“Kenneth H. Beesley Inaugurated as LDS Business College President,” Ensign, Feb. 1987, 75
A highlight of LDS Business College’s Centennial Founders Day on November 15 was the inauguration of Kenneth H. Beesley as the institution’s eleventh president.
The ceremony took place in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square. President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, installed the new president and gave the inaugural charge.
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve presented the inaugural address. Short speeches welcoming the new president were given by Dr. J. Elliot Cameron, commissioner of Church education; Dr. Carolyn Smith Brown, academic dean of LDS Business College; and Paul Bowden, student body president.
Primary General President Dwan J. Young, Young Women General President Ardeth G. Kapp, and Relief Society General President Barbara W. Winder and their counselors attended the installation, as did presidents from colleges throughout the Intermountain West.
President Monson praised the Salt Lake City-based college’s traditions and accomplishments over the past one hundred years. He pledged high-quality equipment and state-of-the-art technology to the college, quoting a sign he had seen on some obsolete farm equipment: “You can’t do today’s work on yesterday’s machines if you expect to be in business tomorrow.”
President Monson advised President Beesley to “be” many things. “Be prayerful,” he said. “A man always stands tallest when he is on his knees.
“‘Be thou humble,’” he added, quoting from D&C 112:10, “‘and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.’”
Be patient with students and lead them gently toward success, President Monson charged.
In conclusion he advised: “Walk with the wisdom of the past, seek with the curiosity of a child, serve with the Spirit of the Lord.”
Elder Nelson, who studied at the business college before he received his medical training, recalled with fondness his student days there. Of President Beesley, he said, “I have watched him teach and counsel. Indeed his advice is like new snow—falling softly, lingering long, and melting deeply.”
He added that “to be a teacher, a leader, and a president demands much. It requires not only the learning of the wise, but the justice of the great. It requires not only prayers from the heart, but the valor of the brave. These are all qualities that Kenneth H. Beesley brings to this assignment.”
In accepting President Monson’s charge, President Beesley said, “I pledge my whole heart and soul to the fulfillment of the sacred trust and charge which has been given me today. … I want to achieve the kind of atmosphere at the college that can nurture in each student his or her full potential—intellectual, social, and spiritual.”
He paid tribute to earlier educators and administrators at the college, and foresaw a bright future for the century-old institution. He then enumerated his goals for the college, and added, “We hope to keep sensitive to the counsel given by President Marion G. Romney when he says, ‘In the final analysis all that we do will be measured in spiritual terms.’”
Before being named as president of LDS Business College, President Beesley was director of International and Administrative Services for the Materials Management Department of the Church. He served ten years as associate commissioner of education in the Church Educational System.
He had earlier served as executive dean and director of Institutional Studies at Fresno State College, and as assistant provost and assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City.
President Beesley is an honors graduate of the University of Utah, and earned master’s and doctoral degrees at Teachers College, Columbia University.
He served in the Northern States Mission and has filled many callings, including branch president, bishop, high councilor, member of the Sunday School General Board, and stake mission president. He is married to Donna Deem Beesley. They have five children and six grandchildren.