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The religious nature of the school seemed at the time to collide with this scientific theory. Smith, LDS Church president, settled the question for a time by asking that evolution not be taught at the school.
A few have described the school at this time as nothing more than a "religious seminary".
A series of odd managerial decisions by Cluff led to his demotion; however, in his last official act, he proposed to the Board that the Academy be named "Brigham Young University".
The suggestion received a large amount of opposition, with many members of the Board saying that the school wasn't large enough to be a university, but the decision ultimately passed. Lund, later said, "I hope their head will grow big enough for their hat." Brimhall also presided over the University during a brief crisis involving the theory of evolution.
Under Maeser's direction the school educated many luminaries including future U. Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland and future U. At that time, the school was also still privately supported by members of the community and was not absorbed and sponsored officially by the LDS Church until July 18, 1896.
The quality of the students also increased, leading to higher educational standards at the school. During his administration, a new library was also added, doubling the library space on campus. Holland followed as president in 1980, encouraging a combination of educational excellence and religious faith at the university.
He believed that one of the school's greatest strengths was its religious nature and that this should be taken advantage of rather than hidden. Bateman was responsible for the building of 36 new buildings for the university both on and off campus, including the expansion of the Harold B. He was also one of several key college leaders who brought about the creation of the Mountain West Conference, which BYU's athletics program joined — BYU previously participated in the Western Athletic Conference.
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Brigham Young University (BYU, sometimes referred to colloquially as The Y) is a private, non-profit research university in Provo, Utah, United States completely owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church) and run under the auspices of its Church Educational System. The university's primary focus is on undergraduate education but it also has 68 master's and 25 doctoral degree programs.