The LDS Scene

“The LDS Scene,” Ensign, Sept. 1976, 95–96

The LDS Scene

At the meeting of the International Council of Women in Vancouver this summer, Sister Florence S. Jacobsen, Church curator and former general president of the YWMIA, was elected as a vice-treasurer and a member of the governing board of the council. She and Sister Belle S. Spafford, former general president of the Relief Society, were two of the ten U.S. delegates to the meeting. Sister Barbara B. Smith, general president of the Relief Society, and Sister Ruth H. Funk, general president of Young Women, also attended the convention.

Five noted leaders in education and economics have been appointed to the honorary advisory board of the Ezra Taft Benson Agriculture and Food Institute at Brigham Young University. The five are: Elder Ezra Taft Benson, President of the Council of the Twelve; Dr. Nyle C. Brady, director-general of the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines; Dr. Earl L. Butz, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture; Leonard E. Read, founder and president of the Foundation for Economic Education, Inc., New York; and Dr. Sylvan H. Wittwer, director of the Agricultural Experiment Station and assistant dean of agriculture and natural resources at Michigan State University. This board, together with an eight-member advisory board, will set policies and provide guidance for the new Benson Institute, which was established last fall. Current projects of the Institute include agricultural education and nutrition programs among Indians in Guatemala, development of new grains and better cattle feeds, improvement of nitrogen fixation in plants, and development of economical alternative protein sources for countries with protein-deficient diets. An endowment in excess of $3 million in private funds is being raised to support these and other research and development programs.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) has reaffirmed Brigham Young University—Hawaii Campus’s accreditation. The members of the WASC study team, representing six separate universities, examined the campus’s scholastic programs and procedures and commended in their report the university’s “flexibility in fostering innovation in such areas as self-paced learning and individualized instruction.” Their report also noted that “development of [a program and major in Travel Industry Management] is a pioneering effort.

It is a clear-cut recognition of preparation for career opportunities somewhat unique to the areas from which a majority of the students come and will perhaps return.”

James L. Womack, a lawyer from Winnfield, Louisiana, has been named Outstanding Disabled Veteran of 1976. Near the end of World War II, Brother Womack lost both arms, most of his vision, and some of his hearing when a land mine exploded in his face. Since he could not read or write, Brother Womack had difficulty finding a school that would accept him as a pre-law student. But he was accepted by Louisiana Tech in 1950 and entered Louisiana State University Law School in 1952. In 1955 he graduated fourth in his class. He now has a thriving law practice in Winnfield and is active in the community. The city of Winnfield designated June 28 as James Womack Day. Brother Womack is patriarch of the Shreveport Louisiana Stake.

Following their participation in this year’s National Wheelchair Games in New York, Mike Johnson and Curt Brinkman, psychology students at Brigham Young University, also competed as members of the U.S. Team at the Wheelchair Olympics in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They participated in several events, including javelin, table tennis, and the 100-meter dash.

The Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii has enlarged its facilities to include a full forty acres and three new major buildings. The new buildings include a mammoth pavilion the size of a football field, a 2,500-seat theater, and an entry and box office building. The Center was begun thirteen years ago, primarily to provide jobs for Polynesian students attending Brigham Young University—Hawaii Campus. All profits from the Center are funneled into a scholarship fund.

Sister Florence S. Jacobsen