After more than 36 years as an EdLF professor for the McKay School of Education, LeGrand Richards will be retiring this summer.
Richards graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor of science in 1975. He earned a master of education from Harvard University and returned to BYU for his doctorate, which he received in 1982. He also participated in postgraduate studies as an assistant professor in Germany (formerly the Federal Republic of Germany) at the University of Würzburg. He later taught there as a visiting professor while teaching at BYU.
The gospel has always been an important part of Richards’ relationship with education and higher learning. While serving his mission in Scotland, he focused on spiritual learning, and he continued this principle of learning at all of the institutions he attended. During his time at Harvard, he recalls, almost all the papers he wrote were related to the gospel, because the university was “interested in important questions, and to me only the best kinds of answers were inherently connected to the gospel of Jesus Christ.” His interest in these answers and in spiritual education is partly what brought him to BYU.
During Richards’ time in the McKay School, he has enjoyed the “spirit of the students and the mission that we could be focusing on.” He sees BYU’s great potential and has worked throughout his time here to ask questions that prompt deeper thinking about learning. One question Richards often ponders: What does it mean to seek learning also by faith? He believes that “seeking learning also by faith suggests a kind of action that puts [learning] into practice in a way” that doesn’t just apply to doing well on university exams. Learning by faith in a gospel-centered environment is something that Richards sees as an important aspect of the BYU experience.
After retiring this summer, Richards will serve as president of the Provo City Center Utah Temple, with his wife, Cindy, serving as temple matron. The calling has been “such a thrill,” Richards says, and he and Cindy are excited to begin their service. “I am happy to do it and have everyone come visit me in the temple.” He looks forward to continuing to learn and teach in his new calling.
Writer: Camille Ladd