Referred to as a giant among men, President David O. McKay began his professional life as a teacher--a job he never quite left. Education, he once said, is "America's most precious asset, her greatest safeguard, her most important, most potentially profitable enterprise."
In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the College of Education, which is housed in the David O. McKay Building, Homecoming 1996 honors this great educator and prophet, who led BYU's Board of Trustees from 1951 to 1970.
"Today we still feel President McKay's influence," says George Bowie, chair of the Homecoming Executive Committee. "His beliefs about education and the development of young men and women are as important now as they were 26 years ago, which is why we selected the theme 'Echoes of Truth' for Homecoming."
Hearkening to this theme, this year's activities (running Oct. 713) will revolve around the truths taught and exemplified by President McKay.
All alumni and members of the community are welcome to attend the David O. McKay Symposium on Education in the Harman Building Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 9 and 10. Sponsored by the David O. McKay Society from the College of Education, the symposium will examine the principles of truth that govern teaching and learning. Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will deliver the symposium's keynote address at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Presenters will discuss how these principles of truth can be used to assist individual learners to develop their full potential and how education can be improved. "This will be accomplished by an examination of the educational teachings and practices of prominent LDS educators and timely topics in education of special interest to LDS educators," says E. Vance Randall, an associate professor of educational leadership and the director of what will be an annual symposium.
The symposium is free and no prior registration is required. For more information on the event or to locate President McKay's teachings and writings on education, please see the symposium's Worldwide Web site at http://www.byu.edu/acd1/ed/coe/symposium.html.
Also highlighting this year's Founders Day (Oct. 8), will be a special tribute to the ninth president of the Church. The Founders Day Opening Ceremonies will begin at 11 a.m. in the Marriott Center and are open to all alumni, students, and members of the community.
"We are approaching this year's opening event a little different than we have in the past," says Ron Clark, a member of the Homecoming Executive Committee. "To focus on our theme, Echoes of Truth, we are going to honor the life of truly one of the most memorable modern-day prophets.
"The opening ceremonies will feature the Cougar Marching Band, Polynesian dancers from Living Legends--formerly the Lamanite Generation--and the combination of the Men's Chorus and Chamber Orchestra. All of this will build to a finale that will literally send chills down people's spines. It is an event students, faculty, alumni, and community members won't want to miss."
The program will also feature President Merrill J. Bateman and entrepreneur Alan Ashton, grandson to President McKay and the founder and former CEO of WordPerfect.
Building on this same spirit, the 1996 Homecoming Spectacular is going to oVer a deluge of great entertainment, says Michael G. Handley, producer of the event. "Not only will it literally be raining on the Marriott Center stage during the number 'Singin' in the Rain,' but the entire show will be filled with a flood of fine performances. All of the very best BYU has to oVer will be joined together for this one spectacular evening."
As part of a special tribute to President McKay's work in Central and South Pacific, a guest performer from the Polynesian Cultural Center will perform a genuine fire-knife dance. Straight from Oahu also comes Taran Erickson McQuivey, lead singer with the famed Don Ho Show.
The Young Ambassadors will also present several numbers from their new production, "In the Neighborhood." Spotlighting the show will be the Chamber Orchestra performing Fantasia's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" starring Mickey Mouse.
"This year's show is one the whole family can enjoy," says Handley. During the show, the recipients of the 1996 Alumni Awards will be announced.
Homecoming Spectacular will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 11 and 12 in the Marriott Center. Tickets will go on sale for $8 and $7 beginning Sept. 23 at the Marriott Center Ticket Office, (801) 378-BYU1; 1-800-322-BYU1.
Prior to Friday's show there will be a Homecoming Island Barbecue, complete with Polynesian entertainment. The event will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Ellsworth Center, which is being transformed into an island paradise by BYU Grounds and the LDS Motion Picture Studio.
"Because of President McKay's great love for the people of Polynesia, we have decided to make this an island barbecue," says Roy Brinkerhoff, assistant director of alumni activities.
The barbecue will be catered by the Department of Animal Science and the Block and Bridle Club and will include a roasted pig along with other luau dishes.
"This is not only going to be a great meal," says Brinkerhoff, "but it's going to be a fun social event as well."
Tickets for the Barbecue are available for $8 through Alumni Activities, 244 ALUM, Provo, UT 84602; (801) 378-6746 or 1-800-437-4663, ext. 6746.
This year's Homecoming theme will be reflected in a number of other activities, including an essay contest and Career Connections. Sponsored by the Student Alumni Association, Career Connections gives students a chance to meet with BYU alumni for 15 minutes in one-on-one sessions to discuss and get advice about their chosen careers. If you would like to participate in this event, to be held Friday, Oct. 11, from 8 a.m. until noon, please call Heidi Hastings at (801) 378-7621 or 1-800-437-4663, ext. 7621.
In addition, throughout the week there will be a number of other activities, including the Honored Alumni Lecture Series, reunion activities, and BYUSA's Children's Festival. The lecture series will be held in each college at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10. For information about alumni presenting the lectures or their topics, please call (801) 378-7621 or 1-800-437-4663, ext. 7621.
On Saturday, Oct. 12, the Homecoming parade will begin at 8:30 a.m. The football game will follow at noon with BYU facing the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Football tickets for single games and football ticket packages are available at the Marriott Center Ticket Office, (801) 378 BYU1; 1-800-322-BYU1.