McKay Foyer Re-opens with New Space, Same Purpose
Roger Brown | University Relations | 23 October 2012
“This physical structure represents the face of this university. It is put on cards, programs, bulletins and much more,” said Phillip McArthur, dean of the College of Language, Culture and Arts. The newly renovated McKay Foyer was celebrated with an open house and welcome meeting attended by students, faculty and staff on October 18, 2012. President Steven C. Wheelwright, Dr. Phillip McArthur, student David Whippy, and Dr. Chad Ford, director of the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding, gave short addresses speaking to the history, purpose, and future of the Foyer and related facilities.
The Foyer renovation included updating and upgrading the facility, adding offices for the College of Language, Culture and Arts, and the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding, as well as a new classroom/meeting room . “We started looking at ways to repurpose this space while still keeping the character that was unique to the Foyer,” said President Wheelwright . “We are very pleased to be here today, with all of you who are helping to reestablish the character of this important part of the campus.”
“We are thankful for all the contractors and workers who have done so much work, and we are thankful for the labor missionaries who came and built this place so many years ago,” said McArthur . “I think of this space as a meeting place and an encountering of different cultures coming together for a united purpose. This is what this space has always been about.”
He continued, “I think it is appropriate that the college and center are housed in this location. Both of these entities are interested in culture. They are interested in understanding others, respect, giving to others their dignity. Both of them are about fostering positive relationships, bringing peace, encouraging productive and meaningful cooperation – that is what we are all about. This place has been facilitated by the Gospel – it is the glue that holds this place together.”
Dr. Ford told how he was a student at BYU–Hawaii and spent many hours in the F oyer studying. Years later, he felt overwhelmed when he was told the McKay Center was to be housed in the Foyer. "The McKay Center was started as almost an experiment, and we had only five or six students at our functions in the beginning," said Ford. "Now, in the last calendar year the center has launched more than 60 projects, all led by students, that help to make change for peace in the university, community, and the world."
He went on to mention the affect the various projects and trainings are having on the students. “If you were to ask the students what was the most important take-away from [being involved in the McKay Center], most of them would tell you this: they have healed old wounds, they have sought reconciliation, they have forgiven wrongs that have happened in the past, they have forged stronger relationships with the people in their lives. Nothing can be more important than that.”
Both McArthur and Ford quoted President Marion G. Romney when he stated that this institution would be “a living laboratory in which individuals will share the teachings of the master teacher, and have an opportunity for developing an appreciation, a tolerance, and an esteem for one another.”