A Legacy Remembered

Elder David A. Bednar began serving in 1997 as the fourteenth President of Ricks College. During his tenure of seven and a half years, many innovative advances were instituted across campus. In June of 2000, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced that Ricks College would become a baccalaureate-granting institution. Elder Bednar led the transition to a four-year university as the school became Brigham Young University-Idaho. As part of that transition, the Three Track System for admission—an equivalent of year-round school—was introduced, allowing more students to attend. Intercollegiate athletics were phased out and a new activities program was implemented to provide greater opportunities for student participation and learning. In addition, several new buildings were added to the face of campus, and many other existing structures have been renovated. Other enhancements include the introduction of 50 baccalaureate programs, an expanded internship program, a heightened focus on devotionals and use of the scriptures, and a special emphasis to preserve and enhance the “Spirit of Ricks.” Yet, even with these advancements, Elder Bednar’s love for students and his efforts to provide them an opportunity of learning within a gospel-centered environment will remain his lasting legacy. SM

Above, Elder David A. Bednar, the president during the transition, served from 1997-2004 *Clockwise, Elder Bednar and his wife Susan often shared the pulpit as they counseled students. *The Bednar inauguration was presided over by President Hinckley Frebruary 27, 1998. * "Let's see if we're ready," Elder Bednar encouraged personal preparation for weekly devotionals. * Discussions shared with friends of BYU-Idaho. * The ground breaking for the Student Health Center was one of seven during his tenure. * A perpetual teacher, Elder Bednar stressed "the most effective teaching and learning experiences occur 'one by one'." * Torch parades with President Bednar in the lead became a Spirit Week tradition.