“BYU—Hawaii President Inaugurated,” Ensign, May 1987, 104
Alton LaVar Wade was installed as the seventh president of Brigham Young University—Hawaii February 20 on the school’s campus in Laie.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, issued the inaugural charge. Other speakers included Bishop Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric; J. Elliott Cameron, commissioner of Church Education; and BYU President Jeffrey R. Holland. Elder L. Tom Perry, a member of the Council of the Twelve and of the board of trustees of BYU, offered the closing prayer.
“It is the responsibility of this institution to train those who come here to think with intellectual integrity, to act with moral responsibility, to stand as examples of men and women possessed of a great sense of service to their fellowmen,” said President Hinckley.
He charged President Wade to qualify students for productive lives by training their minds and hands. He directed him to cultivate within students the principles of morality and integrity and to create an environment in which students can grow in faith and gospel living.
“You have in this institution … a binding and compelling responsibility to build faith in God our Eternal Father, in his Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the great everlasting principles that have come to us through prophets, both ancient and modern,” he said.
In responding to the inaugural charge, President Wade said, “The weight of your charge rests heavily upon my shoulders and upon my mind. The strength to carry that weight is made possible only because of my conviction of the divine and prophetic destiny of this great institution. …”
He noted that the two thousand students currently enrolled at BYU—Hawaii include young men and women from thirty-eight countries who speak twenty-three different languages.
President Wade has directed BYU—Hawaii since mid-1986, when he was selected by the First Presidency to succeed J. Elliot Cameron as the school’s president.
He was formerly president of Dixie College in St. George, Utah, where he served from January 1981 to July 1986. Prior to that he served four and one-half years as zone administrator in the Church Educational System in the Pacific.
A native of Leamington, Utah, President Wade holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a doctoral degree in educational administration from BYU—Provo, as well as a master’s degree from California State College in Long Beach.
He is a member of the high council of the Laie, Hawaii Stake. His wife, Diana Daniels Wade, is president of the BYU Hawaii Stake Relief Society. They are the parents of eight children.