Cecil O. Samuelson

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Cecil O. Samuelson, Jr.
Samuelson leading the April 2008 commencement exercises at BYU
First Quorum of the Seventy
October 1, 1994 (1994-10-01) – October 1, 2011 (2011-10-01)
Called by Howard W. Hunter
End reason Granted general authority emeritus status
Presidency of the Seventy
August 15, 2001 (2001-08-15) – April 5, 2003 (2003-04-05)
Called by Gordon B. Hinckley
End reason Honorably released to become president of BYU
Emeritus General Authority
October 1, 2011 (2011-10-01)
Called by Thomas S. Monson
12th President of Brigham Young University
In office
May 1, 2003 – May 1, 2014
Predecessor Merrill J. Bateman
Successor Kevin J Worthen
Personal details
Born (1941-08-01) August 1, 1941 (age 75)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Alma mater University of Utah (B.S., M.Ed., M.D.)
Spouse(s) Sharon Giauque Samuelson

Cecil Osborn Samuelson, Jr. (born Aug 1, 1941) was the 12th president of Brigham Young University (BYU) and is an emeritus general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Prior to holding these positions, Samuelson had worked as a professor of medicine and later dean of the school of medicine at the University of Utah, and senior vice president of Intermountain Health Care.[1][2]

Samuelson served as a full-time LDS Church missionary in Scotland as a young adult[3] and has continued church service in his adulthood. He was appointed to the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1994, and while a general authority he served as an area president, in the Presidency of the Seventy, and as the general president of the church's Sunday School organization.[3]

While serving in the area presidency of the North America West Area, Samuelson was a signatory to a May 11, 1999 letter to all adult congregants in California in advance of voting on Proposition 22. The letter advised LDS members in California to "do all you can by donating your means and time to assure a successful vote." [4][5]

Samuelson began his administration as president of BYU with a call for the faculty to "raise the bar" in their expectations of students. He also initiated a revamping of student housing to allow it to better augment the goals of the university. Samuelson gave a talk in September 2007 to BYU students on the theme "The Year of the Constitution". In his talk he quoted statements by J. Reuben Clark that the Constitution of the United States was not "a fully grown document", and that "we believe it must grow and develop to meet the changing needs of an advancing world." He also stated, in agreement with the doctrine of LDS Church, that the Constitution is a divinely inspired document.[6][7]

He holds a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, and an M.D. from the University of Utah and completed his residency at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.[1] He is a Brother of Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity.

On March 11, 2014, it was announced that Samuelson would be succeeded by Kevin J Worthen as the president of BYU on May 1, 2014.[8] In November 2014 he began service as president of the church's Salt Lake Temple.[9]


  1. ^ a b "News of the Church: Elder Cecil O. Samuelson, Jr. Of the Seventy". Ensign. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: 103–112. November 1994. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  2. ^ BYU - Cecil O. Samuelson
  3. ^ a b Cecil O. Samuelson, Jr., General Authority
  4. ^ AP (5 July 1999). "LDS urged to back a ban on gay marriage". Deseret News. 
  5. ^ "Proposition 22 Dominates California Wards' Attention, Divides Members" (PDF). Sunstone. Sunstone Education Foundation. April 2001. pp. 86–92. Retrieved 2008-05-19. [dead link]
  6. ^ The Year of the Constitution
  7. ^ BYU News - Release
  8. ^ "New BYU president named in devotional", KSL March 11, 2014.
  9. ^ New temple presidents, Deseret News, 14 June 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2014.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Merrill J. Bateman
President of Brigham Young University
2003 – 2014
Succeeded by
Kevin J Worthen