News of Note

News of Note


Elder Holland Encourages BYU–Idaho graduates

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged BYU–Idaho graduates to “show...gratitude to God for the blessings of a wonderful life, including a magnificent experience at BYU–Idaho.” He said, “Gratitude is something that costs you nothing and means everything to those who receive it.”

            He then told graduates to have faith in the future. “Never, in any age or time or circumstance, let fear and the father of fear, who is Satan himself, divert us from our faith and faithful living.”

            He encouraged the graduates to put the kingdom of God first in their lives, to rise above desires for power, wealth, and worldly recognition.

            In addition to Elder Holland, Elder W. Rolfe Kerr, Commissioner of the Church Educational System and member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and Interim President Robert M. Wilkes addressed the graduates. The commencement exercises were held April 23. A total of 1,600 students earned degrees. There were 1,142 bachelor’s degrees awarded and 478 associate degrees.


BYU–Idaho Premieres The Testament of Paul

Brigham Young University–Idaho presented the premiere performance of Utah native David Zabriskie’s The Testament of Paul, His Witness of Christ to the World on March 10 in Rexburg. Under the direction of R. Kevin Call, the BYU–Idaho Symphony Orchestra combined with more than 200 voices from the Collegiate Singers and Men’s and Women’s Choirs to share Paul’s witness of Christ. At the premiere’s conclusion Zabriskie joined the audience in a standing ovation for the 300 BYU–Idaho student performers. Performances of The Testament of Paul were also presented in Salt Lake City, Provo, and Logan, Utah; and in Boise, Idaho.

            Zabriskie was commissioned in 2003 by BYU–Idaho to compose this scripture-based musical oratorio. In 1989 BYU–Idaho began commissioning LDS composers biennially to create religious oratorios based on scripture.


Savior of the World Production Comes to Idaho

Brigham Young University–Idaho has received permission to present Savior of the World. Performances are scheduled November 15-19, 29-30 and December 1-3, 6-10, 2005. Savior of the World is a musical drama regularly presented by the Church in the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City. The Priesthood Executive Council of the Church approved the presentation at BYU–Idaho as a student activity and a service to the community. Students and community members will be invited to participate. Orchestra, vocal, and choral groups will be involved. The presentation depicts the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ in a non-denominational, appealing way. Tickets are available through the BYU–Idaho Ticket Office (1-800-717-4257 or


Campus Construction Update

Funds have been appropriated for remodeling the Eliza R. Snow Center for the Performing Arts and for constructing a new president’s home. Other notable renovations include upgrades to the George S. Romney Building, the John L. Clarke Family Living Center, and the Thomas E. Ricks Gardens. Modification to the Snow Center includes three separate additions: one at the southwest corner for the Department of Theatre, one at the northeast corner for the Department of Music, and one at the southeast corner for practice rooms and faculty offices. A new presidential home is being built with a view of the Rexburg Temple, now under construction. Designed by Rulon Nielsen, BYU–Idaho Manager of Facility Planning and Construction, the home will be single story with a basement. Construction should be completed by March 2006. The existing presidential home has been in use since

Elder Bruce Hafen’s administration in the late 1970s.


New Academic Leaders Named

John Ivers has been named the associate dean of the College of Language and Letters. In addition to teaching, Ivers is a member of the Secondary Education Advisory Council. In 2003 he received the Distinguished Faculty Award. The position of Animal Science Department Chair has been accepted by Kerry Powell. Powell has taught in the Animal Science Department for four years. Prior to that he was a self-employed embryo transfer specialist for several years and worked as a staff employee at the BYU agricultural station.


BYU–Idaho Students Participate in Temple Ground Breaking

BYU–Idaho students were among the approximate 8,000 who witnessed the ground-breaking ceremonies for the Rexburg Temple held Saturday, July 30. The eight student stakes at BYU–Idaho are included in the proposed 17-stake temple district that spreads northward to Montana. Members of the combined university stake choirs and BYU–Idaho’s Summer Chamber Choir raised their voices in the hymn “Let the Mountains Shout for Joy,” directed by Kevin Brower.

            The addresses frequently referred to students, their diversity, their future influence, and the impact of having a temple so close to campus at a time in their lives when many vital decisions are made. Elder Ronald J. Hammond said, “Temples are the focus of an eternal family.”

            Elder John H. Groberg presided over the services. He said, “Temples are a connecting point between heaven and earth.” He promised “blessings follow obedience” and bore his witness that “there is a closer connection between heaven and earth than many of us recognize.”

            Students at BYU–Idaho come from more than 45 countries and throughout the United States. For many it was their first opportunity to be present when the earth was ceremoniously broken for construction of a temple. The two-year construction period on the 18-acre plot adjacent to the campus will be a constant reminder of the need for spiritual development. Progress on the temple can be viewed at


The CIA Recruits BYU–Idaho Students

This summer CIA recruiters came to BYU–Idaho campus for the first time. Over the course of two days, recruiters spoke to over 350 students. It was an agenda they described to Placement Center Director Bob Maxfield as their busiest schedule at any campus ever. “They were shocked that in the summer they would have that kind of response,” Maxfield said. The CIA has recruited at BYU in Provo and BYU-Hawaii for several years. Maxfield described their presence at BYU–Idaho as “closing the circle.” As a four-year institution, BYU–Idaho acts as a viable resource for future employees.


Education Week Devotional: Elder Robert C. Oaks

Keeping with the Education Week theme, “Stand In Holy Places,” in his devotional address, Elder Robert C. Oaks of the Presidency of the Seventy spoke about the home, chapels, and temples as important places of holiness.

            “Walking through the door to our home should provide an immediate contrast to the rest of the…world,” Elder Oaks said. Smiling faces, expressions of love, sincere concern, and good deeds will bring a holy atmosphere.

            “At the very top of our list of holy places should be the temples of our Lord,” Elder Oaks said. The temple is a source of revelation and eternal blessings that cannot be fully appreciated in this life. Temple work is also critical for the progress of deceased loved ones.

            Over 2,000 individuals participated in Education Week June 22-25, 2005. They enjoyed devotionals, evening events, and a selection of over 300 classes on such topics as the gospel, family, arts, food storage, and self-improvement. Education Week at BYU–Idaho is open to anyone 14 years and older. The event in 2006 is planned for June 28-July 1 through the Division of Continuing Education. For more information visit


Jeanine Mickelsen Named Exemplary Woman

Jeanine Andersen Mickelsen ’58 was the recipient of the 2005 Brigham Young University–Idaho Exemplary Woman Award. Sister Mickelsen is the wife of Elder Lynn A. Mickelsen of the Quorum of the Seventy and an alumna of Ricks College. BYU–Idaho Interim President Robert Wilkes presented Mickelsen with the award March 20, 2005, during the Mothers’ Weekend fireside.

            After accepting the award, Sister Mickelsen spoke of the importance of motherhood. She challenged the audience to look unto and trust in God. “You will see yourself as a child of God with divine parentage, with an infinite capacity to grow spiritually and to become spiritually more like God. You will see men and women in the world over as your brothers and sisters. Look unto Him in every thought. Today is the day to prepare to meet Christ.”


Faculty Openings Continue the Transition

The search for qualified faculty continues the transition at BYU–Idaho. Since 2001, over 170 new and replacement faculty positions have been filled as the baccalaureate programs have rolled out. BYU–Idaho focuses on the scholarship of learning and teaching while enhancing the “Spirit of Ricks.” President Kim B. Clark describes the faculty as “teachers of skill, passion, and commitment.”

            For Fall 2006, faculty positions are open in academic learning (mathematics), animal science, biology (botany), business management (supply chain), chemistry, computer science, economics, health science, history, humanities, library (reference librarian), mathematics, music, physical education, physics, political science, and teacher education (early childhood). Applications are due by December 30. Details are listed at





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