Greetings from the academic vice president


Dear New Students:

I congratulate you on qualifying for admission to Brigham Young University through strong academic and personal preparation, and I extend to you a warm welcome to BYU. The time you spend here on campus will, in many important ways, define the rest of your life.

The faculty at BYU are anxious to welcome you into their classrooms and are committed to providing a rigorous education. Adjusting to the demands of university coursework may be a bit challenging. You will likely find that less time is spent in formal classroom settings than in high school, and the academic expectations may be higher than that to which you have been previously accustomed. You will perhaps need to accept greater personal responsibility for your own learning than in the past. I encourage you to get started right, stretching the high academic  standards you have already set for yourselves. Take advantage of every opportunity for access to help in your classes – formal and informal study groups, lab groups, faculty office hours, teaching assistant support, etc. Significant resources exist to help you succeed.

In addition to your formal coursework, I encourage you to vigorously pursue other learning opportunities on campus. Decide now to attend the campus-wide Forums and occasional lectures sponsored in departments. It is likely that at no other time in your life will there be such availability of rich intellectual opportunities for you. Further, make attendance at campus Devotionals in the Marriott Center a priority. The chance to hear General Authorities speak in person with such frequency is a significant and rare opportunity. Campus Devotionals will also permit you to hear BYU faculty discuss their faith and testimonies, often in the context of their disciplines. Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking you don’t have time for these weekly experiences.

Begin this year to cultivate a practice of engaging your professors in formal and informal ways. As you mature in your chosen discipline, you may pursue opportunities to work with a faculty member in extracurricular research or creative work. Such mentoring experiences will give you a unique perspective into learning, will provide opportunity to see how faith and reason mesh in faculty lives and will position you for opportunities in the future.

I look forward to seeing you on campus and hope that when I do, your faces will reveal you are enjoying your experience here.

Best wishes,
Brent W. Webb

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