall came into my private office and presented matters pertaining to the purchase of 663 acres of land at Fullerton, California.  President Wilkinson of the B.Y.U. first contacted me relative to this matter, he having been approached by Brother LeRoy A. Thompson and A.R. Bishop, real estate brokers in Los Angeles regarding the purchase of this land, a portion of which could possibly be used as a future college building site.

I requested Brother Mendenhall to look into this matter who in a letter to the First Presidency reported that ‘in order to retain a portion of this property as a future college building site, it would be necessary to sell off at least 550 acres of the land which could readily be done.  This proposition poses a large financial deal of better than four million dollars but there appears that there should be considerable interest taken in this property to make a thorough and extensive investigation.’

I told Brother Mendenhall that I had taken the matter up with my counselors, and that we have decided that the Church is not interested in the purchase of the property in question.  It is undoubtedly good property, but if the Church acquired it, we would have to build dormitories.  Brother Mendenhall said that he had stated to President Wilkinson that he could not visualize the site as being suitable for the building of dormitories, and that from that point of view, the property is not what we want — that it would not be a good thing for the Church to sub-divide that property for sale and get into a speculative proposition.  I answered that he had better telephone the people in Fullerton and tell them that the Church is not interested in the purchase of this property.

Thurs., 26 Dec., 1957:

“At 8:30 a.m.

President Ernest L. Wilkinson of the B.Y.U. came in, and we took up the following points:  (1) The advisability of the Brigham Young University professors attending Quarterly Conferences.

I said that we have looked with disfavor upon their doing so, but will be pleased to have President Wilkinson present the matter to the First Presidency at a meeting to be held January 16, 1957 at 8:30 a.m.

(2)  President Wilkinson asked if the suggestive letter to the Stake Presidents and counselors may also be sent to the Mission Presidencies.  I told him Yes.

(3)  President Wilkinson would like to receive an answer to the letter requesting his opening of a special confidential account, a draft of which letter I have handed to President Stephen L. Richards.

(4)  President Wilkinson wanted to know if President Hanks could go to Europe with a group of B.Y.U. students through Europe.  I told him to bring this matter up at the meeting to be held January 16.

(5)  President Wilkinson wanted to know if the $40,000 which the B.Y.U. has put in its budget for theatrical productions might remain in the budget.  I told him that we would consider this matter when he meets with the First Presidency.

(6)  President Wilkinson brought up the question of establishing Junior Colleges throughout the Church.  This matter was considered at length.  President Wilkinson has an appointment with the Governor today on this matter, and no action will be taken until he reports to me the results of his conference with the Governor.  (See Jan. 4, 1958)

Sat., 4 Jan., 1958:

“This morning I had a conference with Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson who reported his visit with Governor George Dewey Clyde about the building of Junior Colleges here in Salt Lake County.

He said that the Governor said that what is proposed by the State is the erection of a Trades Junior College, but that he, the Governor, sees no objection to the building of a Church Junior College if the Church thinks one is needed here.

Mon., 31 Mar., 1958:

“Purchase of Property in San Fernando Valley for Junior College Site

At a conference with President Ernest L. Wilkinson this morning, I approved of the motion made at a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the B.Y.U. and Board of Education held Friday, March 28, 1958, authorizing ‘the purchase of property in the San Fernando Valley (137 acres) at an approximate cost of $1,250,000 for use as a future junior college site.’

This land is reasonably priced in comparison with other land in the same area.  While the average cost will be $9,500 per acre (it could have been purchased for around $7000 two years ago) other property owners for land not as conveniently located, are asking $15,000.

All indications are that by the year 1975 there will be over 10,000 Mormon students of college age in this area.  By the year 2000 this number will have increased to 30,500.  It will of course be impossible to take care of these students at the BYU or in various institutes of the Church.  (the above information was reported by President Wilkinson)”

Wed., 14 May, 1958:

Wednesday, May 14, 1958


1.  Stetson property in San Fernando Valley.

I informed President McKay that during his absence George Henry Stetson had agreed to sell to the Church School System two hundred eighty-five acres of land in the San Fernando Valley for $1,250,000; that our own appraisal of the land gave it the value of $2,100,000.  I pointed out this was an average price of $4,386 per acre, whereas other land in that valley had been offered to us at prices ranging all the way from $9,000 to $15,000 per acre.  I told him that his counselors had authorized us to consummate the deal, but that they had suggested that we may want to sell a part of the property forthwith.  I told President McKay that in view of the State of California now insisting on nine hundred acres for a campus for a State college, I thought we ought to be very hesitant about selling any of this acreage, particularly in view of the bargain price at which we obtained it.  He replied that he agreed with me and that we should hold all of the property for the purpose of ultimately founding there a junior college.

Wed., 4 June, 1958:

“Wednesday, June 4, 1958

June 5, 1958

Memorandum of Conference President Ernest L. Wilkinson had with President David O. McKay on Wednesday, June 4, 1958 at 8:30 a.m.:

6.  Purchase of Anaheim and San Fernando properties for junior college.  I told President McKay we hoped to consummate these purchases in a short time and that we had been very careful not to let any news of their prospective purchase get out.  He replied that news was already out in Los Angeles, and I told him I felt quite sure that was not the fact; that I thought it was probably a recurrence of rumors which I had been hearing in Los Angeles myself for five years, but that on tracing down each rumor, I found that there were never any specific property identified or the wrong property was identified.  I told him I was sure that the location and purchase of neither of these properties had been revealed; that in one case not even a real estate man knew about it.  I told him that when they were purchased, however, I thought it would be highly desirable from a standpoint of public support throughout the Church, that their purchase be made known.  He suggested that I take this up with him for discussion when the purchases were consummated.

7.  Purchase of property for Salt Lake City campus.  I showed President McKay a map of property on which we had options between 35th and 39th South and about 6th and 10th West for nearly two hundred acres.  He thought that was not a desirable location for a junior college.  I then showed him a map of Nibley Park, suggesting that he confidentially see Mayor Stewart to see if we could either purchase that property from the City or exchange other property therefor.  He thought that was an excellent location and that is what we should obtain.  He agreed to try and see Mayor Stewart about this this week (before he goes to the hospital).  It was agreed this would not be presented to the Board of Trustees; that for the present this should be handled only by President McKay and by me.  It was agreed that if Mayor Stewart was favorable, I would then confer with Mayor Stewart as to property which we might purchase and exchange to the city for this property.

Ernest L. Wilkinson


Fri., 6 June, 1958:

3:15 p.m.  Purchase of Land in San Fernando Valley for Junior College.

Brother Clyde Sandgren of the Brigham Young University Presidency, came in with some legal papers for me to sign.  They pertain to the Church’s acquisition of property in the San Fernando Valley, California as a future site for a Junior College.  (see letter following)

3:30 p.m.

Received a courtesy call from Mr. John H. Stambaugh, special consultant to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and vice chancellor of the Vanderbilt University.  He is in Salt Lake City for the purpose of giving the commencement address at Westminster College.  (see newspaper clipping following)

Mr. Stambaugh, who is greatly interested in education, spoke of our Brigham Young University, and to the excellent work of President Ernest L. Wilkinson.  I told Mr. Stambaugh that I had just signed legal papers pertaining to the purchase of a million and a quarter piece of property for a future Junior College.  He wanted to know if it was to be established here, and I said no that the site is in California.  I stated that it will be a good thing for the Brigham Young University as it will be better to have the Junior College feed the University, that a Methodist minister had said that the State does this, but it is the first time a Church has followed this procedure – that is the building of Junior Colleges as feeders to the Universities.

This brought up the subject of our Junior College in New Zealand, which has just been erected on a 30-acre site.  I explained about the building of this great college — that the labor was contributed by members of the Church who cut the trees, milled and cured the timber, made the concrete blocks, cleared 500 acres of land from the 13,000-acre-peat swamp, etc.  I handed to Mr. Stambaugh a newspaper containing an article written by Barbara Baigent, a non-member, for a New Zealand Magazine March, 1958, telling the whole fabulous story of the building of this College.  Mr. Stambaugh was intensely interested, and said that he would like to have the paper in order that he might show it to President Eisenhower who he thought would be very interested in this story.

Our conversation and meeting was very pleasant and agreeable.

Friday, June 6, 1958.


      Provo, Utah

      June 5, 1958

President David O. McKay

47 East South Temple Street

Salt Lake City 11, Utah

Re:  Purchase of Stetson Property in California

Dear President McKay:

Pursuant to instructions from The First Presidency, I have handled the legal matters relating to the purchase by Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Utah corporation sole, of the property in the San Fernando Valley now owned by G. Henry Stetson and Bond Land Company, a California corporation, and which is intended as the future location of a junior college in California.

We have had the services of competent counsel in Los Angeles and the attached contract is the final writing thereof and incorporates all of the provisions requested by us.  The title to the property has been carefully examined and we are satisfied that the Purchase and Sale Agreement and the Grant Deed are in proper form for execution by you.

I therefore recommend that you sign the said Purchase and Sale Agreement and the Deed.

I shall deliver this letter and its enclosures to you by hand so that any questions you might have with respect thereto may be promptly answered.

Sincerely your brother,

Clyde D. Sandgren

General Counsel




Ernest L. Wilkinson


Thurs., 19 June, 1958:

“June 19, 1958

Telephone conversation with President Ernest L. Wilkinson, B.Y.U., Thursday, June 19, 1958.

Regarding:  Purchase of Property for Junior College.

(President Wilkinson called at the office.  He had an urgent matter to discuss with the President.  Therefore, President Wilkinson called President McKay at his home by telephone.  The conversation was as follows:)

President Wilkinson:  President McKay, I am doing this today at the insistence of my Executive Committee of the Board of Education.

Before you went to the hospital, you authorized me to see Mayor Stewart with respect to this Nibley property.  Before seeing the Mayor, I checked on the property and ran into some legal difficulties.  I, therefore, have not approached him as yet.  The deed under which Chas. W. Nibley first conveyed that land to the Church states that if the land should ever cease to be a golf course, it would go to the heirs of the estate.  We think that the problem is not insurmountable, but it would take a long time to solve it.  My Executive Committee, with the exception of Brother Harold B. Lee, who is out of town, wanted me to tell you that they think, by all means, we should purchase a piece of property between 36th and 39th south and 6th west and 10th west, about 200 acres on which we have an option and use it for trading purposes.  The rush for purchasing this property is that the city has asked for bids to put a sewer through it.  The bids are to be let tomorrow.  Now, while they do not know the B.Y.U. has the option, they have told our real estate agent, in whose name the options have been taken, that if the owner of that property would protest, then they would reroute the sewer so it would go along 6th west instead of through the property.  We are in no position to protest until we buy it.  We would have to do this overnight.  I have never seen the Executive Committee so vigorous.  The land is selling for $3,000 per acre and land is selling for $4,500 per acre south of there.  The price is low compared to the surrounding properties.  May I have authority to go ahead?  I told the committee that I did not want to call you, but they said they felt that I had to in this situation.  I hesitated to call you.

President McKay:  I am glad you did.  These things are very important.

President Wilkinson:  The purchase price will be around $700,000.

President McKay:  Is it all in one piece?

President Wilkinson:  It is in different ownerships, but we have options on all of it.  That leaves 30 acres, but we will get the other 30 acres before we let anyone know who is buying it.  President McKay:  Go ahead.

President Wilkinson:  All right, I will proceed with it.  Thanks so much.  We hope you continue to improve.

President McKay:  The doctors say everything is in excellent shape.

President Wilkinson:  Thank you.”

July 23, 1958

July 25, 1958

(Dict. July 24)


MCKAY AT 9:45 a.m. July 23rd.

5.  President McKay gave me permission to inform Governor Clyde that the Church is purchasing property for the purpose of having a Junior College in Salt Lake City–this becomes necessary in order that the Governor may know our plans so that he may evaluate whether he will recommend to the next legislature a State Junior College in Salt Lake City.

Tues., 6 Jan., 1959:

“8:30 a.m. – Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson met with the First Presidency regarding the releasing of news concerning the establishment of a Church Junior College in Salt Lake City.

Later, the Deseret News carried the announcement of the Church’s plan to establish a junior college in Salt Lake County — see following.

Tuesday, January 6, 1959.



Plans to establish a junior college in Salt Lake County were announced Tuesday by President David O. McKay of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

President McKay, who heads the Church’s board of education, said architectural planning for the new school would begin immediately and that it is hoped the college may begin operation in 1961.  It is planned, he said, to start with a large number of buildings and that present plans call for construction of a ‘full campus.’

Negotiations for a suitable site for the new institution are currently under way and will be announced shortly, according to Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson, administrator of the Unified-Church School System and president of Brigham Young University.  It is expected that construction of the physical plant will get under way as soon as possible, Dr. Wilkinson said.

Three major functions have been outlined for the program of the new college.  These are:

1.  Vocational technical training for students who desire to prepare for work in business and industry.

2.  A ‘terminal’ program for college students who intend to take only two years of study.

3.  Preparatory courses in the liberal arts for students who plan to continue their studies at a major university.

In size the new college is planned to accommodate eventual enrollment of several thousand students.

The policy of the new junior college in respect to admissions will be the same as those in effect for other Church educational institutions.  These institutions presently are open to students of all religious faiths who meet their academic and moral standards, Dr. Wilkinson said.

To Meet Needs

It is expected, Dr. Wilkinson said, that the new college will help meet what Utah educational leaders have recognized as a major need for additional facilities for post-high school education in the rapidly growing Salt Lake metropolitan area.

Careful population studies have forecast heavy increases in the number of students in the area which would burden existing institutions.

Population figures considered by the Church education leaders showed that the January 1958 census estimate for Salt Lake and Tooele counties was 388,100, and that this would increase by 1975 to 691,000 and by the year 2000 to approximately one million.

Davis Affected

Studies of Church membership in Salt Lake and Tooele counties showed 241,236 members in 1957, an estimated 420,000 in 1975 and 740,000 in the year 2000.

In addition, they pointed out, southern David County also has a large population that would be within commuting distance of the new college.  They estimated that current population of southern Davis County is 34,000, that it will increase to 87,000 by 1975 and to 187,000 by the year 2000.

Deseret News – Tuesday, January 6, 1959



BY 1975…………………………….10,900

BY 2000…………………………….18,900

SHOWS LDS JUNIOR COLLEGE NEED – Estimates above, showing that 10,900 junior college level students of the Mormon faith will be attending college by 1975 were cited Tuesday as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced it would build a new junior college in Salt Lake County.  The Church’s announcement said it expected to have a complete college ready for students by the fall of 1961.  The school eventually will accommodate several thousand students, the Church said.

The Church membership in this area, now at 18,100, will increase to 43,000 by 1975 and to 94,000 by the year 2000, they estimate.

Mormon students of junior college level from Salt Lake County who are attending various colleges and universities during the current year total approximately 4,500, the announcement said.  Population projections for the future show an expected 10,900 Church junior college level students from the county by 1975 and 18,900 such students by the year 2000.

When the new junior college begins operation, it will make it possible for freshman and sophomore students who now go to BYU to attend classes in Salt Lake County.  Enrollment at BYU from Salt Lake County during the current year will be approximately 800 students, Dr. Wilkinson said.

Follows Policy

Location of the new college in Salt Lake County is in line with the policy of the Church to establish junior colleges in areas where there are large Mormon populations, Dr. Wilkinson said.

Dr. Wilkinson pointed out that recent trends of the junior college movement in America have recognized the value of having institutions located in population centers so that students may live at home and commute to the campus.  Surveys have reported that from two to three times as many students attend college if they can live at home, Dr. Wilkinson added.  He added that larger population areas can offer increased opportunities for part-time employment to students.

First Since 1938

The college will be the first Church school for general education in Salt Lake County since discontinuance of the LDS College and high school in 1931.  Since 1931 the Church has used the Main St. Campus of that school for operation of the LDS Business College.

It also will be the first junior college to be operated by the Church in Utah since 1933 when the Church turned over to the state the campuses of Weber College, in Ogden; Dixie College in St. George; and Snow College in Ephraim.

Deseret News – Tuesday, January 6, 1959

Tuesday, January 6, 1959.

A state-supported junior college still is needed in the Salt Lake area even though plans have been announced to build a church-supported college, Dr. E. Allen Bateman, state superintendent of public instruction, said Wednesday.

It was announced Tuesday by President David O. McKay of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that the Church would build a complete junior college in the Salt Lake area.  The college will be built as soon as possible, he said.

‘Shouldn’t Affect’

‘As far as I’m concerned this shouldn’t affect the decision of the State Board of Education to ask the Legislature to establish a state junior college in the Salt Lake area,’ Dr. Bateman said.

Dr. Bateman previously had announced that he would urge the state board to ask the Legislature to purchase a site for a junior college.  A new building for the Salt Lake Area Vocational School should be constructed on the site as the first unit of a junior college, he said.

‘Plenty of Room’;

Dr. Bateman observed that there will be such a large increase in population in the Salt Lake area that there will be ‘plenty of room for two large junior colleges and still leave extra heavy enrollment at the University of Utah.’

There will be 40 to 50 per cent of the student population of the area that still will prefer to attend a state college, he said.

He also noted that it is a common practice in areas of large population to have state and parochial schools operating side by side and in complete co-operation.

He said he thought it was ‘a fine thing’ for the Church to build a college in the metropolitan area.’ 

Deseret News – Wednesday, January 7, 1959

Tuesday, January 6, 1959.

LDS to Start College in S.L. County

Church Seeking Site of Campus

By William F. Smiley

Tribune Education Writer

Plans to establish a junior college in the Salt Lake area were announced Tuesday by the Board of Education of the Church of  Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The announcement was made by LDS President Daivd O. McKay.

Negotiations are under way, the announcement said, for purchase of a suitable site for construction of a modern campus.  No indication was given as to the site.

Architectural planning for the college buildings will begin as soon as possible, and the board hopes that the college may begin operation by the fall of 1961.

Three major functions were outlined for the college in the release:

1.  Vocational technical training for students desiring to prepare to enter business or industry.

2.  A terminal program for college students intending to take only two years of study. 

3.  Preparatory courses in the liberal arts for students intending to continue study in a senior university.

‘The new college is planned to accommodate an eventual enrollment of several thousand students,’ the release said.

‘The admission policy of the new college will be in line with the policy of other Mormon education institutions,’ President McKay said.  That policy is to admit students of all religious faiths who meet the academic and moral standards of the institution.

‘It is expected that the new college will help meet what Utah educational leaders have recognized as a major need for additional facilities for post-high school education in the rapidly growing Salt Lake metropolitan area,’ said a statement from Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson, administrator of the LDS Church Board of Education, now in Kansas City, Mo., attending sessions of the Association of American Colleges.

Dr. Wilkinson noted forecasts of heavy increases in the number of LDS college-age students which would burden existing institutions.

Population figures considered by LDS education leaders showed that the January, 1958, census estimate for Salt Lake and Tooele Counties was 388,100, but that this would increase by 1975 to 691,000, and by 2000 to approximately a million.  LDS Church membership in Salt Lake and Tooele Counties was 241,236 in 1957, with estimates of 691,000 in 1975 and 740,000 in the year 2000.

LDS students of junior college level from Salt Lake County attending various colleges and universities during the current year total 4,500, the release said.  Projections take that figure to 10,900 in 1975 and 18,900 by the year 2000.

‘Operation of the new college will make it possible to include most of the freshman and sophomore students from Salt Lake County now attending Brigham Young University in Provo,’ Dr. Wilkinson said.  ‘Enrollment at BYU from Salt Lake County during the current year is about 800 students.’

The new college would be the first LDS Church school for general education in Salt Lake County since discontinuance of LDS University and LDS High School in 1931.

Since 1931, the Main St. campus of LDS University has housed LDS Business College, now a branch of BYU’s College of Commerce.

‘The news of the plan for establishment of a church junior college in the Salt Lake area comes as a complete surprise,’ said Dr. A. Ray Olpin, president of the University of Utah.

‘We hope a development of such importance will be coordinated with the existing higher education program of the area and will not be competitive with it.’

Dr. E. Allen Bateman, state superintendent of public instruction, was asked whether his recommendations accepted by the State Board of Education on establishment of a state-supported junior college in the Salt Lake area would be changed by the announcement.

‘I see no reason why the announcement of the intent of the LDS Church to establish a junior college should change the need for a state-supported junior college in Salt Lake County,’ he said.

He listed five reasons for continuing the state plan parallel with the LDS Church development:

1.  The state is under obligation to find a new location for the Salt Lake Area Vocational School, and such a site can become the site for a comprehensive junior college.

2.  If the Salt Lake Area Vocational School remains as a strictly vocational institution, the increased demands for technological training will gradually require the addition of related science, mathematics, English and other departments which will gradually turn it into a junior college in practical application.

3.  There is a substantial portion of the population of the Salt Lake area which would prefer to attend a state school.

4.  Establishment of a state-supported junior college in the Salt Lake area would be necessary to enable the University of Utah to become more selective in its entrance requirements.

5.  Future college enrollment trends in this area indicate there will be adequate enrollments for a state-supported junior college for it to operate at minimum per capita costs.

The Salt Lake Tribune – Wednesday, January 7, 1959

Tuesday, January 6, 1959.


The expanding Church school system moved further into the junior college field this week with the announcement of plans to erect a junior college in Salt Lake County.

The announcement came from President David O. McKay who heads the Church Board of Education.  He said architectural plans for the new school and campus will begin immediately.

A ‘full campus’ will be erected with a large number of buildings.  It is hoped that the college may begin operation by 1961 President McKay indicated.

Site for the proposed junior college was not disclosed but negotiations are currently underway said Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson, administrator of the Unified Church School System and president of Brigham Young University.

Two Colleges Completed

The Church has just completed two new colleges in the Pacific area.  President McKay dedicated a new college at Temple View near Hamilton, New Zealand in April of 1958.  In December, 1958, he was in Hawaii where he dedicated a new college at Laie near the famous Hawaiian Temple of the Church about 38 miles from Honolulu.

The proposed Salt Lake junior college will be the first institution of higher education to be erected in Utah since 1938.

It will help meet the need for additional facilities for post-high school education in the Salt Lake metropolitan area, Dr. Wilkinson pointed out.  Utah education leaders have long recognized the need for an expanded college program to accommodate the youngsters now attending lower-level institutions of learning.

Three major functions have been outlined for the program of the new college Dr. Wilkinson said.  These are:

1.  Vocational and technical training for students who desire to prepare for work in business and industry.

2.  A ‘terminal’ program for college students who intend to take only two years of study.

3.  Preparatory courses in the liberal arts for students who plan to continue their studies at a major university.

Admission General

Admission will be open to students of all religious faiths who meet the academic and moral standards maintained at other Church educational institutions President Wilkinson explained.

Anticipated enrollment will be in the thousands the administrator said.  He indicated that careful population studies have forecast heavy increases in the number of college age students in the area.

Tooele, Davis and Salt Lake Counties all will contribute students to the college, President Wilinson said.  Currently there are about 800 students from Salt Lake County alone enrolled at Brigham Young University in Provo, he indicated.

Estimated student potential for the coming years was given as follows:  4,500 at the present time, 10,900 by 1975 and about 18,000 by the year 2000.

The Church Unified School System has experienced a spectacular growth in the last decade, most of it since 1953 when the system was unified.  President Wilkinson announced that the entire system, including junior colleges, seminaries and institutes reached an enrollment high of 65,000 this year.

Anticipated Growth

Anticipated growth in the next few years means that Church facilities must accommodate about 72,000 students by 1975 and approximately 156,200 by the year 2000 President Wilkinson said.

The junior college system of Utah and the surrounding area has grown by absorbing institutions originally established by the Church.

Dixie College at St. George, Snow College at Ephraim and Weber College in Ogden were founded by the Church as stake academies and later turned over to the state to be operated as institutions of higher learning.

Carbon College at Price was opened in 1938 as part of the state school system.

Westminster College in Salt Lake City traces its beginning to 1875.  St. Mary-of-the-Wasatch was founded as a college in 1926 but began as an academy in 1875.  Neither of these schools have been operated by the state school system.

The College of Southern Utah at Cedar City, now a branch of Utah State University, originally was a normal school operated in conjunction with the University of Utah.  It was established in 1897.

Dr. Wilkinson pointed out that the recent trend in the junior college movement in America is to establish the institutions in larger population centers.  Students can then live at home and attend the school.

From two to three times as many students attend college if they live at home.  Also, the larger population areas offer part-time employment to the students who need to work in order to help pay for their education Dr. Wilkinson indicated.

Deseret News-Church Section, Saturday, January 10, 1959

Tuesday, January 6, 1959.


Study Nears On Plant, Curriculum

Plans for the new Salt Lake City junior college of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are moving ahead immediately, it was announced Monday.

Dr. Harvey L. Taylor, executive assistant to the president of Brigham Young University, Monday was named chairman of the planning committee.  Committees are to be named Tuesday, according to Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson, president of BYU, and administrator of the Church Unified School System.

The new junior college, to be located on the site of the present Forest Dale Golf Course in Salt Lake City, will be a part of the unified school system of the Church.

Replacement Use

Purchase of the golf course from the city was announced Saturday.  The Church reportedly purchased the nine-hole course for $567,680.

These funds will be used solely for the purpose of replacing the golf course with the long-planned Rose Park Links (a nine-hole course) and a new 18-hole course to be located in Parleys Canyon, just east of the Mountain Dell Reservoir, city officials said.

City officers also said that if sufficient money remained from these two developments, efforts would be made to expand the Rose Park Course to 18 holes.

Drafting Maps

Warren L. White, city parks director, said engineering crews Monday were drafting contour maps of the Mountain Dell area, and that William Bell, Pasadena, Calif., golf course architect, will begin drawing plans as soon as the maps are ready for use.  This should be within two weeks, Mr. White said.  (See adjoining story, map for details.)

President Wilkinson said as soon as the planning committees draft curriculum plans and other related matters, architects will be engaged to go ahead with planning for the building.

Original Planning

‘Original planning will be completed this year,’ Dr. Wilkinson said, although he emphasized there has been no target date set for either the beginning or completion of the buildings.

The city will retain the Forest Dale course for use until January, 1961, according to the sale agreement between the city and the church.

The committees will be charged with creating a master plan for a uniform campus.  The curriculum committee will decide ‘the scope of instruction to be offered at the junior college.’  Dr. Wilkinson said that other committees will then ‘gear plans for the physical plant to the needs of the curriculum.’

The same committees also will work on the development of Ricks College at Idaho Falls at the same time.  The Church recently announced transfer of the two-year Ricks College at Rexburg to Idaho Falls.

3-Fold Purpose

These colleges are being established for a three-fold purpose, Dr. Wilkinson said.  The first will provide preparation for those who plan to continue with advanced university work, the second will provide graduates with associate certificates in liberal arts, and the third will place emphasis on adult education, evening and technical (vocational) courses.

Deseret news – Monday, January 26, 1959

Wed., 14 Jan., 1959:

“6:30 a.m. – at the office.  Was busy with the reading of letters until 8:30 a.m., at which time I met Brother Ernest L. Wilkinson of the B.Y.U. regarding proposed agreement between the Corporation of the President of the Church and the Salt Lake City Corporation for the purchase of the Forest Dale Golf Course upon which land the Church is to build a Church Junior College.  Counselors in the First Presidency present during this consultation.  (see Jan. 20, 1959)”

Tues., 20 Jan., 1959:


Purchase of Forest Dale Golf Course for Church Junior College in Salt Lake City

Today, in the presence of President Richards and President Clark, my counselors, I signed the contract for the purchase of the Forest Dale Golf Course, amended as proposed by the First Presidency, and the escrow agreement between the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Salt Lake City Corporation, as drafted and approved by Clyde Sandgren, Esq., General Counsel of the Church School System, pursuant to the instructions from the First Presidency.  Following this, the documents were taken to the Mayor of Salt Lake City for his signature.

This land will be used for the new Salt Lake City Junior College of the Church.  (see newspaper clippings following.)

Tues., 10 Mar., 1959:

“Telephone conversation between President McKay and President Ernest L. Wilkinson, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

President Wilkinson:  Because of enormous pressures on your time, I sometimes hesitate to call certain things to your attention.  I want to talk just a minute about the bill that is now before the House to make a four-year college out of Weber College.  The bill provides that Weber shall be permitted to confer degrees in all of the arts and sciences, in the field of education, in the field of commerce, and in the field of some vocational subjects.  I can appreciate that it might be a good idea to have a four-year institute in Ogden — a vocational institution of some kind which we do not have in this State.  The Governor and I agree.

President McKay:  I thought that was what they were going to ask for.

President Wilkinson:  The bill creates another four-year college of the same kind as we already have in Logan and Salt Lake City with a full curriuclum.  It is not going to hurt us at the Brigham Young University, but I think this will be disastrous for Logan and the University of Utah.  This is one situation where this is a great legislative disservice to those schools.

The Senate and House have not passed the bill for the Co-ordinating Committee for Higher Education.  The Governor recommended it.  He will sign it.  That will become a law.  The question of whether there should be a four-year college at Ogden, a Junior College at Roosevelt, etc., should be studied by this Council which will be set up to give expert advice.  This matter should be sent to the Co-ordinating Council, and a careful study should be made.  The Council should be asked, first, if there should be a four-year college in Ogden; and, second, what kind of a curriculum should be offered.  I should think the Council would come up with a recommendation like the Governor believes in.  We could then have an outstanding technical and trade school, and we would not duplicate the other schools in the State.  In my position I have been discreet and I have not furthered my version on this matter.  The Legislature is taking from this Council the problems they ought to decide.  I have never talked to you about this because of limitations on your time.  The bill is before the House.  It has passed the Senate.  The Deseret News came out, I think, with a fine editorial in favor of submitting these problems to the Council.  Then — on this I am guessing — I think Frank Browning was one of the directors of the Board who contacted Preston Robinson and had him go the the Senate and say that the Deseret News is not taking any position with respect to junior colleges and with respect to Weber College, especially.  This morning the Salt Lake Tribune came out with what I think was a fine editorial.  This editorial conveyed the idea that problems of this type should be sent to the Co-ordinating Council for careful study so that there could be an integrated educational system in the State.  I think that is what ought to be done with the interest of the entire educational system of the State.

President Wilkinson:  On matters of this kind it is not your policy to give public statements.  If you agree with me, I think that just a word to one or two men in whom you have confidence would bring about this result.

President McKay:  Well, I think it has gone too far now.  We shall leave it to them.  If they want to call me up, it would be one thing, but I shall not call them up.

President Wilkinson:  Well, I just thought that I ought to at least speak my piece on this.  I haven’t got in the public on it.  I do not think it is for me to do it, but I wanted to let you know, both of us coming from Ogden.  Ogden is dear to the hearts of both of us, but there are limits on all of these things.

President McKay:  I understood when talking to the Governor that we would have a different type of school at Weber than at the other Universities — a technical and vocational school at Weber.

President Wilkinson:  I talked to the Governor.  The Governor would like exactly what I said to you — a technical school.  He expessed himself to me.   He would like this to go to the Co-ordinating Council with the thought that that would be their recommendation.

President William P. Miller at Weber College has told me himself that he would be happy with that kind of situation.  The Governor said if the bill passes, he thinks the political situation is such that he will have to sign it.  Now is the time for the House to act and send it to the Co-ordinating Council.  Would you object to any of the leaders calling you?

President McKay:  No, that would be all right.  But I think it has gone too far now.

President Wilkinson:  I am told that since this morning’s editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune, there is quite a bit of sentiment building in the Legislature.

President McKay:  It has gone so far it would be more difficult to change it now than in the beginning.

President Wilkinson:  Well, I feel better now at least since I have told you my thoughts on this.  I think you and I agree on it, but when things get into politics, reason doesn’t always prevail.  The bill provides that it will not take effect for two years.  There is plenty of time to study the problem.  The Co-ordinating Committee has not been appointed.  The bill has passed the Senate and the House, but the Governor has not signed it.  He will sign the bill as he recommended it.  The Governor will then appoint the members of the Committee, and he would have a lot of influence with them.

We now have three universities in this State.  It would be better for all concerned if Ogden had a technical school instead of a four-year college with a full curriculum.”

Wednesday, August 26, 1959






6.  President Wilkinson ‘has an obsession to make BYU the largest university in the West.’

In one sense this is a tribute to President Wilkinson, under whose leadership BYU has more than doubled in size.  However, the quoted statement is in itself untrue.  President Wilkinson has stated publicly, on many occasions, that he does not want BYU to grow much larger than it is at the present time.  However, to keep pace with the dynamic growth of the Church, and to provide proper education for its youth, he has urged the Church to establish junior colleges in areas of large L.D.S. population.

Thurs., 5 Nov. 1959:

“3:50 to 5 p.m. – Ernest L. Wilkinson, President of the Brigham Young University came in and presented the following matters which had been approved November 4 at the Board of Education and Board of Trustees meeting of the B.Y.U.:

(1) Proposal as to the proper procedure to be followed by the Administrator of the Church School System or the President of BYU in obtaining approval of special building projects for the Church School System or Brigham Young University.  All special projects are to be submitted to the Board of Trustees or Board of Education for budgetary approval.  Once budgetary approval has been obtained, projects involving new buildings, major facilities, or which involve major questions of policy would be referred back, as at present, to the proper Executive Committee and Board for their approval.  After this approval, and when figures are available, a Form 86 will be submitted and reference will be made in that form to the dates of approval, both as to budget and to authorization.  When an appropriation has been made, the Administrator, or President, as the case may be, is authorized, subject to the approval of the Building Committee, to engage an architect and/or engineer.  Illustrations of projects were listed.

I indicated in general my approval of this procedure.  This new procedure is also in keeping with recent decisions of the Expenditures Committee.

(2) Purchase of land for possible locations of Junior Colleges — viz., 249 acres of land now owned by the State of Arizona – 199 acres of land in Fremont City, California (which is south of Oakland, northeast of Palo Alto, and southeast of San Francisco, for a price of approximately $1,258,000, roughly $6,000 per acre – to confer with stake presidents in the Portland area as to the relative merits of different locations for the purchase of land for a possible junior college site in the Portland area, after which President Wilkinson is to make final recommendations to the Board of Trustees.

I approved of these actions of the Board.

Wed., 6 Jan. 1960:

“Telephone Calls

Received telephone call from Mayor J. Bracken Lee regarding statement that he has made to the papers that the Church will not build a Junior College on the Forest Dale Property, and that the city will try to re-purchase the property.  The Tribune reporter also called to verify this story.  The reporter was told that when Mayor Lee made a courtesy call to my office in company with Bishop Isaacson, I made the statement that the Church had not decided when they would build a Junior College on that property, and Mayor Lee interpreted what I said as meaning that the Church was not going to build one.

This matter was later turned over to President Ernest L. Wilkinson of the Brigham Young University who was instrumental in getting the Forest Dale Property for the Church, and the matter was finally settled and announced in the local newspapers that the Church would not sell the property back to the City.”

Thurs., 7 Jan. 1960:

“(3) Junior Colleges – and Salt Lake City’s Interest to Re-Purchase Forest Dale Golf Course.

By telephone, Henry Smith of the Deseret News, asked for instructions in the matter of a newspaper report of the interest of the Salt Lake City Commission in the re-purchase of the Forest Dale Golf Course.  After consideration, it was agreed that it will be better if nothing is said about the matter in the newspapers.  It was explained that the Mayor had been informed that nothing has been done about building a Junior College on the property.  No decision about the building will be made until the Church gains possession of the property in 1961.

I stated that the whole question of Junior Colleges, institutes, and seminaries is before the First Presidency.  The rapid expansion of the Brigham Young University and the matter of providing additional Junior Colleges in several places and giving training in basic courses in education rather than in the ‘fringe’ subjects were mentioned as warranting a full review of the general subject with President Wilkinson.

Wed., 13 Jan. 1960:

“Telephone Calls

Junior College Property

1.  President Ernest L. Wilkinson of the B.Y.U. called regarding the Forest Dale Property and Mayor J. Bracken Lee’s attitude that the city should buy the property back from the Church — see notes following.

Received a telephone call from Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson, President of the Brigham Young University, Re:  Forest Dale Property and Mayor J. Bracken Lee’s attitude that the city should buy the property back from the Church.

President Wilkinson reported that he is getting inquiries from ‘City Hall’ in Salt Lake City as to whether the Church is going to sell the Forest Dale property it purchased last year from the City.

I told President Wilkinson that we did not know anything about Mayor Lee’s proposals, and that we are not going to sell the property or do anything about it until we consult with him.  I said further that he (President Wilkinson) could call Mayor Lee and tell him the matter has been referred to him (President Wilkinson).  I said that I would tell Mayor Lee that I had referred the matter to him (President Wilkinson).

I then told President Wilkinson that I had other matters about which I should like to talk to him, and he asked me to designate the time, which I shall do upon my return from California.

Later I called President Wilkinson and told him that The First Presidency had not discussed with the City Commission nor Mayor Lee the matter pertaining to the Forest Dale Property; that in the first place I understand that we do not get possession of the property until 1961.  President Wilkinson turned to Clyde Sandgren who was by his side and asked him, and he said that that was right – 1961.

I then repeated to President Wilkinson that we had said nothing about plans for a Junior College; that no commitment whatsoever has been made, that we should say nothing until we are sure; until at least we have possession of the land.

I said:  ‘Now if the Mayor calls again, the matter is in your hands.  You may have this – (a comment made by one of the brethren in our consultation this morning) – that pending our decision regarding our Junior College, if the city wants to continue to rent it from us for a golf course, that might be a consideration.’

President Wilkinson said:  ‘I think that is wise.  I’ll suggest that; I’ll tell Mayor Lee that I will sit down with him, and if the City wants to rent it, we might work out something.'”

Fri., 15 Jan. 1960:

“Note by Secretary

Re: Forest Dale Property

At the direction of President McKay just before he left for California, I called Mayor J. Bracken Lee, and gave him the following message:

‘President McKay tried to reach you by telephone before he left for an appointment out of the State.  Said to tell you that they (The First Presidency) have considered the Forest Dale property matter, and think it best to put the matter in the hands of President Ernest L. Wilkinson, President of the Brigham Young University, who handled the transaction when the property was purchased as a probable site for a Junior college.

‘The thought was expressed by the First Presidency that pending definite plans for future Junior Colleges that some arrangements could be made whereby the city can continue to use this property as a golf course on a rental basis.'”

Tues., 10 May 1960:

1:25 p.m. – Left for home for lunch.  I ate hurriedly and back at the office at 2 p.m. at which time a special meeting of the Church Board of Education was held.

This was a history-making meeting dealing with the future educational policies of the Church for the next 15 to 20 years, relating particularly to Junior Colleges and higher education.

Sat., 11 June 1960:

“8:30 a.m.

Met by appointment, at his request, President Ernest L. Wilkinson who took up the following matters with me:

3)  I told President Wilkinson that after his return from Mexico, and before the Board of Trustees meet on June 29 to consider the 15-year Junior College program, that I should like to meet him to make a decision regarding the Ricks College.  President Wilkinson said that he would return from Mexico around June 21.  (President McKay met with Pres. Wilkinson on Ricks College matters Saturday, June 25, 1960)”

Wed., 6 July 1960:

Wednesday, July 6, 1960





JULY 6, 1960

(Other members of the First Presidency were out of town)

1.  Phoenix Property

Elder Stapley and Brother Wilkinson reported that an official appraisal of $1,550,000 had been made of the property located in Phoenix which the State of Arizona had arranged to have put up for bid in order that the Brigham Young University may attempt to purchase it as a prospective site for a junior college.  They also stated that under the law of Arizona the bidding would have to start with the appriased price.  They asked for instructions as to how far above the appraised price they should go.  So far there is no indication that others will bid, but on the other hand, there is no way of telling what others will bid.

President McKay left the matter entirely in the discretion of Elder Stapley and Brother Wilkinson, suggesting that it be purchased as cheaply as possible but that in any event it should be purchased.

Tues., 19 July 1960:

“Purchase of Properties in Arizona by B.Y.U. for Junior College

I called attention this morning to the sale by the State of Arizona of properties which President Ernest L. Wilkinson of the Brigham Young University has solicited to be put up at auction.  President Wilkinson and Brother Stapley were authorized to pay up to $1,155,000, the appraised value of two tracts of land desired by the Church, the larger tract title to be taken by the Brigham Young University and the smaller tract to the Corporation of the President of the Phoenix Stake.  These brethren were also authorized to exceed this amount in their bid by $100,000 or so, but if it is necessary to bid more that approval should be obtained by telephone call to me.

The proposed minutes of the meeting held between Elder Stapley and President Wilkinson on July 6, 1960 with me were reviewed for the information of my counselors who were absent at that meeting.  (See diary of Juy 6, 1960.)  The actions were approved with the exception of the action on item #6 relative to proposed physical plant building at the BYU for further consideration, and to so advise the Expenditures Committee meeting which will follow our meeting of the First Presidency today.  I stated that this minute in item #6 was not correct inasmuch as I had not approved the same at the conference with these brethren.

(see newspaper clipping announcing the purchase by the Church of the Arizona property.)  (also see July 21 for telephone call from Pres. Wilkinson)

Tuesday, July 19, 1960


Phoenix, Ariz. (UPI)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Friday bought 249 acres of land here for a future branch campus of Brigham Young University.

The land, sold in two parcels, went for $1,550,000 during a public auction on the steps of the Maricopa County Courthouse.  There were no other bidders and checks for the amount were presented on the spot.

Elder Delbert L. Stapley of the Council of the Twelve of the Church bought one parcel of 159 acres of land on behalf of BYU for $1,150,000.

President David E. Heywood of the Phoenix Stake purchased the other parcel of 90 acres for $400,000.

Elder Stapley and President Heywood both told newsmen that the land would be used jointly for a new educational institution.

Don Lockwood, executive secretary, Arizona State Planning and Building Commission, conducted the auction which attracted about 40 persons.

After a reading of the sale announcement, Elder Stapley and President Heywood offfered their bids which coincided exactly with the appraisals set by the state for the surplus land.  When no other bidders spoke up, the sale was concluded immediately.  The land was actioned at the specific request of BYU.

BYU officials said future expansion plans include a branch in Phoenix with an eventual student population of 5,000 or more.

The proposed sale brought some opposition in the Arizona State Legislature earlier this year, but most of the opposition was under cover and a majority in both houses defeated attempts to sidetrack sale of the land.  A bill was passed authorizing the transaction either for cash or on five-year payment terms and stipulating that bidding should start at a figure agreed upon by three state-appointed appraisers.

The state’s planning and building commission, which has the power to dispose of surplus state property, decided to make the sale for cash plus appraisers’ fees.

The legislation earmarked the proceeds from the land sale for a state hospital construction fund to run for six years after which any unappropriated money would revert to the state general fund.

Deseret News – Friday, July 22, 1960″

Thurs., 21 July 1960:

“Telephone Calls

1) President Ernest L. Wilkinson called at 8:15 this morning to say that he is Vice Chairman of the Platform on Education and Science at the Republican Convention in Chicago, and that tomorrow is the very day that he has to present their various planks.  He wondered, since Elder Delbert L. Stapley, and President Hayward are in Phoenix to take care of the bidding for the Junior College property, etc., if he would have to be there.  I told him that we had received a telephone message from a real estate man by the name of Bob Stafford on July 20 who claims that he has a better piece of property than the one we are considering and that he could save the Church six million dollars.  We referred this man to Brother Stapley who is down there and can make an investigation of his claims.

I then told President Wilkinson that he need not go down and that he should stay where he is and attend to his duties there.  (see July 19, 1960 for announcement of purchase of this property)

Wed., 27 July 1960:

“Telephone Calls

President Ernest L. Wilkinson called from Chicago where he is attending the Republican Convention.  Said that he is on the Republican Platform Committee for education and science, and has to give a report today.  He asked if he is especially needed in Arizona for the purchase of that property.  I told him to stay there and attend to the duties before him, and that Brother Stapley and the President of the Stake in Arizona could take care of the bidding for the property we are attempting to purchase to be used for a Junior College building.

He then mentioned the Physical Education building at the B.Y.U.  Said he received word from Brother Mendenhall that at the Expenditures Committee held yesterday the plans for this building were held up.  I told him that they had been and explained why this had been done.”

Mon., 8 Aug. 1960:

August 8, 1960



The following matters were presented and decisions made:

3.  Junior College Presentation at Board Meeting in September

I proposed for President McKay’s agreement that the regular Board of Trustees and Board of Education meeting on September 7 be devoted to decisions with respect to the junior college program which had been held over at our meeting in May.  He consented to this.

9.  Property Purchased at Anaheim, California

President McKay agreed that the next time he went to California, he would be very happy either on the way down or the way back to be driven through Anaheim and have pointed out to him the tract of land that we had purchased for a future junior college in that area.

Wed., 21 Sept. 1960:

“9 to 11:30 a.m.

The regular meeting of the First Presidency was held.  We took up matters pertaining to 4) Cost of Proposed Junior College Program.  I stated that the committee should bring back to the Board of Education a plan, and then the Board is to decide whether or not the plan be adopted.  We agreed that until the income of the Church will justify the junior college program, it should not be undertaken; and the answer warns the committee not to project a program which will cut into the reserves of the Church.

Wed., 23 Nov. 1960:

“Wednesday, November 23, 1960


By Joseph T. Bentley and Ernest L. Wilkinson

On November 23, 1960, at 9:30 a.m. Joseph T. Bentley and Ernest L. Wilkinson had a conference with President David O. McKay at which the following decisions were made:

8.  Junior College at Anaheim

President Wilkinson exhibited a map to President McKay showing the location of the 139 acres purchased by the BYU for a junior college at Anaheim and also an additional 15 acres which could not be purchased at $15,000 per acre.  He reported that he was not vigorously recommending the purchase; that it would be desirable; but that in view of the financial situation of the Church he thought the decision ought to be made by President McKay.  President McKay decided against the purchase at the present time.

9.  Junior College Program and Ricks College

President Wilkinson inquired as to whether any decision had been made with respect to the adoption of the junior college program as he had proposed it to the Board of Trustees and in particular the construction of buildings for Ricks College and their location.

President McKay informed him that he had never been satisfied with the decision made by the Board of Education to move Ricks College to Idaho Falls and that he thought that decision should be reversed and Ricks College left at Rexburg.  President Wilkinson and Brother Bentley then showed President McKay a chart which they had prepared in cooperation with President John L. Clarke showing the relative cost of the construction of a campus at Idaho Falls and at Rexburg.  According to this chart, assuming an enrollment of 1800 students at both places, it was estimated that it would cost for academic buildings at Idaho Falls the sum of $7,014,000 and at Rexburg the sum of $5,670,000, or a difference of $1,344,000 in favor of Rexburg.  According to the same chart, however, it would cost for housing at Idaho Falls $2,160,000 and at Rexburg $4,340,000, or a difference of $2,180,000 in favor of Idaho Falls.  Indeed, he urged that if the decision were to have the college remain at Rexburg it might even be necessary to spend more money for buildings there than at Idaho Falls in order to induce students from the larger centers of population to attend school at Rexburg.  It was agreed there would be relatively little difference in cost.

President Wilkinson also urged that if an announcement were to be made that the school be left at Rexburg the announcement itself should also state the buildings to be immediately constructed.  President McKay said that that very suggestion had been made to him by certain members of the Quorum of the Twelve.  President Wilkinson agreed to prepare a proposed release by the First Presidency in accordance with this suggestion.

10.  Junior College Construction

President Wilkinson reported that in the budget he had submitted for 1961 he had proposed an item of $5 million for junior college construction, including the amount to be spent on Ricks College.  He asked President Mckay whether he should inform the Budget Committee that President McKay desired for this item to be included in the budget.  President McKay requested that he so inform the Budget Committee.  President Wilkinson pointed out that the $5 million would permit the construction of the buildings at Rexburg and also leave an amount for architectural and engineering planning for other junior college campuses.  This was approved.

/s/ Ernest L. Wilkinson

Acting Secretary”

Monday, May 22, 1961


I took up the following matters and received the following instructions from President McKay:

3.  Budget for Junior Colleges – I recalled to President McKay that when he visited our campus on May 10 he had asked me how many students I thought we ought to have at the BYU, and I told him I thought the limit should be 15,000; that he agreed with me and suggested that we should therefore immediately start getting our junior college program in operation.  I told him that thereafter, in a conversation which I had had with President Moyle, President Moyle practically instructed me not to include anything in the budget for next year for a junior college, stating that in neither his nor my lifetime would we ever see any junior colleges in the Church.  I asked President McKay whether I should include any items in the budget next year for junior college construction.  He instructed me to do so.

4.  Movement in Idaho Falls to Request Church to Give Land for a Community Junior College – I informed President McKay that I had learned in Idaho Falls that there would be a meeting this coming Wednesday to appoint a committee to wait on the First Presidency of the Church in an attempt to get the Church to donate certain land for a community junior college.  I urged that the Church not give this land because to have a rival junior college in Idaho Falls before we had Ricks College really built up would be seriously detrimental to Ricks College.  President McKay agreed.

I reported to him that whereas we had paid $2,000 per acre for a good part of the 280 acres we purchased, land in this vicinity was now selling as high as $4,000, and that I thought the land should not be sold at the present time.  He agreed.


ON MARCH 23, 1962, AT 8:30 A. M.

Present: President David O. McKay, Hugh B. Brown, Ernest L. Wilkinson

Absent: President Henry D, Moyle (excused)

The following matters were taken up with the First Presidency and the following decisions made:

1. Investigation of Austin Company for Construction of Buildings. President Wilkinson advised the First Presidency that he had learned of a corporation in the East known as the Austin Company which over a period of several years had constructed buildings having a valuation of one and one-third billion dollars. He reported that he had been advised that through negotiation with this company that we might be able to construct our school buildings cheaper because this company rendered architectural engineering, construction, and all other allied services in one package (it even had its own integrated steel mills).

He inquired as to whether there was anything in Church policy that would prevent the consideration of engaging this company to construct the Anaheim Junior College campus.

Decision: The First Presidency enthusiastically authorized President Wilkinson to make a complete investigation and report back to the First Presidency with recommendations,

Tues., 22 May 1962:

“Memo of Conference Held With President David O. McKay

At 8:15 A.M. on May 22, 1962

I had a conference with President McKay on the above date and time, at which the following items of business were transacted:

5.  I informed President McKay that the low bid for construction of housing at Ricks College amounted to $5,430 per student, as compared with the price of about $3,400 per student when we built our last Heritage Halls at B.Y.U.  I informed him that our time for accepting the bid would expire on May 25.  I further informed him that it would be impossible for us to finance the project with this high cost out of the income from the project itself, and that it had therefore been proposed that three routes for a new freeway in the western part of Portland, Oregon, and that all three of these alternate routes traversed the property which we have purchased for a Junior College.

I informed him that up to the present time we had not published the fact that we had purchased this property and that Stake Presidents were under injunction not to publicize it.  I further stated, however, that it seemed necessary in order to resist the plans of the State Highway Commission of Oregon that we now publicly admit ownership of this property, and that we authorize the Stake Presidents and our friends to oppose any one of the three alternate routes.

President McKay authorized me to proceed in accordance with my recommendations.

Ernest L. Wilkinson”

Tues., 12 June 1962:

“8:00 a.m.

President Ernest L. Wilkinson came in to my private office and had a conference with me on Brigham Young University matters — the submitting to the Expenditures Committee today request for appropriation of $1,600,000 for the construction of the new Fine Arts Building on the B.Y.U. Campus; the selling of property in southwest Salt Lake City purchased originally as a site for a Junior College, etc.  (see memorandum on these items following)


At a conference which I had with President McKay at 7:55 a.m. on the above date, the following business was transacted.

4.  I informed President McKay that I understood consideration was being given to the sale of the property which had been purchased in the southwest part of Salt Lake County as the possible location of a future junior college.  I told him further that I understood 10 acres had been sold to Salt Lake County for a detention home for children, and that I felt badly that this had been done because if we ever used this site for a future junior college that the immediate proximity of this detention home would not be very desirable.  I urged him not to consider selling the balance of the property until at least the lawsuit with respect to the property which we had purchased on 23rd South (Nibley Park) had been determined; that if that suit were determined against us we then would probably have to use the property in the southwest part of the city.  I further explained that there were some, including Governor Clyde, who thought that in any event it would be better for us to use the property in the southwest part of the site because that is where the center of population of Salt Lake County will ultimately be.  President McKay made a note of this but made no commitment.

Ernest L. Wilkinson


Thur., 13 Sep., 1962:

“8:00 a. m.

Met by appointment at his request President Ernest L. Wilkinson, who came in to discuss several items pertaining to educational matters.

Elders Spencer W. Kimball and Delbert L. Stapley came in while President Wilkinson was present and discussed matters pertaining to building a junior college in Phoenix.

(See memorandum of conference following)


September 13, 1962 – 8:00 a. m.

I had a conference with President McKay on September 13 at 8:00 a. m. at which the following decisions were made:

8. Junior College at Phoenix

At this juncture Elders Spencer W. Kimball and Delbert L. Stapley joined the meeting. I explained to President McKay that at the last meeting we had had a meeting with the ex-mayor of Phoenix who was very much concerned about our inactivity with respect to building a junior college in Phoenix and wanted us to get started on it.  I reported that the ex-mayor, Nicholas Udall, said that there were rumors around we were not going to build the building and wanted assurance we would. President McKay at this report said “We purchased it for that purpose didn’t we?”  He gave me encouragement and authority to go ahead and present in the regular way through the Board of Education some plans for building on the campus.

Ernest L. Wilkinson.”

Thurs., 27 Sep., 1962:


September 27, 1962

1. Enrollment

I informed President McKay that although there were fewer students graduating from high school in June this year throughout the West and throughout the country than the year before, and we, therefore, did not expect much of an increase in enrollment at the Brigham Young University, it was now apparent that we would have at least 12,000 students and possible an increase of 1,000 students. Last year we had 11,178. I told him that by 1965 we would easily reach the 15,000 limit we had tentatively set for the Brigham Young University and it was, therefore, necessary for us to get busy with our junior college program.


October 9, 1962 – 7:00 a.m.

The following business was transacted:

6. Junior College Program

I discussed with President McKay the need for our getting going on junior college construction because in two years we would have reached our limit of 15,000 students at the Brigham Young University. He instructed me to proceed with all haste; that we should first build the one at Anaheim, but that we should get going also on the one at Phoenix as soon as possible, and that we might have to go a little slower with respect to the one in Salt Lake City.

I informed him we would need $5 million in the budget for junior college purposes for next year and he commented that if that is what we needed, we would have to spend it.

Tues., 5 Mar. 1963:

“11:45 – 1:00 p.m.

Junior Colleges – Financial Involvement of the Church

The First Presidency met with the Executive Committee of the Church Board of Education and considered the matter of Junior Colleges with reference to the financial involvements which would be incurred should the Church embark on the proposed Junior College Program.  (see copy of minutes and letter signed by Boyd K. Packer following.)

After a long discussion of the letter to the First Presidency signed by Elder Boyd K. Packer, and of the minutes of a meeting of the Executive Committee held, March 1, 1963, a motion was made that the Church take steps to approve of the discontinuance of the actions establishing Junior Colleges throughout the Church.  (see also March 11, 1963 Diary for meeting with Ernest L.Wilkinson, President of the BYU) (see also Minutes of the Executive Committee of the Church Board of Education Meeting with The First Presidency following.)

Tuesday, March 5, 1963


      March 1, 1963

Commencing at 8:00 a.m. at 47 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Present: President Joseph Fielding Smith

Elders Harold B. Lee

Delbert L. Stapley

LeGrand Richards

Howard W. Hunter

Gordon B. Hinckley

Boyd K. Packer

Excused: Elder Marion G. Romney

Prayer: Elder LeGrand Richards

An executive session of the committee was convened at the request of the First Presidency to consider the matter of junior colleges referred to in a letter addressed to the First Presidency, dated February 18, 1963, by Elder Boyd K. Packer, a copy of which is attached.  The letter was read to the committee and discussion followed.

Additional information was introduced with reference to the financial involvements which would be incurred should the Church embark on the proposed junior college program.  Brother Stapley pointed out that as a member of the Budget Committee, he has been greatly concerned over this matter and questioned whether the Church could carry the financial burden.  The fear was expressed that the present estimate of costs for a junior college program would be far exceeded and that to commit the Church presently to the program may eventually preclude bringing educational opportunities to members of the Church residing in other areas of the world.  It was the feeling of those present that a full exploration of the potential of the Institute of Religion to achieve Church educational objectives be made.

Each member of the committee expressed himself as being totally in accord with the viewpoint set forth in the above-mentioned letter, and the following resolution was unanimously adopted:

RESOLVED:  That the committee advise the First Presidency that careful consideration has been given to the letter which requested reconsideration of the junior college issue.  The committee is united in the sentiment that the Church should not at this time embark upon a program to build junior colleges.  In view of recent educational developments in the states of California and Arizona as pertains to junior colleges, the committee sees no pertinent need to build the proposed colleges in the vicinity of Southern California and Phoenix, Arizona.  The committee further recommends that no further expenditures be directed toward planning of junior college campuses or buildings, and that present planning activity be held up pending resolution of this issue.

It is the further observation of the committee that any feelings of obligation incurred because of previously announced plans to build a junior college at Phoenix, Arizona, could be resolved inasmuch as there is presently interest on the part of state officials to reobtain property sold by the state of Arizona to the Church as a proposed college site.  In view of these previous commitments, it is the feeling of the committee that the Phoenix college site be available to the state of Arizona in return for the purchase price.

Following the resolution, Brother Stapley indicated that if the resolution should become the decision of the Board of Education, he would be willing to meet with Church and state officials in Arizona to resolve the issue.


Joseph Fielding Smith Howard W. Hunter

Harold B. Lee Gordon B. Hinckley

Delbert L. Stapley Boyd K. Packer

LeGrand Richards

Tuesday, March 5, 1963


The Council of The Twelve

  47 E. South Temple Street

    Salt Lake City, Utah

      February 18, 1963

President David O. McKay

   and Counselors


Dear Brethren:

Some time ago I was appointed a member of the Church Board of Education as well as the Executive Committee of the Board.  I regard it as a singularly important assignment for I ‘grew up’ in Church education — most of the past fourteen years in administrative positions.  You are aware that I served as Assistant Administrator of Institutes and Seminaries and in that capacity traveled to virtually every educational institution in the Church — most of them a number of times.  I was also a member of the Administrative Council of Brigham Young University and was officed there for six years.  Recently a series of events has weighed so heavily upon my mind as to overcome my hesitancy to make expression of my feelings.  They are as follows:

1.  An announcement by President Ernest L. Wilkinson on January 29th to the stake presidents of Southern California that ground will be broken in December of 1963 or January of 1964 for a new junior college at Anaheim.

2.  An invitation from President Wilkinson to recommend a president for the proposed college.

3.  A conference assignment to Phoenix where a number of inquiries were made of me concerning supposed promises of imminent construction of a junior college.

4.  The considerable discussion concerning B.Y.U. and what is to be done when it reaches 15,000 enrollment next year or the year following.

I sense that it may seem impertinent for one newly appointed to speak out regarding decisions evidently reached some time ago, but I have had such concern over the matter that I have felt disloyal to you in withholding my feelings.  From this sense of obligation to you I present the following observations with respect to the proposed junior college program:

I.  Should the Church forgo the opportunity to build the presently proposed junior colleges, no member of the Church would be deprived of the opportunity to obtain a junior college education; nor would it be made more difficult or inconvenient.  In fact, in some instances to build them would make it less convenient and in most cases it would increase the financial burden upon the individual Church member and his family.

A.  In California the 13th and 14th years of education are included in the program of so-called free public education.  A competent individual may register for junior college training upon payment of a student fee which ranges from $6.50 to $13.00 per semester.  As a matter of fact, within 45 miles of the proposed Anaheim campus there are four colleges — Long Beach State College, Orange County State College, Los Angeles State College, and San Fernando State College — which offer upper division work, the Bachelors degree as well as a Masters degree on the same basis.  (Orange County State College is scarcely three miles from the proposed Anaheim campus.)  Within the immediate drawing area for the students there are upward of thirty other institutions offering junior college educations on this basis.  They are supported from regular sources of public school revenue and are subject to state equalization legislation.

B.  In Arizona legislation has been passed which provides for a statewide system of junior colleges.  It provides ultimately for one college to be established in each county.  Within the past few weeks the voters of the Phoenix City College District approved in a referendum the sale of that campus to the state as a part of that system.  In addition, much has been said with regard to establishing two other colleges in Maricopa County — one in the Mesa area, the other near Glendale.

Although Arizona schools are not quite as ‘free’ as the ‘free’ public schools in California, these junior colleges will operate as an extension of the high school program.  They will be supported from the ordinary sources for public school revenues and will be subject to equalization provisions of state school enactments.  The cost of attending these schools would be considerably less than tuition required at a Church-operated school in Arizona.

The establishment of junior colleges by the Church in these areas will constitute a duplication of facilities which already exist and represent a program that will be both more costly and less convenient to the student members of the Church.

II.  Should the Church forgo the opportunity to establish junior colleges, no member of the Church need be deprived of the daily religious instruction under Church sponsorship and control.  Nor need they be deprived of religious activity and spiritual welfare while living away from home attending school.

A.  In Southern California a system of institutes of religion, both full-time and part-time bring daily religious instruction to 68 percent of approximately 2,100 L.D.S. college students.  This percentage has been achieved in spite of intensive campaigns to have L.D.S. youth leave California and attend B.Y.U.  Obviously the more active stronger youth (approximately 1,500) respond to this intensive encouragement and come to Provo leaving their fellow student members without the benefit of their strength and influence.  When I hear that we have 2,520 returned missionaries attending B.Y.U. I must admit to an intense feeling of misgiving, and recognize in it a most unfortunate deployment of strength.  Merely a few capable, spiritually secure returned missionaries at each Institute would provide a nucleous of strength around which the student ward bishop and the institute director could build a program to secure the more wayward.

B.  At every state institution of higher learning in Arizona an institute of religion is in operation for the training of L.D.S. students and student wards provide a full Church program.

III.  Should the Church forgo the opportunity to build junior colleges, untold millions of dollars may be diverted to other uses including the building of other critically needed phases of the educational program.  This I emphasize, without sacrifice of any basic objective which junior colleges presumably were to achieve.

A.  We already have in the Institute of Religion a tested and effective means to bring religious instruction to our college members attending public institutions of higher learning.  To my knowledge the full possible potential of this program has not been fully explored.  We already know that the full Church program can operate in the form of student wards and stakes at these institutions.

B.  It is already known that this religious training can be achieved without the staggering expense of duplicating the whole secular curriculum.  The present cost per student at Brigham Young University is approximately $875.00 per year, over eleven times the approximately $77.00 per year for an institute student.  This figure does not include the capital investments necessary.

From my training in educational administration (the area of my doctorate studies) I have some appreciation for the sums necessary to build and to operate an institution of higher learning.  The initial expenditure for a campus, although involving many millions of dollars, is but the beginning.  Educational institutions follow the pattern of other institutions — they cannot remain minimum but must grow to survive.  A campus facility alone ultimately may cost as much as $25,000,000.

IV.  Should the Church forgo the opportunity to build junior colleges it would not automatically follow that large numbers of church members not able to enroll at an over-populated B.Y.U. would be unable to find suitable marriage partners and therefore marry outside the Church.

Indications are that the incidence of temple marriage among institute students can equal that of B.Y.U.  Particularly if the exaggerated enrollment campaign for B.Y.U. students was to be tempered and worthy members of the Church encouraged to attend these institutions to participate in an active, vital program.  B.Y.U. could then be more selective on enrollment and thereby upgrade standards.

V.  There is another expression far more important than all I have said with regard to this matter.  I confess to a deep yearning concern for the underprivileged youth of the Church, particularly those of Lamanite descent, and find myself restlessly hoping that something may be done to provide even a meager education.  I have visited in Mexico and know something of our school program there.  In Mexico illiteracy is on the increase.  But we are able to provide a year’s elementary education to these poor youngsters for $100.14.

Somehow to commit hundreds of millions of dollars to provide the well-privileged youth of the Church with an education they will achieve anyway with less expense and more convenience than if we provide it seems unfortunate stewardship of our educational resources.

Is it an error to suggest that the testimony of the Book of Mormon for these underprivileged children in Latin America and elsewhere is predicated upon their ability at least to read?

It is in the interest of those unfortunate youngsters in the Church that I feel to plead with you to re-examine and reappraise the matter of a junior college system.

Finally I do not have the disposition to challenge or be critical, but the only way I know to be fully loyal to you is to speak forthrightly and with vigor and then to support your decisions on the matter regardless of how they accord with my personal views.

Faithfully your brother,

Boyd K. Packer

cc: Copies of this expression have been prepared for the other members of the Executive Committee of the Board but I ask your counsel before sending them.

Tuesday, March 5, 1963

Tuesday, March 5, 1963

The Executive Committee of the Church Board of Education met with the First Presidency in the First Presidency’s Office, Church Administration Building, Salt Lake City, Utah, and discussed the matters indicated below.

In addition to the First Presidency, Presidents David O. McKay, Henry D. Moyle and Hugh B. Brown, the following members of the Executive Committee were present:  Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, Delbert L. Stapley, Marion G. Romney, LeGrand Richards, Howard W. Hunter, Gordon B. Hinckley and Boyd K. Packer.

Letter and Minutes on Junior Colleges

At the request of the chairman of the Executive Committee, President Joseph Fielding Smith, Elder Boyd K. Packer presented the problem for discussion.

He made reference to a letter dated February 18, 1963, signed by himself, and addressed to President David O. McKay and Counselors, a copy of which is attached, pertaining to junior colleges, and mentioned that on March 1, 1963, the Executive Committee of the Church Board of Education met and discussed the matter as presented in the letter by Brother Packer above referred to.  Minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Church Board of Education of March 1, 1963, were also presented and are hereto attached.

It was explained that upon receipt of the letter from Elder Packer, the First Presidency had referred it to the Executive Committee for their report, and that the minutes of the meeting above mentioned convey the attitude and resolution of the committee relative to the subject matter.

It was further mentioned that Elder Marion G. Romney was not present at the time the meeting was held; that, however, he has read the minutes of the meeting and concurs in the resolution therein set forth.

President McKay asked if President Ernest L. Wilkinson knew anything about this meeting and the action therein taken, and the answer was No, that it was in the nature of an executive session of the Executive Committee.

California Junior College Plans

President McKay asked what the action of the Board was in reference to the first junior college in California, and Elder Packer said that so far as he knew the only official action taken by the Board was to approve an expenditure of money to plan the campus site, that he knew of no action by the Board authorizing any ground-breaking or construction.

Elder Stapley said that authorization has been given to architects to prepare the plans on which he understood they are now working.

Elder Lee said that authorization was given for the preparation of plans, these plans to be subject to the review of the Board of Education, that the plans have not been brought to the Board and he supposed they were in a preliminary state.  He also said that the Board had seen no sketches of the appraisals made.

President Moyle said that if the schematics have been prepared, we could reject them.

Elder Hinckley mentioned that President Wilkinson had included in his budget figures for this planning, and Elder Lee said that the figures presented were $400,000.00 for campus planning.

Arizona Property for Junior College

President McKay then asked if Brother Wilkinson had the tacit approval of the Board to do anything with the Arizona property.

Elder Hinckley said that Brother Wilkinson brought to the Board meeting on one occasion a pictorial schematic drawing of that campus, as he recalled, that at that time the replacement of the freeway, parking lot, etc. were discussed.

Elder Hunter added that the Board had also authorized a statement to the effect that we were going ahead so that it would stop the possibility of condemnation that was being discussed at that time.

Elder Stapley reported that Brother Bill Porter, a member of the Legislature in the State of Arizona, had called him and said that some of his associates are quite disturbed because the Church was not putting this property to beneficial use as they had understood we were going to do and wanted to know what our intention was.  He also expressed the thought that maybe we had purchased it as an investment for the appreciation we might gain in the holding of the property.

Elder Stapley said he told him that our plans were indefinite, but that we did have in mind a junior college there.  Brother Stapley further said that one of the representatives wrote to President Heywood under date of February 15 wanting to know what the intentions of the Church were with reference to the use of this property, and called attention to the junior colleges that the State had approved.  It appears that a junior college is planned, in addition to the one now in Phoenix, and one just being completed in Yuma, Arizona, at Mesa and one at Glendale, which would cover the east end, as well as the northwest end of the valley.  He said that there are plans in Arizona to establish junior colleges, that that program has been approved as a State project and junior colleges will be provided.

President McKay asked Elder Stapley what he said to this man who had called him regarding the Church’s intention.  He explained that we had in the beginning purchased the property for a junior college but conditions were changing and he did not know what the outcome would be, that the matter was under consideration.  He said he did inform the man that we did not buy the property for an investment, hoping to make money out of the investment.

Elder Stapely said we had two ways out.  One is that the State is now establishing junior colleges which would be in competition with what we are doing; and the other, if we do not use the property, we ought to offer it back to the State for the price we paid for it.  He said there have been several approaches.  First, was an approach by the Phoenix High School to obtain 40 acres of the property, and then the county came in with a request for another 40 acres for a county hospital, and in addition to that, a request was made for property sufficient to establish a medical school, so that the county hospital could be a training operation for the medical school.  They would both be located in the same area.  Elder Stapley said he knew that other property has been purchased for this purpose, but he believed that this is the property they want and no doubt they will move back to this property if it is available to them; also that they may want it for a junior college.  He said there have been many demands for the property since we acquired it.

President McKay inquired if we are committed to such an extent that we cannot get out of it honorably.  The thought was expressed that they would no doubt be glad to have us relinquish it.

Elder Lee said that in the event we did relinquish the property, it would be wise to acquire property for an institute, or we could retain part of the property we now have for the building of an institute and perhaps a chapel.

Elder Stapley said he thought if we offer the property to the State for what we paid for it, there could be no unfavorable reaction.  He thought that they would perhaps feel disappointed that we are not going forward with this program, but on the other hand, they would understand that this is a proper move on the part of the Church.

Junior College Facilities Available

Elder Lee mentioned a similar project in Anaheim where we own the property by gift, but the junior college policy in that area has us surrounded.

Elder Packer said that there are at least 30 junior colleges within the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Elder Lee said that there is no place where our people would be better served by the State schools than in these two areas that the brethren were talking about.  He said that as the committee studied the analysis that Brother Wilkinson made and looked over figures, they were convinced that the vision the brethren had years ago is still a sound policy, that we can offer institute and seminary instruction where we have sufficient members to justify it.

History of Junior College Program

President McKay stated for the information of the brethren that he sat around this table many years ago discussing this same question, that he remembered that President Grant was President of the Church and Brother Joseph F. Merrill was Commissioner of Education.  President McKay thought that at the time he was president of the board of the Weber College.  The question was whether to give the Church Schools to the State and establish seminaries.  Up to that point Beaver had gone, Oakley Academy had gone, Dixie College, the Knight Academy in Raymond, Canada, and the academies in Snowflake and St. John’s, Arizona.

The President said he remembers saying at that time that it is not just the teaching of the theology class in the academy, that we teach the gospel in arithmetic, in history, and in the study of theology particularly, that that is the value of the Church School, not just the theological class.  As President Young said, ‘Don’t teach arithmetic without the Spirit of the Lord.’

President McKay said he felt strongly the value of the Church School.  He said a motion was made which did not involve the closing of the Church Schools entirely, but ultimately that is what it would mean, and he said he remembered voting against it.  President McKay said he was not in the presidency of the Church at the time, that Brother Brimhall came up to him and said, ‘You had better be careful; you voted against the First Presidency of the Church.’

President McKay said, ‘No, I did not; I voted against your motion.  I sustain the First Presidency of the Church but I won’t sustain your motion.’

He said that was the beginning of the establishment of the seminaries and turning over the Church School System to the State; that Weber Academy was among them, and luckily in the transfer of the Weber Academy to the State, a clause was put in the agreement that if at any time in the future, the Moench Building and the other buildings, including the gymnasium, were used for any other purpose, all the buildings would revert back to the Church.  He said they have been true to that resolution and turned the buildings back to the Church.

The President further said that yesterday he met seventeen Stake Presidents in Weber County and reported to them that the gymnasium in Weber County has now reverted to the Church and the City of Ogden would like us to give them the gymnasium to be used as a public institution.  The President said he told these brethren that he thought we ought not to let the gymnasium pass out from under the Church’s influence, and that the men who were meeting with him should act as a board and advise the Church, who now has charge of the gymnasium, tell them how it should be conducted and what the ideals should be, and these brethren voted unanimously so to do.

Extra Cost of Junior Colleges

President McKay said the only question that we have to decide has already been decided in the Church, that is, whether the junior college is worth the extra cost to introduce religion with all the secular subjects, or whether the institute will supply the religious training.

Elder Romney mentioned that he was not at the meeting of the committee when consideration was given to this matter, that he had, however, read Brother Packer’s letter and agreed with it, and that he had signed his copy of the resolution by the committee.  He said that he had the same feeling that President McKay had expressed in referring to the original decision to discontinue Church academies, and that if we could furnish junior college and college education to all our Church members, he would favor the junior college where Latter-day Saint teachers could be used in every class, but he felt that the cost would be prohibitive to furnish college work to all the Church.  He said he was thinking of the thousands of our people in foreign countries who need the opportunity for education, and where our money for education could be more profitably spent in furthering the Kingdom.

Letter on Seminary Program

President McKay read to the brethren a letter that he had received, which he said he was giving to them as a warning regarding the institute and seminary program.  This letter purported to come from a mother who had children attending the seminary at the Skyline High School.  She said she visited the seminary class and the teacher made the statement that they cannot teach doctrine that is too strict because there were some youngsters in the seminary who were not members of the Church, and referred to testimony meetings saying, ‘We do not have testimony meetings; we are not supposed to.  We have instead a ‘how do you feel’ meeting.’  This too, the teacher is purported to have said, is because some members of the class are not members of the Church.

In this connection Elder Lee mentioned that one would think that the letter had been written about some of our teachers at the B.Y.U., that we have some there who have adopted a somewhat similar attitude of freedom of thinking.

President McKay said if we are going to do this, the value of the religious training will depend wholly upon the man who has charge of the seminary work.

Elder Lee mentioned that he learned that in the seminary system they were not teaching the Book of Mormon because they could not get high school credit if they taught it in the seminary, that finally, however, we did decide that the teaching of the Book of Mormon was more important than the academic credit.

Elder Packer said that in seminaries where credit is given for the subjects taught the thought had been expressed that those courses should remain essentially non-sectarian, that we had thought over the years that we could not get enrollment unless we had credit, but now with the early morning seminary classes, we know that we do not have to give high school credit to get young people to go to seminary.  He also mentioned that the time was when in the B.Y.U. only secular classes were accepted for credit at the large universities, but now the sentiment is to accept all Brigham Young University classes, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, etc., and therefore we have no excuse to teach anything without testimony.

Position of Chancellor

Elder Lee said that we have grown to a size educationally where probably next to the Board of Education we ought to have a chancellor who is neither the president of the Brigham Young University nor the supervisor of our seminaries and institutes, who would have under his supervision the president of Brigham Young University and the director of our institutes and seminaries.

Several of the brethren mentioned that they felt this would be a very fine thing.

Resolution of Executive Committee Approved

Elder Lee said that it would seem that a proper motion would be to act on the resolution before the meeting, and then present it to the Board of Education with the committee’s recommendation.  He said that Brother Packer had been asked to prepare charts to present to the Board of Education on this matter.

President McKay said he could not see that we could do anything else, that we have discussed the matter and have come to the conclusion that the seminaries and institutes can do the religious work.  He said that furthermore we should encourage the B.Y.U. to prepare our teachers to fill these positions as institute and seminary instructors because the value of the institute depends upon the character and the ability and the faith of the men who teach those classes.

Elder Hinckley said that he was in favor of the proposal to present this to the Board of Education tomorrow but he had the feeling that Brother Wilkinson ought to be apprised of this action before the Board meeting tomorrow so that he can come there prepared to defined his position if he desires to do so.  He thought that at least he should be advised in advance of what is coming.  President McKay agreed with this suggestion and said that he should be notified immediately after this meeting.

President McKay said that he would entertain a motion that this letter and resolution be handed to Brother Wilkinson at once.  President Brown made the motion, which was seconded and unanimously approved.

Elder Lee asked the President if he would like to have the action of this meeting indicated to Brother Wilkinson as well.  President McKay said No.  He should be given the information in advance but the action of this meeting stands.

President McKay asked if an an executive committee they wanted to give official approval to the sentiment of this meeting.  Elder Lee said he thought it should be a part of the minutes of this meeting that we take steps to approve the discontinuance of the actions establishing junior colleges throughout the Church.

President Moyle said he would like to make that motion, which he did, and which was seconded by Brother Packer.  This motion was unanimously approved.

Minutes by Joseph Anderson”

Wed., 6 Mar. 1963:

“6:00 a.m.

Junior Colleges – Reconsideration of Program for

As I entered the Lobby of the Hotel Utah, I found President Ernest L. Wilkinson of the Brigham Young University waiting for me.  He said he had not slept all night because of the message he had received from Brother Boyd K. Packer regarding a reconsideration of the Junior College Program of the Church.

He said that Brother Packer had informed him by telephone that President Joseph Fielding Smith had delegated him to deliver the message he had prepared on Junior Colleges, and that Brother Packer said that the matter is to come up today at the meeting of the Board of Education and Board of Trustees, and that he (Brother Wilkinson) should bring the matter up.  President Wilkinson said he would rather have time to look it over, and I agreed that he should have time to look it over, and I agreed that he should have time to consider that matter, and that it would not be brought up at the meeting today.  I said that everything stands still until President Wilkinson gives a report.  I reported my interview with President Wilkinson later to my counselors.

Mon., 11 Mar. 1963:

“7:30 a.m.

President Ernest L. Wilkinson came in by appointment at my request.  I informed him of the meeting held by the Executive Committee of the Church Board of Education on March 5, and of the decision that had been made regarding Junior Colleges.

A complete report of my conference with President Wilkinson is given in the memorandum which follows.  President Wilkinson also handed to me a confidential letter expressing his feelings regarding the action taken by the Executive Committee.  (see following memorandum and letter, also see March 5, 1963, for meeting of Executive Committee on this matter.)

Monday, March 11, 1963

March 12, 1963


President McKay had phoned me the day before asking me to see him at 7:30 a.m.

1.  At the meeting President McKay informed me that the Executive Committee had met with the First Presidency on March 5 at which time the Executive Committee presented some minutes of a meeting of the Executive Committee held on March 1.  President McKay informed me that he then asked whether I knew of the meeting that had been held on March 1 and of the meeting that was being held then (March 5) and was told that I had not.  He then requested President Smith to get to me a copy of Brother Packer’s letter and also a copy of the minutes of the meeting of March 1 together with any other pertinent information.

I informed President McKay that the afternoon of March 5 Brother Packer had telephoned me telling me that he had been instructed to get this information to me and later in the day it was delivered to me at the Brigham Young University.  As to this information, I informed President McKay that the minutes of the first meeting were inaccurate in that they recorded that the decision arrived at was the unanimous decision of the Executive Committee when as a matter of fact I was on that Committee and had not even been notified of the meeting.

I also informed him that the letter of Brother Packer conveyed certain erroneous impressions; that he, for instance, said the cost of education at the B.Y.U. per student was $875 per year as compared with $77 for an institute student.  The impression conveyed was that it would cost $875 a year for the education of students in a junior college, whereas estimates are that a junior college education can be furnished for around $500.

2.  I recalled to President McKay that at the meeting of the Board of Education held on March 6 Brother Packer had wanted to discuss the action taken by the Executive Committee and the First Presidency on March 5 but that President McKay had informed them that he had an understanding with me that the matter would be brought up when I was ready to discuss it.  I informed President McKay that I had had a subsequent talk with Brother Packer who had asked me if President McKay had informed me of the resolution that was passed in the meeting the Executive Committee had had with the First Presidency on March 5 and that I had told Brother Packer I knew nothing about that.  Thereupon President McKay showed me a draft of the minutes of that meeting, which I hurriedly read.  As I recall the minutes, the resolution or motion that was finally adopted was one to the effect that it would be recommended to the Board of Education that the junior college program be abandoned.  I do not recall now whether under these minutes this was to be a permanent decision for the future or whether it was a temporary decision occasioned by the financial situation of the Church.  I am asking President McKay for a copy of these minute so that I may study them more carefully.

3.  President McKay again informed me that the action taken at the meeting with the First Presidency on March 5 would be taken up with the Board of Education at my discretion — when I was ready to take it up.

4.  President McKay informed me that the Church felt that it was necessary to enlarge the elementary school program in Mexico and also to extend it to a number of countries in South America.  He said that he would like me to have direct charge of this program rather than Brother Berrett.  I have since written President McKay pointing out that Brother Berrett has had nothing to do with our schools in Mexico and would have nothing to do with the schools in South America.

5.  President McKay raised the question of Brother Berrett’s continued supervision of institutes and seminaries.  He said he wanted the best man in the Church for this work and I asked him if he had anyone in mind.  He said he did not.  I told President McKay that every complaint that I had heard against Brother Berrett had, upon investigation, turned out to have no basis.  In the light of President McKay’s desire, I am to think this matter over and then have a further conference with him.

6.  President McKay informed me that one of the great functions of the B.Y.U. in the future would be to prepare institute and seminary teachers.

7.  I reported to President McKay that I was having some administrative problems because a number of General Authorities were going direct to faculty members with respect to certain projects and other services which it was desired that these faculty members render.  I reminded him that I had had an understanding that all minutes of this kind should be handled through me as administrator.  He agreed that all communications to the faculty should be handled through me and asked me to write him a letter so that he could take the matter up with the General Authorities.

Ernest L. Wilkinson

Monday, March 11, 1963

March 11, 1963


President David O. McKay

47 East South Temple

Salt Lake City, Utah

Re:  Conference With You Today

Dear President McKay:

I want to express my deep appreciation for your kindness in inviting me to a conference this morning and for candidly telling me of the present situation.

As a result of that conference there are three matters I should now comment upon.

1.  You informed me that the Church felt it was necessary to establish more elementary schools in Mexico and also elementary schools in a number of countries in South America.  You also suggested that you would like me to be in direct charge of these schools rather than Brother Berrett.  This, of course, will be done.  As a matter of fact, Brother Berrett even at the present time has nothing to do with our schools in Mexico.  I supervise them with the assistance of others, working in close cooperation with Elder Marion G. Romney.

2.  You were kind enough to let me see a draft of the minutes of the Executive Committee with the First Presidency of March 5.  May I have a copy of them so that I may be well prepared for my presentation?  They will be treated in confidence.  You will recall that so as not to trespass on your time and because I had to get to Springville High School to address the student body that I read them very hurriedly.

3.  I note from the minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee of March 1, 1963, that ‘additional information was introduced with reference to the financial involvements should the Church embark on the proposed Junior College Programs.’  I assume this ‘additional information’ was presented by Elder Packer.  Will you be kind enough to ask Brother Packer to make this information available to me also?  This is the only fair procedure since all of my material will be available to all of the brethren.

When I think through further the matters that you discussed with me this morning, I will ask for another conference with you and would be grateful if you would be kind enough to grant my request.

Faithfully your brother,

Ernest L. Wilkinson


P.S. Herewith is a memorandum of our conference of yesterday.”

Wed., 5 June 1963:

“8:20 a.m.

President Ernest L. Wilkinson came in to discuss the Junior College question, election of members of the Executive Committees of the Board of Education and Board of Trustees of the Brigham Young University, and the request of the John Birch Society to have free time on KSL’s Public Pulse program.  

Wednesday, June 5, 1963


The following business was transacted:

1.  President McKay agreed with the suggestion of the Budget Committee that it would be desirable to have a special meeting of the Board of Education to discuss the entire junior college program question, immediately after the General Authorities are through visiting their quarterly conferences in June.  By that time all the General Authorities would be free from the daily assignments that they have during the balance of the year.

(In accordance with this decision of President McKay, I have written requesting that this meeting be held at 7:00 a.m. on July 2.)

Wed., 20 Nov. 1963:

“Junior Colleges – Policy Regarding

President Tanner asked if we were prepared to announce a policy regarding Junior Colleges.  Attention was called to a statement in the Salt Lake Tribune this morning in which President Wilkinson is reported to have announced that we still intend to build a college on the Forest Dale golf course property.  I said I think we should make no statement at the present time, and expressed the feeling that Salt Lake is not a good place to build a Junior College.

Wed., 4 Dec. 1963:

“8:00 a.m.

Ricks College

In my office at the Hotel, I met with my counselors and President Ernest L. Wilkinson.  I started the meeting by asking President Wilkinson why he objected to a four-year college in Rexburg.  He said ‘I did not know that I should be asked that question, or I should have brought my notes’.  President Wilkinson thinks we are not prepared to have a four-year college in Ricks.  As a Junior College, it will probably be over-crowded, even next year, and it will take a year or two to get buildings to accommodate a four-year college.  I said that I would take this matter up later.  It was agreed that we cannot establish a four-year college for next year.”

Tuesday, December 10, 1963

December 14, 1963

President David O. McKay

47 East South Temple

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear President McKay:

I appreciate very much your kindness in inviting me to your Hotel Utah office last Tuesday and the advice which you gave me.  In view of your statement that you want me ‘to be United States Senator’ I have proceeded to make the following arrangements in accordance with your instructions:

1.  I will announce at a time to be selected by me the termination of my services as Chancellor of the Unified Church School System and President of the Brigham Young University.  

2.  During the period I am running for office Harvey L. Taylor will be Acting Chancellor and Earl C. Crockett will be Acting President of Brigham Young University.  William E. Berrett will continue as Administrator of Institutes and Seminaries.  I enclose herewith a memorandum as to the demarcation of their respective duties.

3.  I will, to the extent my time permits, continue to advise with these brethren and to coordinate their activities.  The Executive Committee of the Board has asked for certain studies to be made and I have promised to have them made.  I will either make a report thereon myself or have it done by others.  In this respect you thought it would be proper for me to continue to present certain unfinished matters to the Executive Committees and the Board of Education or the Board of Trustees, even after I announce a termination of my services.  This function could not possibly be construed to be the use of my school positions for political purposes, whereas a continuation of my present positions in public could.

4.  Should I be successful in being elected a United States Senator the First Presidency will proceed to appoint my permanent successor.  Should I not be elected, I will return to my present positions.

Again may I express my deep appreciation for the kind and constant support you have given me over the nearly 13 years I have served as President of Brigham Young University and the 10 years as Chancellor.  I pray that the blessings of the Lord will continue with you and Sister McKay.

Faithfully yours,

Ernest L. Wilkinson



Tuesday, December 10, 1963

December 14, 1963

Harvey L. Taylor

Earl C. Crockett

William E. Berrett

Clyde B. Sandgren

Re:  Termination of My Services at BYU

When and if I announce termination of my services as Chancellor of the Church School System and President of Brigham Young University, President McKay has asked that the following individuals assume the following duties.

1.  Harvey L. Taylor will become acting Chancellor of the Unified Church School System subject to the following limitations.

2.  Earl C. Crockett will become acting President of the Brigham Young University.

3.  William E. Berrett will continue as Administrator of Institutes and Seminaries.

4.  To the extent my time permits, I will continue to advise with the above and to coordinate their activities.

5.  For the purpose of presenting matters to the Board of Education and the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee of each of these boards, it is suggested that the following matters be presented by the following persons:

(a) Matters pertaining to Ricks College, the junior colleges, institutes and seminaries, Juarez Academy, and the Church schools in Mexico, and other general matters pertaining to the Unified Church School System shall be presented by Brother Harvey L. Taylor.  He should not hesitate to use the services of Brother Berrett for this purpose as much as he desires.

(b) Matters pertaining to the Brigham Young University shall be presented by Brother Crockett.

(c) I am sure that Brother Sandgren will be a great help to both Brothers Taylor and Crockett and his advice and services should be availed of by them.

6.  Because the Administrative Council legislates for all segments of the Church School System, I suggest that on all matters of the Church School System outside of the Brigham Young University that Brother Taylor preside, and that on all matters pertaining to Brigham Young University that Brother Crockett preside.

The above, as you will note, contemplates more of a separation of functions between the Chancellor and the President than has been true when I have filled both positions, but President McKay hopes that the two of you will be able to be in harmony as to your ultimate decisions.

Ernest L. Wilkinson


Wed., 4 Mar. 1964:

12:20 p.m.

Brother Clyde Sandgren of the Brigham Young University came in with some legal papers pertaining to the Nibley Park property, and asked me to put my signature to them.  This property was purchased by the Church for the BYU to be used for the erection of a Junior College.  Brother Sandgren said that the golf course will be leased to the City for $4,000 — the first time we shall be getting any money out of the property.

Thurs., 28 May 1964:

“8:10 a.m.

Was engaged in considering general Church matters with President Tanner.  Among matters discussed were:

Junior Colleges – Offer for Anaheim, California Junior College Property

President Tanner presented information about an offer to purchase the Anaheim Junior College property of 340 acres for which $4,180,000 is offered.  He explained that Brother McClure of the real estate division of the Building Department received the offer.  Brother Mendenhall expressed the opinion that the property could be sold for $5,000,000.  I said the First Presidency has responsibility to decide whether or not this property should be sold, and the question should be considered with the decision on Junior Colleges whether this property and the property owned in Phoenix, Arizona may be needed for Junior Colleges.  I commented upon the BYU enrollment approaching 15,000.

President Tanner said that when he was in Phoenix he met President G. Homer Durham of Arizona State University who showed him the property purchased for the Junior College in Phoenix, and explained that the people are now talking about building a multi-stake center on this property.

I said the Church is obligated to have some Junior Colleges, and probably one should be at Phoenix.

President Tanner reviewed that he had asked President Durham what the obligation of the Church is, and President Durham explained that people earlier had inquired if a Junior College is to be built but that this inquiry had quieted down.  President Durham said he thought the land could not be sold to gain a speculative profit but that the people would not be critical if a multi-stake center is built on it.  I said we must take up this as one of our obligations, and that Anaheim is another.  President Tanner said, ‘We shall just hold this for the time being,’ and I said that we cannot put it off much longer, that we must decide.”

Tues., 2 June 1964:

10:00 a.m.

Returned to my private office where I held consultation with –

1) Junior Colleges – Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson on Junior Colleges — the need to go ahead with new colleges inasmuch as the Brigham Young University now has 15,000 students, and that next year the number might be increased to 18,000 which they cannot handle.

I asked Dr. Wilkinson to take the matter up with President Joseph Fielding Smith, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Unified School System.”

Wed., 1 July 1964:

“10:20 a.m.

Forest Dale Property – Board of Trustees Meeting and Editorial

President Brown came in to see if I intended to come into the Board of Trustees meeting of the Brigham Young University.  I told him that I would not go in, for him to go ahead.  He then asked about the Forest Dale Junior College property, and the City’s desire to re-purchase the property from the Church, and the accusation that is being made by Lorenzo E. Ellgren that the transaction which was made is an injustice to the citizens.

I told President Brown to say nothing about it at the present time.

Later, President Tanner came into my private office, he having left the meeting of the Board of Trustees, and said that the members of the Board do not want President Wilkinson’s statement explaining the transaction which was made by the Brigham Young University with the City Commission for the Forest Dale property for a Junior College to go into the newspapers as a statement from the First Presidency.  I told President Tanner that we would say nothing about it in the meeting today; that I had already mentioned this to President Brown.

I, therefore, instructed Henry Smith of the Deseret News, who was in the secretary’s office waiting for the statement, to come in, and after discussing the matter with him, I told him to have an editorial written on the matter, and thus avoid the First Presidency’s getting into the controversy.  The editorial was written and appeared in the Deseret News the following evening.  (See editorial following.)”

Monday, April 19, 1965


9:30 A.M. ON APRIL 19, 1965

Pursuant to appointment and a request of President McKay that I keep him advised on certain matters, I met with him at 9:30 a.m. on April 19.  The following business was transacted:

2.  Letter from James D. MacConnell.

I called attention to the President that he had received a letter dated February 4 from James D. MacConnell, one of the partners of O’dell, MacConnell Associates in Palo Alto, urging construction of the Anaheim Junior College and that he had sent such letter to me asking me to draft a letter for his reply to Dr. MacConnell.  Through Miss Middlemiss he wanted me to say that the Church had not as yet abandoned plans for the construction of a Junior College at Anaheim and that if any commitment had been made to build a Junior College it would be kept.  I read the draft of letter to Dr. MacConnell to him along the lines he had indicated which he approved.  This draft is attached hereto.  He asked me to have Miss Middlemiss type it on regular stationery so that he could sign it and send it out.  (See copy of letter following)

4.  Lease of Forest Dale Golf Course.

I presented to President McKay a lease agreement for leasing the Forest Dale Golf Course which had been purchased for a Junior College site, to the City of Salt Lake for another year.  I informed him that the Board of Education was in favor of such a lease.  He signed the same.

Monday, April 19, 1965

February 4, 1965


Mr. David O. McKay

Chairman Unified Board of Education

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Mr. McKay:

In 1963 my associates and I (as educational consultants) were engaged to prepare pre-architectural plans and specifications for a Junior College for your Church at Anaheim, California, and to consult with the architects as they prepared their plans.

In the preparation of these plans and specifications, we had many conferences with Dr. Harvey L. Taylor and others under his direction who were assigned to work with us by President Wilkinson.  They told us of the educational and spiritual philosophy of your Church, which made such an impression on us that we considered this not merely another job, but an opportunity to design specifications which would be conducive to character training as well as secular learning.

In 1964 we completed our plans and specifications but were told by Dr. Taylor that the project had been temporarily, if not permanently, discontinued, and that the trend appeared to be toward religious Institutes rather than junior colleges.

As we review the projections of faculty and facility needs for educating the present and future 17-21 year old youth of our country, it is frightening.  The Educational Policies Commission report issued in 1964 recommends universal education through grade 12, and we are conservatively predicting that 80% of the 17-24 age group will be enrolled in some form of post high school education by 1970.

The junior college sector of our post high school organization pattern is the fastest growing section, with some seven hundred twenty-five campuses now in existence and twenty to thirty new ones being added yearly.

When we attended the all student assembly at the opening of the 1963-64 school year, we were amazed to see the great percent of students in attendance who were from southern California.

Our great fear today is that due to enrollment restrictions being adopted by colleges and universities, that many youth are not going to be admitted to higher educational institutions, and I feel that your young people will be effected materially because of the great number involved.  We have had occasion to review the educational specifications that we prepared for you, in connection with some other campuses we are planning, and I could not help but reflect on the superior spiritual and character education your young people would obtain in your proposed junior college at Anaheim over what they will receive in a secular institution with a Religious Institute on the side.  I say this as one who knows something about your Institutes, and one who has a deep interest in the youth of the Mormon faith.  I hope you will not consider me presumptuous when I say that in my opinion these Religious Institutes will not take the place of your proposed junior college, for the latter will have a religious environment throughout the entire curriculum.  This is not possible in a secular institution, even though there is a separate institute for religious instruction.

In the interest, therefore, of your great Church, and future generations, I hope you will reconsider and build the Anaheim Junior College.  The remaining fee due us on the contract will be consumed in its totality for personnel who will be assigned by us to the architect as he progresses.  This letter is completely devoid of any financial interest on my part or the part of my associates, but is being written solely in the interest of character education for the youth of your Church.

I hope you will forgive me for injecting myself into your business, but I feel so strongly on this subject that I would feel guilty if I did not express my feelings to you.

Respectfully yours,

James D. MacConnell


Monday, April 19, 1965

May 13, 1965

Mr. James D. MacConnell

Stanford Professional Center, Suite 309

750 Welch Road

Palo Alto, California

Dear Mr. MacConnell:

It was very kind of you to take the time to send me your letter of February 4, 1965, in which you express your interest in our educational system, and in the proposed Anaheim Junior College.

I appreciate very much having your sincere advice and suggestions regarding these matters.

I am happy to inform you that we have not permanently abandoned our plans to build a Junior College at Anaheim, and that if any commitments have been made, the Church intends to keep its word.

With appreciation for your interest in the future education of our young men and women,  I remain

Sincerely yours,

David O. McKay


Mon., 26 Apr. 1965:

“10:30 a.m.

Held a meeting in my apartment at the Hotel Utah on Junior College matters.  Those in attendance were:  Presidents Brown and Tanner, President Joseph Fielding Smith, Elders Harold B. Lee, Marion G. Romney, President Ernest L. Wilkinson, Brother Elliot Cameron, and nine Presidents of Southern California Stakes.

Monday, April 26, 1965

Monday, April 26, 1965

Minutes of a meeting of the First Presidency and members of the Twelve with the following presidents of stakes from Southern California, held in President McKay’s apartment at 10:00 A.M.  Present of the Twelve were:  Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee and Marion G. Romney; stake presidents: President Arvo Van Alstyne, Los Angeles Stake;  Justin B. Lillywhite, Orange County Stake; Max V. Eliason, Anaheim Stake; Wayne A. Reeves, San Bernardino Stake; Collins E. Jones, Canoga Park Stake; E. Garrett Barlow, Santa Monica Stake; also Elliott Cameron.

President Van Alstyne, representing the stake presidents from Southern California, made the presentation from notes that he had.  (See attached copy)

President McKay inquired what proportion of the population are members of the Church.

President Van Alstyne said he was not sure what the total number of Latter-day Saint people in that area are except he thought it was close to 200,000 out of about ten million, that about 1.4 of the college students enrolled in Southern California are members of the Church, and that figure was on a state-wide basis and it was thought that we would probably have by 1970 somewhere near 12,000 in the University of California, probably another 12,000 or more outside of the University of California.

President McKay asked how many of these prospective junior college students have formed the habit of smoking.  President Van Alstyne answered that his personal experience at UCLA is that of a hundred students who come to the campus and have a good testimony and are active, at the end of four years 20 to 30 of them will be inactive and some will have apostatized.  He said they become exposed to a social activity where beer drinking, smoking, and the social pressures are so great they succumb to them.  He said they had no exact figures.

President Van Alstyne said that the people in Southern California generally feel that the Church has made a commitment to consider the erection of a junior college there.  He said this feeling is shared not only by members of the Church but by public officials, that the 140 acres acquired in Anaheim is a choice piece of property for education purposes located in the heart of one of the fastest growing areas in the United States, in a place where there is a demand for educational facilities.  He further said that an action was taken in the court to condemn the land, that the action has not gone forward, and the property has not actually been taken under eminent domain because local church officers and others interested in preserving it for the Church made a strong effort to obtain local support from local public officials to call off this condemnation action.  He said that the city officials in Anaheim believe the Church has a permit there, they have taken that into account, and their present planning maps still show this 140 acres as a site to be used by the Brigham Young University.

In regard to this matter President Eliason said that the condemnation action is pending and is still on file, and that apparently the school district that commenced the action is not proceeding due to the intervention of church people with the City Council.  At present the Planning Commission has a big chart showing the Brigham Young University property and the local and city council are very favorable and very interested in having a school there.

President Van Alstyne suggested another matter.  He said that some members in his stake have advanced a point that he thought needed to be aired, that one member of the stake had said he did not understand why Brigham Young University would not take his son next year, that his grades are not very good, but he would like to see him go to the ‘Y’ if he can get in.  He said that he had been a tithe payer all his life and had supported the Brigham Young University.  President Van Alstyne said there is a feeling on the part of some people in the Church that it is difficult to know where we draw the line, when the tithe paying members of the Church are supporting the educational system and would like to have their children educated in the Church system.  He said they feel that perhaps a junior college program is the most feasible and most effective way to approach the solution in the least expensive way.  He said that they feel that they are going to have perhaps as many as 2,000 of the young people in Southern California rejected from the Brigham Young University this fall.  He said that many people would prefer to send their children to a local junior college rather than send them to Brigham Young University.

President Barlow commented that they had had seven children, four of whom have graduated from Brigham Young University, and one they had kept at a local city college within walking distance of the home.  He said they found that the young man who was comparable to his brothers in interest, etc., did better staying at home near the home influence for his first four years, and then finishing up at the Brigham Young University, than the other boys did by going immediately into the full college program at the BYU.  He said he thought that the junior college is a better solution of the academic problem and he thought it better for the young people to stay where their fathers and mothers can keep a closer eye on them.

President McKay asked if it is quite generally admitted that the Church is committed to have a school in Southern California.

President Barlow said that in his stake they do not feel that the Church has made a commitment, but they do feel the Church has advanced a program that they would be happy to support.

President Eliason said that in the city of Anaheim the city officials feel that the Church has in a sense committed itself to build a school there.

President Lillywhite said that about a year after the acquisition of the land the stake made application for a stake center reasonably close, within three or four blocks of this proposed site, and there was a lot of opposition, some by the city officials.  He thought the reason it was granted was because of the prospects of the University coming in there.

President Barlow mentioned another matter.  He said that there is a group of parents, non-members of the Church, good stable people who want good things for their children, who would prefer to have them brought up under our program than the public school program because the public school program is not the best.  He thought we would attract many non-member young people into the program, good clean-living people, who could be influenced toward a better way of life.  He thought it would be a good missionary program.

Elder Romney referred to the statement by President Barlow to the effect that his student son who attended college near home had done equally as well if not better than the ones at the BYU.

President Barlow said yes, that he went to seminary.

Elder Romney said that it looked to him like that was a compliment to the home and the institute influence.

President Van Alstyne said that the great majority live at home and commute back and  forth so far as UCLA is concerned, that they have a total enrollment of about 23,000, and the LDS enrollment is about 5400.  He said that his experience working with these young people as their bishop was that those who came from good Latter-day Saint homes who had the support of the home and attended the institute, remained faithful; that the institute was a great support in their lives and the home was the most important influence.  He said the trouble was, as they went over the records and as they met every month with the institute director, they found that they were getting only about 50 to 55 per cent of the LDS students in the institute and that those who are living at home were not the ones they could not reach.  He said they were convinced that if those who drifted away could have been attracted to a Church school or junior college, many of them if not all would still be active.  He mentioned cases where good faithful young people had come to live on the campus at the dormitories and because of the environment and the educational curriculum drifted away.  President Van Alstyne said he certainly would not want the institute program to suffer as the price of constructing junior colleges.

Elder Romney asked the question that if he were the father of all the students in the Church and could build junior colleges for half of them but not all of them, would he do that rather than supply institutes for all of them.

President Van Alstyne said he would not like to see the present institute program eliminated.

Elder Lee said he thought the brethren should know something about the genius of our present thinking on this matter.  He stated that what President Van Alstyne had presented was not something new; in fact, that nothing had been presented this morning that had not previously been before them.  He said that the Board of Education has the responsibility to look at the entire Church and that as they had approached the idea of junior colleges and institutes they discovered that some of the facts presented were not fully in accordance with the truth, for example the figure that a junior college would cost 15 million dollars.  He said that when they questioned Brother Harvey Taylor who had been sent to inquire into these various places where junior colleges had been built it was discovered that it would cost they said 15 million dollars to build the college but this would be just the academic buildings.  It would be necessary to begin to add to the academic buildings a field house, a stadium, dormitories, and other things that are needed, and these would mount up to additional millions.  He said that as they have studied the matter they have wondered just what the cost would be of the academic buildings and all the appurtenances that are added.  Accordingly President McKay had directed that a survey might be made of the whole field and not depend upon guesses and estimates and people’s feelings.  He mentioned that Brother Elliott Cameron was borrowed from the Brigham Young University to make this study and was told that we wanted him to be wholly objective and not subject to pressures.  He said this study is now nearing conclusion, that in fact Brother Cameron’s entire study which as now reached into three volumes is ready to go to press, and that conclusions will be drawn from the materials that are assembled.  He said that some of the seminary people had taken violent opposition to some of the statements that President Wilkinson had made in his statement, which to them de-emphasized the value of an institute and they have some statistics on their part comparing Church schools with institute influence.  He said these materials are all being documented to ascertain just what the facts are.  He said President Wilkinson drew testimony from a number of men on his faculty that other men claimed was wholly unreliable.

Elder Lee mentioned that the First Presidency had permitted them to go into the financial records on a confidential basis and that this also will be analyzed and placed in the hands of the President of the Church.

Elder Lee mentioned one figure that he had taken out of the study that is preliminary, namely, that in the State of California we have 176 private and public junior colleges and four year private, public colleges.  The only state in the Union that has more such colleges is the state of New York where there are 191 as compared with 176 in California.  Elder Lee expressed the thought that the area the brethren from Southern California were talking about is that south of Kern County and he understood that there were 41 of these institutions in Southern California giving junior college studies or four year courses.  He said to place one of our Church institutions in the midst of what must be a highly competitive situation he thought was a matter that should be looked at inasmuch as there is probably no other place that has more education facilities for students.  He thought consideration might be given as to whether a better course would be to place a full grown institute near these major colleges where we have any substantial concentration of Latter-day Saint students.  He also said that if we can strengthen the homes, and that is what we are trying to do under the President’s direction, great good would be accomplished.  He said that while this discussion was exceedingly interesting, it was probably premature until our study referred to had been completed.  Elder Lee also mentioned the need in Mexico, Central America and South America and in the Far East where we have thousands and thousands of little children who, unless the Church provides some kind of primary education will not have any education, and so we have to consider whether it would be preferable to take some of the Church’s available funds and serve these areas against centralizing in a few places where there is ample public education.  He said these are serious questions that he thought we should see altogether before reaching any specific conclusions.  Elder Lee said the Executive Committee would like to have a little more time to complete the study they are making so that they could arrive at conclusions which they could present to the First Presidency.

Elder Lee said that the committee was not unmindful of the problem in Southern California, that they have gone into the matter, have studied the statistics as to what happens to the students after they leave the institutes and after they leave the Church schools, and that they have some rather searching and illuminating information, all of which they propose to study.

Elder Lee mentioned the further point that Brother Harvey Taylor, who is the other half of the Church educational team, is in the South Seas looking after some matters there, and he thought he should be present on any final discussions or major conclusions.  Elder Lee further stated that the Board of Education have all the concern that the brethren from Southern California have, and are just as interested as they are, but they feel that they must take into consideration the Church’s finances and the entire picture of the situation.  Elder Lee said he thought he was speaking the feelings of the entire Executive Committee.

President Van Alstyne said that he was sure that all the brethren fully agreed with the necessity of finding out all the facts.

Elder Romney made this further comment regarding the property at Anaheim.  He said this property was purchased along with properties in other places, and that one other place was Phoenix, Arizona.  He said that the people there had the impression that a commitment was made to build a junior college and that steps were taken to set them right on this matter, that we were not so committed. He said the Church is not committed on any of these sites.

President Jones said that they were not there as a pressure group, that they had come to represent their people for whom they have a great love, and that they would hope that every president will want to champion the rights of his people and the love he has for them, that there is no greater responsibility.  He expressed his appreciation for Brother Van Alstyne’s presentation.

Elder Lee said that the Executive Committee echoed that same feeling of love for the young people and their anxiety and concern for them.  

President Barlow said that speaking for himself and his people that he had talked with the leadership in the stake and that they are perfectly willing to abide by the decision of the Executive Committee and will support it 100%.

President Van Alstyne said that President Barlow was speaking for all of them in the expression he made.

Minutes by Joseph Anderson

Monday, April 26, 1965

April 26, 1965


A PRESENTATION TO THE FIRST PRESIDENCY by a committee of Stake Presidents from Southern California as to Why Development Of A Branch Of The Brigham Young University (Junior College) In Southern California Is Urgently Needed

We Believe —

1.  Thousands of Latter-day Saint Youth Deserve the Best Education Available – An Education Which Will Prepare Them to Assume the Leadership of the Church and Nation in the Future

a.  Some revealing statistics

Total population (as of July 1, 1962) for Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and

San Bernardino counties was estimated at over 8,180,000.  (California Statistical

Abstract – 1962, p. 52.)

Average annual population growth rate in Orange County is over 10%.  This is 

one of the fastest growing areas in the United States.

University of California enrollment is presently over 71,000 statewide.  Estimated

need is for University facilities for 120,000 students by 1975 and 215,000 by the 

year 2000.  (Report of the President of the University, Nov. 15, 1964, p.5.)

At Brigham Young University there were about 1700 students from California

in 1957-58.  Today there are approximately 4,200 – the majority from Southern

California.  If there are no limits placed on BYU enrollments, it is estimated that 

some 11,000 students from California would be at BYU by the year 1970-71.

b.  The need for maximum education consistent with ability

Increasing complexity and technological nature of our society 

The ‘drop-out’ problem

c.  Announced policy curtailment of BYU enrollments

An issue of fairness:  should the children of faithful tithe-paying families be

deprived of the opportunities for a Gospel-oriented education?

d.   A proposed solution:  development of branch campuses of the Brigham

Young University – the Church Junior College Program

Studies at the University of California demonstrate that students who transfer to 

the University after two years of Junior College work do equally as well as

students who started at the University

2.  Public and Private College Institutions Not Provide An Acceptable Alternative:  

     Only A Church-Operated College Program Will Satisfy Fully Both the Educational

     and Spiritual Needs of Our Young People

a.  Even the best secular education is a curse, not a blessing, if its price is loss

of faith in the Restored Gospel

Latter-Day Saint youth in public and private colleges are exposed constantly to

destructive secular philosophies, misleading and erroneous teachings, and harmful

social pressures to conform to worldly standards of conduct

Experience has demonstrated that a substantial proportion of LDS young people

will become inactive or will wholly apostatize when persistently exposed to these

harmful influences

b.  The Institute Program is very helpful.  But it cannot provide an adequate

substitute for full-time Gospel-oriented education.

Institute reach effectively only about 50% of the LDS students on campus.  The

other 50% are also precious in the sight of the Lord.

A Church operated college would be able to reach 100% of the students –

and do it not on a part-time basis but on a full-time basis, both within and outside

the classrooms.

c.  A BYU Junior College Branch would be far superior to other alternatives in 

its capacity and effectiveness for perfecting the young people of the Church

Latter-Day Saint standards of dress and conduct can be maintained throughout the


Religious instruction, when made a part of the regular curriculum, can be much

more thorough and effective.

Secular education on a Church campus can be supportive, and not destructive, of 

testimonies of Jesus Christ and of the Restored Gospel.

Opportunities for intermingling of Church members, and for Temple marriages, are

greatly improved on a Church campus.

Opportunities for, and incentive or motivation for, Church activity and service,

including missionary service, are greatly improved on a Church campus.

3.  In Considering the Allocation of Church Resources, Development of the BYU Junior

     College Program Would Produce Valuable Future Dividends

a.  Financial outlay for a Junior College in Southern California would be 


Prearchitectural planning has already been undertaken and is understood to have

been completed.

Total cost (to be spread over several years) has been estimated not to exceed

$15,000,000.  First year outlay could be much less than this, of course.

Operational costs of a junior college are about 40% less than costs for

operation for a full University, on a per-student basis.

Further savings appear possible in that Church Junior College would have multiple

use of buildings for both educational and religious (e.g. campus ward) activities.

b.  Spiritual dividends would be incalculable

The Junior College Program, as compared with the alternatives, would produce

many more active and dedicated Church leaders with a sound education rooted

in Gospel truth rather than in the philosophies of men.

c.  Fiscal dividends would be substantial

The Junior College Program, together with continued building of the Brigham

Young University, will undoubtedly produce many more tithe-paying Church

members in higher income producing occupations.

Higher incomes earned by graduates of private and public colleges will be of

no value to the Church if those who earn them are not active and dedicated to

the building of the Kingdom.

4.  The Church Has Made a Commitment to Develop a Junior College in the Anaheim Area.  This Commitment Should be Honored in the Near Future.

a.  The meeting of President Wilkinson with Stake Presidents from Southern

California in 1963. 

b.  Public officials in the Anaheim area believe that the Church is committed

to the construction of a BYU Branch Junior College on the site now owned by

the Church there.

City planning authorities contemplate this development.

Withholding of prosecution of pending condemnation action to take the

Junior College site by eminent domain for local public educational purposes 

is based on this understanding.

c.  Church membership in Southern California is generally aware of the fact

that the Church has acquired property and has undertaken planning for a

Junior College development program.


We earnestly submit that:

First, it would be source of genuine concern, if not actually tragic, if the Church did not move ahead with the development of the Junior College Program.

Second, the need to take immediate action in this regard in Southern California is imminent and pressing.”

Mon., 20 Sept. 1965:

“8:00 a.m.

President Ernest L. Wilkinson called at the apartment and discussed matters pertaining to the Cameron study on Church schools and the question of whether or not the Church should have Junior Colleges.

I told President Wilkinson that I should like to study the report before I make any decision about these matters.”

Tues., 8 Feb. 1966:

“8:30 a.m.

Held a meeting with Presidents Hugh B. Brown, Nathan Eldon Tanner, and Joseph Fielding Smith.  President Isaacson is in the LDS Hospital.

Junior Colleges – Church Property in Anaheim

A letter was read from Max V. Eliason, President of the Anaheim Stake, stating that he had received a call from the assistant superintendent of the Anaheim High School District concerning 150 acres of Church property located in Anaheim, California, and asking him when the Church would commence construction of the college in Anaheim.  In answer to my inquiry as to the status of this situation, President Tanner explained that Dr. Cameron had made a report of his investigation and study pertaining to Church schools, that this report he had given to the Executive Committee and the Board of Education, at which time it was agreed that the report would be studied when I was present.  President Tanner said that Brother Lee has spoken about the matter on one or two occasions wondering when the report could be studied, that it would seem that the matter is now being held awaiting a meeting with the First Presidency.

I asked that a meeting be set up for the First Presidency to look over the report with the Executive Committee and Dr. Cameron.  It was decided to have this meeting in my hotel office on Wednesday, February 16, at 8:30 a.m.  (This meeting was later called off by me.)”

Thurs., 10 Feb. 1966:

“8:30 a.m.

Met with Counselors — Presidents Brown and Tanner — in a meeting of the First

Presidency.  President Smith is meeting with the Council of the Twelve in the Temple, and President Isaacson is in the hospital.

Some of the matters considered by us were:

Junior College Project – Property in Anaheim

Reference was made to the decision of the First Presidency a few days ago to meet with the Executive Committee of the Church Board of Education and Dr. Elliott Cameron for the purpose of discussing the Cameron report before a decision is made regarding property owned by the Church in Anaheim, and other properties on which it was anticipated junior colleges would be constructed.  When the matter of the proposed meeting was brought to the attention of Elder Harold B. Lee, he stated that he had arranged to be away at that time, and he asked if the meeting might be postponed until February 25, at 8:30 a.m.  We agreed that this would be satisfactory.

Fri., 11 Feb. 1966:

“8:15 to 9:15 a.m.

Junior Colleges

By appointment met President Ernest L. Wilkinson of the Brigham Young University.  He reported the word that had come to him in the East that Dr. Elliott Cameron was to hold everything in abeyance for a meeting with the First Presidency and Elder Harold B. Lee, at which time Dr. Cameron would give a report on Junior Colleges.

President Wilinson said that he had not yet had time to go over the voluminous reports of Dr. Cameron, and that he would like to make a report to me on his opinion of the reports before any decision is made regarding the Junior Colleges.

I said that I should like to have his opinion, and that furthermore I should like the meeting called off until all members of the First Presidency can be present; that we should wait and see the outcome of President Isaacson’s illness before we decide to hold a meeting on this matter.  I asked President Wilkinson to stay close to me during this crisis with President Isaacson.

Following President Wilkinson’s departure, I called my secretary and told her to call President Joseph Fielding Smith and have him call off the meeting of the First Presidency on the matter of Junior Colleges until all members of the Presidency can be present.

Sunday, November 13, 1966


5.  Condemnation of Part of Land purchased in San Fernando Valley for Junior College Site:

I pointed out to the President that we had purchased 284 acres in San Fernando Valley for a future site for a junior college — that the State of California had already condemned certain parts of this land and were now condemning an additional part.  The three condemnations would total 44 acres, leaving us 240 acres.

We paid originally $1,250,000 for the entire 284 acres comprising this property, and have paid another $150,000 in taxes.  Our entire cost is $1,400,000.  We will obtain from the State of California a total of $800,000 for the 44 acres condemned, leaving 244 acres for us at a cost of only $600,000 including the taxes we paid.

I informed him that Vice President Ben E. Lewis had been conducting the negotiations and the State of California now required of us that President Lewis be appointed an agent by the Corporation of the First President to consummate the negotiations.  The President thereupon signed a Power of Attorney running to Ben E. Lewis for his purpose.

6.  Title to Properties Purchased for Junior Colleges:

I pointed out to the President that titles to the property for future junior college sites in Idaho Falls, Portland, Freemont, Salt Lake City, and Anaheim had been taken in the name of BYU of its nominees; that nominees had been used at the time in order that the real identity of ownership would not be known, but that the identity of the owner was now known, and it seemed therefore advisable to transfer titles from the nominees directly to the University.  President McKay authorized that this be done.

I pointed out that title to the property in San Fernando, Phoenix, and one plot in Salt Lake City were in the name of the Corporation of the President; that we at the BYU were managing all of the junior college properties; and that from the standpoint of management it would be more convenient if they were all in the name of the BYU.  The President agreed and informed me that if I would draw proper transfers of title he would sign them.

Tues., 7 Mar. 1967:

“Junior College – Building Site in Northern California

Reference was made to a letter from Francis B. Winkel, President of the Fremont Stake, California, stating that the local junior college school district is looking for a site for their new junior college and that they appear to be most interested in the site that the Church owns, which property was purchased several years ago by the Church for a junior college and consists of 150 acres.

President Winkel states that the present value of this land is about double what the Church paid for it.  He also states that the School district would prefer to negotiate with us for the purchase of the property rather than to get it through condemnation proceedings, that they would like the site if the Church does not intend to build on it.  In discussing the matter reference was made to the sentiment of the brethren of the Twelve which it was reported is unanimously in favor of abandoning the idea of having a junior college in that area, it being the thought of the brethren that our money could be used to much better advantage by establishing institutes and seminaries and also my making Church education available in other parts of the world where it is not available now.

I said that I do not feel that we should take action on the matter today.”

Sun., 21 May 1967:

“8:00 a.m.

Brigham Young University – Problems Concerning

President Wilkinson called at the apartment and discussed with me three items:

Junior Colleges

President Wilkinson then brought up the matter of the Junior College sites which the Church now owns in various places, and that there seemed to be a sentiment on the part of the Church Real Estate Department of the Church that some of these sites should be sold.

I said that I did not feel that these sites should be sold at this time.  (See minutes by President Wilkinson following; also see diary of June 27, 1967.)

Sunday, May 21, 1967

Supplemental Memorandum of Conference with President Daivd O. McKay on May 21, 1967

Junior Colleges:

a.  I told him that there seemed to be sentiment on the part of the Real Estate Department of the Church that some of the Junior College sites be sold.  He repeated what he had said on many occasions — that he did not want them sold.

b.  I recalled that he had asked me to meet with Stake Presidents in Arizona who had come to visit him with respect to building a junior college in Phoenix.  I told him that I had not met with them because I knew there was some sentiment against building the junior college, and that I did not want to be caught in the center of a dispute.  I advised him, however, that I had heard that the Stake Presidents in Arizona were incensed at what their children were being taught in State schools, that they were about to propose a program to President McKay whereby the members of the Church in Arizona would be in large part responsible for the construction and operation of a junior college in that area.  In response to questions from President McKay I told him that there was of course divided feeling among the Brethren as to whether there should be a junior college, but a number of the Brethren had informed me that they were in favor of a junior college if there were any possible way for the Church to finance it; further, they told me that if the President indicated he desired these junior colleges they would enthusiastically support him.  The President inquired about this twice and I repeated the same answer.

I urged the President, as I had done on previous occasions, that one of the General Authorities ought to be named as Chancellor of the entire Church School System — that it needed a responsible head.  He again looked at me and said that he wanted me to take that position.  I told him I doubted seriously whether I should do so, because I thought the person who took that position should have the prestige behind him of being a General Authority.  It was understood that I would give further consideration to this matter and report back to him.


Fri., 16 June 1967:

“8:10 a.m.

Ernest L. Wilkinson of the Brigham Young University called at the office in the Hotel Utah.

President Wilkinson then brought up the matter of Junior College sites which have been purchased by the Church.  President Wilkinson said that he had been given instructions that these sites are not for sale, but that some of the General Authorities are giving a different impression.  I said that no decision had been made to sell the properties, and that I shall send a memorandum to the General Authorities stating that these properties are not for sale.  (See memorandum following by President Wilkinson — also copy of letter sent to all General Authorities.)

Friday, June 16, 1967

Memorandum of conference held with President David O. McKay, Friday, June 16, 1967, at 8:10 a.m.

Because President McKay had continuously given me instructions that we were not to sell the properties we had purchased for Junior College sites (except the Nibley Golf Course in Salt Lake City), whereas we had been told from time to time that some General Authorities were giving a different impression, Ben Lewis and I saw President McKay to see whether there had been change in views or whether we were to continue to operate under the policy that these properties were not for sale.

After discussing the matter, President McKay instructed us as follows:

1)  No decision had been made to sell the properties.

2)   I was to have Clare draft for him a memorandum to the General Authorities stating that these properties are not for sale.

Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson, President

Brigham Young University


David O. McKay

Friday, June 16, 1967

June 27, 1967

To The Members Of The First Presidency And Council Of The Twelve

Dear Brethren:

About ten years ago, we purchased certain sites for proposed Junior Colleges.  These sites have now increased in value so that they are now worth about three times the amount paid for them.

Occasionally letters are addressed to me and others inquiring as to whether these properties are for sale.  If any inquiries of this nature come to you, I should appreciate your advising those inquiring that these Junior College property sites are not for sale.  I have notified President Ernest L. Wilkinson of the Brigham Young University to that effect.

Any inquiries respecting these sites should be referred to President Wilkinson or Vice-President Ben E. Lewis, who have been given the responsibility of managing these properties.

Sincerely yours,

David O. McKay