Filed Under Education

Knight Mangum Building (KMB)

Eventually named for two sisters-in-law, over the course of its life the Knight Mangum Building hosted a New Deal program, women students of BYU, missionaries-in-training, Latter-day Saint historians, and campus faculty. BYU demolished the building in 2008.

In the mid-twentieth century, Brigham Young University’s student population continued to grow as more students from further afield sought enrollment at the flagship university of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In its ongoing efforts to grow the campus, BYU purchased the building which eventually became Knight Mangum Hall in 1943 from the National Youth Administration (NYA), a New Deal program designed to maintain education and employment among young adult men and women.

NYA built the edifice in the mid-1930s as a shop building to teach auto maintenance skills, and BYU initially planned to use the facility for similar purposes in its Industrial Arts program. However, university administrators changed their plans and decided to use the building as a women’s dormitory, renaming it Campus Dormitory. The decision to use the building as housing was so abrupt that few renovations were made to make it suitable for living. The university filled the hall with bunk-beds, and coeds hung sheets from the ceiling to cordon off sleeping spaces and create a semblance of privacy.

BYU began renovating the hall to make it more suitable as a dormitory in 1946 and added a kitchen, dining room, and laundry over eight years. When renovations were completed in 1954, administrators renamed the building Knight Mangum Hall, after Jennie Pearl Knight Mangum and Lucy Jane “Jennie” Brimhall Knight, respectively a daughter and daughter-in-law of Jesse Knight and Amanda McEwan Knight, a philanthropist couple who supported BYU in the early-twentieth century. Jennie Pearl was active in her religious and civic communities and established a scholarship at Provo High School. Lucy Jennie was the daughter of George H. Brimhall, a former BYU president, and in 1898 she had been one of the first two single women to serve as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving alongside Inez Knight, another daughter of the Knights. Both were considered lifelong friends of the university.

By the 1950s, Knight Mangum Hall housed between 280 340 coeds at a time. In the early 1960s, however, huge dormitory complexes like Heritage Halls and Helaman Halls took over the heavy lifting in housing BYU students, perhaps diminishing Knight Mangum’s necessity. In June 1963, the Church took over Knight Mangum to use as a headquarters for its Language Training Mission, which taught missionaries foreign languages for ecclesiastical missions abroad.

In 1976, the Language Training Mission moved into a new headquarters, leaving Knight Mangum Hall back in BYU’s hands. Rather than restore it to housing use, BYU maintained it as an office space for faculty.

Since it was no longer used as a dormitory, at some point the campus began calling it the Knight Mangum Building. Eventually, every department of the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences spent some time in Knight Mangum, as did the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History.

With the building aging and falling behind modern standards for safety, university administration decided to demolish the building. BYU tore down Knight Mangum in the summer of 2008.

Images

Knight Mangum Hall
Knight Mangum Hall Originally designed as a shop building to teach young adults auto maintenance skills, Knight Mangum Hall had a spartan exterior, but during its years as a dormitory it became a home for thousands of students. Source: Image 4. n.d. Brigham Young University photographs of Knight Mangum Hall (UA 827 box 6 folder 17). Courtesy of University Archives, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/SCMisc/id/20832.
Knight Mangum from above
Knight Mangum from above This aerial view of Knight Mangum Hall highlights its multi-level design, which snakes up the hillside. Source: Image 11. n.d. Brigham Young University photographs of Knight Mangum Hall (UA 827 box 6 folder 15). Courtesy of University Archives, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/SCMisc/id/20816.
Jennie Brimhall
Jennie Brimhall Lucy Jane “Jennie” Brimhall Knight was the namesake for the first half of the Knight Mangum Hall name. In 1898, she became one of the first two single women to serve as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Source: “Lucy Jane Brimhall (1875–1957) Profile.” n.d. Church History Biographical Database. https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/chd/individual/lucy-jane-brimhall-1875?timelineTabs=all-events.
Sister Brimhall of the British Mission
Sister Brimhall of the British Mission Lucy Jane “Jennie” Brimhall is the sixth from the right on the second row. To the right of Brimhall is Inez Knight, her missionary companion at the time. Source: “Manchester Conference, British Mission.” F. Kenworthy, April 24, 1898. Courtesy of the Church History Library (PH 4094). https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/record/378d04f3-2c38-421e-ae58-1d4d6fb09027/0?view=browse.
Jennie Mangum
Jennie Mangum Jennie Pearl Knight Mangum was the namesake for the second half of the Knight Mangum Hall name. In life, Mangum was a leader in her local Church communities, and she established a scholarship at Provo High School. Source: Jennie Pearl Knight discovery person page. FamilySearch. https://ancestors.familysearch.org/en/KWC5-N6Z/jennie-pearl-knight-1885-1973.
Expansion
Expansion The image is undated, but it may have been taken between 1946 and 1954, when BYU renovated and expanded the building to better suit use as a dormitory. Source: Image 10. n.d. Brigham Young University photographs of Knight Mangum Hall (UA 827 box 6 folder 15). Courtesy of University Archives, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/SCMisc/id/20815.
Dedication program
Dedication program This clipping comes from a program for a dedicatory ceremony held on May 26, 1954 in which David O. McKay, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dedicated twenty-two buildings. At this time, the Campus Dormitory was renamed Knight Mangum Hall. Source:  Image 8. n.d. Brigham Young University photographs of Knight Mangum Hall (UA 827 box 6 folder 16). Courtesy of University Archives, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/SCMisc/id/20825.
Dedication bios
Dedication bios These brief biographies of Jennie Knight Mangum and Lucy Jane Brimhall Knight appeared in the programs for the dedication ceremony held May 26, 1954. Source: Dedication and Naming of 22 Buildings, (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University, May 26, 1954), 62–63. In folder 3, box 87, Office of the President Records, 1949–1965 (UA 1086 Series 8), University Archives, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. https://archives.lib.byu.edu/repositories/ltpsc/archival_objects/3f12d0f1a24c84f043c4442f985357f6.
Knight Mangum and the Social Hall
Knight Mangum and the Social Hall Knight Mangum Hall is the building on the left in the background; on the right in the foreground is the Social Hall mentioned in the second-to-last paragraph of the dedication program’s description of Knight Mangum, as seen in the preceding image. Source: [Knight Mangum Hall and the Social Hall, ca. 1954]. BYU Photographs collection. Courtesy of the University Archives, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/BYUPhotos/id/514.
Knight Mangum dining
Knight Mangum dining While BYU students living in Helaman Halls in the twenty-first century are accustomed to leaving their dormitory buildings to eat at the Cannon Center, Knight Mangum Hall included a dining hall and kitchen within its own walls. Source: Image 1. n.d. Brigham Young University photographs of Knight Mangum Hall (UA 827 box 6 folder 17). Courtesy of University Archives, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/SCMisc/id/20829.
Knight Mangum cooking
Knight Mangum cooking On-site dining was possible thanks to an in-house kitchen and the labors of the cooking staff. Source: Image 2. 1956. Brigham Young University photographs of Knight Mangum Hall (UA 827 box 6 folder 17). Courtesy of University Archives, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/SCMisc/id/20830.

Location

The Knight Mangum hill snaked up the hill along Campus Drive. Today, the Engineering Building stands in approximately the same place.

Metadata

Makoto Hunter, Brigham Young University, “Knight Mangum Building (KMB),” Intermountain Histories, accessed May 20, 2024, https://www.intermountainhistories.org/items/show/570.