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Out of the Blue

Boards of Education

Karl G. Maeser, revered as BYU’s spiritual architect, left an enduring educational legacy, including messages he wrote on chalkboards at Provo’s Maeser Elementary School during a Founders Day celebration. By some miracle, three of his four chalkboards survived for 104 years to when the school was closed and sold.

In 2004 A. LeGrand “Buddy” Richards (BS ’75, PhD ’82), a BYU associate professor, obtained permission to remove the boards. Richards and a team of conservators stabilized the chalk with 10 coats of sealant, built up the thin slates with cheesecloth and beeswax, then braced and cut the boards from the walls.

Only three chalkboards are in BYU archives today, but all four of Maeser’s quotes live on: “Let naught that is unholy ever enter here,” “Man grows with his higher aims,” “This life is one great object lesson to practice on the principles of immortality and eternal life,” and “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

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