BYA under Benjamin Cluff - Y Magazine
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Alumni Report

BYA under Benjamin Cluff

BENJAMIN Cluff Jr. rejoined the Brigham Young Academy (BYA) faculty in 1890 after studying at the University of Michigan. Eager to adopt teaching methods and traditions he had observed there, he introduced many new ideas and supported several others during his administration. The following are some highlights of his administration.


 Brigham Young Academy became Brigham Young University.

• Class periods were changed from one-half hour to one hour.

• Cluff introduced summer school and imported leading American educators as instructors.

• BYA began a missionary training program.

• Cluff formed the Student Loan Association.

• Cluff stressed higher learning among faculty and students; many went east for additional education.

Extracurricular Activities

• Intercollegiate athletics were introduced to BYA.

• The Athletic Association was organized.

• The academy adopted school colors—blue and white—as the first educational institution in Utah to do so.

• Annie Pike Greenwood wrote the “College Song.”

• Class organizations were initiated, beginning with the class of 1891.

• Cluff instituted Founders Day, featuring concerts, dances, parades, ball games, athletic meets, cross-country races, and academic processions.

• The school’s first viable newspaper, the White and Blue, began publication.


• Cluff persuaded leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to incorporate BYA as a subsidiary.

• The Alumni Association was organized.

• Several new facilities were endowed: Holt Laboratory of Physics, Magleby Laboratory of Chemistry, Hinckley Laboratory of Natural Sciences, Beckstead Laboratory of General Mechanics, and Warren Smith Library of General Science Works.

• College Hall and the Training School Building were built during his administration; the Missionary-Preparatory Building was completed nine months after his resignation.

• The student body grew from 386 to 825; the faculty increased from 28 to 57; and the library expanded from 1,053 to 5,432 volumes.