Leslie Smith, a senior studying elementary education, was driving in a severe snowstorm with her roommates and a few others Winter Semester 2013.
“I was turning to go into the Hinckley Building parking lot, but the turning lane was piled with snow that I didn’t notice,” she said. “And I drove right into a mound of snow.”
She said a few people immediately came to her aid and one of them happened to be President Clark.
What followed was just one of many examples of how President Kim B. Clark, whose service at BYU-Idaho ends next week, affected the lives of many students.
“President Clark was either the car right behind me or just a few behind and stopped to help right away,”
Smith said. opened my passenger side door and said, ‘I’m going to start pushing, so put it in reverse.’”
She said she was extremely shocked that it was President Clark, but she did what she was told.
She said after his help she was still stuck but the whole security staff to help.
“But it was amazing to see him so helpful and try and help me get unstuck,” Smith said.
Smith said it really shows how much he cares about each student.
In a Q&A with President Clark with the Standard Journal, he shared a personal experience of being president and how it has impacted students.
“I had that experience recently in Boston with a couple of BYU-Idaho graduates,” President Clark said. “One of the young men said to me, ‘President, I’ve got to tell you something. At Grad Night, you told us people would be drawn to us, to ask us questions, to wonder about what they see happening in our lives, to want to know what it is that makes us tick. I listened to that and didn’t think it was about me, but it’s happening.’ He said people at work want to talk to him about what he believes. They ask about the Church and how it affects his life.”
He said through this experience he could see how the work he has done has influenced students.
Selina Mayne, a freshman studying ecology, range, wildlife and fisheries has also been impacted by President Clark.
Mayne said even though she has only been attending BYU-I for a short time, President Clark seems to have a lighthearted personality.
“Whenever he conducts devotionals, he is so at home up there, and I love his sense of humor and how down to earth he is,” Mayne said.
Mayne said she can really tell how much he cares about each and every one of the students even though he is not able to get to know them individually.
“Through his actions and how he treats everyone, I can tell that he really cares about the students of the school,” Mayne said.
Robert Aul, a freshman studying business management, said he had a good experience with President Clark.
“One day while on the way to devotional, I was passing the MC on the back side, and I looked over to see President Clark opening the door,” Aul said. “Then he stopped and held the door for up to 20 people.”
Aul said it was nice to see someone who is extremely busy take the time to hold the door open for students.
Aul said he really set a good example.
Kierra Thompson, a junior studying elementary education, said she had a class with President Clark and several home evening meetings where he attended.
“He gave us all a copy of the roll the first day of class with everyone’s picture so we could address each other by name and validate each others comments,” Thompson said. “He will even take the time to answer questions afterward if you approached him.”
Thompson said President Clark would personally answer emails if students have concerns.
Thompson said one experience she had was when she asked for dating advice and responded to an email her boyfriend had sent President Clark.
“His parting words in his last Q&A were that he wanted each of us to remember how unique we are and how each one of us brings talents that no one else can replace,” Thompson said.
Thompson said President Clark is a powerful teacher.
“He knows how to apply the learning model and create a feeling of community where students answer each other’s questions,” Thompson said.
Thompson said he teaches students to self evaluate what they are doing and make sure that it is the correct path they should be going down.
Thompson said President Clark teaches by example.
“He wakes up super early to study scriptures,” Thompson said. “He uses personal example and scriptures to answer questions.”
Thompson said he is very willing to open up and share personal examples to teach.
“He’s also frank and not afraid to admit when he doesn’t have an answer,” Thompson said.
Keindrick Willis, a junior studying math education, said he was a nice influence to all students.
“Based on what I have seen in devotionals and how he has addressed us as students and how he has talked to us and helped us in our studies and other parts of our lives, I’ve seen a lot of integrity in him,” said Shania Jacobson, a sophomore majoring in international studies.
Jacobson said through his “public announcements” he shows his integrity and values our standards.
“He said that BYU-Idaho students are different because they will be able to relate to and communicate with people from all walks of life,” Thompson said.
Jacobson said he will be missed but his influence will forever be present at BYU-I.