In an inaugural ceremony held today at the historic Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, LDS Business College inaugurated its 13th president, Dr. Bruce C. Kusch.
The inaugural ceremony was conducted by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, chairman of the Executive Committee of the LDS Business College Board of Trustees and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In his charge to President Kusch, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and second vice chairman of the LDS Business College Board of Trustees, said: “President Kusch, with the love and respect of your brethren and sisters of the Board, who have every confidence in you, we give you a charge to lead this college to new heights of purpose, learning, service, achievement, recognition and unity.”
President Kusch, who was joined by his wife, Alynda, and members of their immediate and extended family, responded: “President Uchtdorf, I gratefully accept your charge and pledge my ‘whole soul as an offering’ to magnify this sacred trust. I am excited for this season of learning and service, and feel much like Oliver Cowdery, who said, in describing early events of the Restoration, ‘These were days never to be forgotten.’ This is a time and a season in the history of Church education unlike any other. Truly, these are days never to be forgotten.”
Inaugural ceremony participants from the LDS Church included:
- Elder Donald L. Hallstrom, General Authority Seventy
- Bishop Gérald Caussé, Presiding Bishop
- Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President
- Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President
- Brother Stephen W. Owen, Young Men General President
- Elder Craig C. Christensen, representing the Presidency of the Seventy
- Elder Kim B. Clark, General Authority Seventy, Commissioner of the Church Educational System
The 12th LDS Business College president, J. Lawrence Richards, and his wife, Julie, were also present at the inauguration. Richards now serves as director of special projects for the LDS Church Educational System.
Other Church Educational System institution representatives included:
- BYU-Idaho President Henry J. Eyring
- BYU-Hawaii President John S. Tanner
- BYU-Pathway Worldwide President Clark G. Gilbert
- Seminaries and Institutes of Religion Administrator Chad H Webb
- BYU Academic Vice President James Rasband
Inauguration News Coverage
The Church News - Oct. 24, 2017
The Church News - Oct. 20, 2017
About President Bruce C. Kusch
From the Inaugural Celebration Program
President Bruce C. Kusch began his Church Educational System employment as a member of the business management faculty at Brigham Young University–Idaho in August 2002.
In July 2008, he was named associate academic vice president for curriculum at BYU–Idaho, serving in that position until June 2012 when he was called to serve as president of the Mexico Cuernavaca Mission.
President Kusch returned to BYU-Idaho in July 2015 as associate dean of online programs.
Prior to joining the BYU-Idaho faculty, President Kusch worked as a sales and marketing executive and management consultant for various high-technology firms in the San Francisco Bay Area.
President Kusch holds a B.S. in business administration from the University of Phoenix, an MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and a Ph.D. in instructional design from Idaho State University.
In May 2012, he was awarded the Kole-McGuffey Prize from the College of Education at Idaho State University, recognizing him as the outstanding doctoral candidate for his research in creating significant online learning environments.
President Kusch has served the Church in many capacities, including full-time missionary (Guatemala-El Salvador Mission), elders quorum president, bishop, stake president and mission president. He currently serves as a member of the North Salt Lake Utah Parkway Stake high council.
President Bruce C. Kusch became the 13th president of LDS Business College on April 17, 2017, where he had been serving as its chief academic officer since March 2016.
President Kusch and his wife, Alynda, were married in the Los Angeles California Temple in 1974. They are the parents of four children and 21 grandchildren. His personal interests include running, biking, fly fishing, photography and outdoor cooking.
About LDS Business College
From the Inaugural Celebration Program
In 1886, William B. Dougall believed that the youth of Salt Lake City should have a school of their own. He contacted several local leaders and scheduled the first meeting to take place in a bookstore owned by James Dwyer.
The night before their planned meeting, a fire broke out in the bookstore. By morning, the water used to put the fire out was still dripping from the destroyed roof. While that could have been the end of Dougall’s initiative, those determined, resourceful saints met anyway, sitting on boxes and crates in the charred-out, damp remains of the bookstore.
Perhaps it is symbolic that the organizers sat there—with ashes from books surrounding them—while they made plans for a place of learning because the phoenix that rose from those ashes was the Salt Lake Stake Academy, now known as LDS Business College.
The College is a place where students study and prepare for specific jobs upon graduation. The school’s purpose is to provide a spiritually grounded, career-based education. It has served hundreds of businesses and commercial institutions in the Salt Lake Valley and beyond while providing better-prepared graduates who are tailored to meet current business needs.
The LDS Business College main campus has moved eight times with instruction provided in 16 different buildings across downtown Salt Lake City. From 1901 to 1961, the location of the current Church Office Building was home to LDSBC for the longest span of time. From 1962 to 2006, LDS Business College was in the Wall Mansion on 400 East South Temple before moving to its current location at the Triad Center.
The College offers programs in business, health professions, information technology, software development, interior design, paralegal studies, social media marketing and applied technology.
Approximately 2,200 students come from 43 U.S. states and more than 30 countries each year. Nearly 45 percent of students are returned missionaries and international students comprise about 25 percent of the student body.
Since its founding, about 98,000 students have attended LDS Business College.
About LDS Business College
Founded in 1886, LDS Business College educates 2,200 students annually from 43 U.S. states and more than 30 countries. LDSBC trains students to be job-ready proficient in one to two years at its campus in downtown Salt Lake City and online. It offers in-demand professional certificates and associate degrees, allowing students to earn a working wage while furthering their education. Sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, LDSBC helps students achieve self-reliance in a Christ-centered environment.
#LDSBCinauguration | #PresidentKusch | #DiscoverLDSBC
Installation of President Kusch
Installation and Charge
by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
President Kusch, will you please join me at the podium.
Bruce C. Kusch, as Second Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees and on behalf of the Board, it is my pleasure and honor to formally install you as President of LDS Business College.
In doing so, we confer upon you the authority, the prerogatives, the responsibilities, the challenges, and the blessings associated with this high and sacred trust and office.
President Kusch, with the love and respect of your brethren and sisters of the Board, who have every confidence in you, we give you a charge to lead this college to new heights of purpose, learning, service, achievement, recognition, and unity.
I am now pleased to present the official medallion of the office of president. Sister Kusch, will you please join us at the podium.
President Kusch, congratulations. We would be pleased to hear your response.
Inauguration Response Transcript
Days Never to be Forgotten
by President Bruce C. Kusch
President Uchtdorf, Elder Oaks, members of the Board of Trustees, honored guests...
In early June 2012, while walking across the campus of Brigham Young University-Idaho, an impression came that our time in Rexburg was coming to an end. This did not seem unusual as we were days away from beginning our missionary service in Mexico. I have since come to understand the Lord was preparing us for things to come, which at the time we could not see, nor even imagine. As we willingly put the Lord first in our lives, He leads us on a remarkable journey to where He needs us and wants us.
I express my love and gratitude for Alynda today. For forty-three years we have embraced life’s journey together. Throughout, she has encouraged me, taught me, inspired me, supported me, and corrected me when necessary – which has been more than once I might add! I would not be here today if it were not for her constant love and support. I express my love to our children, their spouses, and grandchildren who are here. Above all, I am blessed to be a husband, a father, and grandfather.
Our parents are not present today but I am confident they and other loved ones are watching from the other side of the veil, if only for a brief moment. I am grateful for their love and influence which endures to this day.
President Uchtdorf, I gratefully accept your charge and pledge my “whole soul as an offering” to magnify this sacred trust. I am excited for this season of learning and service, and feel much like Oliver Cowdery, who said, in describing early events of the Restoration, “These were days never to be forgotten.” This is a time and a season in the history of Church education unlike any other. Truly, these are days never to be forgotten.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught, “When we have a vision of what we can become, our desire and our power to act increase enormously...The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming.”
Assuredly the Lord has a glorious vision for this institution. And, I believe He holds very high expectations of what it must become if we are to serve the members of the Church according to their needs and His desires. To all who work, serve, and learn at LDS Business College I invite us to seek an understanding of this vision – obtaining even the smallest glimpse – of what the Lord desires us to achieve and to become. As capable and consecrated as we may be today, it will not be sufficient for the work that lies ahead. Individually, and institutionally we must lengthen our stride, expand our reach, and quicken our pace. We must each live in such a way to merit the spiritual gifts that will inspire innovation; helping us recognize not only what we should do, but how we should do it. As we have “...hearts knit together in unity and love...” our desires, our actions, our changing, achieving and becoming will be aligned with prophetic guidance and Heaven’s designs.
Our mission as an institution is to develop capable and trusted disciples of Jesus Christ. Our commitment is that all who attend this institution will receive an excellent education combined with power in faith; one that anchors them in and on the Savior and His Atonement, that is relevant and current; preparing them with the skills, capacities, capabilities, characteristics and attitudes that are vital in today’s world, equipping them for an environment that is ever-changing at an ever-increasing and exhilarating pace.
To focus our desires, priorities, choices and actions we will pursue three strategic imperatives:
First, we can serve and bless the lives of many more students on our campus in Salt Lake City.
The second is to be a hub of educational innovation; educating more deeply and more powerfully than ever before; third is to be an integral contributor to the BYU-Pathway Worldwide effort.
Imperative Number One: Serving and blessing the lives of many more students on our Salt Lake City campus.
Upon my arrival at LDS Business College, I met with several groups of students and asked them what they love about the school. They love learning in a spiritually nourishing environment, with the Holy Ghost at the center of their learning. They love our faculty because they are known to them by name. And they love the preparation they receive: practical, marketable skills, taught through the gospel lens.
I heard something else from these students. Many said: “I came to LDS Business College and discovered I could achieve more than I ever thought possible!” Brothers and sisters, LDS Business College is not simply a school, it is a sacred place of learning beckoning to all who come that we believe in you! We believe in your unlimited potential as children of God. We offer our collective commitment to help you, personally and individually, discover the greatness within you; confident this discovery will enable you to grow and become more than you ever thought possible.
I believe there are substantially more of our Heavenly Father’s children who would be immeasurably blessed by an LDS Business College experience. On our campus “there is [room] enough and to spare.” Creative class scheduling, online learning, and other curriculum innovations will permit us to serve many more with no increase in the physical space we now occupy. I envision the College filled with excited and engaged students, learning in ways never imagined, with lives being changed and blessed forever. In my mind, I have imagined young people not living in close proximity to Salt Lake City, longing for a Church school experience, able and anxious to come here. I imagine those who find themselves unexpectedly a single parent, needing to quickly refresh and update skills to obtain employment, coming here and getting just what they need. I imagine others diligently seeking hope and opportunity. To all of them I say, “Come to the College, and together we will help you discover that hope, build upon it, and claim new and exciting opportunities.”
Imperative Two: Be a hub of educational innovation, educating more deeply and more powerfully than ever before.
Our innovative instructional framework is helping students learn more powerfully and more deeply than ever before. They are learning more deeply and more powerfully by acting; seizing the opportunity to take responsibility for their learning in ways they never have before. Deep learning is the result of a learner, acting in, with, and by faith in Christ; it is inherently a spiritual experience and evidence of the fruits of the Atonement of Jesus Christ working in the lives of the learner and the teacher. Deep learning leads to understanding---the capacity to know, do, and become - and is ultimately a gift of the Spirit. Elder Kim B. Clark has described this kind of education as “...essential for building the kingdom of God and establishing Zion.”
A willingness to embrace change in our own learning and teaching is essential if the learning of our students is to deepen and accelerate. Twenty-five years ago, President Monson counseled: “Worn out theories, dog-eared lecture notes, and obsolete skills have no place in the classrooms of this College...Competition in today’s market leaves no room for...incompetence. The best is demanded.”
Deep student engagement with world-class businesses will become a hallmark of the LDS Business College experience. Our proximity to these companies and the relationships we will foster will enable us to stay abreast of important trends in disciplines that have a very short shelf life. We must be forward thinking, looking and doing; nimble and ever prepared to educate with excellence; increasing and improving our capability to respond with just-in-time curriculum solutions. We might call this “change at the speed of right.” As we develop and share these vital competencies around the world, this may be one of the most significant contributions the College makes to the Church’s Global Education Initiative.
Ever must we remember that, in large measure, the quality of a student’s experience depends on the quality of the teacher. The person who teaches, and the manner in which they minister to each individual student, has a greater impact and influence for good in the life of that student, than any lecture, lesson, assignment, or experience. Whatever our role at the College – faculty AND staff – each of us are teachers.
Imperative Three: Be an integral contributor to the BYU-Pathway Worldwide effort.
I was privileged to witness the very beginnings of the Pathway program, now numbering in the hundreds of sites around the globe, blessing and improving the lives of individuals and families, and strengthening the Church.
Come to our campus any Thursday evening and you will observe many Pathway Connect students attending Institute and meeting in their cohorts. As these students complete initial coursework, we may be the ideal option for those seeking additional education. Our collaborative efforts will provide domestic Pathway students a seamless transition to LDS Business College and on to BYU-Idaho online, while several of our certificates will be included in online offerings to students globally. I am confident this is only the beginning and would simply say to President Gilbert, “we are ready,” and committed to do our part.
I share my witness that the Savior is a perfect, resurrected being who knows and loves us. I testify that He knows and loves this institution, for it is His. I sustain His prophets, seers, and revelators who lead us with love and inspired direction. I pray we may rise to the invitation to lengthen our stride, expand our reach, and quicken our pace, achieving and becoming all the Lord needs and expects of us. As we do, it will be a remarkable journey and days never ever to be forgotten. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.
by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
My dear Brothers and Sisters, dear friends, distinguished guests.
I am grateful for the privilege to celebrate with you the inauguration of President Bruce C. Kusch as 13th President of LDS Business College. President Kusch took office in April of this year and this inaugural ceremony confirms the confidence of the Board of Trustees as it officially inaugurates his presidency today.
Dr. Bruce C. Kusch, this is a great institution over which you preside. We welcome you warmly into the family of institutions that are known as the Church Educational System. We are confident that you will add another blessed part to the trail marked by your distinguished predecessors and continue to move LDS Business College forward and upward.
You have worked successfully with President J. Lawrence Richards and established projects that helped prepare this college for its future.
Today we also honor President and Sister Richards for their accomplishments during their dedicated service at LDS Business College.
The students of this great place of higher learning come from all parts of the United States and from across the world to receive an education that will be spiritually strengthening, intellectually enlarging, and character forming. It will lead students to embrace lifelong learning and service.
We are proud of the LDS Business College faculty, staff, and administration who work together to see that these objectives are realized.
The roots of LDS Business College go back to 1886. In 1895 an emphasis on business courses was established. But from the beginning, far greater goals were at the center of its curriculum. Recently these goals were restated in the mission statement of LDS Business College.
- Strengthening Discipleship.
- Teaching Practical Skills.
- Cultivating a Nurturing Environment.
LDS Business College is a place where students study and prepare for specific jobs upon graduation. The intent is to produce graduates who are spiritually well-grounded and professionally prepared to provide a livelihood. This concept was reflected in Dr. John A. Widtsoe’s description of rational theology as God’s plan for His children: “The quality and not the kind of work is the final test of [our] achievements. All work is holy, and, well done, will bring its own reward, here and in the thereafter.”
Since its founding, LDS Business College has had almost 100,000 students attend. I still remember when the main campus was located at the Wall Mansion on South Temple, now known as the Thomas S. Monson Center of the University of Utah. President Monson loves LDS Business College; he loves its purpose, and he loves its name. The present location at the Triad Center is an important part of the process to revitalize downtown Salt Lake City.
Of course, to keep the Church Educational System successful costs money. In our meetings of the Board of Trustees and Church Board of Education, we are always reminded by our dear prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, that the financial resources are the tithing funds of the Church. They are sacred. They represent the widow’s mite as well as the rich man’s tithe. We need to be cognizant of that and of the need to be prudent, careful, wise, and always eager to seek the Lord’s guidance on how to use these sacred funds.
The worldwide Church has grown to a vast family of more than 16 million members. Many of our young people would love to come and study at one of our places of higher education. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate all of them. Each year this challenge grows and becomes more acute.
We teach our Church membership the importance of education in their lives. The Lord was clear when He instructed His people, “Verily I say unto you, my friends, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.”
Helping our members to live up to these instructions from the Lord is a challenge which constantly demands our attention, and one for which we do not have an adequate answer yet. We are grateful for the tremendous seminary and institute programs which are all a part of our worldwide education effort. We recognize that today’s challenges cannot be solved with yesterday’s tools. We are very grateful for the inspiring innovations we have seen in past years like the Pathway program, online learning, and other options. All these efforts point in the right direction.
Above all, we must never forget that the foundation for past and future innovations must always be grounded in divine gospel truth and the inspired charted course of Church education.
During the early days of the restoration, the Lord instructed His Church, “organize yourselves; and prepare every needful thing; [to] establish a house of prayer, of fasting, of faith, of learning, of glory, of [divine] order, a house of God.”
How blessed you are to have the beautiful Salt Lake Temple right next to your college, with many more temples close by. How much better could it get?
Brothers and sisters, my dear students, you are among the favored members of the Church who are blessed to attend a college with a temple in walking distance. Always be grateful for the privilege and joy of being part of this wonderful institution, whether it be as student, faculty or staff. This gratitude can best be shown by living the gospel principles, respecting one another, and learning and working hard to build strong individuals and families—all as part of the great plan of happiness. So, always have a current temple recommend and attend the house of the Lord regularly.
President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “Our places of higher education represent an important part of the overall responsibility of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to assist the Almighty in bringing to pass His work and His glory, in leading His children to immortality and eternal life. … The great overriding objective of this [College] must be to lead the minds of youth in the discovery of the great unchanging principles which come from our loving Father [in Heaven] for their blessing and happiness now and forever.”
Now, President Kusch, we are grateful that you have accepted the invitation to come and preside over this wonderful institution of higher education. You are well-qualified and you have been well-prepared. All of your past experience has led to this opportunity.
You grew up in Southern California. You served a mission in Guatemala and in Mexico.
Your own educational experiences and your specific professional path is unique and will be a great asset as you lead LDS Business College into the future. You understand firsthand how education—in addition to hard work and following promptings from the Lord—opens the door to greater opportunities. You have learned in your own practical and personal way how flexibility and the willingness to accept change as part of today’s professional world will be essential for the success of our young people.
In addition to your impressive professional and educational accomplishments, you have served in many Church callings, among them as bishop, stake president, and mission president.
Through all of these many experiences, Alynda has been your constant companion and support.
Dr. Bruce C. Kusch, for a season the Lord has placed the destiny of this institution in your hands. This remarkable school had its beginning during humble pioneer years. It is now heading into a period of limitless opportunities. You are particularly well-prepared and suited for leading this college during such a time. This college and all the schools of our Church Educational System must prepare for further worldwide growth of membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its resulting educational needs. Please work closely with your sister schools. One hundred years ago Elder John A. Widtsoe wrote that we “will find a surprising harmony between the Gospel and all discovered truth.”
President Kusch, follow the charted course of Church education. Help students and faculty build their lives around a strong testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is by faith in God, our Heavenly Father, and by the Spirit of Christ that we can recognize what is good and true.
I bear witness that the hand of the Lord has guided and prospered this college and its leaders. God will continue to do so.
President Kusch, dear Alynda, dear Kusch family, we love you, we are grateful for you, we bless you.
As you embark on this exciting journey, I invoke a blessing of the Lord upon the faculty, upon your associates and staff. I invoke a blessing upon our precious students. I invoke a blessing upon this beloved LDS Business College, that its influence for goodwill spread throughout the world and God’s purposes will be fulfilled.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
The Salt of the Earth
by Elder Kim B. Clark
I am grateful for this opportunity to speak to you on this very happy, and very important day. The inauguration of a new president is always a moment of significance and reflection. I love Bruce and Alynda Kusch, and am so grateful they have come to LDSBC at this wonderful time in the history of the school. When I think about President and Sister Kusch and LDSBC and its history, the words that come to mind are the salt of the earth.
The Savior spoke those words in the Sermon on the Mount, when he said to His disciples, “Ye are the salt of the earth.” In a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1833, the Savior added this insight:
When men are called unto mine everlasting gospel, and covenant with an everlasting covenant, they are accounted as the salt of the earth and the savor of men…
Salt was and is a great blessing. In ancient times it was highly valued in medicine, in preserving, protecting and seasoning food, as a form of currency, and in family and religious ceremonies. Given its importance, salt came to be a symbol of many important attributes the abundant life.
So, what does it mean to be the salt of the earth? The answer is in the Lord’s words to Abraham. Just as salt blessed people in many ways and was of great worth, so the covenant people of the Lord, the seed of Abraham, are called to bless “…all the families of the earth…even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.”
Today I want to highlight four clusters of attributes associated with salt at the time of the Savior’s mortal ministry, that apply beautifully to the Savior’s call to bless the families of the earth. As I share these attributes, please keep LDSBC and its people in mind:
Attribute #1: Purity and Integrity
Attribute #2: Friendship and Hospitality
Attribute #3: Wisdom and Value
Attribute #4: Vitality and Creation
It is not hard to see LDSBC in this list of attributes. The people of LDSBC teach and serve with integrity. They are consecrated to the Lord and His Church. They love and welcome students with a wide range of abilities and help them acquire practical, marketable skills. They connect students effectively to employers and jobs, and infuse them with hope and confidence in Jesus Christ. The people here bring vitality to LDSBC and its students. They are innovative, creative, and inspired. They truly bring out the very best in their students. They are the salt of the earth.
I hope all of you who are students at LDSBC are following that very same pattern, becoming consecrated, committed Latter-day Saints, kind, loving and charitable, skilled in practical and valuable ways, full of vitality and inspiration born of the Spirit of the Lord. If you follow that pattern you will bring out the best in the people around you and you will bless the families of the earth wherever you go. You will, indeed, be the salt of the earth.
Bruce and Alynda Kusch are a wonderful match for LDSBC. They are trusted servants of the Lord with long experience in blessing the families of the earth. I know they have a great love for LDSBC and its students, faculty and staff. They will be a great blessing to generations of people who work and study here. They are the salt of the earth.
I want to share a couple of thoughts about President Kusch. I marvel at the way the Lord has prepared him to preside over this school. He is a creative, innovative leader, with experience both in the world of work, and in the classroom. He approaches everything he does with great love, energy and commitment. He is very steady, unflappable, and wise. I am grateful that he is here to lead LDSBC into the future.
Brothers and sisters, this is a great day at LDSBC, and a great day in God’s Kingdom. I know this is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. I bear witness of Him. He is our Savior and Redeemer. This is His Church and Kingdom on the earth. I pray that all of us will hear His voice, and accept His call to be the salt of the earth. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.