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“The cast and I were the original fans of ‘Napoleon Dynamite,’ and we started quoting lines after we shot scenes”

Jonathan "Jon" Heder, 2010, Animation

“I have heard it said that, all pyrotechnics and action aside, most drama comes down to two people sitting in a room, talking.”

(Sean) Tyler McKellar, BA 1999 Advertising and Public Relations

“You don’t have to be a millionaire to make a difference. You can give back in many ways.”

Aaron H. Sherinian, BA 1996 Honors Italian

“We all become stuck at different times throughout our lives,” Davis explains. “Our choice to become unstuck and succeed in getting unstuck depends on many factors: who we are, how hard we try, and who is there to help us.”

Mitch A. Davis, BA 1982, English

“We have always and will always continue to love BYU for the difference it makes in people’s lives, including ours."

Kim S. and Melinda Cummings Cameron, Kim - BA 1970, MS 1971 Sociology; Melinda - BA 1974 Speech Communications

“About two or three years ago, my vision took a sudden nosedive, and now I can sometimes get just a glimpse of a light. I guess I sometimes have thought of the situation as more of an adventure.”

Richard O. Cowan

"During some serious soul searching, I asked myself if I would be doing the same routine the next 20 or more years if I stayed at BYU. I also asked myself if I were up for a new challenge.”

Mack J. Wilberg

“I have had the privilege of being employed by the Church during a time of great growth, and it has been my pleasure to serve with President Gordon B. Hinckley, a leader who is brilliant, knowledgeable, and savvy. I can’t think of a better time to be so involved with the Church.”

Bruce L. Olsen, 1963

“He has become a bit of a celebrity here,” Kay says of her hometown, but she could have been referring to the entire country. “They haven’t used his last name since he was a junior in high school. They just say, ‘Jimmer,’ and everyone knows who it is.”

James Taft Fredette

"I saw a little girl sitting on a couch, with a TV, radio, and light on. She had eight siblings older than she. This struck me—this was a pinnacle moment. Everyone older than she was had lived without power, and she won't know life without it."

Robert E. Workman, 1980

“Even when our children were little, we wanted to serve missions with them for the Church."

Brent and Laurie Whiting, BS 1990, 1985

"If you decide you want to do something and apply yourself and don’t give up, you can do it.”

Lane Swainston, BS 1983

“If we don’t first satisfy our employees, it is unrealistic and disingenuous to expect them to meet the needs of the people they serve."

Rulon F. Stacy, BS 1984, MHA 1986

 “I have looked at medicine almost as a sacred calling because you are dealing with intimate problems with families, and to be able to assist with reassurance and calmness and to help them with deep concern makes such a difference."

Thales Smith

“I told myself back then that I probably could write songs and maybe someday I just might do it."

Janice Kapp Perry

"I always wanted a career as a singer and composer, but it wasn't until I heard Elder Jeffrey Holland challenge us to pursue our dreams that I decided to fully follow my dream of vocal performance."

Nathan A. Pacheco, BM 2005

“If I put as much time into the stock market as I put into reading articles about players’ potential, I could probably make a heck of a lot more money.”

Larry J. Nelson, BS 1994, MS 1996

"People thought I was going to die. I even had a doctor tell my parents to take me home and enjoy what little time I had left."

Diana Harman McGuire, BS 1974, MS 1976

“I am proud that I chose to dive after almost losing my life.”

Barbara Culatta

“I guess I do a lot of yelling, but it’s not out of anger. It’s out of excitement.”

Darrell Babidge, MM 1999, Performance and Pedagogy

“When you read the scriptures, we read that ‘today is the day for men to perform their labors’. There is a reason for this life; this is the day for us to make changes in our lives. When you see people in prison…they haven’t had the opportunity to say no to the bad. We are trying to give people the opportunity to make decisions and change.”

Brian C. Hill, BS 2008, Economics

“It [carillon music] just becomes a part of being at BYU. People tell me ‘I didn’t realize how much I appreciated it until I was back at BYU and heard the carillon, and it brought back so many memories.’ It’s just fun to be a part of other people’s stories.”

Don R. Cook, BMU 1980, MMU 1982, Music

“I had a great time learning to snowboard on the slope just outside the Grant Building, which houses the (BYU) testing center.”

Todd A. Harris, BA 1990, Broadcast Communications

“Being a wife and mother is a challenging job, and not only that, it’s a lot more difficult than an office job because it takes 24 hours a day with no time off.”

Ann Davies Romney, BA 1976 French

“The idea of being of service to others, and making sure that everybody has a chance, that everyone has an opportunity, regardless of our differences . . . that is the path I am trying to take. We ought to find ways to support each other and find common ground.”

John M. Dunn, EdD 1972 Physical Education

“I feel as if I’ve received so much enlightenment during my travel experiences that I need to give back. The people of Nepal gave me so much love and kindness that it is an honor to help them.”

Grant Olsen, BA 2005 English

“Archaeology rocks. You are physically interacting with the past, and key is to find the story because that is what people are interested in . . . the Henry Morgans and the Captain Kidds . . . How do we tell their stories? What do we know, what can we find out about them that we might not have known before? It’s those stories and the history that let us know who we are and where we came from. We all came from somewhere.”

Fritz Hanselmann, BA 2003, Anthropology

“Honestly, I don’t know why more girls don’t get into science and engineering. It’s so cool. If you just look at the world around you, everything has engineering in it. With everything you see, somebody had to design and figure out how to do it. Somebody had to come up with a way to lock a door; someone had to design cars. Hey, somebody had to figure out how to get mascara to stick to a brush.”

Dylann Duncan Ceriani, BS 1989, Electrical Engineering

“It was pretty dead there from about midnight to 5, but they were required to have someone on staff, and so when I got hired I told my boss, ‘I'm just going to write books all night,’ and he replied, ‘That's great. At least you won't sleep on the couch like the person before you.’”

Brandon W. Sanderson, BA 2000, MA 2005, English

“You’ve just got to find somebody who is in worse shape than you and help them be happy.”

Clayton M. Christensen, BA 1975, Economics

“My vision is that attendees will leave the festival with a firm commitment to make changes in their personal lives that will lead to a stronger America.”

Gove N. Allen, BS 1994, MAcc 1994, Information Systems

“I want people to create their own meanings and find their own stories. For me, the art process is not complete unless it becomes thought provoking for the viewer.”

James C. Christensen, BA 1967, MA 1968, Art

“As a boy I used to go to the Coliseum in Los Angeles and watch fabulous fireworks shows, and when I suggested it for Provo, I’m sure people wanted to throw me from the room.”

Carl W. Bacon, BS 1967, Sociology

“It broke my heart whenever Zach asked me why he couldn’t play like the other kids. A park is the perfect place for children to socialize and connect with each other, and I hated seeing him sidelined.”

Natalie Mackay Blakemore, BS 2000, Recreation Management

“You are what you eat, so eat something sweet. Baking was magic to me as a child. It still is.”

Megan Faulkner Brown, BA 2002, Home and Family Living

“A scholar is someone who is inspired and following a passion and willing to become better than he or she is.”

L. Dean Forman , BS 1982, Family Financial Planning and Counseling

“With all the color and action, it’s as if I’m in a cartoon.”

Nicole Jardine Johnson, BS 1996, Construction and Facilities Management

“I’m a provider, defender, protector, and record keeper as I help prepare my babies for loving adoptive homes.”

Amanda de Lange, BS 1996, Family Science

“If we do not act in behalf of the family, that is itself an act of opposition to the family.”

Sheri L. Dew, MA 1977, History

“If this were only about rugby, I would have left years ago. It’s all about the boys, and that’s what keeps me in the game.”

D. Larry Gelwix, BA 1974, Speech and Dramatic Arts

“All families, regardless of their structure, have to communicate, deal with conflict, handle finances, and manage children, if they have them.”

Brian J Higginbotham, BS 2000, Psychology

“There is something singular about going to a live performance and being hit with a visceral human sound and realizing it is coming from a person opening his or her heart and soul.”

Thomas G. Glenn, BM 1999, Performance and Pedagogy

“Yoga is a yoking of the body and mind. If both are healthy, our spirit can really soar,”

Sirpa Tolvanen Grierson, MLIS 1992, Library Science

“I call the title my Miss America card, and I have an instinct about when it will help me get in a door or when it is better left unused.”

Sharlene Wells, BA 1988, Communications

“We need to strengthen support for human rights in North Korea and other places around the world as well,”

Robert R King, BA 1966, Political Science

“I know what it’s like to live what many people would call a glamorous, interesting, intellectually stimulating life, and I can say with the full conviction of my heart—with full power in my soul—that nothing is more important than the work I’m doing within the four walls of my own home, with my children.”

Jane Clayson Johnson, BA 1990, Broadcast

“Some rootbeers use licorice as a flavoring, and that gives it a strong taste. I don’t care for that as much.”

Rollin H. Hotchkiss, BS 1976, Civil Engineering

“Dr. Huizenga predicted I would die April 23, 2024. I was blown away. I began to cry, not for myself, but for my 8-year-old daughter, who would lose her father in her early 20s if this happened.”

Moses S. Kinikini, BS 1990, Marketing-International Business

“I wasn’t interested in just doing one lovely thing. I wanted us to do something that had to last long enough that it would require some level of sacrifice.”

Ruth E. Brasher, BS 1951, Home Economics Education

“I’m a real advocate for blogging. If you have a day without tantrums, for example, or you happen to find a pair of shoes on clearance in your 4-year-old’s size, the New York Times isn’t going to care. But when you write it on your blog, your readers totally get it.”

Gabrielle Stanley Blair, BFA 1998, Graphic Design

“There are times when you are not feeling as if you are singing very well, and it feels really hard in your stomach. It feels as if your stomach wants to collapse but you have to keep it out. I have a voice teacher in New York who told me to picture that an alien is crawling out of my stomach and walking. She tells me to keep it walking to New Jersey. It’s a silly thing, but it keeps my stomach moving forward.”

Rachel Willis-Sorensen, 2009, Music

“I hope I can do this until I die. I’m still pinching myself after more than 20 years. I would like nothing better than someday dropping dead into a bottle of ink.”

Brian Crane, BA 1973

“I would never have guessed when I started my education at BYU that I would now be working with law enforcement and forensic scientists around the world to help solve murders, rapes, and other brutal crimes, but here I am. It’s an incredible place to be.”

Jared V. Bradley, BS 1993

“No, this long bout of Crusoe-envy seemed to be more physical than spiritual; an appreciation for what Teddy Roosevelt called the ‘doctrine of the strenuous life.’ Roosevelt bemoaned the ‘timid man,’ the man living ‘a life of slothful and ignoble ease.’ The man I fear I've become. As a kid, I used to snicker when I shook an uncallused hand. Now I've got two of my own. I used to bathe in the evening after a hard day's work. Now I shower in the morning.”

Jeffry L. Flake, BA ’86, MA

“Because my body is used to going the distance, I don’t hurt after a race. I hope I can do this until I’m dead.”

John H. Bozung, BS 1982