Dallin Oaks of Chicago Is New BYU President
Since the mid-winter resignation of Ernest L. Wilkinson from the presidency of Brigham Young University, youth throughout the Church have speculated about who would replace such a great builder and leader. The speculation has been put to rest with the announcement by the First Presidency that Dr. Dallin H. Oaks, thirty-eight, has been named the new BYU president.
Brother Oaks is currently professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School. He will assume his new duties on August 1, 1971. A 1954 graduate of BYU, Brother Oaks went on to distinguish himself as a lawyer, professor and scholar of law, and educational administrator.
“As I contemplate the magnitude of the task ahead of me and all that I have to learn, I feel like a freshman again,” Brother Oaks said in a devotional assembly in which he was introduced to the BYU faculty and student body.
Latter-day Saint students who know Brother Oaks at the University of Chicago had this to say about him:
“Dallin Oaks exemplifies my ideal of the whole man,” said John Phillips.
“Everyone benefits from knowing him on a personal basis,” said Jim Fox.
Although most students at BYU had never heard the name Dallin Oaks prior to the First Presidency’s announcement, they seemed excited about the appointment.
“The obscurity of Brother Oaks says a great deal, in my opinion. That he was chosen over better-known Church personalities indicates to me that the choice was inspired and that he is a superior person,” said Dennis Godfrey, of Blackfoot, Idaho.
“I think his daughters are going to have a hard time,” said Daryl Gibson of Wethersfield, England, with a grin. “Who would want to call for his date at the president’s house? That’s the best kind of insurance a father could have for getting his daughter home before 9:00 P.M.”
“I’m very impressed! I think he’s young, intellectual, and efficient,” said Dean Byrd, Marion, South Carolina.
“For a man of his young age, with all of his accomplishments, he seems to be unimpressed with himself, but he inspired confidence at the same time,” said Paul Dixon, Provo, Utah.
New President Named at Church College of Hawaii
Just two weeks before the announcement of the new president at Brigham Young University came the announcement from the First Presidency of changes at the Church College of Hawaii (CCH).
Dr. Stephen L. Brower, who has been serving as president of the Colombia-Venezuela Mission, succeeds Dr. Owen J. Cook, who has been CCH president since 1964. President Brower assumes his duties about July 1, 1971.
When asked about the differences in secular and Church education, President Brower said, “Latter-day Saints appreciate that education grows out of the revealed truths of the restored gospel and that we don’t accept at face value the theories of men and their ways of saying, ‘This is what life is.’ As Latter-day Saints, we realize that scientific data being gathered today does fit into the revealed mode of truth as well as into the theories and modes that man with his limited perspective has been able to develop. This is the assignment of any Church educator—to provide a broader perspective of truth than is available in the secular world.”
The recently released president, Dr. Cook, told his student body, “This has been a choice and wonderful experience.
“The new Aloha Student Center and thirty-four other buildings have been planned or completed during President Cook’s tenure, and they stand as testimonies to him,” said Hal Hunter, assistant professor in sociology and anthropology.
“Of all Dr. Cook’s visible attributes, the most significant, in student eyes, would have to be his student-oriented attitudes. He is just a wonderful person,” said Esther Mabunga, a freshman from the Philippines.