With the charge to lead LDS Business College “to new heights of purpose, learning, service, achievement, recognition and unity,” President Bruce C. Kusch officially began his tenure as the college’s 13th president on Oct. 24.
Students, faculty and LDS Church leaders met in the historic Assembly Hall on Temple Square for the inauguration. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency spoke and installed the college’s new president, and Elder Dallin H. Oaks, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and chairman of the executive committee of the board of trustees for the Church Educational System, conducted. Elder Kim B. Clark, General Authority Seventy and commissioner of the Church Educational System, also offered remarks.
“I am grateful for the privilege to celebrate with you the inauguration of President Bruce C. Kusch as 13th president of LDS Business College,” President Uchtdorf said. “President Kusch took office in April of this year and this inaugural ceremony confirms the confidence of the board of trustees as it officially inaugurates his presidency today.”
President Ucthdorf noted that the roots of LDS Business College go back to 1886 and spoke of the goals that have always been at the center of the college’s curriculum — strengthening discipleship, teaching practical skills and cultivating a nurturing environment.
Recognizing the costs of education and the difficulty of accommodating all who desire to study, President Uchtdorf reminded listeners “above all, we must never forget that the foundation for past and future innovations must always be grounded in divine gospel truth and the inspired charted course of Church education.”
President Kusch “gratefully” accepted the charge from President Uchtdorf and pledged his “whole soul as an offering to magnify this sacred trust.”
“I am excited for this season of learning and service, and feel much like Oliver Cowdery, who said, in describing early events of the Restoration, ‘These were days never to be forgotten.’ This is a time and a season in the history of Church education unlike any other. Truly, theses are days never to be forgotten.”
President Kusch invited all who work, serve and learn at LDS Business College to “seek an understanding of this vision — obtaining even the smallest glimpse — of what the Lord desires us to achieve and to become.”
“As capable and consecrated as we may be today, it will not be sufficient for the work that lies ahead,” he said. Individually and institutionally “we must lengthen our stride, expand our reach and quicken our pace.”
Each person must live in a way to merit the spiritual gifts needed to inspire innovation, help people know what to do and how to do it according to heaven’s design.
The new president shared three strategic imperatives to help focus the desires, priorities, choices and actions of all who are associated with LDS Business College.
Imperative 1: Serving and blessing the lives of many more students on the Salt Lake City campus.
“I believe there are substantially more of our Heavenly Father’s children who would be immeasurably blessed by an LDS Business College experience,” he said. “On our campus there is room enough and to spare.”
Creative class scheduling, online learning and other curriculum innovations are ways LDS Business College will serve many more students — oftentimes non- traditional students — with no increase in the physical space now occupied, he said.
“Come to the college, and together we will help you discover that hope, build upon it and claim new and exciting opportunities.”
Imperative 2: Be a hub of educational innovation, educating more deeply and more powerfully than ever before.
“A willingness to embrace change in our own learning and teaching is essential if the learning of our students is to deepen and accelerate ..,” he said. “We must be forward-thinking, looking and doing; nimble and ever prepared to educate with excellence; increasing and improving our capability to respond with just-in-time curriculum solutions.”
Imperative 3: Be an integral contributor to the BYU-Pathway Worldwide effort.
“Our collaborative efforts will provide domestic Pathway students a seamless transition to LDS Business College and on to BYU-Idaho online, while several of our certificates will be included in online offerings to students globally,” he said. “I am confident this is only the beginning and would simply say to President [Clark G.] Gilbert, ‘we are ready,’ and committed to do our part.”
In his remarks, Elder Clark said President Kusch and his wife are “the salt of the earth.”
“Salt was and is a great blessing,” Elder Clark said. “In ancient times it was highly valued in medicine, in preserving, protecting and seasoning food, as a form of currency and in family and religious ceremonies.”
Given its importance, salt came to be a symbol of many important attributes of the abundant life, Elder Clark taught. He highlighted four clusters of attributes — purity and integrity, friendship and hospitality, wisdom and value, and vitality and creation — associated with salt at the time of the Savior’s mortal ministry.
Just as salt blessed people in many ways and was of great worth, so are the covenant people of the Lord, he taught.
Nefi J. Aguilar and Schillene A. Bigelow offered official greetings from the LDS Business College students and faculty. The BC Choir, combined with LDS Business College faculty and staff, performed a musical selection, and Jason M. Gunnell performed an organ solo. Past college President J. Lawrence Richards was in attendance.