NEWS OF NOTE


Elder L. Tom Perry
Susan K. Bednar
Vaughn Stephenson
Lynn Perkes
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Elder Perry Encourages Steadfastness
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke in a BYU–Idaho devotional on Jan. 24, 2006. He counseled listeners to remain strong in the gospel in spite of the ever-changing values in the world.
      Referring to John 15:19, Elder Perry chose to separate the two phrases of being “in the world” but not “of the world.” He said his focus was to “talk about just being in the world.” Elder Perry emphasized the fact that members of the Church must be a part of the world and help prepare the world for Christ’s second coming. However, in this they cannot fall into “sins of materialism in the world around us.” Elder Perry offered a voice of warning and admonition, saying, “We have embraced and committed ourselves to the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is completely contrary to Satan’s plan. He is doing everything he can to destroy the family. Throughout your life, you must set an example of the principles and doctrines which bring about the blessings of the Lord.”

Susan K. Bednar Named Exemplary Woman
Susan K. Bednar, wife of former BYU–Idaho president Elder David A. Bednar, received the Exemplary Woman Award at a special fireside held Mar. 19, 2006, as part of Mothers’ Weekend and Winter Spirit Week.
      “The purpose is to recognize women who are excellent role models of faithful, righteous womanhood for our students,” said Kris Fillmore, advisor for the Women’s Events Council at BYU–Idaho. “We feel it a special privilege to acknowledge Sister Bednar as a woman who...has influenced thousands of BYU–Idaho students’ lives.”
     Sister Bednar has served in numerous church callings, including Primary president, Young Women president, gospel doctrine teacher, and Primary chorister.

Graduates Receive Counsel and Diplomas at Night Ceremonies
Elder Monte J. Brough of the Presidency of the Seventy shared congratulations and advice with BYU–Idaho graduates at commencement on Friday, Dec. 17, 2005, the first ever held at night.
In his remarks, Elder Brough told graduates that the world is more of a mountain than a lush valley. He said, “We congratulate you, we honor you, we are proud of you.... I say to you wonderful graduates, go climb your mountain.”

     A total of 758 bachelor’s degrees were awarded, 35 percent more than last year’s fall graduation. The increase in students receiving bachelor’s degrees was mirrored by a decreased number of associate degrees; 283 were awarded as opposed to 355 last year. Roy Huff, associate academic vice president, said, “Last April was the first time we awarded more bachelor’s degrees than associates.” Huff indicates the increase in bachelor’s degrees is a sign that the Three Track System is working.

Webcam Monitors Temple Progress
Interested individuals worldwide can watch the ongoing progress of the Rexburg Temple construction. Perched in a quiet corner of the BYU–Idaho campus, a specially-assembled Webcam observes the temple’s progress 24 hours a day. The temple view and other BYU–Idaho webcams can be accessed at www.byui.edu/webcameras.
    
A photographic chronology of the construction is available on the Church’s Web site at www.lds.org/temples.

BeSmart.com Web Design Receives Recognition
The Church Educational System Web site designed at BYU–Idaho received a top honor from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The Web site is a shared resource for all four institutions of higher education and institutes affiliated with the Church. It is creatively designed for prospective students ages 12-18 and offers information to help them prepare for success in higher education.
     The Grand Gold Award, the highest achievable CASE award for an individual entry, was presented in the electronic media category for overall production and design of www.BeSmart.com.  Only one Grand Gold Award is presented in six categories. The competition had over 600 entries from the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. 

First Annual BYU–Idaho Hymn Festival Held
BYU–Idaho held its first annual Hymn Festival Feb. 9, 2006, in the Barrus Concert Hall. The festival featured 13 new hymns with text and music written by BYU–Idaho students and faculty as well as members of the community. Familiar hymns from the LDS hymnal were sung as BYU–Idaho organ students and faculty provided accompaniment on the Ruffatti organ.

Scholarship Aids Disadvantaged
The recently established Heber J. Grant Scholarship Program at BYU–Idaho provides support to students who have overcome circumstances which could have negatively impacted their future. The program is named for Heber J. Grant, seventh president of the Church. President Grant was raised in poverty by his widowed mother. He became a skilled businessman and influential church leader through hard work and persistence.
     Students must provide a description of their situation along with a complete explanation of what they have done during the semester in their personal time. For more information, visit www.byui.edu/heberjgrant.

New Academic Calendar Approved
The BYU–Idaho Board of Trustees has approved a proposal to create a new academic calendar for the institution. Beginning in 2007, the university’s academic calendar will be organized into three 14-week semesters. Classes will be 60 minutes in length with 15 minute breaks in between. Classes will average approximately 30 students each. This change is designed to increase the quality of instruction while allowing a greater number of students to attend classes during the summer semester.

Academic Colleges Realigned
Effective Jan. 1, 2006, academic colleges realigned in response to continued growth and change at BYU–Idaho. The Department of Physical Education, formerly part of the College of Education, moved to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The Department of History, Geography, and Political Science moved to the College of Language and Letters. The newly aligned College of Education and Human Development joins the Departments of Home and Family, Teacher Education, Psychology, Religion, and Sociology and Social Work.

Administrative Changes Approved by Board
The BYU–Idaho Board of Trustees has approved three administrative changes. Ric Page, who has served as the assistant vice president of student life, will assume the newly created position of associate academic vice president of administration. Clark Gilbert, who currently serves as an assistant professor at Harvard Business School, will come to BYU–Idaho in July to serve as the assistant vice president of student life. Spalding Jugganaikloo will serve as chief technology officer beginning in May. He currently is the chief information officer and vice president of information technology at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Illinois.

Changes Made in Academic Leadership
Changes in BYU–Idaho leadership include appointment of Kelly Burgener as dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts, Larry Thurgood as dean of the College of Education and Human Development with John Thomas as associate dean, and Sean Cannon as associate dean of the College of Language and Letters. Other changes include academic chairs: William Torngren, Department of Religion; Karen Holt, Department of English; Susan Whitfield, Department of Theatre; and Garth Miller, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Van Christman is the interim chair of the Department of Teacher Education.

BYU–Idaho Students Help Local Students Compete in Robotics
With the help of BYU–Idaho students and $40,000 in grants from NASA, four local high schools participated in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition in Portland, Ore., in March. Madison, Sugar-Salem, South Fremont, and Rigby High Schools each received $10,000 from NASA; $6,000 per school was required to compete.                                    
     FIRST is a non-profit organization which strives to make science and technology more appealing for students. The FIRST Robotics Competition is a multinational competition in which professionals and high school students team together, under the guidance of university students, to solve an engineering design problem.                             
     This is the first year BYU–Idaho has been active in the competition. The South Fremont team won the Rookie Inspiration Award. “Science, technology and math skills are a critical part of every young person’s education,” said President Kim B. Clark. “Projects that instill in students an interest in science, like the FIRST Robotics Competition, are invaluable. BYU–Idaho is happy to be part of it.”

 Collegiate Singers Perform with Tabernacle Choir
The BYU–Idaho Collegiate Singers performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Sunday, Mar. 12, 2006, during Music and the Spoken Word. This was the Collegiate Singers’ fourth appearance with the Tabernacle Choir. It was an honor for the students to be featured and to join with the choir for a combined number.

Plans Made for Performance Tours
Final plans are being made for three performance arts groups from BYU–Idaho to share their talents this summer. The Church Educational System and the university devote many resources to the performance tour program. Students contribute towards the tour expenses, and philanthropic support and assistance from host organizations make the travel possible. At the invitation of area presidencies, Dance Alliance will perform in Ecuador and Peru. Collegiate Singers will present concerts and firesides in Brazil. The Wind Ensemble will be in Nevada, California, and Utah. Details and tour schedules are available at www.byui.edu/performancetours

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