Eyring, the Bicentennial, and the Great Flood
Homecoming 1974 was special for Elder Marion G. Romney, a Ricks alumnus and Second Counselor in the LDS Church First Presidency. “Throughout his life, he has continued to be a friend of Ricks College, working to make the school the fine institution it is today,” Mayor John C. Porter proclaimed. “For his service to humanity, his Church, and to Ricks College, I am honored to proclaim Friday, September 27, 1974, as a day set aside to give him the honor and respect which is his due.” The proclamation was read at a commemorative assembly, Friday afternoon. President Romney was presented a plaque designating him an honorary lifetime resident of Rexburg, an Oliver Parson painting of the Tetons, and an R blanket. In his address, President Romney noted that “there are ominous signs in the world today of future calamities.” The way to survive “is to follow the commandments of the Lord.” President Romney said that as a student at Ricks in 1922 and 1923, he met his future wife and was inspired to go on a mission. He implied that the present generation might do likewise.
Typically, sports enthusiasts keep their eyes on the fall football season. But JoAnn Reeve and her volleyball team got increasing attention as the season progressed. They were winning each contest. More and more spectators showed up at home games to cheer and shout. At the end of the season, the team had won the regional championship, sported an excellent twenty-five-win, four-loss record, and had an invitation to the national volleyball championships in Battle Creek, Michigan, in December. The team advanced to the championship game against Miami-Dade Community College. Ricks won the first game 15-12, after being behind 12-10. They lost the second game 8-15. The championship game was the way championship games should be. The game was tied 12-12 when time expired. Miami scored first in overtime. They led 13-12. Miami needed one point to win; Ricks needed three. Ricks broke serve. Colette Sweatfield served three points and Ricks College had its first national championship team. The national title gave women’s athletics at Ricks a tremendous boost. Those who played in the national tournament were Jeannie Busby, Colette Sweatfield (co-captain), Terrie McAdam, Roxanne Skapple (co-captain), Cindy Tschikof, Joan West, Judy Waggood, Kathy Call, and Donna Arrington.
All sorts of national, state, and local programs were being planned to celebrate the nation’s 200th birthday on July 4, 1976. By January 1975, President Eyring had set in motion plans for the college’s participation in the bicentennial by establishing a steering committee. “We see the bicentennial celebration as an opportunity to preserve some highly perishable history for future students at Ricks,” he commented. “If we do not reach out to people who love Ricks and this valley and who have in their possession these priceless bits of history,” they will likely be lost. “We need photographs, journals, letters and names and addresses of people we can contact to make voice tapes to use for this project,” he said. “These are people who have had intimate contact with this great valley and school, and who can tell us a history we could get in no other way.”
Quickly, the Alumni Association became involved, encouraging members to send memorabilia that could be used to write histories. In the Alumni Newsletter, President Eyring wrote, “We won’t ignore the bravery of early American patriots or the spiritual power of the Founding Fathers—our observance of the bicentennial on the campus will highlight that part of our heritage. But we will emphasize, as well, the quiet courage of people choosing to do right and building the atmosphere on this campus still sensed by our students today and called the ‘spirit of Ricks.’ ”
“On March 1, 1975, the United States began its observance of the nation’s 200th birthday,” noted a statement released over the signatures of presidents Eyring and Clarke. “Ricks College has special reason to support this celebration. Our learning and our worship are blessed by the country’s founding and divine destiny. And, the people of Ricks College—from the early pioneers to the students of today—have loved the nation.” They called for proposals to celebrate the bicentennial, focusing on the chosen theme “Out of This American Heritage Came I.”
At the Bicentennial Committee meeting on April 16, 1975, several main projects were accepted for funding, including an educational display, an art competition, an oratorio entitled The Land of Joseph, a series of paintings, and collection and organization of historical materials. Additionally, several secondary proposals were accepted, including a dance production called “The Vision,” a student diorama, selection of bicentennial materials in fine arts, campus beautification, and historical brochures. Funding for projects would come primarily from the development fund. Dean Sorensen, Inez Searle, and Mack Shirley were chosen as co-chairmen of student activities; Darwin Wolford would do the oratorio; LaMar Barrus would perform a centennial concert in the fall; Richard Bird would do a series of illustrations depicting the founding of Ricks; Jerry Glenn would manage historical materials; and David Allen would set up an educational display. The committee agreed that Ricks’ official bicentennial observance would commence at homecoming 1975 and culminate during American Week in 1976.
While much attention focused on bicentennial preparations, all other campus functions continued and progress was being made on building construction. Soon the library addition would be completed. “As you know, the old wing of the library building will be changed to house administrative functions,” President Eyring wrote to Kenneth H. Beesley, associate commissioner for colleges and schools. “The Arthur Porter Mormon Americana Room was designated at the dedication of the old library. We request that the Arthur Porter name be transferred to our special collections room in the new library. This would satisfy the Porter family, who have supported us, and, at the same time, would carry on the name of one of our influential pioneers.” Commissioner Beesley approved the change.
More than 1,000 students were present to hear Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Assistant to the Quorum of Twelve, speak at baccalaureate on April 22, 1975. Elder Maxwell, with his inimitable prose artistry, counseled graduates. Following baccalaureate came the alumni banquet where awards were given, graduating nurses pinned, and commencement held. Leslie Slaugh and Renae Ellis represented the class of 1975, and President Eyring gave his report and handed out diplomas.
The Twelfth Annual Development Conference brought 200 people to Ricks on June 25 to 28. President Eyring used the conference as a forum to emphasize how helpful churchwide fund-raising had been for Ricks College development. He also announced the college’s proposed agricultural curriculum, explaining that several million dollars needed to be raised to build facilities on Ricks’ farmland south of campus. Glen Erikson, the director of development, worked with the Church Development Office to see what funding could be arranged.
Although the college bicentennial observance had been announced to commence at homecoming, the first event of the bicentennial observance was a program on September 11. LaMar Barrus and his wife, Carol, performed a violin and piano concert. They performed music typical of that performed in various periods in American history by Vitales, Mozart, and Franck. They concluded with Jewish, Irish, Italian, and French songs illustrating “America as a melting pot for many nations.” The concert was uplifting and set the tone for bicentennial activities.
Homecoming week officially started another Ricks bicentennial event on October 11 when several hundred students made the bus trip to the bottom of the R butte, hiked up, and splashed paint on the R and each other. Monday was Red, White, and Blue Day in keeping with the homecoming theme: “The Spirit of Ricks: America’s Hope.”
Church President Spencer W. Kimball and his wife arrived at Idaho Falls Airport on October 14, 1975. They were greeted by President Eyring, some of his staff, and a crowd who wanted a glimpse of the Prophet. A brief news conference was held. One question asked of President Kimball was whether Ricks was going to become a four-year college again. President Kimball responded that “it is not being contemplated at this time.”
Students had been lining up since 7 a.m. to be sure to get into the Hart Auditorium for the 2 p.m. devotional assembly. Students gathered at the main entrances to the Manwaring Center to see President Kimball and, hopefully, shake his hand. President Kimball, as he made his way to the Manwaring Center for a noon luncheon, stopped frequently and spoke to students. To feel his love was a moving experience. Often those in proximity of President Kimball began singing “We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet.” At 1 p.m., President Kimball spoke to the assembled faculty, staff, and spouses, using a small amplifier affixed to his glasses with a microphone near his mouth so he could be heard. His larynx had been removed during an operation some years before, and he had to learn how to speak again. Eyes, ears, and spirits were attuned to President Kimball. He received many gifts to commemorate his visit to campus. Student-body President Fred Martin presented “a bound volume of messages written to him by Ricks students.” Gary Archibald, the Alumni Association president, presented a Robert Worrell painting of the Tetons. Ferron W. Sonderegger, on behalf of the faculty, presented some Idaho fire opal jewelry he had made.
President Kimball’s devotional message was centered on being worthy to attend the temple. “I am concerned at the large number of young people who marry out of the temple,” he said. “Now is the time to make the decision” to be married in the temple. He counseled all to read the scriptures, pray often, and “date faithful members of the Church.” By this time President Kimball’s theme to “lengthen your stride” was well known. He reiterated that theme, calling for more worthy young men and women to serve missions. Having President Kimball at Ricks for the homecoming devotional was memorable indeed. He would return in a few months under considerably different circumstances.
The bicentennial homecoming continued with the queen pageant, an outstanding alumni assembly written and directed by Sharon Moser, donkey basketball, a bonfire and snake dance, and the Hudson Brothers concert on Friday. Homecoming concluded on Saturday with the emeritus breakfast, followed by the parade with Frank Ricks, a grandson of Thomas E. Ricks, as grand marshal, football against Utah State University junior varsity with Ricks winning 24-17, alumni banquet with the classes ending in “five” honored, class reunions, and a formal dance. The bicentennial homecoming was a grand success.
Ricks bicentennial activities continued apace the rest of the semester and into 1976. Included were a series of illustrations on the history of the school; educational displays with the six best student essays written on the bicentennial theme mounted on large display boards; the Viking Scroll microfilmed; materials purchased to help organize a permanent photograph collection; a planned oral history project with retired faculty members; receipt of the Oswald Christensen diaries sent to Ricks by the Christensen family; and a photo essay of the B-2 building, which was to be torn down to make room for the proposed fine arts center.
Included in bicentennial activities during spring semester were three productions by the Dramatic Arts Department: Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Keepers of the Flame, and You Can’t Take It With You. The Faculty Women association presented Patriots in Petticoats. The Fine Arts Series sponsored a concert by Olivia Newton-John.
The Executive Committee of the Board of Education held an important meeting at Ricks on March 12, 1976. Flying into Idaho Falls from Salt Lake City were Elders Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson, and Boyd K. Packer. Attending from the commissioner’s office were Kenneth H. Beesley, Dan Workman, and Harold W. Western. Also attending was Dallin H. Oakes, president of Brigham Young University. Committee minutes reflect that some new prospective faculty were approved, “subject to appropriate interviews.” David Allen talked about the proposed agricultural program for which missionaries would be recruited. Mission presidents could tell about the program during final interviews with missionaries being released. President Eyring talked about the general education program being revised and implemented at the college. At the conclusion of the meeting, Elders Hinckley and Monson returned to Idaho Falls to catch a plane to Salt Lake City. The others were given campus tours. In the evening after a banquet, they attended the world premiere of the Doug Stewart and Lex De Azevedo production “Threads of Glory,” a tribute to God and nation. Ruth Barrus noted, “Those who labored so hard with this production know that birth is a compound of agony and sublimity. The agony is soon forgotten; the sublime we take with us into eternity.” On Saturday, more members of the Executive Committee returned to Salt Lake City, while others went to Island Park and Yellowstone National Park. That evening they attended the Olivia Newton-John concert. All remaining members left Sunday morning for Salt Lake City.
April 13, 1976, was a special day on campus. On that day Elder EzraTaft Benson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, dedicated nine buildings: the John L. Clarke Family Living Center, Classroom Office Building, Women’s Residence Halls 33 and 34, Pioneer Halls 35 and 36, Ensign Halls 45 and 46, and the new Physical Plant Building. President Eyring conducted the dedicatory services. In addition to dedicating buildings, in his prayer President Benson invoked a blessing on the "school administrative officers and faculty and all others connected with this institution that they will remember this church school is to be guided and conducted by inspiration from on high.
"Let thy choice spiritual and temporal blessings abide with the students and faculty that there will always be understanding and harmony between them.
"Bless the students that they will not only qualify themselves to meet the needs of mortal life earning a livelihood for themselves and loved ones, but augment their secular knowledge and training with a testimony that thou, our Father, and Jesus Christ, thy Son, live; that the Church of Christ has been restored; that the gospel is true and is the power of God unto salvation. Bless them with qualities of divine character and strengthen them in faith to become profitable servants of thee, our God, and thy beloved Son.
"Bless them also that every virtue and quality of goodness will be inculcated into their hearts to encourage them to work for a greater and more rewarding life, and a keen desire to help build the Church and Kingdom of God on earth for the salvation of the human family."
Apparently, some students became concerned about the Viking symbol being used by some organizations, mostly those affiliated with college athletics. They said that the symbolic Viking was a rough, bearded character. The Alumni Council came out strongly against changing or dropping the symbol. After all, Evelyn Ricks noted, “The main reason for the Viking symbol is strength—meaning being strong in your church, strong in your standards, and strong in your character. The Vikings were strong men of the north,” she concluded, “and therefore the symbol, signifying strength, symbolized many attributes we desire in the youth of Ricks College.” The symbol remained.
At 1:45 p.m. on April 20, 1976, Brent N. Jones of the music faculty began playing selections on the carillon bells, and the academic march began for more than 1,000 members of the bicentennial year class. Baccalaureate services opened commencement activities. William Grant Bangerter, Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve, reminded graduates that “Ricks is in the exporting business—the whole country seems to have been sprinkled with Latter-day Saints from Ricks College—ye are the salt. . . . So dream students, dream the impossible dream of building a new gospel-centered world wherever you are.” The next two days after baccalaureate were filled with activities, including presentations by the Alumni Council of Distinguished Alumni Awards to A. Golden Andrus, Mary P. Cannon, and Alexander E. Archibald, and the Distinguished Faculty Award to Lyle Lowder. Friday was graduation. As a preface to the outlined program, President Eyring commented that “it is the challenge of the day to somehow make you feel you matter individually. But you do matter to us.” He added, “You matter to your Father in Heaven. He cares about you very much and we care about you.” Roland L. Comeau, Etta Mae Jones, Scotty K. Slivka, Janine Bitter, and Rebecca Warnock, all 4.00 students, participated on the program. DeanHarry Maxwell presented the class, President Eyring awarded the diplomas, “Happy Ties” was sung, and the bicentennial class of 1976 departed.
The community commemoration of the bicentennial of the United States was planned to culminate with the Fourth of July parade and celebration. The parade and celebration did take place, but in a far different manner than anyone could have imagined.
Early Saturday morning, June 5, 1976, the almost completed, almost filled Teton Dam northeast of Rexburg broke, sending millions of gallons of water down the Teton River canyon and over the towns and farmlands of the river basin. Professor Ross Peterson of the history department at Utah State University noted in his booklet, “The Teton Dam Disaster: Tragedy or Triumph?,” that within a few hours some 100,000 farmed acres were affected, more than 13,000 livestock killed, farm equipment worth millions of dollars destroyed, 250 businesses became inoperable, 733 homes destroyed and another 3,000 damaged, many of which had to be razed. Six people perished in the flood and another five died as a result of the flood.
Only a corner of the college football field was flooded. A small building, floating off its foundation, was deposited on the field. Otherwise, no damage was done to the campus. President Eyring immediately made the campus available for two thousand homeless and hungry people. Dormitories became home for about three months for many. More than 386,000 meals were served in the college cafeteria free of charge. College faculty and staff volunteered thousands of hours to assist in whatever capacity was needed. The campus became the center of recovery efforts. Ronnie Moss, who worked for the college and was also the director of the local civil defense operation, set up his headquarters on campus. All relief efforts by the Church, including a bishop’s storehouse established on campus to organize food and clothing relief, Red Cross, Mennonite Church Disaster Team, and others, operated from campus.
Mark Ricks, the president of the Rexburg Stake, was responsible for all Church-related activities relative to the disaster. He was joined by Mayor John Porter and the Rexburg City Council, county commissioners Keith Walker, Dell Klingler, and Leo Smith, and religious leaders of all faiths represented in the city. Quickly, Governor Cecil D. Andrus sent in the National Guard and Idaho State Police to help secure the area. Volunteers by the thousands began arriving within a few days to help with cleanup.
President Eyring set the example of selfless service. He changed from his pin-stripe suit into work clothes and headed out to assist wherever he was needed. Early on he was needed by someone from the Church offices for a status report. No one knew for sure where he was—perhaps he was in the Sugar City area? GeorgeArliss Willmore flew a helicopter to find him. He was found slogging around in the mud like everyone else. The July 18, 1976, Idaho Statesman “Portrait of a Distinguished Citizen” featured President Eyring, saying:
"Eyring mobilized college forces to open Ricks to the homeless and the hungry during the Teton flood crisis while still managing to ready the college for its summer school program a few weeks later.
"Ricks was home to 2400, during the height of the disaster relief effort and on June 10 served 30,100 free meals. The campus still provides lodging to some 1200 victims. Staff and students alike worked tirelessly throughout the flood period to help other victims despite devastation to their own homes.
"As a college administrator, he personally knows everyone working for him and is the first to extend himself to those with personal problems. He visited every family that he knew had been victimized by the flood, about 150 to 175 families, and even took along a photographer to shoot pictures for them to use in their claims."
The only local Church priesthood meeting on Sunday, June 6, was held in the Rexburg Stake—no meetings were held in North Rexburg Stake as all buildings had been damaged. Home teachers were instructed to check on each of their families and see what assistance was immediately needed. That afternoon President Gerald Ford declared Madison County and parts of several surrounding areas as disaster areas. Later he signed the Teton Disaster Bill that provided for monetary assistance to rebuild individual homes and businesses.
President Spencer W. Kimball arrived on Sunday, June 13, 1976. He was accompanied by Elder Boyd K. Packer. They were given a tour of the area by helicopter. In two afternoon sessions held in the Hart Auditorium, President Kimball spoke to members of Rexburg and North Rexburg stakes. Also on the stand was Governor Andrus, who addressed the congregations. President Kimball spoke of his love for the people. He was especially concerned for the children and counseled fathers and mothers to do all they could to care for the children, to see that family traditions were quickly re-established, and to focus on eternal concepts in conversations. He compared sacrifices required by the Teton Dam disaster to sacrifices made by pioneers crossing the plains. “We flew up over the dam that was broken,” he said.
"Our hearts wanted to weep a bit as we saw the devastation in your valley and the terrible things, but we hope and pray that through the years of rebuilding, that you will rebuild so well, that the next house you build will be a little better than the one you had before; a little more serviceable, perhaps. We hope too that while you are building you will build characters as you have done this week; that your character will show a great improvement; so we will all be living closer to the laws of the Lord and His commandments as we go back to our homes."
President Kimball also commented that “we are grateful that the college was here; grateful for the great service that it has been able to render and hope that it and other places will continue to serve.” There were many who commented in the days and weeks after the flood that certainly more than just good fortune was involved when the college had been allowed to stay in Rexburg.
The Independence Day bicentennial parade was held Saturday, July 3. In one month the city was reasonably cleaned up. Some businesses were open, including a grocery store. People were feeling proud of their accomplishments and the parade, while small, brought the community together. One float seemed to catch the spirit of the occasion. The caption on the side of the float depicted “Wrecksburg,” as being developed by the Bureau of “Wrecklamation.”
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) brought hundreds of mobile homes to Rexburg for housing for those whose houses were destroyed, or were under repair and not yet liveable. Just before fall semester started, the last family living in a dormitory was relocated to a HUD home.
There was some concern that flood publicity would deter some from registering at Ricks. A letter was sent to all stake presidents, mission presidents, bishops, and district presidents in the United States and Canada over the signature of the First Presidency, with the following information:
"In the aftermath of the recent flooding disaster in southeastern Idaho, some parents and priesthood leaders have made inquiries about the advisability of sending their college age students to Ricks College. We wish to reassure all who may be concerned that Ricks College will not only be providing a complete academic program in 1976-1977 but also is completing its regular summer session now in progress. Adequate on- campus and off-campus housing will again be available for full enrollment in the fall 1976 term.
"In this tragedy which has displaced thousands of Latter-day Saints from their homes, the personnel and physical facilities of Ricks College have provided a secure base of operations for our Welfare Services and have contributed significantly to the aid and relief given these flood victims. Such service rendered by administrators, faculty, staff, and student body is in the finest tradition of Ricks College. We are pleased to have this school continue its operation and train young Latter-day Saints for even greater service to family, community and church.
A great number of students from Idaho and Utah had been to Rexburg as volunteers and helped with the recovery. Many students volunteered some of their time to help with cleanup after fall semester started. For homecoming, students decided to plant grass for flood victims rather than paint the R. The gesture was more than symbolic. Student service projects to help recover from the flood became standard for student social clubs and organizations, as well as college branches.
The college bicentennial celebration was brought to a wonderful conclusion on November 6, 1976, in the Hart Auditorium. That evening the oratorio The Land of Joseph was performed. The college symphony orchestra, A Cappella Choir and Vikaliers, organist Ruth Barrus, and faculty soloists Richard Robison, Inga Johnson, and Clyde Luke, under the direction of LaMar Barrus, performed superbly. The librettist was Marylou Cunningham Shaver. The music was composed by Darwin Wolford. A standing ovation from the capacity audience for the performers, librettist, and composer signified the reaction to the outstanding performance. Cheryl Stephan, a former Ricks music student, commented: “This oratorio was a great spiritual uplift for me. It has helped me realize the privilege of living in this blessed land and the importance of living the Gospel. I am grateful to Dr. Wolford and the faculty and students at Ricks College who made such an experience possible.” The conclusion of bicentennial activities was magnificent.
Fall semester of 1976 ended with a bit of controversy, at least among faculty. Word had spread that consideration was being given to making Ricks a subdivision of Brigham Young University. Proponents and opponents discussed their views. Daniel Hess and Mack Shirley wrote a list of advantages to the change and advantages to the status quo and forwarded them to President Eyring. Among the advantages for change were standardization of course content and numbers, possibilities for faculty exchange with BYU professors, some upper division courses could be taught, less administrative duplication, and more versatility in academic programs. The advantages to maintaining the status quo—about twice as many as advantages for change—centered around tradition, identity, loyalty among alumni, competition, more innovative ideas, independence, and uniqueness. The majority of faculty probably supported the Hess-Shirley assessment. Ricks weathered another storm, albeit nothing like previous storms.
The year of 1977 was a year of transition for Ricks. The building program was moving along with a groundbreaking ceremony for a major addition to the Manwaring Student Center. On April 26, President Eyring conducted the ceremony, assisted by LaVere A. Ricks, the College First Stake president, and Dr. Jeffrey Holland, the commissioner of Church education. Plans for the fine arts center were on the drawing board.
In July, the gymnasium was being dismantled to make way for the new fine arts building. Dismantling was inadvertently hastened when a fire on July 19 quickly engulfed the building. The fire department could only contain the blaze and prevent it from spreading to adjacent buildings. A crowd gathered to watch. Many people had fond memories of the building. They had, perhaps, played basketball, learned to swim in the pool, or attended classes and meetings in the building. When the fire finally died out, all that remained were massive rock walls, and there seemed an awesome permanency about them. But within a week the walls had been torn down, and an era spanning most of Ricks’ history ended. The contents of the cornerstone were retrieved under President Eyring, examined, and deposited in the college archives.
New programs were being prepared for the fall semester. Jerry Mumm and Dondavid Powell were developing a new automotive technology program; Thomas Mathews and Thomas Crapo had charge of a new electronics program; Gordon L. Gibbs was developing a beef production management program; R. Brent Kinghorn, the chairman of the Division of Continuing Education, oversaw a family-oriented educational program at Grand Targhee Resort in Wyoming; and Robert Oliphant was developing a “style of our own” dance program.
President Marion G. Romney, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, Ricks alumnus, and a familiar face on campus, gave the baccalaureate address to 1,050 graduates, faculty, and guests, on April 26, 1977. “The purpose for which Ricks exists is not only to give superior academic training for success in mortality,” he said, “but to teach and train its students for eternal life, and that education for eternal life must be founded on truth.” President Eyring addressed the Spori Scholars, those attending the alumni banquet, and the graduates at commencement. This was the last time he addressed Ricks graduates in his role as president of the college.
President Kimball announced that President Eyring had been appointed deputy commissioner of education for the Church on July 18, 1977. He was to assume the position on August 1. Dr. Harry Maxwell, the dean of academic affairs, was appointed acting president while a nationwide search was instituted for President Eyring’s successor. That search ended within a few weeks when President Kimball announced that Dr. Bruce C. Hafen, an associate professor of law at Brigham Young University and director of planning and research for the Church Correlation Department, would assume the presidency of Ricks College on May 1, 1978.
The homecoming assembly on October 7, 1977, was the “President Henry B. Eyring Appreciation Day Assembly.” A special program paid tribute to President Eyring for his six years of service as president of Ricks. The first seven pages of the August Alumni Newsletter were reprinted and handed out to those attending the Appreciation Day Assembly. The newsletter included several pictures and sentiments from alumni, administrative staff, and Church and civic leaders. An article in the newsletter noted:
"Achievements during Dr. Eyring’s six-year term as president of Ricks College include a 20 percent growth in enrollment to 6,000 students, reduction of academic divisions from 11 to 5, extensive involvement of faculty in planning and evaluating more than 40 program innovations, development of a five-year academic plan and a significant increase in donations to the college.
"A campus master plan was developed and several new academic buildings added, including a new library.
"Six two-year career programs for self-employment have been developed in landscape nursery management, farm crops production and management, beef production and management, business management and horsemanship, electronic servicing and repair and automotive servicing and repair."
In “A Message to the Alumni” in the August Alumni Newsletter, President Eyring extended his “thanks for what you’ve done for my family and for me. By examples of love and sacrifice, you’ve taught us. Every time we see excellence in service to the Master, it will bring memories of Ricks College.” The love manifested toward President Eyring and his family at the assembly was evident. The homecoming assembly was a fitting valedictory for President Eyring.
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