REXBURG, Idaho - It was a historic day at Brigham Young University-Idaho as Henry J. Eyring was installed as the 17th president.
It was also a special occasion for the Eyring family. This marks the second generation of eyrings to lead the school. i was there for the event.
The BYU-Idaho center was packed with 15,000 people, including several top leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and eight previous school presidents. That included Henry B. Eyring, the father of the current president. Eyring served as president of Ricks College from 1971 to 1977 and he installed his son as president, encouraging him to focus on the building up the students.
"Great joy comes from building confidence in others and seeing growth in their ability to think and to do,” Henry B. Eyring said. It only takes a few teachers with this understanding to transform a little school into a great university."
The younger Eyring accepted the challenge.
"But now our student body growth, along with the more complex four year institution, compound the challenge of ministering one by one,” Eyring said. “Providentially we have been blessed with innovative approaches to help all students, especially newcomers."
Students later said they were impressed by President Eyring's caring attitude.
"He loves this school.” Amanda Harrast said. “He loves all of the students. He so invested in us."
"I think he's a great guy,” Clay Breeden said. “I've never met him personally, but he seems funny, he seems relatable. He really seems like he cares about the students here."
At a press conference after the inauguration Eyring noted how life events had helped him prepare for this job.
"Literally growing up on this campus with my father was helpful,” Eyring said. “He's a lifelong educator. I've watched him in the classroom and I've tried to emulate that, and I've also been involved in a lot of dinner conversations where we've talked about what it means to run a university."
President Eyring also said he doesn't plan any major changes, but will continue to make whatever adjustments he and the board feel will improve education at BYU-Idaho.