The colorful history of BYU’s Presidential Review


Last Friday, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was given the Leadership Excellence award at the annual Presidential Review.

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Pres. Uchtdorf speaks to cadets after receiving the Leadership Excellence award.

The Presidential Review was created to honor men and women who have exemplified the traits of Captain Moroni as described in the Book of Mormon. Since its beginning in 1988, it has seen its fair share of popular Utah and LDS community members.

The annual ceremony gives a community member either the Leadership Excellence award or the Patriots’ award, according to a compilation of records by Maj. Mark Slik. The Leadership Excellence award is given to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding support to the ROTC program and been a positive role model to the cadets.

The Patriots award is given to those who demonstrated a lifetime of devotion and love for the U.S. and the principles upon which this nation was founded.

Four members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have received one of the two awards since its beginning. The first recipient of the Leadership Excellence aware was Elder Jeffery R. Holland, and of the Patriots’ award, Elder L. Tom Perry. Later, in 1994, Elder Robert D. Hales was also the recipient of the Patriots’ award.

Three BYU Presidents, Rex E. Lee, Merrill J. Bateman and Cecil O. Samuelson, have received the Leadership Excellence award. Current Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, who served in the BYU Airforce ROTC in the mid 1950s, received the same award for his service to the country and BYU community.

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Air Force ROTC cadets salute during the Presidential Review

Last Friday, Uchtdorf received the Leadership Excellence award for his service in the German and American Air Forces for six years. He reviewed the Army and Air Force ROTC cadets with Pres. Samuelson to inspect their degree of readiness. Some cadets awaited the review for two hours, standing at parade rest in the cold and marching through the rain the Brigham’s Square. Uchtdorf commended the cadets for their hard work and faith.

“I respect and honor each of you for your compassionate souls and conscience to serve your people and to serve God,” Uchtdorf said. “A commitment to service, whether in wartime or in peace, is a hallmark of an officer of the U.S. armed forces. You are such a hallmark.”


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