Ricks College Inaugurates 13th President

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“Ricks College Inaugurates 13th President,” Ensign, Feb. 1990, 78

Ricks College Inaugurates 13th President

Steven D. Bennion was inaugurated as the thirteenth president of Ricks College November 10 during ceremonies conducted by President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency.

President Hinckley issued the presidential charge, urging the new president to cultivate love and integrity in the students. “The students on this campus will love you as you will love them. … Your scholarship qualifications are more than adequate, likewise your administrative experience, to preside over this school.”

He further charged President Bennion “to stand as a man, a leader, on the summit of one hundred years of effort and growth to make of Ricks College one of the great institutions of its kind in all the nation.

“The faculty look to you as their leader. We charge you to inspire this faculty, to keep them ever up against the frontiers of knowledge in the disciplines which are their specialties.”

“It will be your responsibility, and that of your associates, to cultivate within these young men and women a sense of personal worth, with an attitude of respect one for another … each the partaker of a divine birthright, neither one the inferior or superior of the other,” said President Hinckley.

In brief remarks, Bishop Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric and a former Ricks College president, said he is still asked by members throughout the world, “Who should come to Ricks College?” His response: “People who live as though faith and true scholarship are one.”

During his inaugural message, President Bennion cited six reasons he believes that students who choose the Church’s two-year Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, can benefit through their own efforts.

First, more than 7,700 students, from all fifty states and forty foreign countries, “come to Ricks to prepare for careers, for further education, for marriage and family, for citizenship, for spiritual direction. They come to prepare for life.”

Second, “the spiritual mission of Ricks is carefully interwoven with its academic mission.”

Third, “the richness of quality academic and vocational offerings at Ricks is impressive with 146 majors—43 of which are in career or vocational programs.”

Fourth, “the foundation for student opportunities, spiritual development, and excellent academic programs is a caring, competent, and committed faculty.”

Fifth, “a focus on experimental learning and the opportunity to participate is likewise a hallmark at Ricks. Participation is vital for student growth.”

Sixth, “the spirit of Ricks includes an uncommon commitment to service. The keen interest in serving students is a top priority, and may it ever be.”

Thousands of guests attended inaugural weekend activities, which included a concert featuring the Black Watch, a military band and precision marching group from Scotland; a luncheon; official ceremonies; a reception; a ball; and a football game.

Ricks College President Steven D. Bennion, left, was inaugurated under the direction of President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency. (Photo by Michael Lewis.)