On Tuesday, September 19, 2023, Shane Reese was officially installed as the 14th president of Brigham Young University (BYU) in a solemn and inspiring ceremony held at the BYU Marriott Center. The event was attended by Church, government, civic and education leaders, as well as BYU students, faculty and staff.
President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, representing the BYU Board of Trustees, conferred upon President Reese the presidential medallion, a symbol of his authority and responsibility as the university’s leader.
Elder Christofferson, chairman of the executive committee of the BYU Board of Trustees, also delivered a prophetic charge to President Reese, outlining the guidance and direction that the board, led by the prophet-president Russell M. Nelson, has for him as he takes the helm of this unique institution.
“I charge you to center Brigham Young University on its prophetically inspired direction,” Elder Christofferson said. “The board, with the prophet at its head, will safeguard you through an increasingly challenging landscape, and point the way to academic and spiritual success.”
He also charged President Reese to be the university’s “chief moral and spiritual officer” and to elevate the school’s core mission as an undergraduate teaching institution that prepares students to serve God and their fellowmen.
A Commitment to Jesus Christ and His Church
In his response to the charge, President Reese expressed his gratitude for the trust and confidence placed in him by the board and by the Lord. He also reaffirmed his commitment to Jesus Christ and His Church, which sponsors and guides BYU.
“Anchoring our work in prophetic priorities and making our scholarly resources available to the Church will amplify our scholarship and anchor it in gospel methodology,” President Reese said. “As we embrace our unique identity and strive to become the BYU of prophecy, we will invest in other areas where we have similar doctrinal roots and natural strengths.”
President Reese also outlined some of his goals and visions for BYU, such as enhancing student learning experiences, fostering faculty excellence and innovation, strengthening alumni engagement and support, expanding global outreach and impact, and cultivating a culture of belonging and unity.
He concluded his remarks by inviting all members of the BYU community to join him in fulfilling the university’s motto: “Enter to learn; go forth to serve.”
A Celebration of Music and Testimony
The installation ceremony was also a celebration of music and testimony, featuring performances by various BYU musical groups and choirs. The program included hymns, anthems, folk songs, and a specially commissioned piece titled “The Light Divine” by composer Daniel McDavitt.
Several speakers also shared their messages of congratulations and support for President Reese. They included Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who serves as vice chairman of the executive committee; Elder Clark G. Gilbert, commissioner of the Church Education System; Kevin J Worthen, BYU’s outgoing president; Amy Jensen, chair-elect of the BYU Faculty Advisory Council; Landon Tooke, president of the BYU Student Association; and David Checketts, chair of the BYU President’s Leadership Council.
All speakers praised President Reese for his academic achievements, professional expertise, personal integrity, spiritual strength, and visionary leadership. They also expressed their confidence that he will lead BYU to greater heights of excellence and influence in both secular and sacred realms.
President Oaks offered the benediction at the end of the ceremony, invoking God’s blessings upon President Reese and his family, as well as upon BYU and its mission.