David O. McKay Lecture Series



In the fall of 1962, the Arts and Sciences Faculty of the then Church College of Hawaii determined to establish an annual lecture series designed to further the purposes for which the college was established: expanding academic insight and teaching moral values on a universal stage. By its establishment a local platform was created from which, hopefully, new knowledge and vital issues could be discussed by a distinguished member of the Church College of Hawaii faculty, including key administrative personnel who had come through the faculty ranks. Furthermore, by approaching the subject matter with intellectual courage and vigor the designated faculty member would be extending a degree of success to the inspired leadership of David O. McKay, then President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, under whose hand the College came into being.

The lecture series was doubtlessly an attempt to keep before the faculty the ever challenging question, "What is true education?''

President McKay, as if in answer, on one occasion gave the following insights:

"It is awakening a love for truth; giving a just sense of duty; opening the eyes of the soul to the great purpose and end of life. It is not teaching to be honest because "honesty is the best policy"; but because it is right. It is teaching the individual to love the good for the sake of the good; to be virtuous in action because one is so in heart; to love and serve God supremely not from fear, but from delight in his perfect character." No one can successfully controvert the fact that upon the teacher rests much of the responsibility of lifting society to this high ideal. (437)

In general over the years the series has attained a stature in itself. A fine tradition was indeed established in 1962.

Though the lecture series was started under the auspices of one of the academic divisions, it eventually was sponsored by the total faculty through its Faculty Association during the years of its existence. The faculty at what is now BYU-Hawaii Campus continues to choose its annual lecturer from its honored midst through its Faculty Advisory Committee.

How started and how administered is of far less importance than what has been accomplished. Over the years not only student and faculty groups but also the general public have been permitted to participate in a grand tradition for as William Jennings Bryan put it, "Destiny is not a matter of Chance, is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved" (qtd. in Peter 159)

Nephi Georgi (July 1982)


Works Cited

McKay, David O. Gospel Ideals. Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953.

Peter, Laurence J. Peter's Quotations, New York: William Morrow, 1977.