Students optimistic about the future of BYU after President Reese’s inauguration

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BYU students walk to the Marriott Center on the morning of President Reese’s inauguration. University presidents are only appointed every 10 years, making this a rare and anticipated occurrence for students. (Alice Gubler)

BYU students, faculty and alumni filled the Marriott Center for the inauguration of the university’s 14th president, President C. Shane Reese.

BYUSA President Fitz-Carl Morlant expressed his excitement and appreciation for President Reese’s already active involvement in student activities such as BYU football games and student gym participation.

“President Reese, we love you,” Morlant said. He then joked, “Pies are for eating and not charts,” poking fun at President Reese’s love for education and statistics.

President Reese earned his bachelor’s degree in statistics from BYU before going on to earn his doctoral degree in statistics from Texas A&M University. He was a member of the BYU statistics faculty and served as a dean of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and as academic vice president prior to his new appointment.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson, chair of the executive committee of the Board of Trustees and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, described President Reese in his inaugural address on Tuesday morning as a person chosen for this day and age. President Reese was then charged with various responsibilities as the new president, including upholding BYU values and being a guide and example to students. At the conclusion of his address, President Reese bore his testimony of Jesus Christ and expressed his hope and respect for BYU and the unapologetic uniqueness of the university.

Following the inauguration, students expressed excitement about President Reese’s upcoming tenure.

BYU student Seth Cannon attended the inauguration, and said he appreciated how President Reese was referred to as a spiritual and moral leader. Cannon believes the way President Reese lives his life professionally and personally is a great example.

Tyler Ransom, another BYU student who attended the devotional, said the meeting “felt very powerful,” and he felt like he was a part of something important and unique.

Ransom also appreciated President Reese’s involvement in student events and activities.

“He already attends athletic events with us and we just found out that he uses the student gym … like how cool is that?” Ransom said.

BYU food science major Veronika Litovka said she appreciated how President Reese empasized the importance of BYU being more than just an academic experience.

“I like how he mentioned that, of course, we’re here to study, but we also have help from everyone around us and are never alone,” Litovka said.

BYU student Nolan Rodeback is excited to see how President Reese leads the BYU student body in the coming years.

“There are a lot of us that are wondering what direction … to go in and who have a lot of confusion,” Rodeback said. “It’d be awesome if he can be that leader for us and just point us in the direction we’re wishing to go … and give advice on life and things like that.”

The last inauguration ceremony for a BYU president was more than nine years ago when former President Kevin J. Worthen was installed on Sept. 9, 2014.

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