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Education week

Annual pilgrimage to learn opens for 22,000 at BYU

PROVO, Utah — More than 22,000 Church members gathered on the BYU campus Aug. 15-19 for the annual BYU Campus Education Week, celebrating the life of Joseph Smith by listening to speakers address the conference theme, "Whom I Did Call upon . . . to Bring Forth My Work" (Doctrine and Covenants 136:37).

"The theme was selected to offer respect and gratitude for the remarkable life and service of the Prophet Joseph Smith," said Neil Carlile, BYU Campus Education Week director. "Nearly 100 presentations focus on different aspects of his family, life events, teachings, trials, adversities, martyrdom, and his enduring legacy."

In addition to the focus on Joseph Smith, the five-day conference featured 225 faculty who presented nearly 1,100 classes on family and marriage relations, education, finance, self-improvement, religion and other topics.

Originally called "Leadership Week," the conference annually draws participants from all 50 states; this year participants also came from 12 other countries.

Believed to be the largest single-event continuing education program in the world, Campus Education Week is sponsored by BYU and the Church Educational System.

Now in its 83rd year, the program began in 1922 and was attended by just more than 2,000 people. But over time the program grew. Classes for youth were first offered in 1958 and by 1975, the conference — by then called Education Week — was attracting more than 10,000 people annually to the BYU campus. In 1983, registration exceeded 20,000 and by 1990, enrollment was 30,000. Enrollment peaked in 1994, with 36,500.

Organizers saw a decline in campus enrollment after offering classes free via electronic means in 1995. However, because selected broadcasts are now transmitted via BYU Television and the Church satellite system to those around globe, the program reaches more participants than ever before.

As in the past decade, 12 presentations will be translated into Spanish, French and Portuguese and broadcast over the Church satellite system and BYU Television to the United States and Canada Sept. 13-16. Eight of those will be translated and broadcast over the Church satellite system to Europe, South Africa, Mexico, Central America, South America, Asia and the Pacific on Sept. 10 and Sept. 17. The broadcasts will also be carried on KBYU-TV in Utah on Sunday mornings from Sept. 18 through Dec. 11.

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