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Inaugural Welcome to President Alvin F. Meredith III

Inauguration of President Alvin F. Meredith III

Audio of "Inauguration Welcome from BYU-Idaho Faculty Association President"
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President Meredith, on behalf of the faculty, it is my privilege to welcome you and Sister Meredith to BYU-Idaho.

At the first official meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fayette, New York, a mere 60 people huddled together in a rustic log cabin. However, John Taylor said, “they saw visions of heaven, and gazed upon the eternal world.”[1] Just like that log cabin, small, seemingly unremarkable places like Rexburg can yield an eternal vision when we collaborate with love. 

In our rural and rarified Rexburg, wheat and potato fields may dot our outside views, but inside BYU-Idaho hallways, labs, and concert halls, we revel in Plato, in physics, scriptures, and Brahms. The faculty here have learned to love this set-apart world, and they personify what former president Bruce Hafen described as “deep religious faith and demanding intellectual rigor [that] are mutually reinforcing.”[2]

I regularly see illustrations of faculty and students using this kind of faith and intellect on campus: the chemistry professor who could work at any research lab in the country deliberately mentoring students in the classroom and on riverside excursions; the award-winning, widely published English professor who carefully coaches first-year writers; members of the faculty association who spend long hours pouring over faculty surveys; the professor who sends each student a personalized postcard when the Spirit directs. Examples like these make our campus world feel like an eternal one.

President Meredith, we have already seen your ability to beautifully model this blending of present perspectives with an eternal, holy vision. In our first meeting together, you told me that you wanted to focus on listening for 100 days in your new position. Your impulse to listen will help us to “gaze upon the eternal world” as we accomplish daily, sanctified work both inside and outside of the classroom.

As faculty, we are grateful for the chance to work alongside you, President Meredith, to continue to prepare the youth of Zion to cultivate faith and intellect that will lead to their own eternal visions.


[1] History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, vol. 6 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1950), 295.

[2] Bruce C. Hafen, “Reason, Faith, and the Things of Eternity” [address given at the Brigham Young University Annual Maxwell Institute Lecture] Mar. 21, 2008