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Oral history interview with William E. Berrett

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA OH 69

Scope and Contents

Interview by Thomas E. Cheney with William E. Berrett concerning the history of the LDS Church Education System, particularily the Seminary and Institutes program. Also speaks on the development of religious instruction at BYU, his experiences with Ernest Wilkinson, and the development of BYU from 1948-1971. Also discusses the discontinuance of social units at BYU, the organization of BYU wards, and the establishment of the ROTC program. Includes transcript and sound recording.

Dates

  • 1982

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Oral history interview with William E. Berrett must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

William E. Berrett (1902-1993) was an attorney, professor and administrator, author and Mormon patriarch in Utah.

William Edwin Berrett was born to Heber H. Berrett and Ellen E. Walker in Midvale, Utah on June 2, 1902. Having graduated from Jordan High School, he received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Utah in 1924 which he used to work as a principal of the LDS Seminary in Roosevelt, Utah. In 1926, while working on his law degree at the University of Utah, he married Eleanore Louise Callister in the Salt Lake Temple.

After graduating with a law degree, Berrett worked in a variety of positions between 1935-1947. This included being an editor for the Church Education System's curriculum development department, an author of two books ("The Restored Church" and "Readings in LDS Church History"), a special prosecutor for Utah's Office of Price Administration, an assistent U.S. Attorney in Alaska, opening a private practice in Salt Lake City, and serving as a member of the Deseret Sunday School Union's General Board. In 1947, he was hired by Brigham Young University to serve as a faculty member in two departments (Church History and the ROTC) and was shortly after appointed to serve as the Vice President of BYU and the CES in 1953. He continued to serve in the Seminary and Institute programs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until they were separated from BYU in 1965, and after serving as the head of Seminaries, Institutes, and all the non-BYU Church-run colleges, he finally retired in 1972 to work on a three-volume history of the Church Educational System which was later published in 1988 as the one-volume history "A Miracle in Week-day Education." This all happened while he and his wife raised their four children.

After retirement, Berrett finished his life serving as a patriarch in the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. December 2, 1993, he passed away in Utah.

Extent

5 folders (0.1 linear ft.)

1 volume

Language

English

Appraisal

University history (University Archives collecting policy, February 2010).

General

Includes table of contents and name index.

General

Recorded in Provo, Utah.

General

Recorded as part of the Joint Oral History Project of the BYU Archives.
Title
Register of Oral history interview with William E. Berrett
Status
Completed
Author
Jennifer Kim
Date
2011 August 17
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

Contact:
1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States