Snow Rites Spotlight College, Not President
By John Hales
EPHRAIM - At the turn of the last century, LDS Church President Lorenzo Snow refused the honor of having the Sanpete Stake Academy, predecessor to Snow College, renamed after him. He suggested instead that it be named after his distant cousin Erastus.
With like humility, the college's 15th president, Scott L. Wyatt, gave away the honor due him on what should have been his day, choosing rather to give tribute to the college itself, its founders and its current faculty.
"This is not about me," Wyatt said during his inaugural address Friday. "It is all about this college and its people."
Rather than an inauguration in which the greatness of the incoming president took center stage, the entire inauguration was designed to showcase the greatness of the college itself.
Nothing much was said about Wyatt's life and accomplishments other than, "You can read about President Wyatt in the printed program."
Instead, and at Wyatt's own direction, the inauguration featured some of the college's accomplished faculty as examples of what makes the college great:
With such teachers as examples, Wyatt said, and with the founders of the college who sacrificed much to build it and maintain it as inspiration, "Our descendants and our future students need us to be our best today so as to give them their best tomorrow."
Wyatt said he was proud to be part of an institution that understood its mission was not simply to dispense knowledge but to build character also.
He quoted Martin Luther King Jr., who said, "Intelligence plus character that is the goal of true education."
Wyatt said, "Ultimately, Snow College is great because it is good."
Wyatt said there are four cornerstones to his vision for the college: 1) increase awareness and respect for the history of the college and its founders; 2) increase enrollment at the school; 3) create a functioning, successful alumni association; and 4) continue the quality of education available at Snow College.
He announced that the partnership Snow has with Juilliard in the music department (Snow is the only school in the country, junior or otherwise, to be able to boast a partnership with Juilliard, the premier school for the performing arts) will be expanded to include Snow's theater and dance departments.
He also announced new scholarships for veterans and their spouses and for multi-cultural students.
He said he has come to "love the college and admire those who work here," and implied that he intends to stay at Snow for a good while.
"This job is a destination," he said.