News Release

Inauguration Held for BYU–Pathway Worldwide President

Church-sponsored school provides global outreach

Inauguration ceremonies were held in Salt Lake City Thursday night, November 16, 2017, for the first president of BYU–Pathway Worldwide. It’s the newest institution of higher education owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Hundreds of people gathered in the Conference Center Theater on Temple Square in Salt Lake City as Clark G. Gilbert was formally installed as the first president of BYU–Pathway by President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

President Nelson said, "I formally install you as president of BYU–Pathway Worldwide and confer upon you the authority, the prerogatives, the responsibility and the challenges associated with this high office and charge you to go forward in leading this new organization to heights of honor, achievement and recognition."

The inauguration was also carried on a live feed to hundreds of BYU–Pathway locations in 77 nations to give the thousands of students who have taken BYU–Pathway-related courses this year an opportunity to participate in the event.

President Nelson said, “The creation of BYU‒Pathway Worldwide brings an innovative approach to education — one unique to the Church Educational System and to the world. Because many students cannot go to CES campuses, PathwayConnect has found a way to take the CES experience to the students.”

Pathway began in 2009 under the direction of Brigham Young University–Idaho President Kim B. Clark, with 50 students at pilot sites in Idaho, Arizona and New York. As President Clark's successor from January 2015 to April 2017, President Gilbert was instrumental in developing the Pathway program.

“It is altogether fitting that Clark Gilbert should lead the people of BYU–Pathway Worldwide as their first president,” said Elder Kim B. Clark, now a General Authority Seventy and Church Commissioner of Education.

More than 38,000 students have been enrolled in programs affiliated with BYU–Pathway Worldwide in 2017.

Leaders of the Church announced the creation of BYU–Pathway in February, making it the Church’s fifth institution of higher education. The other schools owned and operated by the Church include Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah; Brigham Young University–Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho; Brigham Young University–Hawaii in Laie, Hawaii; and LDS Business College in Salt Lake City. The presidents of those schools attended the inauguration.

President Gilbert said the core of BYU–Pathway will continue to be the PathwayConnect program, which provides a one-year, affordable on-ramp to college education for students who are unable to attend a Church school. In addition, the school coordinates the Church Educational System online higher education certificate and degree programs.

“I encourage each person, regardless of age, to continue to learn,” said President Nelson. “Pursue whatever path will be most valuable to you and your family. You will be blessed as you do this. You will grow academically, professionally and spiritually as you seek to enhance your education.”

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