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A peek at this year's BYU Education Week: Nathan Pacheco, Sister Joy Jones and more

PROVO — Thousands of people toting bags with notebooks, class schedules and water bottles are expected to flood the Brigham Young University campus Aug. 20-24 for the annual BYU Education Week.

The 96th BYU Education Week will feature more than 1,000 classes, 240 presenters, over 600 volunteers and hundreds of BYU employees to "provide a unique, outstanding educational experience," organizers H. Bruce Payne, Erika M. Zeiner and Maddi Luczak wrote in the 2018 BYU Education Week booklet.

"We are confident that as you attend the program and benefit from the resources and atmosphere of Brigham Young University, you will have a rewarding and uplifting experience," the trio wrote.

Bill Cranston of Apple Valley, California, will be there. He has attended Education Week at least 15 times since he graduated from BYU in 1972. The 71-year-old, seen proudly sporting a BYU football T-shirt, said he is most looking forward to Ron L. Andersen's classes on Abraham Lincoln.

"What keeps me coming back is the association to be with people that believe the same thing that I do and the knowledge that the classes are going to be great, and I'm learning something new every year I come," Cranston said. "It's just the experience of being on this campus. And I love football."

This year's theme is found in Doctrine and Covenants 6:36 — "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."

President Russell M. Nelson shared a similar message in his April 2017 general conference talk, "Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ into Our Lives."

"Our focus must be riveted on the Savior and His gospel," President Nelson said. "It is mentally rigorous to strive to look unto Him in every thought. But when we do, our doubts and fears flee."

Education Week's classes cater to adults and youth (14 and older), men and women, married and not married. The topics vary from gospel subjects to health, personal finance, personal development, the arts, marriage and family.

A picture of a past conference shows how crowds of people will flood the BYU campus during the annual BYU Campus Education Week Aug. 20-24 in Provo.
A picture of a past conference shows how crowds of people will flood the BYU campus during the annual BYU Campus Education Week Aug. 20-24 in Provo. Photo: Tom Smart, Deseret News

Sandy Apostol of Kamas, Utah, has attended education week nearly every year since she graduated from BYU in 1979. What keeps her coming back?

"The speakers, learning new stuff, feeling the Spirit, then going home and taking one, two or three things and changing my life," she said. "This week I'm really looking forward to feeling the Spirit, learning something new and possibly meeting new people."

Sister Joy D. Jones, who serves as the Primary general president, is the featured speaker at Tuesday's campus devotional in the Marriott Center at 11 a.m.

Another highlight will be the evening performances, including "Our Roots: A Celebration of Who We Are," artist Nathan Pacheco in concert and the Deseret String Quartet. For ticket information, visit www.byutickets.com.

Registration for BYU Education Week is 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, at the northeast concourse of the Marriott Center and in the Wilkinson Student Center Garden Court, and continues through the week from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Wilkinson Center, and from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Marriott Center. Registration is available for the full week; Tuesday-Friday; mornings, afternoons or evenings only; one day or a morning, afternoon or evening only. See educationweek.byu.edu for tuition rates.

The first BYU Education Week, originally called "Leadership Week," was hosted in 1922 and focused on training Church leaders. The name was changed to "Education Week" in 1963 when its scope was broadened to help individuals and families.

Last year more than 18,000 participated in the program, with people coming to BYU from all 50 states and 17 other countries. Of those who came, 70 percent were female, 30 percent were male and the majority were over age 55, according to organizers.

Every aspect of BYU Education Week is designed to bless and enrich the lives of participants and their families, the organizers wrote.

"As you reflect on what you learn, we hope you will keep the Savior in your thoughts and press forward with confidence and optimism," they stated.

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