September 13, 2017
Writer: Noelle Helm
The formal installation of Henry J. Eyring as Brigham Young University-Idaho's seventeenth president will take place on Tuesday, September 19.
Trish Gannaway, guest hosting and institutional events coordinator, helps oversee the planning for the inauguration, which will be comprised of three events that day.
"There's an inaugural art exhibit and a luncheon for invited guests, and then the ceremony, which is open to all students and employees," Gannaway said.
Months of planning culminate to these three events, the fruition of hard work made manifest in one day. Gannaway said brainstorming for the inauguration began in February, right after Elder Dallin H. Oaks announced Henry J. Eyring as the next president.
"As soon as we received word that we were getting a new president, we started thinking about what things we needed to be doing," Gannaway explained.
The planning became more in-depth in May, once a date was established and a timeline could be crafted. Meticulous planning is requisite for an event as significant as an inauguration.
"An inauguration is the chance for a president to share his vision for the university," Gannaway said. "That is really what it is for. It also enables the university to understand how it is guided by the leaders of the Church and how much interest they have in student success."
Though not all of the formalities of a traditional inauguration have been carried on at BYU-Idaho, elements of tradition remain. Six speakers will have a chance to make remarks during the inauguration, three of which are traditional welcomes to the new president. These will be heard from the Faculty Association, the Student Representative Council, and the Alumni Association.
Some of the most fundamental and ceremonious aspects of the inauguration are the formal installation and charge, and the inaugural response. The charge will be given by the presiding authority, President Henry B. Eyring. Once this charge is given, the new president speaks.
"Henry J. Eyring will then speak and that is the inaugural response. That is where he has the opportunity to respond to the charge that he will be given," Gannaway explained.
To ensure that every aspect of the inauguration is carried out smoothly, a mindset of perfection is established.
"The biggest step is to just do everything flawlessly," Gannaway said. "Everything that goes out from my team has to be perfect, which is a really tall order, but we try to get in that mindset. We want quality over speed."
The most recent inauguration was held just two years ago, which has enabled all of those involved in the planning to move forward with this year's preparation with readiness and enthusiasm.
"The announcement of BYU-Pathway Worldwide is so fantastic, but like everyone else on campus, I was sad to find out the Gilberts would be leaving BYU-Idaho so soon," Gannaway explained. "However, I was absolutely thrilled to be working with the Eyrings, so instead of being burdened and overwhelmed to be planning another inauguration again, I was excited. President Gilbert's inauguration was in 2015, so it was recent enough that many of the things are the same. We have the same facilities, we have the same setup, and basically the same players. We can remember what things worked well and what didn't work."
Gannaway hopes students and employees will fill the auditorium on the day of the inauguration.
"It is the biggest event that happens at the university, and really an awesome opportunity for those who attend," she said.
Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as seats cannot be saved past 1:40 p.m. The doors will be opened for those who arrive late, and overflow seating in the Hart Auditorium will accommodate all other attendees once the I-Center has reached capacity.
In conjunction with the Inauguration, a special Inaugural Art Exhibit will run for one month, from September 19 to October 20 in the Jacob Spori Art Gallery. The exhibit will feature the artwork of President Henry B. Eyring. Over the past 60 years, President Eyring has created hundreds of watercolor paintings and drawings. For the first time, some of the pieces will be on public display. Admission is free, but tickets are required. Visit www.byui.edu/tickets or call 208-496-3170 to reserve tickets.