BYU's Campus Education Week continues 90-year tradition

Published: Monday, Aug. 13 2012 8:00 a.m. MDT

Which is not to say that every class needs to be scripturally or doctrinally-based. Scanning the class schedule for 2012, in addition to the classes on the LDS scriptures and church history, there are also classes on the arts, communication, family and marriage, finance, fitness, government, law, music, parenting, psychology and self-improvement. But in every class, Payne said, "we anticipate our presenters will bring statements from church leaders and the scriptures to bear on the subject, even if it isn't necessarily a doctrinal class."

The success of teachers and presenters is a critical element to the ongoing popularity of Education Week.

"It all begins with our faculty," Payne said. "They are all solid, well-grounded in the gospel and experts in their respective fields. When people come, they find that their needs are being met by good instructors talking about things they need or want to hear. The popularity of Education Week is dependant on getting these great instructors."

It seems to be a good experience for the teachers, as well.

"I'm super excited to be teaching again at Campus Education Week this year," wrote singer/presenter Vanessa Joy in her online blog. "I've met so many wonderful people and made some great friends."

"This is my eighth year teaching at Education Week," wrote Dawn Thurston after teaching about writing personal and family histories at last year's event. "I always come away from the experience touched and inspired by the many wonderful people I've met who are fired up with a sense of mission to write their personal and family stories."

Which is one of the reasons Payne thinks instructors enjoy teaching at Education Week. As Thurston said, those who attend the classes are "fired up."

"We frequently hear from our presenters about how great it is to teach people who are there because they really want to be there," Payne said. "For a lot of teachers, that's an unusual experience, and they really enjoy it."

And then there's the BYU campus itself, which enhances the unique feeling of spiritual commitment that exists at Education Week.

"People come to just soak up the atmosphere," Payne said. "Part of that has to do with the spirit that is always here on this campus, and part of it has to do with a lot of work from a lot of people: the grounds crews, the scheduling coordinators, the dining service, the campus housing office — you name it, there are hundreds and hundreds of BYU employees assisting in this effort.

"Everyone knows it's an important week," he continued, "and everyone jumps in to make it a great experience."

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