Robert M. Wilkes Named Interim President of BYU–Idaho
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints appointed Robert M. Wilkes to serve as interim president of Brigham Young University–Idaho, effective December 1, 2004. He will serve in this capacity until a new president is selected. Wilkes previously served at Ricks College/BYU–Idaho as a faculty member, as a department head, as a division chair, and most recently as the student life vice president from January of 1999 through December of 2003. He was instrumental in executing the transition of Ricks College to BYU–Idaho and is continuing the mission of the university.
Elder Wirthlin Receives Man of Excellence Award
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was named recipient of the Man of Excellence Award February 13, 2005. Interim President Robert M. Wilkes introduced Elder Wirthlin as a man of “absolute integrity, totally loyal to principle.” President Wilkes illustrated the extent of the Apostle’s testimony by quoting one of Elder Wirthlin’s own statements: “Since early childhood, I have never doubted or had a question as to the divinity of the Church.”
Elder Wirthlin mentioned three individuals who serve as guiding lights today: President Gordon B. Hinckley, the Prophet Joseph Smith, and Jesus Christ. “Their stars shine bright in the annals of history, their examples bright and never failing,” he said. He concluded his address with an invitation to “work every day to be a little more perfect, a little more righteous, a little more holy.” Elder Wirthlin quoted Ether 12:11: “But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way.” He expressed hope that all can “find that excellent way.”
Scroll Receives Praise
Scroll, the BYU–Idaho student newspaper, received awards from the Associated Collegiate Press in the National Pacemaker Contest for the 2003-2004 school year. The Pacemaker Award is the highest honor a college newspaper can receive. Scroll is a Pacemaker winner for both its printed and online versions. BYU–Idaho is one of only 11 online newspapers in the nation to receive the Online Pacemaker award. Recognition for both the online newspaper and the printed version is a special honor.
Elder Hales Speaks at First-ever December Commencement
BYU–Idaho held its first fall semester graduation ceremony December 11, 2004. Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke to the graduates, family, and faculty. He taught principles and life goals to work toward after graduation. “You have achieved an important goal in your life, but it is not the end. It is a new beginning. It is an opportunity to commence upon the challenges of a mortal journey and to do so in the Lord’s way,” he said. He challenged graduates to learn these things now, to stay on the “straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life.”
“Part of staying on the path is continuing to learn. The scriptures are our curriculum for this continuing education,” taught Elder Hales. “It is not a matter of preparation if the storms are going to come in your life. It is a matter of you preparing for when they come into your life,” concluded Elder Hales.
With almost 1,000 students completing their requirements, the university felt there should be an opportunity for them to have a graduation ceremony at the end of the fall semester. Thus there were 563 bachelor’s degrees and 355 associate degrees awarded in December. Graduation ceremonies at BYU–Idaho are now scheduled at the conclusion of each semester: April, August, and December.
BYU–Idaho Education Programs Granted State Approval
On March 10, the Idaho State Board of Education granted approval of BYU–Idaho’s 15 education programs with graduates (or with a student teacher in the final semester). The action follows the recommendation given by the Idaho Professional Standards Commission after their visit to BYU–Idaho campus October 16-20, 2004.
The programs now gaining state accreditation are Art Education, Biology Education, Chemistry Education, Earth Science Education, Elementary Education, English Education, Family and Consumer Science Education, Health Education, History Education, Mathematics Education, Music Education, Physics Education, Social Studies Education, Spanish Education, and Theatre and Speech Education. Rhonda Seamons, dean of the College of Education, says the review team members were impressed with the quality of programs, the strength of the student body and the collegiality of our faculty.
New Academic Leadership
Effective January 1, 2005, several new leaders were named to oversee their area of academics: Jerry Scrivner, associate dean of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Keith Patterson, chair of Department of Accounting; Vaughn Stephenson, chair of Department of Humanities; and Lynn Perkes, chair of Department of Health Science.
King’s Singers and St. Petersburg Classic Ballet Perform
The Center Stage Performing Arts Series brought two world-renowned groups to BYU–Idaho in February. Sold-out performances welcomed the St. Petersburg Classic Ballet from Russia and the King’s Singers from England, one of today’s most famous a cappella groups.
The St. Petersburg Classic Ballet was formed in early 1996. The company artistic director, Marina Medvetskaya, is a disciple of the legendary Vakhtang Chaboukiani and prima ballerina of the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre where she danced all the leading roles in classical and contemporary works.
The King’s Singers started in 1968 by six choral scholars from King’s College in Cambridge, England. The King’s Singers quickly became a prominent musical force in the United Kingdom. From medieval to renaissance, romantic to contemporary, folk and pop, their repertoire is all encompassing. The list of venues at which they have appeared is equally diverse, including many of the world’s major concert halls, European cathedrals, the Hollywood Bowl, Shea Stadium, and Windsor Castle.
BYU–Idaho Elects International Student Body President
BYU–Idaho students elected Eddy dos Santos student body president for the Winter Semester 2005. Santos is the first student body president from Brazil, the oldest at age 28, and the third international student body officer in the school’s history. Missionaries not only introduced Santos to the gospel but also to the goal of attending Ricks College. He is a senior majoring in business management.
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