Ernest L. Wilkinson and the Karl G. Maeser Memorial Building

Ernest L. Wilkinson served as president of Brigham Young University from 1951 to 1971.

One of the most colorful individuals associated with the Karl G. Maeser Memorial Building and Brigham Young University was Ernest L. Wilkinson. Wilkinson’s association with Brigham Young University began in 1918 when he became a member of the Student Army Training Corps stationed at Brigham Young University. Wilkinson was billeted in the Karl G. Maeser Memorial Building–in the same room where he would later serve as president of the university thirty-three years later.

Wilkinson enrolled at Brigham Young University in 1919 and graduated in 1921. While at the university Wilkinson edited the White and Blue and editorialized on the potential of the university. He would go on to become a very successful lawyer. His law career was interrupted in 1950 when he was invited to become president of Brigham Young University. He accepted and became Brigham Young University’s seventh president in 1951. He would hold that position for twenty years. Information about the sources available for studying Wilkinson’s affiliation with Brigham Young University are available here.

If you have any questions about Ernest L. Wilkinson’s impact on Brigham Young University, contact the University Archivist at (801) 422-5821 or

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