Brigham Young University campus will once again be filled with attendees young and old for Campus Education Week, an annual tradition entering its 91st year, on Aug. 19-23.
“It’s always a great experience,” said Education Week administrator Bruce Payne. “Every year when I read over the schedule and different classes, I think ‘Oh, I wish I could attend all of these.’ ”
This year’s theme, “A People of Profound Learning,” is taken from the BYU Second Century address of President Spencer W. Kimball, where he revisits the call from President Brigham Young to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to actively seek out learning opportunities “pertaining to the things of the world.”
Payne also referred to President Young’s desire for church members to “learn everything that the children of men know, and be prepared for the most refined society upon the face of the earth, then improve on this until we are prepared and permitted to enter the society of the blessed — the holy angels that dwell in the presence of God.”
“The theme was a way to reflect President Brigham Young’s anxiousness to have us be a people of all types of learning” Payne added.
The program, one of the largest continuing education programs in the country, is expected to have more than 20,000 attendees this year. With more than 1,000 classes on numerous topics and more than 230 different presenters from BYU, LDS seminaries and institutes of religion and other experts in their field, Payne is confident that “there really is something for everyone.”
“We always include some new presenters every year to keep the program fresh,” Payne said. “But we also still invite the attendees’ favorites to come back.”
As far as topic selection, “Since presenters are the experts and the ones who have their finger on the pulse of what topics are of the most interest, we have them propose the topics,” he said.
Classes will cover a wide range of subjects, such as religion, scripture, church history, family and marriage, missionary work and genealogy while also offering classes on more secular topics like human relations, law, science, health and fitness, psychology and self-improvement, to name a few. (For a complete topical listing of classes, visit ce.byu.edu/edweek/schedule.php.)
Along with the regular class schedule, Payne highlights a few other opportunities attendees may have.
“We’re excited to have Elder M. Russell Ballard (of the Quorum of the Twelve) be our devotional speaker this year. Anyone can come to that. We have classes being taught by the Sunday School General Presidency on learning and teaching. And we also have some amazing performances in the evenings,” Payne said.
The Harris Fine Arts Center will host the musical “The Scarlet Pimpernel,” as well as concerts by Dallyn Vail Bayles and Josh Wright. Each will have performances Tuesday through Friday in different recital halls.
“These events are separately ticketed, but very reasonably priced,” Payne said.
Special classes will also be offered simultaneously the entire week for youths ages 14-18, many of which will focus on helping them navigate the different aspects of being a teenager — whether that be in the LDS Church or in general. There will also be a youth dance.
While the program lasts Monday through Friday, guests can opt to attend as many or as few days as they wish, whether it be for the whole week, a single day, or a morning, afternoon or evening.
Classes begin each day at 8:30 a.m., ending at 4:05 p.m. on Monday and 9:25 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. Most classes offered are 55 minutes long, with 25-minute breaks between each.
All classes are first-come, first-seated. With some drawing more attendees, Payne said that if a room gets past capacity, they have a video overflow and can do a live stream of the class over campus cable. But along with that, Education Week faculty has said that people who opted to go to a different class were just as happy with the alternative.
“It’s easy to understand why so many people write letters of thanks to these presenters,” Payne said. “I feel really good about this year.”
Attendees can register by telephone, Internet, mail or in person. It is slightly cheaper to pre-register, but Payne said, “We don’t limit registration. If people feel so inclined even the day of, they can come on down.” At-the-door registration takes place in the Wilkinson Student Center Garden Court or the Marriott Center Northwest Ticket Booth.
All attendees are required to uphold BYU standards of dress and conduct while participating in Education Week.
For more information on Education Week, schedules and frequently asked questions, visit educationweek.byu.edu or call the Education Week office at 801-422-6214.
Kate Sullivan is an intern at the Deseret News with Features and Mormon Times. She is a student at Brigham Young University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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