As Pres. Kevin J Worthen looks back on his five years of tenure as Brigham Young University's president, we thought we'd look a little further back down the scope at the tenure of each of the presidents BYU has seen.
With a new semester beginning, let's take a trip down memory lane and look back on the notable achievements and memories of each of BYU's 13 presidents.
All information provided from BYU archives and records.
Warren Newton Dusenberry
Though everyone assumes Karl Maeser was the first president, it was actually Warren Newton Dusenberry, who was a temporary principal before Karl Maeser.
Dusenberry was only president from January 1876 to April 1876. He resigned after a few months to go to law school.
Karl G. Maeser
Karl G. Maeser's name is attached to quite a lot around campus and around the county, and for good reason. Maeser is considered the founder of Brigham Young Academy, which later became BYU.
Maeser was president from August 1876 to January 1892 and achieved a lot in his tenure. The school started with just 29 students, but grew into several departments in his time. Additionally, he was the superintendent of the Church Education System and was a mission president over California in the late 1800s.
Benjamin Cluff took the reins from Maeser and was the first president of BYU. Cluff was principal of BYA from January 1892 to October 1903, and was the president of BYU from October 1903 to December 1903.
Cluff's methodology was often called completely opposite of Maeser. Cluff was more progressive than Maeser and invited those who were not of the LDS faith into the school.
Cluff was also instrumental in the school becoming a university, and even introduced the athletics program to the school.
George H. Brimhall
Brimall served as the president of BYU from April 1904 to July 1921. As president, Brimhall was insistent that departments for specific subjects be better defined and he urged a greater emphasis on religious learning than his predecessor, Cluff, did.
Under Brimhall's tenure, the "Y" of Y Mountain was painted. Originally, all three letters of BYU were to be painted, but because of limited time and resources, only the Y was painted.
Franklin S. Harris
Franklin S. Harris was the university's president from July 1921 to June 1945, -- a whopping 24 years. Harris was an expert in agriculture and even traveled to many eastern European countries to provide expert instruction on agriculture.
Ironically, the building that bears his name at BYU now is the Harris Fine Arts Center.
Harris left the university in 1945 to be president of Utah State Agricultural College, which would later become Utah State University.
Howard S. McDonald
Howard S. McDonald was BYU's president from July 1945 to October 1949. While president, a surge in enrollment was seen after WWII veterans came home and wanted a solid education. To encourage social interaction among the many newly-returned veterans, McDonald established student wards in the housing. And to make sure the students had access to healthcare services, he established the student health center.
McDonald had a strained relationship with the board of trustees and J. Reuben Clark, who was a member of the First Presidency of the church at the time. McDonald constantly asked for more funding for the surge in students, but Clark often scolded and rebuked him, until McDonald left abruptly in the middle of the fall 1949 semester.
Ernest L. Wilkinson
The namesake behind the Wilkinson Student Center served as BYU's president for an astonishing 20 years, from Feb. 1951 to July 1971.
While he was president of BYU, Wilkinson also was the president of the Church Education System.
Wilkinson is often credited with expanding the university to national recognition. Under his presidency, university attendance increased six times to more than 25,000 students. The number of colleges increased from five to 13. Faculty quadrupled. And the number of buildings on campus increased from six to 300, including the Harold B. Lee library, the Jesse Knight Building, the Harvey Fletcher Building and the original Wyview Village housing complex.
Dallin H. Oaks
Dallin H. Oaks, now first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was BYU's president from Aug. 1971 to Aug. 1980.
Unsurprisingly, as a recognized lawyer, Oaks oversaw the creation and start of the J. Reuben Clark Law School.
Oaks also created the three-semester program at BYU, with two semesters for fall and winter and a split spring-summer term.
Oaks worked to create affirmative action policies to not only hire more women, but at similar salaries to those of the men being hired.
Jeffrey R. Holland
Jeffrey R. Holland, now a member of the Quorum of the Twelve of the LDS Church, was BYU's president from 1980 to 1989. He was 40 years old when he started his time as BYU's president.
Rather than focusing on changing the physical appearance of the campus, Holland focused on enhancing and improving programs already offered.
But that doesn't mean buildings weren't still constructed. The Crabtree Building was built during his time, and across the world, the BYU Jerusalem Center was founded under Holland's tenure.
Holland is a favorite speaker during many general conference sessions now, but back then, he was a favorite president to many women because he clarified that women could wear jeans and pants under the school's honor code.
Rex E. Lee
Rex E. Lee was president of BYU from 1989 to 1995. Lee died of lymphoma and peripheral neuropathy less than three months after his resignation.
During his tenure, Lee was a huge supporter of the weekly devotionals and forums held on campus, encouraging students to attend both as often as possible.
Lee also focused on streamlining graduation requirements, ensuring that no major would require more than 60 credit hours so a four-year degree was much easier to attain.
Merrill J. Bateman
Merrill J. Bateman was the president of BYU from 1996 to 2003.
Bateman raised the enrollment cap during his tenure from 27,000 to 29,000, including an open enrollment summer semester.
Bateman also oversaw a lot of changes at the athletic level. BYU sports moved from the Western Athletic Conference to the Mountain West Conference. Colors and logos were also changed, and the baseball field, now called the Larry H. Miller field, started construction.
Cecil O. Samuelson
Cecil O. Samuelson was the president of the Y from 2003 to 2014.
Samuelson focused a lot of his tenure on "raising the bar." And this must've meant some sort of "out with the old, in with the new," because during his time, many student dorms were torn down in place of new ones, and the BYU Broadcasting Building was constructed, as was the Life Sciences Building.
During the recession, Samuelson insisted on a hiring freeze for two years. About 80 faculty members left during that time.
The phrase "Whoosh, Cecil" is pretty well-known now, but the iconic thumbs up after the free throw wasn't given by Samuelson until five years after the students began chanting the phrase after each BYU basketball free throw. The tradition lives on today in the BYU ice cream flavor, "Whoosh, Cecil."
Kevin J Worthen
Kevin J Worthen has been BYU's president since 2014. Worthen was the advancement vice president before his appointment to the presidency post.
Worthen dedicated the new Engineering Building, as well as several of housing facilities at Heritage Halls. Worthen has focused significantly more on the student experience than physical buildings.
The controversy between the Title IX and Honor Code Office started under his tenure and Worthen followed recommendations to split the two offices and adopt amnesty policies for women who were victims of sexual assault or abuse.
Worthen also instituted an office of experiential learning at the university to coordinate internships, volunteer opportunities and other means for students to apply their degrees while in school.