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2023 Inauguration Address by Ronald A. Rasband

Inauguration of President Alvin F. Meredith III

Inaugural Address
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Good morning, brothers, sisters, and friends and Meredith family members. I am deeply honored and very grateful to join each of you on this most historic occasion. Elder Christofferson, I am grateful to be your companion today as we represent the First Presidency in their role as Officers of Brigham Young University-Idaho’s Board of Trustees.

We are also pleased to acknowledge a few of BYU-Idaho’s past presidents who are with us today, including Elder Kim B. Clark, Elder Clark G. Gilbert, and President Henry J. Eyring. President Henry B. Eyring and Elder David A. Bednar send their love on this historic day. We honor each of these leaders who have had such an impact on this university.

President and Sister Meredith, what a heritage you continue as the next president of this remarkable institution. It is indeed a pleasure to be here with you today on this special occasion. Your seeking of and responsiveness to the promptings of the Holy Ghost have guided the life experiences you have had, both individually and as you have led and loved your family. You have been brought by divine design to this wonderful institution at this season of your lives.

In coming to this role, your name, President Meredith, along with Jennifer’s, was approved by the First Presidency and the full Board of Trustees of BYU-Idaho. We love and trust you both and know your service here will amplify BYU-Idaho’s mission to build disciples of Jesus Christ who will become leaders in their homes, the Church, and their communities.

I feel it is valuable for us to take a moment to understand what is about to happen today. A presidential inauguration is a momentous occasion for any university.

In the case of the Church Educational System, it is important to recognize that the governance of these institutions operates under the guidance of a unique and distinctive Board of Trustees. This was true in the inaugural proceedings at Brigham Young University last month, and it is true of what we are here to do today at BYU-Idaho. Both schools share the exact same Board of Trustees.

BYU-Idaho is founded, supported, and guided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Like all CES institutions, BYU-Idaho’s Board is led by the First Presidency, with President Russell M. Nelson serving as Chairman, President Dallin H. Oaks as First Vice Chairman, and President Henry B. Eyring as Second Vice Chairman. As assigned by the First Presidency, an Executive Committee of the Board provides oversight and direction. In our current assignments, Elder D. Todd Christofferson chairs that Executive Committee and is joined by me as his Vice Chairman. Elder Paul V. Johnson of the Presidency of the Seventy and President Camille N. Johnson, the Relief Society General President, are also assigned to the Executive Committee. The Commissioner of Education, Elder Clark G. Gilbert, then provides the interface between the university and both the Executive Committee and the Board. This is why the five of us not only have the privilege of participating in today’s program, but we also have the specific assignment from the First Presidency to conduct the business of the Board here today.

It is also why in a moment, Elder Christofferson, representing the First Presidency as Chairman of the Executive Committee of BYU-Idaho’s Board of Trustees, with me assisting him, will formally install Alvin F. Meredith III as the 18th president of BYU-Idaho. In addition to this installation, President Meredith will be given a charge from the Board of Trustees. This charge will outline guidance and prophetic direction the Board has for President Meredith as he takes the helm of this university. This prophetic charge and governance structure creates a tremendous advantage for BYU-Idaho, its president, the work of its faculty and staff, and the spiritual development of its students. The distinctive characteristics of being student-centered and teaching-focused, coupled with its innovative roots, will continue to direct this institution in accomplishing its designed destiny and purpose.

With that background, Elder Christofferson will now install Alvin F. Meredith III as the 18th president of Brigham Young University-Idaho.