By MERRILL J. BATEMA
The BYU community is deeply saddened at the passing of former president, Rex E. Lee. With his wife by his side, he presided over the university community for almost seven years. In spite of the health challenges he faced, including two forms of cancer, his leadership was energetic, spiced with wit, and full of optimism.
His significant accomplishments at the university included a streamlining of the procedures to shorten the time from entry to graduation; a highly successful capital campaign; a clear statement on academic freedom at BYU; a warm outreach to faculty, staff and students through “question and answer” sessions; and significant additions to the physical plant. His re-emphasis on attendance at forum and devotional assemblies plus his youthful exuberance brought a special sense of school spirit.
Marilyn and I are especially saddened with the loss of a close, personal friend and neighbor of twenty years. We will miss the charm, wit, keen intellect, and genuine friendship that characterizes Rex. He had a unique talent of making people feel comfortable in his presence. He was always self-effacing as he made others feel important.
It is with a special feeling of love for Janet and the family that we express our deep sense of loss for this wonderful, guileless friend who stood the test of time and will be numbered among the great men who traveled this earth.