The First Child
The family piece just southwest of the Wilkinson Center is a sculptural work by Dennis Smith done in 1977. When the Smith Family Living Center was landscaped in 1957, a circular area 30 ft. in diameter was left in the concrete walk southeast of the building. It was planted in lawn, and served no logical or aesthetic purpose for the following twenty years. Then in 1977, funds were made available to commission Dennis Smith of Highland, Utah to create a statue with a family theme. When it came to choosing a location on campus for this bronze sculpture, all concerned were in agreement that this circular area was the proper place. Boyd Datwyler, BYU Landscape Architect, designed the base in collaboration with the sculptor. Christiansen Brothers, who were then building the Kimball Tower, constructed the base. The bronze casting was done by Wasatch Bronze of Lehi, Utah.
The First Child first appeared on campus in 1979 to celebrate the Sesquicentennial of the Church. (DU) It features a couple flanking both sides of a child, all of whom are walking toward the Lee Library and Wilkinson Center.