Dr. Cecil O. Samuelson, Jr. – a former medical doctor now serving in the Presidency of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – will take over the reins as president of Brigham Young University on May 1.

Church President Gordon B. Hinckley made the announcement in today’s Devotional Assembly at BYU.

Dr. Samuelson, who will be the University’s 12th president, will replace Dr. Merrill J. Bateman, who will return to full-time service as a General Authority of the Church. He began his tenure as BYU President January 1, 1996 and is in his eighth year of service.

Dr. Samuelson is a Salt Lake City native and has served as Professor of Medicine, Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Utah and as Vice President of Health Sciences. Prior to his call as a full-time General Authority he was senior vice president of Intermountain Health Care. He holds a bachelor of science degree, a master’s degree in educational psychology and a medical degree from the University of Utah.

He fulfilled his residency and held a fellowship in Rheumatic and Genetic Diseases at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. He has received numerous scholastic honors and has authored or co-authored 48 original publications, eight books or chapters of books and 13 abstracts.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints he has served as a regional representative, stake president, stake high councilor, branch president and missionary. He has served as president of two Areas of the Church, the Utah North Area and the Europe North Area. He and his wife, Sharon Giauque Samuelson have five children and three grandchildren. Formal investiture of President Samuelson is scheduled for September 9, 2003.

Elder Bateman was called to serve in the Second Quorum of the Seventy in June of 1992. As part of that assignment, he was president of the Asia North Area. He has served the Church also as a missionary, bishop, stake high councilor, stake president and regional representative.

He was sustained as Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 2, 1994, and then was called as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on November 2, 1995. During his presidency of the university, he has continued to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Elder Bateman is married to Marilyn Scholes Bateman and they are the parents of seven children: four boys and three girls. They also have 28 grandchildren.