By Ravin Robertson
BYU-Idaho”s newest building was named in honor of LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley in a dedication service Tuesday Oct. 22 in Rexburg.
“The name of this building will be a constant reminder to me to live worthy of the trust that you have placed in me and a reminder to my posterity that someone honored their forebear and in so doing brought a sacred trust to those who carry his name,” said President Hinckley during the dedication service.
“We felt it was very appropriate to name the building after President Hinckley because he has been so instrumental in all the recent changes that have gone on at the university,” said BYU-Idaho spokesman Don Sparhawk. “He also has a great love and belief in education and so it is really appropriate to name an education building after him because of his love for education.”
Adding to the 13 existing major campus buildings, the 54,000 square-foot “multi-use” building will be used for both ecclesiastical and educational purposes.
With its chapel, gymnasium, multipurpose area and two full kitchens, church meetings and dances will be hosted in the new edifice.
The building will also house 12 student wards and two stakes.
To accommodate the growing student body, the building has 18 classroom and 34 offices that will be used by the health science, religion and secondary education departments.
“It”s been wonderful,” said Carol Frongner, office assistant for BYU-Idaho”s Secondary Education Department. “There”s something special about working in a building named after the prophet- something moving and special. Everyone loves Pres. Hinckley.”
President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency, was in attendance, along with Elder Henry B. Eyring, commissioner of church education and former president of Ricks College.
Calling President Hinckley a man for all seasons, President Thomas S. Monson, said, “Amidst the conflicts of our time and the turbulence of our season, we reach out for one such. His name is President Gordon B. Hinckley.”
“We know that he is prophet of our time,” said President Monson during the dedicatory prayer. “His entire life has prepared him for this dynamic period of worldwide growth of the Church. He is a man of gifted intellect, a man of capacity, a man of compassion. His life itself is a legacy to the world.”
In describing BYU-Idaho as a great institution of learning, President Hinckley said, “I see a great future for this institution. It will go forward under inspired leadership. It will grow in strength under a dedicated and able faculty. It will take its place among the great learning facilities of our nation as we who have some attachment to it walk and work in faith.”
Having made a prophetic decision two years ago about changing the structure of the former Ricks College, President Hinckley was instrumental in transforming the university from a two year junior college into a four year institution.
“It came of a desire to offer to the good young people of this Church, in larger numbers, the great privilege of attending and graduating from a Church university,” said President Hinckley on Tuesday.