After teaching religion classes for almost 10 years, William Riggins has been offered and accepted the position as the new Honor Office director at BYU-Idaho.
After what he described as a period of diligent fasting, prayer and multiple temple trips, Riggins accepted the offer. He said he had many positive feelings about the honor code and its role on campus.
“My vision is that I will teach myself out of a job; that I won’t be necessary…If God’s love was… put into the hearts of all of our students, of all of our professors, of all of our staff…being a tool by which disciples of Jesus Christ are created, I’m not necessary,” Riggins said. “That is my vision.”
He willingly accepted the position on the condition that he would still be able to teach classes.
Riggins’ everyday schedule will now include teaching Missionary Preparation and Teachings of the Book of Mormon in the mornings, then fulfilling his role in the Honor Office for the latter half of the day.
Riggins was raised in San Diego, California, in a family of 18 children. He grew up with the mindset that working should be the top priority, even over education. That mindset changed when his family joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He went on to serve a 2-year mission for the Church. After coming back home, Riggins got a job that led to him starting his own swimming pool construction business as he raised money for college. During the 12 years he ran the business, Riggins said he taught an early-morning seminary class for his ward.
At age 35, Riggins went to college, graduating 4-years later in education. After being advised to apply for a position in Church Education, he was hired as the institute director at San Diego State University. He then decided to go back to school.
Riggins received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at San Diego State University and went on to receive his doctorate degree in educational leadership with an emphasis in university administration at Alliant International University.
In 2006, he was hired by President Kim B. Clark as a religion professor at BYU-Idaho.
Riggins took a break from teaching in 2014 after being called to serve as a Mission President in Ecuador and returned to BYU-I in 2017, picking up where he left off as a religion professor.
Riggins’ main piece of advice for students is to learn to love God first.
“There’s one scripture in the New Testament that, if it was the only scripture we had, we would know our mission on earth. John 17:3…’Now this is life eternal, to know thee, the only true God in Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.'” Riggins said.
The following is an equation he wrote on the board for eternal life and happiness: “Know God + Know Jesus Christ = Eternal Life”
Riggins shared that his wife, Bonnie, has always been supportive of him in his career. His children, and their own growing families, love staying up to date on their father’s progression and well-being as well. They have all expressed encouragement as he takes on this new role.
Riggins feels that his life experiences have prepared him for this role and he has said that he is excited to see what will be accomplished in the years to come.
Tyler Barton, the Student Honor Office administrator, goes on to share his thoughts about Riggins joining the Honor Office team.
“He’s a wonderful guy who gets along well with others, he’s a people person,” said Barton. “He has a wealth of experience and so much enthusiasm in all aspects of his life. He is a wonderful teacher…I think he is a perfect fit.”