FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. Dozens of institute students gathered here Oct. 17 for the dedication of the first full-time institute building in their state.
Elder James Olson, an Area Authority Seventy, offered the dedicatory prayer for the building, adjacent to the University of Arkansas campus.
In his remarks prior to the dedication, Elder Olson said: "You have a lovely building tucked away in the heart of one of the great universities of the world. This institute will become the heart and soul of the university, though those outside may not know it."
Rogers Arkansas Stake president David Harris counseled the students to remember the importance of studying the gospel at the institute, while studying for their careers at the university.
Fayetteville University Branch president Robert Osburn counseled students and branch members to not to let the cares of the world take them away from tending to that which is most important. "Should we sacrifice scripture study to prepare for an early morning English test? Can we skip our evening prayers because we are worn out from a hard day of school and work? We must tend to what is most important first. This is an opportunity for each one of us to learn and grow."
During the dedication meeting Robert Boyce, director of the institute, recounted the history of the institute in the area.
In 1993, Brother Boyce was assigned as the first full-time instructor and director of the institute. In 1994, the Fayetteville University Branch was formed. In 1996, the Church acquired an old house facing campus. The year 1997 was spent in planning and obtaining the necessary permits; work commenced in 1998 to restore, remodel and update the building, create parking areas and prepare it to serve as a full-time institute. Work was completed in the spring of 1999. The first full semester of institute classes in the new building began with the 1999 fall semester.