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J. Wyley Sessions papers on Brigham Young University, 1939-1978

Identifier: UA 156 Series 3 Sub-Series 4

Scope and Contents

Contains notes, correspondence, and other materials related to Sessions' work at Brigham Young University.


  • 1939-1978


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 the J. Wyley Sessions collection must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

From the Collection:

J. Wyley Sessions (1885-1977) was a Mormon educator and missionary in Utah and Idaho.

James Wyley Sessions was born on December 11, 1885 in Marion, Idaho to Harvey and Alice Bryson Sessions. He studied agriculture at Utah State Agricultural College, earning his bachelor's degree in 1911. He married Annie Magdalen Funk on September 17, 1913 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and they had three children together. In 1917, Sessions took a position as professor of agriculture at the University of Idaho, Southern Branch. However, in 1919 he was called to service as a mission president for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in South Africa between 1920 and 1926.

Upon his return, Sessions was sent to establish the institute program at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. He was transferred to the University of Idaho, Southern Branch in 1930, then to the University of Wyoming in 1935. In 1936 he was called to be the director of the Missionary Training School in Salt Lake City, Utah before returning to the institute program in Logan, Utah in 1938.

In 1939 Sessions was appointed as head of the Division of Religion at Brigham Young University. During his tenure he worked to organize the division into subject-based departments, and supervised the building of the Joseph Smith Building. He also worked to arrange for religious activities on campus, such as devotionals, Sunday School, and a Mutual Improvement Association. In 1947 he resigned from the university, but remained in Provo, Utah working as a home builder and developer. Sessions retired to Los Angeles, California in 1965, and passed away there on April 21, 1977.


8 folders

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

More detailed finding aid available in repository upon request.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections. University Archives Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo UT 84602 US