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Posted 26 Mar 2001   For week ended March 02, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 26Feb01

By This is the Place Foundation Press Release

Call Issued to Descendants

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Calling all descendants of the nearly 3000 students and faculty whoattended the Brigham Young Academy during its first 8 years, 1876-1884.You're invited to attend The Academy Reunion event to be held on Saturday, June 2, 2001, 4 p.m. at the This is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Academy Reunion is being held in connection with the reconstruction of The Academy at Lewis Hall, the first home of Brigham Young Academy located in Provo, Utah. The event is also in conjunction with Brigham Young's 200th birthday celebration at the Heritage Park.

"We're searching not only for the descendants of the students and faculty who attended The Academy, but also for stories about those ancestors who attended the school," said Heidi Swinton, vice-chair of the This is the Place Foundation.

Among the original faculty members of The Academy were Karl G. Maeser, Milton H. Hardy, Teenie Smoot, and John E. Booth. Students in the first class included, among others, Reed Smoot, Alice Smoot Newell, Diantha Billings Worsley, Jonathan L. Harvey, Sarah Eggertsen Cluff, Mary Roberts Farrer, Julia Rose McEwan Haws, Louisa Scott Shepherd, and Joseph Brigham Keeler.

To see if your ancestor was enrolled in The Academy, visit the website and click on "The Academy". Scroll down to see the list of students. Complete class rolls through 1884 will be posted subsequently. Those descendants who wish to attend The Academy Reunion should call for reservations of the event at the This is the Place Foundation (801) 582-1847.

To send stories about student or faculty ancestors, write to: The Academy Reunion, This is the Place Heritage Park, 2601 East Sunnyside Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84108-1453.

Ground was broken for the new Academy building on February 16, 2001. Construction began on February 19. The building is located just inside the front gate of Old Deseret Village, and will stand as a monument to the spirit of learning and service epitomized by Utah's pioneer forbears.

Housed in Provo's only two-story building in 1876, the original Academy opened with an enrollment of 59 students. During the next few years, the student body grew to over 272 students from Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, and nearly every county in Utah.

Fire destroyed the building in January 1884, forcing the school to relocate twice before a new facility could be constructed. But Principal Karl G. Maeser reminded the students at that time of crisis, "The Academy is not burned, it lives forever."

The reconstructed Academy at Lewis Hall will a great asset to the local and world community through its humanitarian outreach and personal enrichment opportunities, said Heidi Swinton. The first floor of the reconstructed Academy will be used as an area of ongoing service, where women (and men, too) will be welcome to participate in service projects such as blood drives, quilting bees, and humanitarian projects of developing countries.

The second floor of The Academy will house a library and will also accommodate lectures, research, panels, presentations and musical performances. The focus will be primarily on Utah's heritage and inspirational topics pertinent to women.

Construction of The Academy at Lewis Hall is being funded by donors in an ongoing campaign. The BYU Women's Conference was the first major donor and supporter of The Academy. Efforts to rebuild and provide programs at The Academy are directed by Wendy Watson, chair of The Academy committee.

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