BYU Studies Quarterly

BYU Studies Quarterly

Article Title

Beehive and Portico


John S. Tanner


Mormon studies, conference proceedings, Brigham Young University


BYU, alas, did not continue to build in the Neoclassical Revival style. Few now study and teach in the Maeser Building on the far end of campus. But in a deeper sense, we all live in its extended shadow. The tradition of the beehive and portico continues in our practices. This is evident every week in the way the campus transforms classrooms into chapels and back again. This transformation never fails to move me. I recall as a student blessing the sacrament in the same classroom in which I studied geology. There, where I learned about dinosaurs and the age of the earth, I also made covenants with the God of Creation. Likewise, I was bishop of a ward that met in a room with a periodic table on the wall and in which the sacrament bread was laid out on a counter next to Bunsen burners. On Sundays, students assembled in dresses and ties in rooms where they wore Levi's on weekdays; they laid scriptures on desks where they placed their textbooks for class. Such is the legacy of a beehive atop a portico.