Just two days after the start of the fall semester, over 15,000 students, staff and leaders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints packed the BYU-Idaho Center to watch Dr. Clark G. Gilbert become the newest president of BYU-Idaho.

“Dr. Clark G. Gilbert, as Vice­ Chairman of the Board of Trustees and on behalf of the Board of Trustees, it is my pleasure and honor to formally install you as the 16th president of Brigham Young University­-Idaho,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency said at the ceremony.

While President Gilbert has been actively serving as president of BYU-Idaho since April, the inauguration ceremony allowed students and faculty to officially welcome President Gilbert to the university.

“I’m so excited, I think that he’s young, so I was surprised when I first saw him, I think that he is very young, he has a young family. I think it’s going to be great and I think it’s going to bring a new dynamic. I think he has fantastic ideas, I’m excited to see how things are going to move forward,” Becca Ray, a student at BYU-Idaho, said.

Some of those ideas were mentioned in President Gilbert’s remarks during the ceremony as he addressed BYU-Idaho’s growing influence worldwide both on campus and online.

“As we reflect on the need to continue to build both our campus and our online programs, we must recognize the implications of the university with increasing reach and scope across the church,” Gilbert said.

President Uchtdorf said that the demand for BYU-Idaho and other LDS universities will only increase.

“This university and all the schools of our church educational system must prepare for further worldwide growth of membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it’s resulting educational needs,” Utchdorf said in his speech at the ceremony.

For now, President Gilbert will continue to lead the growing university on, as he said, “a steady, upward course.”