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Life aborad prepared professor for new role

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The Church's missionary program has influenced the concept behind the new Fifth College of the University of California, San Diego, according to Dr. James K. Lyon Fifth College provost.

"I see what the missionary experience has done for young men and women in the church," said Dr. Lyon, who is also a counselor in the Carlsbad California Stake presidency. "Aside from the spiritual benefits, it is a great experience for them educationally."Although only 470 students are in the college jus beginning it's first quarter, the student body is expected to swell to about 3,400 he said. The college is one of five in the university, and functions with a small college atmosphere in the larger university setting.

"We are here to educate people to be better fit to live in a global community," he said. "In my background as a church member I've had thenotion of the Church as an international organization. I see the gospel as transcending cultural differences, while at the same time respecting them."

And regardless of the major they choose, all students in the school will have international studies as their core curriculum. Students will be required to learn another language, an dit is expected tht every student in the Fifth College will spend part of his or her undergraduate career living in a foreigh counrty. He said the concept was in part drawn from the church's missionary program.

Dr. Lyon, a professor of German, was chosen for the post partly because of his international background. He was born in Holland, a sone of T. Edgar Lyon who was president of The Netherlands Mission at the time. "I spoke Dutch before I spoke English," he said. He also served a mission in Germany and earned a doctorte in German literature.

In his off-campus life, he enjoys jogging, and often starts at his home overlooking the Pacific Coast and finds a route where he can enjoy the sea breeze, and perhaps see a whale or school of porpoises ducking and rising through the waves, or a merchant ship silhouetted on the horzon.

He and his wife, Dorothy, are parents of eight children.

Serving in the stake presidency, he also has a chance to observe the activities of members. "The Latter-day Saints in this area seem very engaged in community and school affairs," he said. "They may have different challenges, but no less than anywhere else in the world. All things considered, I think the members here meet their callenges quite well. Members' lives and many of their activities seem to center around the Church."

The youths in the Carlsbad stake are also strong and have lerned to make many correct decisions by themselves, he affirmed. "I'd stack our young people up against the young people anywhere in the Church."

The church membership in southern California is large and members are both known and respected here. "It is a rare person in this area who does not know a Mormon," he said.