Clark Gilbert officially became Brigham Young University-Idaho’s 16th president at Wednesday’s inauguration. All 15-thousand seats at the BYUI Center center were filled for the occasion.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the first presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints administered the installation of the new school leader.
President Gilbert made clear that on-line learning would continue to be a big part of the BYUI mission.
“We face a dual challenge: to continue to strengthen our core campus experience, even as we pioneer new ways to reach students around the world,” Gilbert said.
Including on-line students enrollment at BYU-Idaho is now at 43,000.
With such a big enrollment, President Gilbert says individual students still need to be the main focus.
“One of the hallmarks of BYU-Idaho is the personal investment of faculty who unapologetically build their focus on teaching and advising students,” Gilbert said.
President Uchtdorf told students to be grateful for what they have at BYU-Idaho.
“Here in Rexburg, Idaho you have this significant university and a beautiful temple right next to each other,” Uchtdorf said. “How much better could it get? Only your mom is missing.”
Students were impacted by the meeting.
“It was incredible,” Will Christensen said. “The spirit was so strong.”
“We are on that steady upward course,” Sydney Jensen said. “It’s a wonderful place to be and to learn.”
As he pioneers a new chapter at BYU-Idaho President Gilbert says he can’t do it alone.
“I pray for the pioneer’s heart and as for the Savior’s mercy and enabling power in this responsibility,” Gilbert said.
With that enrollment of 43,000 students, BYU-Idaho is now the biggest of the three BYU schools.