August, 30, 2010

I Owe Brigham Young Academy

Those who have felt the discouragement of comparing the amount of money in their bank accounts with the price of tuition may be interested in learning what curatorial assistants at Education in Zion discovered inside several old envelopes.

From the day it was founded, Brigham Young Academy, now Brigham Young University, had financial struggles that seemed insurmountable.  Constantly facing closure due to lack of funds, the school would often recruit more students, hoping that additional tuition would help relieve its financial challenges.  Enlarging the student body, however, often only added to its financial worries, as many students arrived without being able to pay tuition.

As a solution, the academy accepted in-kind payment, such as lumber, produce, and labor, as evidenced in IOU slips such as the one shown here.  These slips, packed in several envelopes in the archives of BYU Perry Special Collections, testify to the students’ desires for and faculty’s commitment to a quality education.

Since those early days of the academy, BYU has not only survived but has grown and flourished into the great educational establishment it is today.  Truly, sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven.