Ricks College kicked off its centennial celebration Saturday with a reception for alumni in the Lion House in Salt Lake City.

The 1 1/2-hour reception open to over 10,000 alumni of the Rexburg, Idaho, college living along the Wasatch Front began at 4:15 and ran until 5:45 p.m.The school's current president, Joe J. Christensen, and three of his predecessors greeted guests in the garden behind the Lion House. Christensen and former presidents John Clark, Bruce Hafen and Henry Eyring represent nearly half a century of administration at the school. Their four administrations run continuously from 1944 to the present.

Ricks College holds a reception in Salt Lake City for its alumni every five or six years, said Gary Brock, the school's alumni director. The reception always coincides with the April conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The school is owned by the LDS Church, and many alumni come to Salt Lake City Easter weekend for conference, Brock said.

This year's reception had added flair because it kicks off the centennial. The school's centennial choir also sang during the afternoon session of LDS conference Saturday, Brock said.

Nearly 500 people attended Saturday's reception.