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November, 4, 2013

Karl G. Maeser: A Character Technician

 

Maeser_3

Brigham Young Academy was presided over by a German educator named Karl G. Maeser, who was called to serve as the academy’s first principal by President Brigham Young in 1875. Brother Maeser was very disciplined, and many of his students called him “a harsh teacher” (2), which made other students reluctant to enroll in the academy.

However, these students immediately learned to love Brother Maeser. This was because of his faith and his work at providing “a complete education” (2) for his students. He went to great lengths to educate his pupils “morally, religiously, and intellectually.” (1) Brother Maeser also focused on the building of character. According to Bryant S. Hinckley, Maeser “was a character technician.” Brother Maeser believed by educating men and woman, they could “lift the world out of its socially, politically, and religiously degraded condition” (3). Brother Maeser was much more than just the first president of Brigham Young Academy or a teacher; he worked to build foundations of character and knowledge. He worked to build Zion.

  1. Karl G. Maeser, “The Principal of the Brigham Young Academy,” Utah Enquirer, December 1890, 3.
  2. Karl G. Maeser, “The Principal of the Brigham Young Academy,” Utah Enquirer, December 1890, 3.
  3. Karl G. Maeser, quoted in Alma P. Burton, Karl G. Maeser: Mormon Educator (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1953), 54-55.