By HELENA HAR
The Alumni Association Emeritus Association Luncheon took place on Saturday in the Wilkinson Center Ballroom.
President Merrill J. Bateman spoke at the luncheon and honored Rex E. Lee to the Emeritus Association.
“Rex E. Lee gave his last gift to BYU on January 25 as he stood in front of the three judges at the Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver to defend our school’s housing policy. Rex gave everything he had to the university,” President Bateman said.
The “Master Advocator” gave everything he had for years as the president and even got enough strength to give his last gift, President Bateman said.
President Bateman said BYU is a big part of the church and its future. He quoted 1 Nephi 14:14 that said, “The saints of the land will be few, but they will be scattered across all the earth and among the islands of the sea.”
The reference sounds like the members of the church all over the world. The power of the land will descend upon them because of their righteousness and they will become a very powerful influential component, President Bateman said.
He got to see an example of this as presiding bishop of the church. When the hurricane came to Florida there were 12,000 volunteers the first weekend. Of the 12,000, 9,000 were Latter-day Saints, President Bateman said.
He said the same thing happened with other disasters like the Georgia floods and the California earthquakes. There was a predominant number of LDS people there. And there is still more than 100 humanitarian services that we offer to people around the world — even non-LDS people.
President Bateman said, “Brigham Young University will be the center of learning for a world wide church and educational system.”
BYU students will become anchors around where the church grows if their spiritual roots are in place. All the academic merits the school gets will not make up for the spirit, he said.
The luncheon began with the College Song was sung in 1946 as the Fight Song is sung today.
“This is part of their heritage,” said Heidi Hess, assistant alumni activities director.
The group voted in the luncheon for a change in the bylaws of their constitution. A unanimous vote was made to change the induction year to a 40 year honor instead of the past 50 year honor.
Eleanor Jorgenson, representative of the Class of ’46, said she enjoyed renewing friendships with old friends