Scott G. Winterton, Deseret Morning News
LDS Church officials announced today that former Harvard business professor Steven C. Wheelwright will be taking the helm at the Brigham Young University Hawaii campus.
Wheelwright will replace Eric B. Shumway, who has been president at the university since 1994.
"I know President Wheelwright will take BYU-Hawaii to new heights," President Gordon B. Hinckley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Tuesday at a live video teleconference from the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Students gathered at the Cannon Activities Center at BYU-Hawaii to hear the announcement.
"Through his expertise and many associations, I am confident he will expand the influence of BYU-Hawaii and bless the lives of all who come to this illustrious school," President Hinckley said.
The 100-acre Laie, Hawaii, campus serves 2,400 students and is one of the most ethnically diverse, per capita, campuses in the country with students from 70 different nations.
Wheelwright, the school's ninth president, said he would further the school's mission to influence as many lives for good as possible and work on lowering the cost per student to attend.
"There is a great need for young men and young women who will accept responsibility, are willing to be held accountable and who will work with and for people," Wheelwright said, adding that the environment at BYU-Hawaii provides an opportunity to fill that need.
"We are excited because we believe in the mission of BYU-Hawaii because it combines spiritual with secular learning and focuses on the development of character and understanding in these young people."
He is the second church college president to be called from Harvard University, where he retired late last year. Wheelwright was an emeritus scholar of business administration and served as associate dean and director of Harvard Business School's publication activities.
Wheelwright grew up in Salt Lake City and attended the University of Utah, and later attended Stanford's Graduate School of Business, where he earned a master's degree in business administration and a doctorate.
He has spent the past eight months working with another Harvard business school alumnus, Kim Clark, who is president of BYU-Idaho. The two have written a few books together, and Wheelwright said he was a member of Harvard's faculty when Clark was admitted to Harvard.
Wheelwright and his wife of 42 years, Margaret, have five children and 15 grandchildren. He said they are all excited about the move.
"I think Hawaii is one of the most beautiful spots in the world," he said. However, amid the beauty of the outdoors, he said it will be challenging to fill the shoes of former president Shumway.
Shumway, originally of Arizona, was also recently released from part-time service as an Area Authority for Hawaii and California for the LDS Church and was called to serve as president of the Nuku'alofa Tonga Temple.
"He is the nearest thing to a father figure BYU-Hawaii has ever had," President Hinckley said of Shumway.
During his presidency, the church-owned university celebrated its 50th anniversary. He was instrumental in developing a comprehensive curriculum revision process and strengthening the university's school of business.The new president-designate and Elder W. Rolfe Kerr, Church Education System commissioner and a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, will travel to Laie where they will speak at a devotional in the Cannon Activities Center on Thursday at 10 a.m.
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