Ernest L. Wilkinson and Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University is a private university that seeks to develop students of faith, intellect and character who have the skills and the desire to continuing learning and to serve others throughout their lives. Tracing its roots to Utah’s rich pioneer heritage and to Brigham Young Academy, the original school established in 1875, the university continues to provide an outstanding education in an atmosphere consistent with the ideals and principles of its sponsor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ernest L. Wilkinson served as Brigham Young University’s seventh president from 1951 to 1971. With the foundation laid by his predecessors and unusual support from church and education leaders, and under improved economic circumstances, he made his contribution by building one of the nation’s largest private universities, both in terms of the student body and campus facilities. His remarkable impact on Brigham Young University can be uncovered through many of the collections held in the University Archives. The following source materials can get you started on your exploration of Ernest L. Wilkinson’s legacy.
Secondary Sources and General information
Collections held by the University Archives will be more useful to your specific research topic after you understand more about the general history of the university. The following resources are available to help you develop that understanding.
- Histories of Brigham Young University
- Wilkinson, Ernest L. Brigham Young University: The First One Hundred Years (4 volumes). Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1975
- Wilkinson, Ernest L. and W. Cleon Skousen. Brigham Young University: A School of Destiny. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1976
- Sample materials dealing with Ernest L. Wilkinson: A sample of the materials that contain information about Ernest L. Wilkinson follows. To map out a research strategy, please schedule an appointment with the University Archivist at 422-5821 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional help in discovering what other collections we may have that pertain to your research topic.
- 378 B76iw Inauguration of Ernest Leroy Wilkinson as president of B.Y.U Contains the program and addresses given at the inauguration of President Wilkinson, including his own inauguration speech and a greeting given by President David O. McKay.
- UA 1000 Personal papers, 1917-1978 The Ernest L. Wilkinson personal papers consist of three series I. Personal Papers (1923-78), II. Corporate Records (1954-78) and III. Oversized Material (1917-75). The Personal Papers series documents Wilkinson’s personal and professional life. The Corporate Records series documents his extensive career as president of Brigham Young University. The Oversized Materials series contains scrapbooks kept by Wilkinson as well as three films about his administration.
- UA 1086 Brigham Young University President’s Records, 1949-1975 The presidential papers of Ernest L. Wilkinson span the years 1949-1975. They cover his pre-appointment period to the presidency, his presidential administration and his post-presidential activities. The collection documents University activities, programs, policies and procedures, and public relations with other universities, national, state and local organizations. It contains correspondence, memos, reports, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, and related materials. Open to the public after consultation with the University Archivist and in accordance with the General Restriction Statement of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections.
- UA 1071 Ernest L. Wilkinson newspaper clippings, 1951-1971 Brigham Young University was founded in 1875 as Brigham Young Academy. It has grown from its humble beginnings to become one of the largest private universities in the United States. University Communications is the administrative arm of the university that interacts with the public and the news media.
- BX 8647 .B76 1969-70 no.16 The unique role of BYU among universities of America An admonition to BYU students to assume educational leadership and measure up to the responsibilities laid out by the envisioning founders of the university.
- 378.2 A1a no.17 The calling of B.Y.U A discussion of the challenge given to BYU students to excel, both academically and spiritually, in a changing world environment.
- Sample Materials related to Ernest L. Wilkinson:
- UA OH 14 Recollections of Ernest L. Wilkinson by his secretary Jan C. Izatt Interview by Hollis Scott with Jan C. Izatt, secretary to Ernest Wilkinson. Includes comments about Wilkinson’s personality and work habits, and about her experiences working for Wilkinson.
- MSS SC 2950 I Remember Ernest: Vignettes on Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson, President of Brigham Young University, 1951-1971,1998 Describes the character of Brigham Young University President Ernest L. Wilkinson through vignettes written by Edwin Butterworth Jr.
- UA 871 Inside the Wilkinson era, 1971 May 25 Interview by Heber G. Wolsey with Ben E. Lewis, Robert K. Thomas, Harvey Taylor, Sam Brewster, and Bruce L. Olsen concerning their personal experiences with Ernest L. Wilkinson. Wilkinson’s resignation as president of Brigham Young University had been announced in March 1971, and the interviews were recorded as a tribute to him.
This Popular Search Topics page offers only samplings of materials included in the University Archives that document the life of Ernest L. Wilkinson. Be sure to visit Special Collections to discover other material.