Twenty-five years after the N. Eldon Tanner Building was dedicated on the Brigham Young University campus and became home of the Marriott School of Management, the new, four-story N. Eldon Tanner Building Addition was dedicated Oct. 24 by the man acknowledged as the school's "most distinguished" MBA graduate, President Thomas S. Monson.
"I thank all the professors who coached me when I sought an MBA," said President Monson, who started his degree work at the University of Utah before finishing at BYU. "I'm very grateful to be able to declare that I am a graduate of the Marriott School of Management — partly because it bears the name 'Marriott' and partly because it has such an outstanding ranking."
President Monson presided at the dedication ceremony and offered closing remarks and the dedicatory prayer. Elder Cecil O. Samuelson of the Seventy and president of BYU, conducted the services, which were also attended by Presidents Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf, counselors in the First Presidency; and Elders L. Tom Perry, Russell M. Nelson, M. Russell Ballard, Joseph B. Wirthlin and Jeffrey R. Holland, all of the Quorum of the Twelve.
Also participating were Richard E. Marriott and J.W. Marriott Jr., whose family's offer of an $18 million donation a decade earlier served as the catalyst for the $43 million project that funded the addition, a parking structure and a maintenance endowment.
In his dedicatory prayer, President Monson acknowledged the building's namesake, President Tanner, a longtime First Presidency counselor and member of the Quorum of the Twelve: "We thank thee for him and for all that he exemplified, in his life and in his ministry, for the benefit of mankind."
President Monson prayed that teachers and instructors in the building would "teach with Thy spirit as a constant companion."
And he asked for a blessing on the attending students: "Bless all students that they might recognize that they walk on hallowed ground when entering this building. May each one appreciate the past, contemplate the future and work diligently in the present."
Asking that it be regarded with appreciation and gratitude by all, President Monson petitioned, "May this truly be a house of learning."
Invoking his final blessings, he concluded: "May each truly enter to learn and go forth to serve, that they may be witnesses of Thee and Thy work by their very lives."
In remarks prior to his dedicatory prayer, President Monson paid tribute to the Marriott families, for their associations and involvement with the school of management and for their generous donations to the building; to President Gordon B. Hinckley, who offered the dedicatory prayer for the original building, and to President Tanner, whom he called "a great mentor of mine."
"What a great personality," he said. "What a giant in the land we had in N. Eldon Tanner."
President Monson carried well wishes from his wife, Sister Frances Monson, who had suffered a fall earlier in the week and spent several days in the hospital before returning to their home the eve of the Tanner Building dedication.
Dedicated in 1983, the Tanner Building — then finished at a cost of $12 million — was the first BYU building funded entirely by private donations.
After the Marriott family's $18 million donation, the remaining $25 million came from the Marriott School of Management's National Advisory Council, with contributions from the N. Eldon Tanner Trust and the school of management's faculty, staff and students.
The 76,000-square-foot addition adds 53 percent to the existing Tanner Building for a total of 220,000 square feet. It includes 10-tiered classrooms, one network teaching room, one large assembly room and 39 team study rooms. FFKR Architects, who designed the original building, returned to design the addition, which was built by Jacobsen Construction.
"This is one of the miracles that has happened," said Richard Marriott, chairman of Host Hotels and Resorts and an executive committee member on the advisory council, of the realization of the much-needed addition. He added that "this facility will significantly raise the quality of the students' experience."
J.W. Marriott Jr., an Area Seventy, said the addition would help further the goal of BYU providing strong business leaders and Church leaders with vision, example and integrity to make a difference in the world. "Our families are deeply honored to have our name over the door of this incredible institution," he said.
Ned C. Hill, the former Marriott School of Management dean, also spoke at the ceremony. He cited statistics that show that one quarter of all recent BYU students either major, minor or seek a graduate degree in BYU's management program. Since 1983, the Marriott School of Management has witnessed a 50 percent increase in students and the addition of 35 faculty members.
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