By Lisa Millett
President Gordon B. Hinckley stopped and waved to a group of BYU students as he walked out of the east side of the Talmage Building Friday morning April 11.
President Hinckley’s counselors, Thomas S. Monson and James E. Faust, were also present, along with future BYU President, Elder Cecil O. Samuelson, and President Merrill J.Bateman.
“The First Presidency came down to take the opportunity to observe campus facilities and the current campus construction projects,” said Carri Jenkins, assistant to the president for university communications.
Amanda Bunker, 19, a freshman from Camarillo, Calif., majoring in nursing didn”t believe President Hinckley was really there until she walked out of the TMCB.
“There were three cars with tinted windows and three church security guards with sunglasses standing outside,” Bunker said. “I knew something big had to be going on.”
When President Hinckley emerged from the building, a group of BYU students had congregated near the doors. Bunker ran toward President Hinckley”s car to get as close as possible to him, she said.
“It was so exciting,” Bunker said. “He was just smiling and waving. This is the first time I”ve been that close to the prophet.”
Before getting into his car, President Hinckley stopped and talked to a group of students standing near his car.
“I was a little far away, but I think President Hinckley told everyone to get straight A”s,” Bunker said. “It was funny because everyone started laughing.”
President Faust and President Monson also took a few moments to talk to students.
President Faust asked in Portuguese if anyone knew Portuguese. A few students raised their hand and responded.
Kathy De Heide, 22, a senior from Federal Way, Wash., majoring in Asian Studies had a class in the JKHB when President Hinckley walked out of the TMCB.
“At first, I didn”t really think that President Hinckley was on campus, but there was a horde of people standing around outside,” De Heide said. “When President Hinckley came out of the building, everyone in my class stood up and watched out the window.”