History of the Y
The Y first appeared on Provo's Mountains in 1906, after the first materials for Brigham Young University's emblem were hauled to the base of the hill. President George H. Brimhall commissioned Ernest D. Partridge and three of his students to survey the letters B, Y and U on the hill and the letters were soon thereafter laid out. To create the emblem, students stood eight feet apart, stretching from the bottom of the hill to the site of the Y, and shuttled lime, sand and rocks between the person before and after them. It took so much time and effort to cover the Y that no attempt was made to do the other two letters.
Constant repairs to the thin, lime-covered letter prompted students to add a layer of rock to the face of the Y in 1907. In 1908, 20,000 pounds of sand and cement were added to make a three-foot rim around the letter, and in 1910 and 1911, the blocks or serifs were added to create the Y as it appears today. The Y is 380 feet high and 130 feet wide, covering 32,847 square feet and is one of the largest school emblems of its kind in the United States.