BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY

First Black student at BYU walked the halls over eight decades ago

Jan 16, 2023, 2:30 PM | Updated: Jan 17, 2023, 9:26 am

The Brigham Young University campus in Provo is pictured on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. (Deseret News)...

The Brigham Young University campus in Provo is pictured on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. (Deseret News)

(Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah — It is historically believed BYU had its’ first African American student attendee in the 1960s. But new research finds it was much earlier. 

The first black student at Brigham Young was actually a master’s student named Norman Wilson studying agricultural economics from 1937 to 1939. Thirty years earlier than previously believed. 

The discovery was made by BYU graduate, Grace Soelberg, who began researching the university’s relationship to people of color in a funded initiative called the Slavery Project.

The project not only found when the first black person attended the University but also discovered many of its founders had ties to both African American and Native American slavery.

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Brigham Young University

Images from a new BYU study that shows how different the experience of walking home at night is for...

Allessandra Harris

BYU study shows women feel unsafe walking in the dark

The BYU walking study of 600 college-age women and men found women tend to be more aware of their surroundings than men.

24 days ago

Ticketmaster said Monday that some Taylor Swift fans may have another chance to buy tickets to her ...

Allessandra Harris

BYU enters ‘Swiftie Era’ with new college course

BYU has begun offering a new class focusing on pop icon Taylor Swift's work.

2 months ago

Maleny Heiner, BYU graduate, has been stuck in Mexico since August due to a clerical error made by ...

Olivia Calvert

Clerical error has BYU grad stuck in Mexico

Maleny Heiner, BYU graduate, has been stuck in Mexico since August due to a clerical error made by her attorney and has no idea when she will be able to return

3 months ago

a woman sits with her son at a computer...

Don Brinkerhoff

Tutoring may be a ‘good way’ artificial intelligence can help us

As with most things involving artificial intelligence, AI tutoring would begin with a human evaluating what a student already knows.

3 months ago

Space X Starship launch is a step in the right direction as far as a BYU professor, with dreams of ...

Dale Spaulding

BYU professor hopeful for space project, despite SpaceX failure

Dr. Jani Radebaugh is part of a BYU space project group developing a specially designed quadcopter intended for Saturn's moon, Titan.

3 months ago

FILE - Tablets of ibuprofen are arranged for a photograph in New York on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Re...

Emma Keddington

BYU researchers testing new PTSD drug

Researchers at BYU are testing a series of drugs that they hope could prevent the effects of PTSD before stressful events even happen.

4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

First Black student at BYU walked the halls over eight decades ago