Flora Benson, wife of President Ezra Taft Benson, observed her 85th birthday July 1. A dinner to celebrate the event was held at the home of a son, Mark, and his wife, Lela. President and Sister Benson later attended a Utah Symphony concert featuring a barbershop chorus.
The first regional conference in Alaska was held at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage recently. More than six thousand Church members attended, many of them flying from outlying areas since there are no roads connecting Anchorage to some communities. President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Council of the Twelve, and Elder A. Theodore Tuttle of the First Quorum of the Seventy and President of the North American Northwest Area spoke at the conference.
The Pacific island of Tarawa, Kiribati, hosted its first Young Adult conference recently on the Moroni High School campus at Eita. More than five hundred young people attended the two-day event. Micronesia Guam Mission president Joseph B. Keeler gave the opening address.
The Church’s twelfth Missionary Training Center was opened June 2 in Lima, Peru. The first twenty-six missionaries to enter the new training center, which is in the remodeled offices of the former Lima Peru South Mission home, came from Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. President M. Alvin Romney and his wife, Lucile, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, are leaders of the center. Sessions to train new missionaries will begin every two weeks.
Brigham Young University’s Ballroom Dance Company won the Latin-American formation championship earlier this year at the Blackpool Dance Festival held in Blackpool, England. Dance groups from nearly thirty countries competed. The BYU dancers also captured third place in the ballroom dance division, while Lee and Linda Wakefield, the company’s artistic directors, placed second in an exhibition competition. As winners of the Blackpool festival, the BYU dance company has been invited to compete in the world championships in Germany.
A record 852 students attended the second term of summer school at Ricks College, the Church’s two-year college in Rexburg, Idaho. The previous record for summer school enrollment was 796 students in 1983. The college also reports a substantial increase in the number of students registering for the regular fall term. College officials attribute the increased enrollment to a decrease in tuition and to extensive recruitment efforts this year.
Brent W. Webb, Young Men president of the Purdue Ward, Lafayette Indiana Stake, has received the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award. He is one of eight in the United States to be presented the award in the field of engineering. Brother Webb is a doctoral student in engineering at Purdue University, and will receive federal grants and matching private funds.