“Ricks College,” Ensign, May 1971, 40
“To cause student learning!” This is the challenge that is the motivating force for the faculty at Ricks College.
To cause student learning is not just to provide opportunities for education, nor to proclaim that education is here for all who really want it. The Ricks College faculty does not care to dismiss attrition and failure solely in terms of student laziness, lack of student motivation, nor even lack of ability. To cause student learning is to bring about demonstrable changes for good in the life of the student.
To cause student learning also carries a commitment on the part of the faculty to change when necessary in the constant endeavor to improve educational methods and practices.
Inspiration and hard work, a deep regard for the teaching profession, and a love of young people have enabled instructors at Ricks, the “college on the hill,” to reach out to touch the hearts of their students and to instill into their lives a desire for learning and a search for truth in the sciences, the humanities, and religion.
Said a young Korean, returning for a visit to the campus (one of more than a score of his countrymen who have attended Ricks): “It was at Ricks I found out what I wanted to be. I love Ricks College. Those of us in Los Angeles get together and talk about Ricks. Some have nearly finished Ph.D.’s and others have achieved bachelor’s and master’s degrees.”
A Ricks graduate who is now at an officers’ training school wrote: “I am very grateful for the opportunity I had of attending Ricks College and gaining from its atmosphere. Tell the students to be thankful for what they have, because they are the most blessed people in the world.”
A father in Calcutta, India, hardly able to believe it possible that a college in the United States does not permit immorality or the use of alcohol or tobacco, encouraged his son to enroll at Ricks.
A nonmember friend from Pennsylvania faithfully calls long distance each summer to the college to say, “I’m sending some fine young men to you because I feel they belong in an atmosphere such as you have there.”
And from an Idaho family: “We thank you—and seven of our children who love Ricks thank you—for all the years of dedicated service given to them.”
Ricks is most distinctive in its role as a Church school. The student learns that although change is a constant of life, there are also absolutes, especially in ethical and spiritual realms. The basic gospel concepts are timeless and their familiarity in no way downgrades their importance.
One of these gospel concepts concerns the importance of each individual as a child of God, and the need for each person to exercise wisely the God-given gift of free agency. To meet this need, the teacher at Ricks College attempts to help each young person find individual acceptance, to give him some type of individual learning experience in the classroom, and to motivate him to achieve high standards of scholarship.
Service to the student is the paramount objective. Speaking to the MIA June Conference, 1970, Elder Richard L. Evans emphasized the idea that if you serve only when it is convenient, you are serving yourself. Opportunities, he said, are perishable, and youth must be taught when they are there. Counsel with youth when they have problems because tomorrow may be too late.
At Ricks College it is never too late for some things. Grandmothers can be found graduating with their grandchildren. And the young person who fails in his first attempt to attain a higher education, because of either poor study habits or poor behavior, can expect the doctrine of repentance to work in his behalf. He will be given another chance to succeed.
A second gospel concept that gives relevance to the educative process at Ricks College is the awareness that the soul, that complex of mind, body, and spirit, needs to be developed in the education of the whole man.
And a third gospel concept that is a part of the philosophy at Ricks is the greatest of all teachings, “That ye love one another.”
There is such a thing as the “spirit of Ricks.” It comes first from the more than five thousand young people who come here, and second, from the dedicated faculty, staff, and administrative personnel, who are united together with the peace that brotherhood and sisterhood in the gospel can bring to those who grant to each other the right to make mistakes, yet who still retain the ability to love and speak well of each other.
The special young people who are students at Ricks come from all walks of life, from all fifty states of the United States, and from many nations, as they seek the uplifting and wholesome atmosphere prevalent here.
The lives of these students are enriched as they exchange the cultural ideas of their homelands, as they express love and friendship for one another, and as they give comfort and help in times of trial and heartache.
What makes Ricks College a truly great educational institution? It is not her campus, buildings, and grounds—though we now have many fine facilities, with many others yet to come under our approved master plan. It is not the number and diversity of the courses listed in the catalog—though these compare favorably with much larger colleges. It is not the size of the faculty—though we have a sizeable faculty who are well trained and who are constantly seeking improvement. It is not the size and diversity of the student body—though it represents the largest total enrollment of any of the approximately 180 church-supported two-year colleges in America. It is not even the fact that Ricks is a private school and as such, is in the company of some of the greatest institutions in the country. That something extra that makes Ricks great is the comprehensive philosophy of life that permeates its curriculum, faculty, and student body—the divine philosophy encompassed in the gospel, or the “good news,” of Jesus Christ.
Because of the gospel, Ricks College offers a wide curriculum. No area of values or inquiry need be neglected. Here one can take classes in all subject areas found in comparable public institutions, in addition to courses in religion. And here one can have the privilege of having this religious philosophy of life discussed in any class, if the occasion is appropriate.
Through the opportunity of strengthening testimonies, Ricks College offers the security so desperately needed in this era of change and upheaval. This security was expressed by Jesus when he said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” (John 14:1.)
Ricks gives to student and faculty members a great cause for personal dedication and supreme loyalty—the Church of Jesus Christ. Unselfish devotion to a cause that one considers greater than oneself is a common mark of great men and happy individuals.
Ricks College teaches true values as to the eternal nature of the human personality and thus a proper respect for the worth of the individual.
Ricks College urges direction for living on the high level that our Heavenly Father holds out to us. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10.) “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32.) “… men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Ne. 2:25.)
Ricks College provides a healthful college environment where it is relatively easy to cast off bad habits and to forget past mistakes.
I am a romanticist. I love Ricks College, its campus and buildings, its students and faculty, and its history and traditions. Ricks is a great educational institution.