Harold I. Hansen
Harold Ivan Hansen was born in Logan, Utah on March 14, 1914. He graduated from Utah State Agricultural College in 1937. He received a Master's Degree from the State University of Iowa in 1940, and his doctorate in 1949.
Dr. Hansen passed away in 1992. A dance studio in the Harris Fine Arts Center was named in his honor at a ceremony in March 1995.
Soon after graduating from Utah State Agricultural College, he served as an LDS missionary in the Eastern States Mission. His first assignment there was to direct the Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra, New York. He married fellow missionary, Betty Kotter on the top of Hill Cumorah. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Logan Temple. Hansen directed the next seventeen annual presentation, and continued to work as a general producer of the Hill Cumorah Pageant for the next forty years. An article detailing his experiences with the Hill Cumorah's Pageant is found in the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies.
During the 1940s, Hansen served as an LDS Church Schools Administrator for seminaries in Utah and Wyoming, and was later the director of the Church Institute at Idaho State University. He was also an associate professor of theatre at Michigan State University and Utah State University.
In 1952, he was hired by President Ernest L. Wilkinson to replace retiring Dr. T. Earl Pardoe as the chair of Brigham Young University's Speech Department. He made significant changes in the theatre production programs, including the implementation of the plans for a new theatre facility, the Harris Fine Arts Center.
Hansen directed 250 productions between 1929 and 1979, initiated the graduate program in the Theatre Department, and was the first director to allow women to do construction work on the set of his productions. He hired faculty members who specialized in theatre, and in total, 38 faculty members were employed under his chairmanship including Lael Woodbury, Charles A. Henson, Charles Metten and Charles W. Whitman.
Hansen served as the Department Chair at BYU until 1966, and remained active in the faculty as a Theatre Professor until his retirement in 1979.
Hansen served as the President of the Rocky Mountian Theatre Association from 1953 and 1965. He was also a member of the American Educational Theatre Association and the Speech Association of America. The American Educational Theatre Association and the United States Department of Defense invited him to provide shows for US Servicemen, and he did so from 1956 to 1974. Through this work with the United Service Organization he earned a Distinguished Service Award, the position of director of the USO, membership on the council of the USO, and chairmanship of the Overseas Touring Committee of the National Education Association.
Hansen received the BYU Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Teaching Award in 1971. In 1975, he received the annual Theta Alpha Phi National Theatre Award for Service.
- Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship: Journal of Book of Mormon Studies. Vol. 13 No. 1-2 (2004)
- Harold I. Hansen Room Naming Ceremony. March 24, 1995. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 84602.