“Camilla Kimball Academic Chair Helps BYU Achieve Family Studies Role,” Ensign, Dec. 1982, 70
The establishment of the Camilla Eyring Kimball Chair of Home and Family Life for the nurturing and perfecting of families was announced by Brigham Young University in mid-October.
“The chair will assist Brigham Young University to become the preeminent academic institution in the nation in family-related studies,” BYU President Jeffrey R. Holland said. He reported that “BYU is already recognized among the top two or three academic institutions in the nation in relation to family.”
Through the auspices of the Camilla Eyring Kimball Chair, eminent scholars in family sciences will be brought to BYU for short periods of time to conduct seminars, workshops, courses and lectures, or participate in research, said Martin B. Hickman, dean of BYU’s college of family, home, and social sciences.
The chair was established in Sister Kimball’s name “because Sister Kimball’s life reflects the values which lie at the heart of the family and challenges all to reach their highest educational, spiritual, and emotional potential in a family-centered life,” he said.
The chair will focus on efforts to (1) strengthen the home and family life, and (2) increase vision of the roles and potential of women and their contribution to both family and society.
Born in the LDS colonies in Mexico in 1894, Sister Kimball moved to the United States in 1912 to escape the Mexican revolution. She soon went to live with her uncle in Provo, Utah, studied home economics at BYU, and taught home economics at Millard Academy in central Utah. In 1917, she accepted a teaching position at Gila Academy in Arizona, and later that year she and Spencer W. Kimball were married.
Concerning family studies, Sister Kimball has said, “A woman should be skilled in child training, in psychology and sociology, in economics and management, in nutrition and nursing. In fact, a well-rounded education will be a great help in caring for and training a family.
“Some people feel that their responsibilities stifle them. I feel that fulfilling obligations is the best way to grow. Any woman should be alive to opportunities—alive to public interest, to her family, to growth from Church service.”
On the issue of education for wives and mothers, she has said: “It is sometimes urged that education for women is not as important as education for men, but there is no real difference.”
In announcing the chair, President Holland noted that BYU “is grateful not only to Camilla Kimball—whose life serves as the inspiration for this chair—but to all whose time and treasure are helping to make this chair possible.”
Contributions are invited from persons interested in helping to endow the chair. Those interested may contact the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences at BYU. Further information can be obtained by contacting the Church Development Board at A376 Abraham O. Smoot Building, BYU.