By MICHAEL GRIFFIT
For the eighth consecutive year, BYU students have been recognized by the John Templeton Foundation for their character and values.
The 1996 John Templeton Foundation Honor Roll for Character Building Colleges listed BYU among 123 other colleges to receive this designation.
According to the foundation’s statement in the 1996 issue, “the honor roll is based on the principle that character comes from three primary sources: the family, the religious community and educational instruction.”
All accredited universities in the United States were invited to submit an essay describing their commitment to character building. Qualifying entries were distributed to the presidents of each participating school, and they reviewed each entry and voted.
The honor roll lists the following criteria: fostering a positive attitude, encouraging spiritual growth and moral values, promoting community building values, advocating a drug-free lifestyle and encouraging students to explore a moral reasoning process.
The submission from BYU describes an emphasis on strong character and spiritual values: “As a matter of personal commitment, students, staff and faculty of Brigham Young University are expected to demonstrate in daily living those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
According to the foundation, “It is the hope of the foundation that all universities and colleges will aspire to join the ranks of honor roll schools by consciously instilling integrity and value judgement into the educational experience of students on their campuses.”
One of the purposes of the honor roll is “to inspire other schools to re-evaluate their emphasis on character development curriculum and programs.”
John Marks Templeton and the Templeton Foundation created the honor roll in 1989.
“The schools highlighted on the honor roll this year deserve to be recognized by prospective students and by their sister schools for their achievement in this area,” Templeton said.