On Thursday, April 25, 1996, President Merrill J. Bateman was inaugurated as the 11th president of Brigham Young University. He comes to this position having served most recently as Presiding Bishop of the LDS Church and having distinguished himself in both his academic and professional undertakings.
He and his wife, Marilyn Scholes Bateman, were honored Wednesday evening at a concert for the BYU family and hosted presidents and delegates from some 80 universities at a reception prior to the inaugural ceremonies.
President Bateman’s inauguration was held in conjunction with the April commencement exercises, which honored 5,518 graduates and was attended by approximately 18,000 parents, friends, faculty, staff, and other guests. Presiding at and conducting the ceremonies was LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley. President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency, gave the inaugural charge to President Bateman, who in turn delivered an inaugural address. In addition, several other speakers representing BYU–Hawaii; BYU’s faculty, staff, and students; and the university’s 310,000 alumni delivered greetings to the new president.