This year, all current students in the EdLF department will a receive a backpack—but not just any backpack. This is a backpack with a purpose.
Arthur C. Brooks, a recognized author and social scientist, was granted an honorary doctorate degree from BYU this past April. He then spoke at the commencement exercises, and his message left an impact on all who heard him.
Brooks, who is not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared an amusing story about how a BYU briefcase changed him.
Several years ago, Brooks delivered a lecture at BYU and was sent home with a variety of BYU gifts. One of them was a new briefcase emblazoned with the BYU logo. Brooks admitted he was hesitant to use the gift because he was not a member of the Church, but his wife encouraged him to use the briefcase because it was beautiful.
As Brooks took the briefcase when he traveled, he noticed a change in his behavior. “I was acting with greater love and kindness than I ordinarily would. People would look at my briefcase, and I would want to help with their luggage. I would want to give up my place in line,” said Brooks. He was unconsciously striving “to live up to the high standards of kindness of the Church and of BYU.”
A few months after this speech, the McKay School gifted its faculty and staff a backpack with the BYU and McKay School of Education logos stitched on the front. Faculty and staff began to carry their backpacks with a sense of pride of participation in the McKay School community. When they passed each other on campus, there was a deeper connection to the McKay School family and a reminder of representing BYU.
As a student, alumni, or faculty of our program, you have taken upon you the identity of a member of the BYU community and more specifically, the McKay School and EdLF community. Experience shows that as we all live up to those standards, it has the potential to change our lives.
The EdLF department has purchased department-specific backpacks to remind current students of this message. There are embroidered BYU, McKay School, and EdLF names on the front that will represent this significant time in the students’ lives. Wherever they go after graduation, the EdLF department hopes their new backpacks remind them of the time they spent at the McKay School, and motivate them to always live up to the high standards of BYU just as Brooks has done. “Your greatest witness to the world as members of this community is the conduct of your lives. Our nation and world need this. They need you, more than ever today,” said Brooks.
The purpose of these backpacks is for EdLF students to carry them with pride and use them to instigate great conversations and connections. The department hopes our students, alumni, and faculty will follow Brooks’ counsel to “sanctify your learning and ordinary work by lifting up and bringing together our great nation.”
To read Brooks full commencement speech, click here.
Writer: Cameron Hussein
Contact: Cynthia Glad 801-422-1922