The original school, Brigham Young Academy, was established on a little over one acre of land in what is now downtown Provo. At that time, Brigham Young, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, charged that all secular learning at the institution should be fused with teachings from the scriptures.
Despite steady growth during its early years, the Academy was threatened by a series of financial and physical setbacks. With the help and sacrifice of Abraham O. Smoot, the campus moved in 1891 to new facilities on University Avenue.
The Academy's curriculum strengthened and enrollment grew. In 1903, the name was officially changed to Brigham Young University.