Business college president installed
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Described as one who has made sacrifices and is now seeing the fruits of his labors, Stephen K. Woodhouse, 52, was installed Nov. 14 as the 12th president of LDS Business College in Salt Lake City.
On a crisp, sunny morning, President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, conducted the inauguration ceremonies in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square. He installed the new president and gave the inaugural charge. (Please see President Monson's charge in related article on this page.)Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Seventy and Commissioner of Education gave the inaugural address. Offering the invocation was Harold F. Western, administrator of finance and budgets for the Church Educational System. Janette C. Hales, Young Women general president, gave the benediction. Welcoming the new president were Carolyn Smith Brown, academic dean at the college; Terry Z. Norton, student body president; and Laurie R. Barnes, 1992 Distinguished Alumnus.
Sitting next to Pres. Woodhouse on the stand was his wife, Sytske. Seated on the main level of the Assembly Hall were friends and family members of the new president; faculty and staff members of LDS Business College; delegates and representatives from BYU, Ricks College and schools throughout Utah; and civic, educational and local government leaders.
Providing music for the event was the LDS Business College Institute Choir, directed by Margot J. Butler.
Pres. Woodhouse assumed office last Jan. 2, but inauguration ceremonies were planned to coincide with the 106th anniversary of the college, which was founded as the Salt Lake Stake Academy on Nov. 15, 1886, under the leadership of Karl G. Maeser. Pres. Woodhouse succeeded Kenneth H. Beesley, who retired Dec. 31, 1991. Before his new assignment, Pres. Woodhouse was an instructor of computer information systems at the college. (Please see Feb. 1, 1992, Church News for a profile on the new president.)
In his address, Elder Eyring said Pres. Woodhouse inherits a "sure vision" of education in the Church.
"And he receives it intact from a long line of those who have preserved this institution: members of boards of trustees, presidents, teachers and students over many, many years. This is a business college like no other. It was preserved to allow the world a place to see students and teachers who have chosen freely to learn in a way described in vision long ago. It cannot fail to grow ever better as it follows that vision. If it departs from that vision, it would lose its reason for being."
Elder Eyring pointed out the 88th section of the Doctrine & Covenants as the vision of Church education. He then quoted verses 11-13: "And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;
"Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space -
"The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things."
"The Prophet [JosephT learned what we now accept as a matter of course," Elder Eyring explained. "If we wish to learn by receiving light, we must live so that the Atonement works in our lives to make us clean and able to receive the light.
"That helps explain why a college president would care, as Pres. Woodhouse cares, about such personal things as what students wear and how they and their teachers feel about keeping the commandments of God. . . . Our vision is that the sacrifice of students and of teachers to learn and to teach is immeasurably more likely to bear fruit if the student and the teacher are bathed in the light of Christ. And that light is either invited or turned away by the lives we lead."
Elder Eyring explained that because of Pres. Woodhouse's example, teachers and students will have the faith to make sacrifices.
"Students and teachers, learners together, will work and live so that light may flow into their lives, and with it understanding and the power to work even harder, to learn even more rapidly, and to live with deep satisfaction.
"And although they will not do it to seek praise or even attention, because that would defeat the process, they will by their example give others hope. Of all the acts of charity, and that is what the scriptures teach us should crown our efforts to learn, none is greater than to give others hope that they too can learn, whatever their circumstances, if they will but live so that the light can flood into their lives."
In his remarks, Pres. Woodhouse admonished students: "Believe in yourself and in your abilities. Stretch yourself. . . . We offer you a chance for personal stretching that rarely comes in one's life. We provide opportunities for intellectual, emotional, and social and spiritual growth."
The new college president told the congregation he knew the power of good role models. "My father died when I was only 6 years old, and we were poor throughout my childhood. By the time I became a teenager, I started to feel frustration and hopelessness. I didn't like my life and desperately wanted to change it, but I didn't know how."
He related that influential people in his life taught him how to hope again. "Their influence helped me change my attitudes. They encouraged me to believe in myself and helped me capitalize on my skills, which the Lord had given me. When I say that every faculty and staff member at LDS Business College must aid each student, I speak as one who knows the great power of this individual help.
"When I was a young man about the age of many of our students," Pres. Woodhouse recalled, "I had some difficulty knowing exactly where I fit in. My dear mother gave me a copy of Jesus the Christ, written by James E. Talmage, who was the third president of LDS Business College. . . . I studied the life of the Savior and I learned of His great compassion, and because of His help, over time, my life began to have great meaning. I started to understand that there is a plan for us and there are reasons for our existence - reasons that even supersede our daily tasks. The combination of a personal spiritual base and guidance from caring adults allowed me to become a contributing, directed adult."
As college president, he pledged to support the business communities and to be responsive to the changing needs of business. To the staff, faculty and student body, he symbolically extended his hand and heart. "We are a small institution, but I am confident that our legacy will be a large one."