On Tuesday, February 7, history was made at BYU-Idaho. On this date, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the creation of a new world-wide online university, known as Brigham Young University Pathway Worldwide (BYUPW). This organization will serve students across the world to reach their higher education goals.
This announcement affected BYU-Idaho in a very personal way. President Clark G. Gilbert, the current president of BYU-Idaho, was named as the president of BYUPW. President Gilbert and his family have served BYU-Idaho for nearly two years. He and his family have become a beloved part of the university, and they will be missed as they move to fulfill this new call.
After the announcement of BYUPW and President Gilbert’s new position, another historic announcement was made at the weekly devotional. Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Elder Kim B. Clark, former president of BYU-Idaho and current member of the Quorum of the Seventy came to speak to the students and announced the new president of the university. Henry J. Eyring, current Academic Vice President of BYU-Idaho, will assume responsibility as president of the university beginning in the Spring semester. President Eyring and his family have served the university for many years and we are excited to be under his leadership.
After the announcement of the new president was made, Elder Oaks, who conducted the devotional, allowed President Eyring, President Gilbert, and Elder Clark time to speak before he addressed the students. President Eyring spoke about the creation of BYUPW and thanked President Gilbert for his service. President Gilbert told us how much he and his family love BYU-Idaho and “hopes we have enough Rexburg in all of us.” He spoke about how he and his family–and hopefully each of us–rise up and do hard things when they are asked. He said that, “Above all, I want you to know that we have a testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.” Elder Clark then told us that he felt impressed to bear witness of Christ and that His hand is in the events of the day. He told us how the Lord has been preparing President Eyring for this call–and that He has also been preparing each of us. He told us that we are at this university so that our commitment to serve Christ and become like Him will grow stronger.
After the three presidents of the university spoke, Elder Oaks took a few minutes to address the students. He told us that we live in hard times right now, but that the Saints have always lived in hard times. He told us that the answer is the same as it has always been: to follow Christ, for the power of the Lord can overcome the world. He told us to trust in God and His promises and to hold fast to hope. He bore his testimony that Christ makes all things possible.
We feel privileged to have had the opportunity to hear from such inspired men and to have witnessed BYU-Idaho history being made. We appreciate President Gilbert’s service and will miss him dearly, but are excited to get to know President Eyring.
More information about the creation of BYU Pathway Worldwide can be found here.
A transcription of this devotional will soon be available online.