With 19 years, a campus relocation, curriculum improvements and new community partnerships under his belt, LDS Business College President Stephen K. Woodhouse stepped down Tuesday.

The college's assistant to the president John L. Richards was appointed as the new president by Elder Russell M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and chairman of the Church Educational System executive committee. Richards is the 12th president of the 122-year-old institution and began his service there as an instructor in 2002.

"I love you students more than I can express," Richards told a large crowd gathered in a student commons area on campus Tuesday morning. "I pledge to love you and to support you."

The Salt Lake native has had a career in banking and business, and has taught courses on economics, commerce, sales and customer relations, business law, entrepreneurship and business finance.

Most recently, in addition to being involved in community service, Richards worked as an assistant to Woodhouse responsible for faculty, student life, institutional research and planning. He will begin presidential duties immediately.

During the time that Woodhouse lead the college, enrollment grew from 841 students in 1992 to 1,384 last year.

"The college has a wonderful future," he said. "I know this work is important because you are the future of the world. I love the college. And I love the time I've had with you."

One of the most visible changes made during Woodhouse's tenure was the move to the Triad campus at 300 West and North Temple in July 2006. He also worked to increase private funding for the college, increased its involvement in the Church Educational System, improved retention and students services, expanded staff support and implemented service learning as part of a growing curriculum.

Richards plans to continue urging growth at the college, which includes maintaining a strong downtown presence, established by his predecessor.

He has a degree in speech and communications from the University of Utah and a master's degree in education from Capella University, with an emphasis in educational leadership and curriculum.

Elder Nelson expressed confidence in Richards' ability to lead the college, noting how his experience will assist him well.

"LDS Business College is unique in its mission within the Church Educational System," Richards said. "We labor in a structure dedicated to the development of mind and spirit of those students we serve ... with faculty, staff and students who have pledged to live a life worthy of the companionship of the spirit. Surely this is a recipe for success."

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