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    A marvelous institution  echo $newRAM;
    added Tue September 09 2003 at 12:44 PM

    I know, I spend a lot of time making fun of BYU, especially the unique culture found here. However, sometimes I just have to sit back and realize what a marvelous institution it truly is.

    Today was the inauguration of President Cecil O. Samuelson as the newest president of BYU. I happened to get extremely lucky and find a good seat, to the side of the stage, but really close. And, of course, it didn't hurt any that two incredibly cute girls sat next to me...

    Of course, seeing as I was alone, and the two girls next to me were very talkative, I listened as they talked. They were two brand new freshmen (freshwomen?), probably ages 17 and 18. The entire time, they were singing praises to BYU, to their fortune in finding such a good seat, to the wonderment of being able to hear from President Hinckley.

    As the two young ladies continued in their conversation, I was forced to reflect on how truly wonderful BYU really is. Now, this isn't to say that I retract any earlier criticisms, but merely to say that while the little things may be annoying at times, the university as a whole is a marvelous institution.

    In the Princeton Review, BYU is ranked number 2 as the best quality of life, number 3 as the best college library, and number 5 as the best academic bang for your buck. The one title that we take the most pride in, however, is that we are for the fifth year in a row the number 1 stone cold sober school.

    Our campus is the most spotless I have ever seen, or probably ever will. First of all, nobody smokes or drinks, so you don't find those pesky cigarette butts or beer cans anywhere. Second, the grounds crew is massive, as the Church showcases BYU as an icon of what the LDS church stands for.

    The faculty and staff are truly amazing. I don't think I currently have any teachers who have not spent time in the work force. The men and women that I listen to every day are extremely bright, but also well balanced as they strive to keep their religion and family in their lives.

    Today we were visited by President Hinckley, President Monsons, President Faust, and five of the twelve apostles. Granted, this does not happen every week, but I don't think I know any student at BYU who has been here for more than a year and does not have some story to tell of how they saw this or that General Authority.

    All in all, I must remind myself that I truly do attend a marvelous institution.