Executive Committee visits campus; praises progress of students, faculty
University Relations | 17 September 2012
BYU–Hawaii recently hosted members of the Church Educational System Executive Committee for a routine visit to campus. The purpose of campus visits is to personally experience the environments on campus, receive updates on the academic programs at the university and other innovations in education, and, in the case of BYU–Hawaii, see the status of current and future expansion projects.
Members of the Executive Committee include Elder Russell M. Nelson and Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy, and Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president. Accompanying the Executive Committee were Elder Paul V. Johnson of the Seventy and CES Commissioner, BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson, BYU–Idaho President Kim B. Clark, LDS Business College President J. Lawrence Richards, Seminaries and Institutes Administrator Chad H. Webb, and Roger C. Christensen, secretary to the CES Board and assistant to the commissioner.
In the most recent visit to Laie, the group participated in student presentations, took a tour of campus expansion projects, reviewed the university’s ten-year (2008-2018) accreditation, and discussed current and upcoming innovations in online education.
An obvious highlight for the visiting leaders was the series of student presentations that covered nine programs or initiatives at BYU–Hawaii. The presentations were separated into two categories. The first focused on academic programs with practical application and included mentored research in science, SAP/TERP10 Certification, Chartered Financial Analyst/Bloomberg Certification, and Graphic Arts. The second category highlighted opportunities that prepare students for careers and Church leadership when they return home following graduation. Included in this set was Food Services’ leadership program, Hospitality and Tourism Management with Marketing through the Polynesian Cultural Center, Career Connect through Career Services, and BYU–Hawaii Online. In addition, students from Mongolia shared how these and other coordinated programs at the university have helped them and their home country.
Referring to the student presentations, Elder Nelson said, “We saw just a few, but it gave us a sample of the great work that is being done here to broaden the education of not only people in the islands, but in Mongolia, in China, and Korea – all over the Pacific Rim.”
Sister Burton stated, “I just was feeling over and over again today how blessed these countries are going to be where these students go back…. What a blessing to the Church, and to their communities, to their nations – it’s wonderful!”
Elder Oaks praised the work of faculty and other advisors as they facilitate learning experiences throughout the campus.
“I was impressed with the way the faculty members put the students forward,” he said. “I could see the relationship between them that stands for good education and gospel interaction. I could see an impressive educational effort underway under the direction of the faculty.”
Elder Hallstrom, who is from Hawaii and served in Asia and Southeast Asia, has been coming to this campus since he was a young boy and has seen the impact of BYU–Hawaii graduates firsthand – specifically in the countries of Southeast Asia.
“The power of this campus and what’s occurring here is just magnificent,” he said. “With the years that we’ve spent in Asia, we’ve seen the benefits to the Church on that end – and it’s powerful.”