Junius F. Wells Award - 2008: Douglas Smoot

Doug Smoot - 03
L. Douglas Smoot

On October 17, 2008, the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation presented its Junius F. Wells Award for 2008 to L. Douglas Smoot of Provo, Utah. The presentation was appropriately presented at the Brigham Young Academy that Brother Smoot worked so hard to bring about its preservation and restoration.

In attendance were many family, LDS Church and Civic leaders and dignitaries all honoring Doug Smoot for his historic contribution and service to the Provo community. The program was narrated by radio personality Mark Van Wagoner and included a special musical arrangement by Mindy Robins, daughter of Brother Smoot, and under the direction of Kenneth Mays a video tribute on the life and accomplishments Douglas Smoot was presented.


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The spirit of preservation of the Brigham Young Academy is in the genes of L. Douglas Smoot. It was Doug’s great-grandfather, Abraham O. Smoot, who in 1868 was sent to Provo by Brigham Young, and who was later made the first president of the Brigham Young Academy Board of Trustees (1875-1895). Through President Smoot’s leadership and sacrifice the BY Academy Building we sit in tonight was dedicated in 1892. Now today we honor Doug Smoot for his vision and leadership in restoring this building to its former beauty and grandeur.

Doug grew up in neighboring Springville where he met and married his childhood sweetheart, Marian Bird. They are the proud parents of four daughters, who with their spouses, all graduated of BYU.

T he distinguished professional career of Doug began in 1957 when he graduated with honors from BYU. Then followed his MS and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington in 1958 and 1960. After a short time with Lockheed and the California Institute of Technology, he returned to BYU and became the Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department for seven years, and Dean of Engineering and Technology for seventeen years. His profession credentials include Distinguished Faculty Lecturer at BYU, and the University’s Presidential Award. He also received the first Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology in Utah. Besides local recognition Doug is an internationally recognized authority in energy, combustion, and fossil fuels, and he has consulted with over 100 organizations in the U.S. and many foreign countries. He served an appointed term with the U.S. Senate for the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment. For his services he received the U.S. Department of Energy’s Homer H. Lowry Gold Medal, and the International ASME Percy Nichols Award.

In addition, Doug’’s contributions to church and community are numerous. He has served as a bishop, a stake president, and in the Fifth Quorum of Seventy; and on several boards including Provo City’s Economic Development Board, and Provo’s Energy Department Board. In all his character and leadership are recognized and appreciated. The quest to restore this magnificent and historically rich structure began for Doug in 1995 and culminated with its dedication in 2001 as the Provo City Library at Academy Square.