SALT LAKE CITY – For the first time in the history of Brigham Young University-Idaho, formerly Ricks College, a building will be named after a current president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. BYU-Idaho President David Bednar today announced that a recently completed 54,000-square-foot building will be named after President Gordon B. Hinckley. President Bednar said the building, which was constructed primarily to create meeting space for Latter-day Saint student congregations, is a perfect tribute to President Hinckley, who will “have a legacy and impact on this campus that will last forever.”
That legacy includes a decision two years ago by President Hinckley to change Ricks College to a four-year university and rename it Brigham Young University-Idaho. President Bednar explained that President Hinckley values education and, as a member of the Church’s Board of Trustees, has urged members of the Church to pursue academics, most recently at BYU-Idaho’s April commencement exercises.
Twelve congregations of students will meet for their Sunday services in the new Gordon B. Hinckley Building, which includes a chapel, gymnasium, multipurpose area, two full kitchens and numerous classrooms. The building also contains large lobby-like areas and a vestibule with large windows overlooking botanical gardens. Administrative Vice President James Smyth said: “It’s a very beautiful building, and I think the students will thoroughly enjoy it. There are places were they can just sit and study and ponder.”
The design for the building is the same used to build institute buildings on campuses at Idaho State University, Dixie College and Salt Lake Community College. Smyth said that aside from Sunday worship, the Gordon B. Hinckley Building will be used during the week for religion and health classes and for the school’s activities program.
The building is situated at the highest point on campus, making it the most visible building from a distance. President Bednar said, “There couldn’t be a more appropriate name for this building that looks out over this campus than the Gordon B. Hinckley Building.”
The Gordon B. Hinckley Building will be dedicated 22 October 2002 as part of the school’s weekly devotional.