LDS Business College
October 1973

“LDS Business College,” New Era, Oct. 1973, 20

LDS Business College

People go to college for a lot of different reasons. They, may go dreaming of anything from a date on a cold night of football to the day they receive their M.D.

If what you’re dreaming about is a good job in the near future, the LDS Business College may be the place for you.

Located just four blocks from Temple Square in Salt Lake City, the white-columned administration building and modern classroom wing of the LDS Business College are set on a wide green lawn under leafy shade trees. The setting is idyllic, but inside it’s strictly business. Inside, young men and women are learning about the world of business, from fashion merchandising to court reporting. The college can put a paycheck in your hand in the shortest possible time while offering the spiritual and social advantages of a Church school.

It’s been doing its job well. The following percentages of students graduating in June of 1972 were employed as of July 1, 1972:

Accounting and Bookkeeping Graduates


Clerk Typists


Computer Technology Graduates


Marketing Graduates


Fashion Merchandising Graduates


Considering that three percent of the graduates weren’t even looking for jobs, that’s not a bad record.

R. Ferris Kirkham, the college president, said, “The best information available indicates that 80 percent or more of all jobs in the future will require less than four years of college. Most of these jobs will be in the vocational-technical area and will require vocational-technical education, according to the United States Department of Labor. We are a job-oriented institution. Our entire philosophy is helping people build their lives in such a way that they can find themselves in a worthwhile occupation.”

The college is small, with a daytime enrollment of about 600 students. As a result, it lacks some of the advantages of larger schools. There are no gym facilities, no student union, no cafeteria, no football team, no spacious quads for autumn leaves to cover. If you’re going to school for any of these things, this isn’t the school for you.

On the other hand, the smallness makes possible a closeness of studentbody and faculty that’s impossible at larger schools. As you walk down the halls you notice that people actually speak to each other and that everyone seems to know a lot of first names. You notice that if a group is having a discussion, it’s usually a discussion that anyone’s welcome to join.

One thing you see often that really makes you stop and look again is a teacher talking to a student just as if it were an everyday occurrence. It is.

Ronald Tracy, an accounting instructor, says, “There’s a closer student-teacher relationship here than at any other school I’ve seen, You’ll find that in the course of an average day a teacher will have anywhere from twenty to a hundred students come in—some just to visit, and others to ask questions. I’ve visited with at least thirty or forty already today.”

The students seem to agree. Cherie Harward, an executive secretarial student, says, “I think the teachers are great because you get individual attention. If I went to a big university I just wouldn’t get that, and I’m a person who needs it. I’m just that way. I don’t want to be a number; I want to be an individual.”

Craig Fryer, who is studying marketing, says, “Here you’re not a number; you’re a person.”

The relationship between students is also very close. “Everybody is so close to each other; you get to know peoples’ names, and how they react, and their personalities,” says Steve Arbuckle, an accounting student.

Although there is no student union, the students often gather between classes in the “Lion’s Den,” a student lounge, to chat, study, and snack. The institute lounge is another favorite place for gathering.

The college has a unique form of student government. The Student Association officers also serve as the student council, the president being the studentbody president. They are appointed by the president of the student branch, and most of them also have jobs in the branch. This makes it very easy to coordinate branch and school activities.

All students are required to take an institute class each quarter, and they receive an institute diploma along with their college diploma. The institute not only provides religious instruction but also serves an important counseling function for students who need someone to talk with about personal problems. The institute also sponsors the Lambda Delta Sigma Sorority and Sigma Gamma Chi Fraternity, which form an important part of the campus social life.

Only about one-third of the students attend the student branch; most of the others are Salt Lake residents who attend their home wards. But those who belong to the branch find a real feeling of love and comradeship there. The branch members start out with a lot in common. The branch presidency tries to call all the students to positions, although this sometimes means giving a branch officer two or three secretaries. Of course, it’s the easiest branch in the world to find good secretaries in, or financial clerks, or any other business-related personnel.

The branch members are divided into family home evening groups who get together each Monday night. The program is so popular that the branch has enjoyed a 98 percent family home evening attendance.

The college also features regular devotional assemblies at which General Authorities and other prominent LDS people speak.

Most of the young men are enrolled in accounting, marketing, computer technology, or business management, but there are some in secretarial training too, and perhaps there should be more. President Kirkham says, “There are really good opportunities there. A male secretary almost always starts at least one hundred to two hundred dollars a month above a female secretary in starting salary. The Howard Hughes organization has hired two of our male graduates at well over six hundred dollars a month. The Union Pacific Railroad has a standing offer. They’ll hire any male secretary we turn out.”

The LDS Business College courses are roughly equivalent to similar four-year courses—minus the general education classes. Most students see this as a real advantage.

Evonne Bueno, who transferred from a four-year school, says, “If I were still at a university, I might still be going around trying to fill all my general requirement classes. I’m not sorry I had that experience, but it won’t help me in getting a job to say that I’ve had anthropology.” Evonne is in fashion merchandising.

There is, of course, something to be said for a well-rounded liberal arts education, but if you’re a practical, no-frills-please sort of person who wants to get through school and get to work, it’s something to think about.

Although the LDS Business College has pared away all nonessentials, it has been careful to provide all that is really necessary in the way of training. For example, future secretaries are required to take a course called Personal Development, which teaches such things as visual poise, make-up techniques, speech and conversation, and fashion trends. A course in modeling is also available.

On the other side of the picture, as President Kirkham points out, “We are training students for clerical and middle management jobs; that’s our goal. We are not generally training people for top management jobs, although some of our graduates will ultimately get there because of their own abilities. Consequently, the wage scale will run from four to six hundred dollars a month in entry level salary. That is about one hundred fifty to two hundred dollars a month less than a graduate from a four-year school could expect with the same academic discipline. For example, an accounting major from BYU would get at least two hundred dollars a month more starting salary. My personal feeling is that this is based on a prejudice that isn’t necessarily justified by the skill of the individuals. Our students are sitting for and passing the CPA examination right alongside four-year graduates—but nevertheless, that’s the reality of the thing.”

He also points out, however, that this salary disparity doesn’t hold true in the secretarial field. Secretaries graduating from the college receive about as much as their counterparts from four-year schools.

Asked for a profile of the sort of person who should attend the LDS Business College, President Kirkham said, “We get a lot of really super-bright students. They could have chosen to be schoolteachers; they could have been doctors or anything else they wanted to be. They’ve got all the brains and talent that anybody else has got, but they happen to want to be secretaries, or accountants, or computer people, so they came here. But we’re also an opportunity school in that some people who can’t find their niche anywhere else find it here. They may have tried a university; they may have tried general education, or sociology, or something like that, and found it wanting for their particular interests and abilities, but when they come here they really get turned on by business and do an exceptionally fine job.

“Getting somewhat technical, the ACT people put out an interest profile along with the test results for college-bound seniors. The student who would find himself most at home here is the one whose highest rating is in the Business, Political, and Persuasive category. If he scores high in that area, he should at least look at our school. If he doesn’t have the money or time to go to a four-year school, there are some real advantages here.”

The students at the LDS Business College are expected to abide by the same dress standards and the same standards of moral conduct as students at other Church schools, and it shows up in the atmosphere and the actions of the students. The faculty members agree that other business colleges offer a quality education but that the LDS environment at “LD” makes all the difference.

Another real advantage of the LDS Business College is its excellent placement service. It not only places almost all students soon after graduation but also helps many students find part-time jobs while attending school. In fact, classes are scheduled so as to facilitate part-time jobs.

Between studying and working there isn’t much time for the traditional sis-boom-bah for most students, but for those wishing to beef up their social life there are plenty of clubs, dances, and other activities.

The college has a lot to offer—a good faculty and staff; more than two million dollars in plant and equipment, including two girls dorms, a bookstore, and a library; a variety of grants, scholarships, and loans; and free brush-up privileges for graduates.

But most important, it offers a quick route to a good job.

LDS Business College—Facts

Address: 411 East South Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

Telephone: 363-2765, area code 801

Photos by Frank Gale

The administration building, which also contains two lounges, a library, and classrooms

A bedroom in one of the two modern and comfortable girls’ residence halls

Dear Sirs; …

Test time

A student hurries to class

Classrooms are fully equipped with business equipment

There is a fine student-teacher relationship at LD

LD teaches the most up to date business techniques, including computer technology

A modeling class

Secretarial students take a course in personal development

Miriam Williams and Shanna Peterson chat between classes