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Thousands flock to BYU for Campus Education Week

PROVO — Though school is not in session, crowds flooded the sidewalks and filled classrooms at BYU on Monday as another year of the university's Campus Education Week got under way.

With more than 200 presenters teaching more than 1,100 classes, students of all ages gathered on the campus to continue learning in a variety of topics.

"With the 20,000 people that come, there are probably 20,000 different reasons why people are attending," said Bruce Payne, program administrator for Campus Education Week. "We try to have classes in all of our content areas so that people will find classes that will speak to them."

For the past three years, Glen Robertson of Bluffdale has scheduled his vacation time off work around BYU's Campus Education Week. Education week has become something he and wife, Linda, look forward to attending every year.

"The classes answered a lot of questions for me," said Linda Robertson. "Education week is so empowering. It puts water in our buckets, and I feel like a better person and a better mom after coming. And I come out of it with such a positive outlook."

For the Robertsons, lessons they learned stemming from education week have helped them in many ways over the past few years. After joining a class on budgeting and finances the first year they attended education week, they left with ideas of how they could improve their budget.

"The first year we just came and listened to a class about finances and didn't really do anything after," Linda Robertson said. "The second year, we saw the presenter from our class again and went to talk to him when he asked if we were living on a budget yet. We answered, 'no,' and then he gave us information and resources to help us live on a budget."

Now, only three years later, using the resources the presenter suggested and with a lot of hard work, the Robertsons are more than $66,000 out of debt.

More than 10,000 people had registered for Campus Education Week by Monday, with the expectation of 10,000 more joining throughout the week. Participants each year generally represent every state and many countries.

"It's a short, compact experience that can bring tremendous benefit," Payne said. "That one good idea that someone may get in one class can bless them and their family and others. The nice thing is there are so many classes to benefit from."

Campus Education Week is meant for all ages and offers more than 70 classes specifically for youth, ages 14 and older, along with a dance Thursday evening.

Originally called "Leadership Week," Campus Education Week was first held in 1922. The focus of that first conference was on LDS Church leadership training. Since that time, the focus has broadened, adding classes for every aspect of life, as well as classes specifically for the youth. In 1963, the name of the program was changed to Campus Education Week.

Elder Steven E. Snow, of the Presidency of the Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will be the devotional speaker Tuesday morning. Musical and theatrical performances are scheduled for the evenings during the week.

Classes will be held all day through Friday. Additional information regarding Campus Education Week can be found at educationweek.byu.edu or by calling 801-422-6214.

e-mail: mholman@desnews.com