BYU-Idaho students gathered in the Hyrum Manwaring Student Center on Tuesday for a hello, a handshake and a hug from President Alvin F. Meredith III and his wife, Jennifer Edgin Meredith, after the president’s inauguration.
As students lined up to speak with the Merediths, they were asked what their impressions of the couple were before meeting them.
“They have a good blend of humor and a lot of authority, and I think that’s something that will really bless campus,” said Camille Lamoreaux, a senior studying communication. “I’ve already seen that President Meredith, whether that’s on social media or stuff like that, he’s already interacted a lot more with our age group.”
Sean Hagerty, a senior studying exercise physiology, said that he could tell that the Merediths care about the school and the individual students.
“When they came for their first devotional … I could feel the love they had for the people … I didn’t know them, but I knew that he loved everybody here, and that was something that just stuck with me,” said Chandler Guadagnin, a senior studying communication.
After the students exchanged laughs and took photos with the Merediths, they moved to sample the couple’s favorite desserts: chocolate chip cookies, mint chocolate brownies and milk.
After getting the chance to meet President Meredith and his wife, Lamareaux commented on how normal the interaction felt.
“They try to learn people’s names,” Lamareaux said. “They try to make connections with people. I think that will really benefit them and us over the next few years … They try to be really down to earth and it works.”
Hagerty said that the couple asked him questions that made their interactions helped make it feel personal and genuine.
Guadagnin beamed as he left the the Merediths.
“They love their students,” Guardagnin said. “It doesn’t matter who you are or how long you’ve known them. They just love you.”
Several students took advantage of the meet and greet as an opportunity to renew old friendships with the Merediths or get to know them a little better.
Kate Timmerman, the Student Leadership Council director, gave the welcome on behalf of the students during President Meredith’s inauguration and commented on the Merediths.
“They just kind of felt like family,” Timmerman said. “It felt like I had known them for a really long time. They brought me in and made me feel like part of their family.”
The meet and greet gave students the official opportunity to meet the Merediths, but students have connected with the couple at events around campus, as well.
“They seemed like really nice, genuine people and I was excited to get to know them,” said Victoria Vasser, a member of the combined choirs, “I’m so excited to see what they do because I still think they are genuine people and that they are very Christlike.”