Bateman was also president during the September 11th attacks in 2001.

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He believed that one of the school's greatest strengths was its religious nature and that this should be taken advantage of rather than hidden. Bateman was responsible for the building of 36 new buildings for the university both on and off campus, including the expansion of the Harold B. He was also one of several key college leaders who brought about the creation of the Mountain West Conference, which BYU's athletics program joined — BYU previously participated in the Western Athletic Conference.

During his administration, the university added a campus in Jerusalem, now called the BYU Jerusalem Center. A BYU satellite TV network also opened in 2000 under his leadership.

During his tenure, the student body increased six-fold, making BYU the largest private school at the time. Oaks continued the expansion of his predecessor, adding a law school and proposing plans for a new School of Management.

The quality of the students also increased, leading to higher educational standards at the school. During his administration, a new library was also added, doubling the library space on campus. Holland followed as president in 1980, encouraging a combination of educational excellence and religious faith at the university.

He was the first BYU president to have a doctoral degree.

Harris made several important changes to the school, reorganizing it into a true university, whereas before, its organization had remnants of the Academy days.

Notwithstanding, each Sunday LDS Church services for students are conducted on campus, but due to the large number of students attending these services, nearly all of the buildings and possible meeting spaces on campus are utilized (in addition, many students attend services off campus in LDS chapels in the surrounding communities).

The campus is home to several museums containing exhibits from many different fields of study.

The suggestion received a large amount of opposition, with many members of the Board saying that the school wasn't large enough to be a university, but the decision ultimately passed. Lund, later said, "I hope their head will grow big enough for their hat." Brimhall also presided over the University during a brief crisis involving the theory of evolution.

The religious nature of the school seemed at the time to collide with this scientific theory. Smith, LDS Church president, settled the question for a time by asking that evolution not be taught at the school.

At the beginning of his tenure, the school was not officially recognized as a university by any accreditation organization.