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“It’s a blessing to stand on the shoulders of giants,” President Eyring said.

February 9, 2017
Writer: Mackenzie Holbrook

University Relations held a news conference to introduce the new president of BYU-Idaho, Henry J. Eyring.
During the news conference, current President Clark Gilbert spoke about his love for President Eyring and his love from the university.

He said he has known President Eyring for the span of three decades and everyone loves working for him. President Gilbert said President Eyring understands BYU-Idaho in a unique way that has prepared him for this calling.

"I know that the students and the faculty and the staff and administration will love working with President Eyring because he loves this place so much," President Gilbert said. "I also know his wife sister Kelly Eyring will be a wonderful example to the young women and all of the students who are here at this school. She loves this school."

President Gilbert said BYU-Idaho is a remarkable place.

"There's a reason BYU-Idaho is where it is and there's a reason that BYU Pathway Worldwide came from where it came," he said. "This place, deep in its very identity, was built on the culture and history and people who built this valley. There is a pioneering, modest, prophetic, direction seeking people that built this valley."

President Gilbert said, when they found out about their new calling, he and his wife, Christine, called their older children into the room one-by-one to tell them the news.

"We had a wonderful and tender evening," President Gilbert said. "There were some tears - they love this place and they have loved being here."

He said that his younger daughters were more excited than the others when they heard the news.

"Sister Gilbert and I are looking at half the room in tears and half the room bouncing," President Gilbert said. "And one of our daughters said, ‘So, are we packing up tonight?'"

He said he has tried his hardest to be an involved father so his children would know he loved them, no matter how busy their lives became.

"I found myself so grateful that night that they knew and had confidence that our relationship was strong at that moment and nothing would change with it," President Gilbert said. "By the next day, everyone was ready and excited."

President Eyring his father, President Henry B. Eyring, the first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, called him the night the announcement was made.
President Erying said his father was prayed about the decision for a new president of the university and, while he was praying, President Henry B. Eyring remembered a time when his son, challenged him to dunk a basketball.

"His hands are just a little too small, and so the ball kept squirting out," President Eyring said. "But I'll never forget cheering for him and standing on my toes at the moment he jumped. And I think that I felt in that call from him that he was kind of standing on his toes for me. And I'll need that if I'm going to make the kinds of dunk shots that President Gilbert has done."

President Eyring said BYU-Idaho, unlike other universities, operates with a singular focus on the success of its students.

President Eyring said BYU-Idaho students receive a world-class education in secular terms under the leadership of the past presidents of the university, and he hopes he can live up to their legacy.

"It's a blessing to stand on the shoulders of giants," President Eyring said. "There will be new things to come, I'm sure, but so much is established that the innovations will always be occurring as an extension of what has been done and I will be grateful to be a good extender."

He'll take over as president in April after the Winter 2017 Semester ends.