New BYU President Named
May 2003

“New BYU President Named,” Ensign, May 2003, 128

New BYU President Named

In a visit to Brigham Young University’s weekly campus devotional in March, President Gordon B. Hinckley, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees, announced a new president for the school in Provo, Utah.

Elder Cecil O. Samuelson Jr. of the Seventy, a retired medical doctor who was serving in the Presidency of the Seventy at the time of his appointment, was named 12th president of the university and took his post on 1 May.

“It will be [President Samuelson’s] responsibility to keep [Brigham Young University] in robust health, growing and maturing as one of the great teaching universities of this country and the world,” said President Hinckley.

President Samuelson is a Salt Lake City native and has served as professor of medicine, dean of the School of Medicine, and vice president of health sciences at the University of Utah. Prior to his call as a full-time General Authority, he was senior vice president of Intermountain Health Care. He holds a bachelor of science degree, a master’s degree in educational psychology, and a medical degree from the University of Utah.

He fulfilled his residency and held a fellowship in rheumatic and genetic diseases at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. He has received numerous scholastic honors and has authored or coauthored 48 original publications, eight books or chapters of books, and 13 abstracts.

While serving as a General Authority, he has served as an Area President for the Utah North Area and the Europe North Area. He has also served as a missionary, branch president, stake high councilor, stake president, and regional representative. He and his wife, Sharon Giauque Samuelson, have five children and three grandchildren.

President Samuelson succeeds Elder Merrill J. Bateman of the Seventy, who continues full-time service as a General Authority. Elder Bateman began his tenure as the university’s president in January 1996. “We are deeply grateful for the service President Bateman has given,” President Hinckley said. “We could not have asked for anyone better. He will walk off this campus as one whose performance has been summa cum laude.”

Elder Bateman has served as a missionary, bishop, stake high councilor, stake president, and regional representative. He was called to serve in the Second Quorum of the Seventy in June 1992. As part of that assignment, he was President of the Asia North Area.

He was sustained as Presiding Bishop on 2 April 1994 and was then called as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on 2 November 1995. While serving as president of BYU, he continued to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Elder Bateman is married to Marilyn Scholes Bateman, and they have seven children and 28 grandchildren.


President Gordon B. Hinckley (right) congratulates President Cecil O. Samuelson Jr. after announcing that Elder Samuelson will serve as Brigham Young University’s new president. (Photograph by Mark Philbrick, courtesy of Brigham Young University.)