Tuesday, March 07, 2006

From Cedar to New York

Steven D. Bennion, President of Southern Utah University for the past nine years is leaving academia for the mission field. He and his wife will serve, apparently as mission leaders, (I believe this means Mission President and wife) in the New York City South Mission. Today's Spectrum in St. George noted:

Since Bennion's appointment as president on July 1, 1997, SUU has enjoyed one of the most prosperous times in its 108-year history.

The university has received national recognition from Consumers Digest and the Princeton Review, added four master's degree programs and several baccalaureate programs, formed two additional colleges and earned eight major accreditations.

In addition, Bennion gained approval and funding for a new Teacher Education building, which he believes will help the university continue its tradition of grooming the educators of tomorrow, and oversaw the construction of a state-of-the-art physical education building.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the TE building is scheduled for May 5.

"He's been the orchestra leader," said Georgia Beth Thompson, the university's vice president for student services. "He hasn't done all the work, but he's pulled it all together."

Bennion will be remembered as much for his warm, caring nature as his accomplishments as president.

President Bennion spent almost four decades in the halls of academia:

Bennion has worked 39 years in higher education, the past 24 as a president. He served as president at Snow College in Ephraim and Ricks College, now BYU-Idaho, before coming to SUU.

In New York, Bennion and his wife will lead missionaries in Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Bermuda. The fact that he'll be working with many college-aged people will help ease his transition, Bennion said.

I'm struck by how the most successful of people by the world's standards, such as the Bennions, and others will in a heartbeat give up the prestige and glory of their professional positions to accept a life of service that comes with a higher calling.


Blogger Rusty said...

Hey, he was my president when I was at Ricks and now he'll be the president of the mission in which I live. Cool.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006 4:38:00 PM  

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