Sunday, October 13, 2013

Honoring Brimhall

Like many of you already know, this year I decided to enter the Brimhall Memorial Essay Contest. Each year, the Brimhall Memorial Essay Contest allows BYU students to get to know one of the BYU founders--men and women who sacrificed for this university so that we could have it today.

This year, the honored founder was the man himself, George H. Brimhall. 

He's an incredible man. He gave all--his time, health, and talents to building up both the kingdom of God and BYU. He believed in the value of education, and he believed in the power of faith. And he knew that they had to grow together in order for the soul to be educated. 

Students and faculty loved him, because he loved them. He gave absolutely everything to these causes, he worked through depression and anxiety, and he believed in dreams. He believed in people. He believed in God. 

And I'm his fifth-great-granddaughter. 

It's an honor to come from such a person as George H. Brimhall. 

And I enjoyed writing an essay about him, his contributions to BYU, and the beauty of studying by faith and reason. 

. . . and winning the contest was just . . . awesome. I wish I had a better word for it. But I was so happy to find out that I won! 

The day I found out I won, my phone was being really weird. So when the guy called to tell me that I had won, this is how the conversation went down: 

Him: "Hello, is this Megan?" 
Me: "Yes." 
Him: "This is so-and-so from BYU Alumni. How has your day been?" 
Me: "Pretty good." 
Him: "Well, I have some news that will make it even better. You're the winner of the 2013 Brimhall Memorial Essay Contest!" 
Me: "That's great! I'm so excited! I, I, that's just great!" 
Him: "Hello? Hello? Hellooooooo?" (he's laughing) 
Me: Oh great. [I move out of the JKB and go outside. He calls again.] 
Him: "Hello?" 
Me: "Hi! Sorry, my phone lost service because I was in the JKB." 
Him: "Oh, I just thought you had passed out." 

I laughed. I'm still laughing. 

I didn't pass out when he told me, but I almost passed out when I read my essay to a full Marriott Center audience on Tuesday. Oh, my legs were shaking so badly. And I'm sure the guy next to me thought I was absolutely crazy. I kept breathing out, "Hoooo, hooo," and I'm pretty sure that at one time I said, "I can do this."

And I did do it! I read my essay in front of all of those people. It was so, so cool. Again, I just don't have good words for it. But it was just an amazing experience for me.

Here are some pictures:

This is me on that big, imposing stage. 

 Now I'm giving my speech. I look pretty passionate and intense. 

Full shot of me looking passionate and intense. 

After the Homecoming Opening Ceremonies, I got to go to the Founders' Luncheon, where I got to meet Elder Groberg and President Samuelson! I got to sit by President Samuelson during lunch, so that was neat. Best part of lunch? My cousin Jayne coming up to the "cool kids' table" with President  and Sister Samuelson, Elder and Sister Groberg, and myself, and asking me to sign her program. Ba-ha. 

With Elder Groberg and President Samuelson. 

Honestly, it was just such an honor for me to give my speech and feel special. It was wonderful, and I'm so grateful and humbled for the opportunity. Although the prize isn't bad either. :) 

-For those who are interested in reading my essay, I will put the link from the BYU Alumni Website as soon as they post it. For now, if you want to read it, please send me an e-mail or a personal message and I'll get it to you.- 


  1. Wow, that is so cool! What a great legacy to live for your great (x5) grandfather :) Congrats Megan!!

  2. I can't wait to read it! Do you have the link yet? You could send it to my email :)