Elder Christofferson announces Elder Alvin F. Meredith III as new BYU–Idaho president

President Henry J. Eyring has served for the past six years and will complete his time as BYU–Idaho president on Aug. 1

REXBURG, Idaho — Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles announced Tuesday that Elder Alvin F. Meredith III will be the 18th president of Brigham Young University–Idaho.

In front of thousands of students and faculty gathered in the BYU–I Center on May 16, Elder Christofferson made the announcement on behalf of Church President Russell M. Nelson.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles waves to students gathered in the BYU–I Center on the Rexburg, Idaho, campus on May 16, 2023. At left are BYU–Idaho President Henry J. Eyring and Sister Kelly Eyring, and at right is Elder Clark G. Gilbert, a General Authority Seventy and a former BYU–Idaho president who is commissioner of Church education. | Nicolette Mulestein, BYU–Idaho

Elder Christofferson chairs the executive committee of the Church Educational System board of trustees. Of President Henry J. Eyring’s six years of service, the Apostle said, “On behalf of the board of trustees, I express deep gratitude and love to President Henry J. and Sister Kelly Eyring for their exceptional service.”

Students stood and applauded the current president and his wife. President Henry J. Eyring will continue to serve until Aug. 1.

The change in leadership comes just eight weeks after Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles announced that C. Shane Reese will replace Kevin J Worthen as the president of Brigham Young University, BYU–Idaho’s sister institution in the Church Educational System.

The day’s events also brought Elder Clark G. Gilbert, a General Authority Seventy, Church commissioner of education and a former president of BYU–Idaho, and R. Kelly Haws, assistant to the commissioner of Church education, to the southeast Idaho campus.

Elder Meredith was sustained as a General Authority Seventy on April 3, 2021. Elder Christofferson explained that Elder Meredith will continue to serve in that role while he is president of BYU–Idaho.

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Elder Alvin F. Meredith, center, was named as the new president of BYU–Idaho on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. He is pictured here with his wife, Sister Jennifer Edgin Meredith, and their children. | Screenshot from

When he was called to be a general authority, Elder Meredith was presiding over the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission. He was serving with his wife, Sister Jennifer Meredith. Prior to his call as a mission president, Elder Meredith was involved in a number of businesses.

Elder Christofferson has known Elder Meredith, known as “Trip,” since he was a teenager. “You are going to love them,” he told students of Elder Meredith and his wife.

In describing President Henry J. Eyring’s time at the university, Elder Christofferson said: “Together, President and Sister Eyring have inspired, taught and provided an exemplary model for each of you and this entire community. President Eyring has lifted those around him with his leadership, deep commitment to you students, and ongoing efforts to preserve and strengthen the culture and spirit of this great university.”

Elder Meredith paid tribute to President Henry J. Eyring. “You have been blessed beyond measure to be here at this exceptional university under the leadership of President and Sister Eyring,” Elder Meredith told students.

BYU–Idaho’s president retains a unique combination of intellect and humility, he said. “That is a rare pairing in the world today.”

Students gather in the BYU–I Center for a devotional where Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles announced that Elder Alvin F. Meredith III will be the new president of BYU–Idaho, on May 16, 2023. | Michael Lewis, BYU–Idaho

Be strong and of a good courage

After making the announcement, Elder Christofferson spoke of the succession of the ministry of Moses, who laid his hands on Joshua and ordained him as the leader of Israel. 

Jehovah reassured Joshua, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. ...

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersover thou goest. ...

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:5, 7, 9).

Elder Christofferson promised, “As God was with Moses and with Joshua, He will be with us.”

Members of the Church have entered into the same covenant with God and have received, in turn, His covenantal promises, Elder Christofferson said. “We can indeed ‘be strong and of a good courage,’ even ‘very courageous.’ The Lord will ‘not fail nor forsake’ us. Through the Savior’s Atonement and infinite grace, the covenant promises of the Father will all be fulfilled.”

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles announces that Elder Alvin F. Meredith III will be the new president of BYU–Idaho during a devotional on May 16, 2023. | Tanner Brown, BYU–Idaho

What does that mean in individuals’ lives day to day? For President and Sister Eyring, Elder Christofferson said, it means they can close this chapter of their lives with a sense of peace and satisfaction. “They recognize that as they have been ‘strong and of a good courage,’ they have been enabled to succeed admirably here. …”

For Elder and Sister Meredith and their young family, it means they can look forward “with good courage” to the new chapter in their lives “knowing that hard work, success and joy await. Elder Meredith — President Meredith — knows from his experience over the years seeing covenant promises fulfilled that, like Joshua, the Lord will not fail nor forsake him.”

For each student, it means just as President Nelson declared, “Because of [your] covenant with God, He will never tire in His efforts to help [you], and [you] will never exhaust His merciful patience with [you].”

In conclusion, Elder Christofferson said: “Sensing the love of God for you, I rejoice this day in the fact that for some period of time, you have enjoyed, directly and indirectly, the influence of President Henry J. Eyring and Sister Kelly Eyring. I rejoice that in the months and years ahead, you will be blessed by the leadership and influence of President Alvin F. Meredith and Sister Jennifer Meredith. Above all, I rejoice in your growing covenant relationship with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.”

BYU–Idaho President Henry J. Eyring and Sister Kelly Eyring react as students give them a standing ovation after Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles announced during a campus devotional May 16, 2023, that President Eyring’s service will end Aug. 1, 2023. | Nicolette Muhlestein, BYU–Idaho

The Eyrings’ goodbyes

In his brief remarks, President Henry J. Eyring spoke of several of the past presidents of Ricks College and BYU–Idaho — starting with his father, President Henry B. Eyring, now second counselor in the Church’s First Presidency, and ending with his “longtime friend” Elder Gilbert. Each leader contributed in a unique way to the “upward, steady course” of the university that President Henry B. Eyring prophesied about in a talk in 2001.

The younger President Eyring assured students that Elder and Sister Meredith are prepared to lead the university. “They will be led on a steady, upward course. And the employees and students will be lifted. As a result, this great institution will get better still.”

Sister Eyring expressed heartfelt gratitude for the faculty, staff, administrators and students of the university. She recalled a devotional talk in 2013 where she compared BYU–Idaho to the EAC, or Eastern Australian Current, which is a superhighway for fish and sea turtles along the east coast of Australia. 

In many ways, BYU–Idaho is a superhighway for students both academically and spiritually, she said. “Elder and Sister Meredith, prepare to be swept up in this wonderful current called BYU–Idaho. It is now part of your eternal current.”

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The Eyrings’ time in Rexburg

President Henry J. Eyring was inaugurated on his 54th birthday, Sept. 19, 2017, on a sunny but windy day in Rexburg. His father, President Henry B. Eyring, issued the inaugural charge to lead the university with the Lord’s help.

BYU–Idaho President Henry J. Eyring hugs the new designated president, Elder Alvin F. Meredith III, right, who will succeed President Eyring on Aug. 1, 2023. | Madeline Jex, BYU–Idaho

President Henry B. Eyring’s advice to his son on that day came from experience. He served as the 10th president of Ricks College, BYU–Idaho’s predecessor, from 1971 to 1977.

Young Henry J. Eyring spent a good part of his childhood “growing up” on campus. “He understands [the school] and loves it in a way that is only possible because he came there as a little boy,” his father told the Church News after Henry J. Eyring’s appointment in 2017. “He used to sit in my office at lunchtime. He would walk up from his school and have a little sandwich with me in my office. It was a lovely time. And it is a great school — he understands it and loves it for what it is.”

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Named after his father, grandfather and mother’s family, Henry Johnson Eyring was born in 1963 in Palo Alto, California, as the oldest of Henry B. and Kathleen Johnson Eyring’s six children.

Henry J. Eyring attended Bountiful High School, just north of Salt Lake City. As a senior, he met Kelly Child — a sophomore — at a back-to-school dance in 1980.

After he completed a full-time mission to Nagoya, Japan, they married in the Salt Lake Temple on Dec. 18, 1984. They are the parents of five children.

Sister Kelly C. Eyring speaks during a devotional where Elder D. Todd Christofferson announced a new president for BYU–Idaho beginning Aug. 1, 2023. | Nicolette Muhlestein, BYU–Idaho

He earned a bachelor’s degree in geology in 1985, then an MBA and law degree in 1989 — all from Brigham Young University.

After working for several years as a business consultant, he presided over the Japan Tokyo North Mission from 2003 to 2006.

For 11 years he worked in a variety of roles at BYU–Idaho, including academic vice president, associate academic vice president for online learning and instructional technology, and as advancement vice president. He has also taught courses, written books, served as a trustee of Southern Utah University and, at the time of his appointment as BYU–Idaho’s president, was an adjunct fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.

In his six years at the helm of the university, President Henry J. Eyring has steered the university through the challenges and pitfalls of the COVID-19 pandemic and the pains associated with growing the student body from roughly 12,000 in 2017 to almost 18,000 campus-based students in spring 2023.

He also streamlined and simplified the BYU–Idaho curriculum structure and strengthened partnerships with BYU–Pathway Worldwide and Ensign College.

As Elder Christofferson noted in his remarks on Tuesday, President Henry J. Eyring accomplished all of that by involving others, “a hallmark of President Eyring’s inclusive pattern of leadership.”

In coming months, Elder Christofferson said, President Eyring will return to BYU’s Marriott School of Business, where he previously served as director of the MBA program. He has been asked to assist with the development of a Christ-centered leadership curriculum and to teach graduate and undergraduate students.

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