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Out of the Blue

Embracing President Reese

An unscripted hug and roaring ovation mark the inauguration of BYU president C. Shane Reese, who vows to lead BYU to its prophetic destiny.

A standing ovation at the Marriott Center.
Photo by Jaren Wilkey

“The script didn’t call for a hug,” smiled apostle and BYU Board of Trustees member D. Todd Christofferson (BA ’69) at the inauguration of BYU president C. Shane Reese (BS ’94, MS ’95) on Sept. 19. Moments before, Reese was embraced by his wife, Wendy Wood Reese (BS ’95), center, after she placed the presidential medallion around his neck—marking President Reese’s installation at the helm of BYU. Also unscripted: the roaring ovation that followed in a Marriott Center crowded with students, employees, and guests. In his remarks, Reese named the challenge of his tenure—guiding BYU to its prophetic destiny. “Like our colleagues at other religious institutions, we exert our strength only to the extent that we embrace and enhance our religious identity.”