President Clark G. Gilbert held a press conference at BYU-Idaho on Tuesday, April 21 with university and local media.
President Gilbert expressed his excitement and gratitude for being able to serve as President of BYU-I.
“This is a remarkable university and a it’s remarkably focused on students in a way that’s really unique in much higher education,” President Gilbert said. “And it’s a wonderful environment to grow and to develop spiritually for students. We are so pleased to be here.”
President Gilbert said he and his wife, Christine, are happy to be back in Rexburg.
President Gilbert previously served at BYU-I as Associate Academic Vice President of Academic Development.
“Of course we loved this university, but we also loved living in Rexburg the last time we were here,” President Gilbert said.
President Gilbert said he and Sister Gilbert are thrilled to once again be members of the Rexburg community and for their children to attend school in Rexburg, as well.
“I think it’s a great reminder for us institutionally that all of our employees are part of this community and they raise their families in this community,” he said. “So, this community matters a lot to the families of employees who work here and it’s important that we’re invested in and a part of this community.”
President Gilbert said he and Sister Gilbert are the parents of eight children. He said all eight children will permanently move to Rexburg after their school year ends in Bountiful, Utah.
“They’re all thrilled about being here,” he said. “They love Rexburg. They know BYU-I is a special place and they’ve been incredibly supportive, but I also think they’re excited themselves to be back here in this community.”
Sister Gilbert said her family will continue to be her main priority as her husband takes on the role as president of BYU-I.
“I anticipate that most of my attention will go to my family and to my husband — definitely,” Sister Gilbert said. “I also know that we will be very involved on campus together with devotionals, with home evenings, with whatever assignments I need to have that don’t take me away from the family, because we know that’s the most important thing I need to be doing right now.”
President Gilbert said BYU-Idaho will continue to grow on a steady upward course.
“We’re growing, but we’re not growing just for growth’s sake,” he said. “We’re growing because there are all across the LDS church young students who share a common faith background who want to gather and grow spiritually and educationally. …”
President Gilbert said although he has no immediate plans for changes in the university, he plans to be cautious when making changes.
“I have my own ideas, but all of those need to be governed by direct inspiration and a confirmation that this is the right thing,” he said. “The common advice was to seek for spiritual direction in all that you do, and that’s something I’m committed to.”
President Gilbert said BYU-I is unique and innovative and will continue to hold that reputation.
“This institution is uniquely designed to change the lives of students who come here,” President Gilbert said.