“My family is moving to Rexburg, Iowa,” 7-year-old Henry J. Eyring declared proudly to his elementary school class in Atherton, California, after finding out his father had been appointed president of Ricks College.
His geography, found in I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring, may have been a little off, but 40 years later, that same enthusiasm and reverence for Rexburg still emanates from the boy-turned-BYU-Idaho-president.
“This campus, now for generations, has been hallowed ground for my family,” Henry J. Eyring said after his appointment on Feb. 7.
Perhaps there’s no better glimpse into that statement than Henry J. Eyring’s writings.
As an author and co-author of four books and several speeches, his writings offer a glimpse into his long heritage with education and Rexburg.
“The tradition of higher education, and of naming sons Henry, continued in the succeeding generations,” Eyring wrote in The Innovative University.
The tradition began with Ph.D. chemist Henry Eyring, Henry J. Eyring’s grandfather. Henry Eyring’s son, Henry B. Eyring, would study and teach at Ivy League universities and later, preside at Ricks College as its president.
A spitting image of his father President Henry B. Eyring, Henry J. Eyring has followed his father’s footsteps in many ways.
For the past 11 years, Henry J. Eyring has stood in the wings; contributing, building and fostering a continually better BYU-I.
Part of BYU-I’s innovative approach to education involves student-based teaching.
“With a teaching-focused faculty, small classrooms and a student-centered approach to learning, the university provides a high-quality educational experience,” according to BYU-I’s website.
Under Henry J. Eyring’s leadership, students will have an opportunity to have an education that lasts past their graduation date.
“They will be natural leaders who know how to teach and how to learn,” President Henry B. Eyring said. “Those graduates of BYU-Idaho will become … legendary for their capacity to build the people around them and to add value wherever they serve.”