On May 16, Alvin F. Meredith III was announced as BYU-Idaho’s 18th president, succeeding Henry J. Eyring who served as president for six years. The announcement was made during Devotional by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

President Meredith has served in many different Church capacities; he’s been the chairman of the Executive Committee of BYU-Idaho’s Board of Trustees, a General Authority Seventy, president of the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission, a bishop, stake president and Area Seventy in the North America Southeast and Asia Areas.

With his church service aside, who is Alvin F. Meredith III, the new president of BYU-I?

From the Bible Belt

Known as “Trip” by friends and family, President Meredith was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on July 22, 1970. His mother, Mary Smartt Meredith, was a convert to the church, according to a Church Newsroom interview.

“We come from good stock, just not pioneer stock,” President Meredith said. “There were no handcarts in our family history, no crossing the Plains.”

President Meredith was an athlete in high school and served full-time in the Utah Salt Lake City mission after graduation.

Studied psychology and business

After his mission, President Meredith earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at BYU in 1994. He later earned a master of business administration in finance from the University of Chicago in 2001. He met his wife, Jennifer Denise Edgin, during his time in Provo.

“We were set up on a blind date by some mutual friends,” President Meredith said in a BYU-I Devotional. “My wife is the very best person that I know … Over time, the accumulation of small and quiet reassurances made me realize that she was someone that made me think my highest thoughts, aspire to my noblest deeds and made me wish that I was better than I was. And I just really loved her too.”

They were sealed on Feb. 8, 1998, in the Salt Lake Temple. They have been married for 26 years and have six children.

Sister Meredith’s parents are converts to the Church. She served a full-time mission in the Argentina Salta Mission and earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from BYU.

President Meredith has served in many different Church capacities and began his service at BYU-I on Aug. 1.

Lived and served overseas

After graduate school, President Meredith’s job offered a position in Hong Kong, China.

“At the time, our oldest child was ten years old and my wife, Jennifer, was six months pregnant with our sixth child,” President Meredith explained. “It was daunting to know that this decision would affect not only me, (but) the people I love the most — my family.”

President Meredith prayed, studied and counseled with Church leaders to make a decision.

“It became clear that this would be a good move — not an easy move — but a good move for our family,” President Meredith said.

The Merediths lived in Hong Kong from 2010-2011, and upon returning to the U.S., President Meredith was sustained as an Area Seventy in the North American Southeast Area from 2012-2016.

The Merediths returned to Asia once more for work in 2016, and President Meredith was sustained as an Area Seventy in the Asia Area where he served until 2018.

In the last decade, President Meredith completed Church assignments in Utah, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama and North Carolina. In Asia, he served in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Pakistan, China, Thailand and India.

Mission president and General Authority Seventy

President Meredith was later called as the mission president for a place that he knew well — Salt Lake City, Utah.

“We’ve learned that wherever you go, it’s the Lord’s work and it’s the Lord’s Church regardless of the language or culture they come from,” President Meredith said in a Church Newsroom interview.

After his service as a mission president, President Meredith was sustained as a General Authority Seventy in 2021. He will continue to serve as a General Authority during his time at BYU-I.

When is the inauguration?

Meredith began his duties as president on Aug. 1. His first act as president was leading the first devotional of the summer.

“It’s my first day of school,” President Meredith said to a chuckling crowd, according to a BYU-I Scroll article.

President Meredith’s inauguration is on Oct. 10 at 11:30 a.m. in the BYU-Idaho Center. The event will be available onlineBYU-I Radio and YouTube.

“The university invites students, employees and the public to gather to celebrate this milestone in BYU-Idaho history,” said Brett Crandall in a BYU-I news release.