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Merrill J. Bateman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Merrill J. Bateman
Emeritus General Authority
October 6, 2007 (2007-10-06)
Presidency of the Seventy
August 15, 2003 (2003-08-15) – August 15, 2007 (2007-08-15)
End reasonHonorably released
First Quorum of the Seventy
December 27, 1995 (1995-12-27) – October 6, 2007 (2007-10-06)
End reasonGranted general authority emeritus status
Presiding Bishop
April 2, 1994 (1994-04-02) – December 27, 1995 (1995-12-27)
End reasonReleased to become president of BYU
Second Quorum of the Seventy
June 6, 1992 (1992-06-06) – April 2, 1994 (1994-04-02)
End reasonCalled as Presiding Bishop
11th President of Brigham Young University
In office
January 1, 1996 – May 1, 2003
PredecessorRex E. Lee
SuccessorCecil O. Samuelson
Personal details
BornMerrill Joseph Bateman
(1936-06-19) June 19, 1936 (age 84)
Lehi, Utah, United States
Spouse(s)Marilyn Scholes

Merrill Joseph Bateman (born June 19, 1936) has been a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) since 1992, originally as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. He is currently an emeritus general authority. From 2003 to 2007, Bateman was a member of the church's Presidency of the Seventy.[1] He was president of Brigham Young University (BYU) from January 1, 1996, until May 1, 2003, and was the church's twelfth presiding bishop in 1994 and 1995. In 2003 and 2004, Bateman was the general president of the church's Sunday School organization. From 2007 to 2010, Bateman was president of the Provo Utah Temple.[2]

Early life and education

Bateman was born in Lehi, Utah. As he was starting the third grade his family moved to American Fork.[3] He served as a missionary in England in the mid-1950s. After returning from his mission, he married Marilyn Scholes in 1959 and joined the ROTC.[3] In 1960, Bateman completed a bachelor's degree in economics at the University of Utah. Bateman received a Danforth Fellowship and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, which enabled him to study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his doctorate. Bateman's experience in researching Ghana's trade position led to him lecturing in economics at the University of Ghana in 1963, and while living there, he studied the cocoa industry.[3] Under supervision of Franklin M. Fisher, Bateman graduated in 1965. His thesis was on the subject of international cocoa trade in Ghana.[4]

Academic background

Bateman was associate professor of economics at the United States Air Force Academy, 1964–67; professor of economics at BYU and director of Center for Business and Economic Research, 1967–71; and dean of the BYU business school, now the Marriott School of Business, 1975–79.[5] While he was dean, he instituted the BYU Management Society in 1977.[6]

President of BYU

Bateman was inaugurated as president of BYU on April 25, 1996.[7] That September, an anonymous professor publicly accused Bateman (in Sunstone) of plagiarizing ideas in his inauguration speech from an article by Gertrude Himmelfarb.[8] Bateman acknowledged that since the citation came after a direct quote, it was ambiguous, and promised to make future citations more clear.[9][10]

Bateman organized BYU's objectives into five main objectives that centered on the university's official aims and mission statement.[11] He encouraged students to come to weekly Tuesday devotionals in Sunday dress to make the Marriott Center "a temple."[12]

During Bateman's administration at BYU, the university changed in a number of ways. The school's endowment was significantly increased through the Lighting the Way Campaign that Rex E. Lee started.[13] The Mentored Learning program, involving undergraduates more directly in research, was also initiated.[14] About a third of the faculty were replaced due to natural turnover. The enrollment cap was raised from 27,000 to 29,000, and an open enrollment summer program was started. The Bachelors of General Studies, a degree one can earn entirely from continuing education courses, was formed.[14]

Sports during Bateman's time as president also underwent changes. BYU's colors and logos changed, as did the athletic director and men's basketball coach. The university started building a new baseball/softball facility and established a student athlete center. BYU left the Western Athletic Conference and joined the Mountain West Conference. Bateman focused on Sears Cup rankings of sports programs, which improved during his presidency, with eight sports in the top ten in 1999.[15]

In 2002, the Marriott School began giving the Merrill J. Bateman award to BYU students who serve and lead in their communities.[16]

Work and family

Bateman was an executive with Mars, Incorporated in England and the United States from 1971 to 1975, and for a brief time in 1979 before heading his own consulting and capital management companies in Orem, Utah.[3] Bateman's consulting involved analyzing patterns in raw food costs, foreign currency rates, and other factors for companies like Kraft Foods and General Foods.[3]

Bateman and his wife, Marilyn, are the parents of seven children.[3]

LDS Church service

In the early 1980s, Bateman served as president of the Provo Utah Sharon East Stake.[3]

Due to his work in the cocoa business, Bateman made many trips in west Africa, including Ghana. In 1977, James E. Faust, a general authority then serving as president of the church's International Mission, asked Bateman to contact church members and people who had asked for church material on his next visit to Ghana. Bateman did this in early 1978.[17] Later in 1978, shortly after the church changed the policy allowing blacks to receive the priesthood, Bateman was sent on a special assignment to Africa by the First Presidency, along with Edwin Q. Cannon, a counselor in the International Mission, to lay the groundwork for the opening of missionary work there.[3] They visited people who desired to join the church in both Ghana and Nigeria, including Billy Johnson.[18]

As a general authority, Bateman served as president of the church's Japan Area for nine months in 1993 and 1994. In April 1994 he was called as the church's Presiding Bishop, where he served until being appointed as president of BYU at the end of 1995.[3]

After his time as BYU president, Bateman became a member of the Presidency of the Seventy. While in this capacity, he went on a tour of Africa in November 2005 with Richard G. Scott. Among other countries on the tour, they visited Ghana and Tanzania.[19]


  1. ^ Church News, 2007-06-09.[full citation needed]
  2. ^ Provo Utah LDS (Mormon) Temple Presidents.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bell, James P. "Merrill J. Bateman: Breadth and Depth - BYU Magazine". BYU Magazine. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  4. ^ Bateman, Merrill J. "Cocoa in the Ghanaian economy". MIT. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Merrill J. Bateman: Family, Facts, and Figures". BYU Magazine. BYU Magazine. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  6. ^ Prescott, Marianne Holman (13 December 2016). "Elder Ronald A. Rasband: 'Share and celebrate the life of Christ'". Deseret News. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  7. ^ "The Inauguration of Merrill J. Bateman - BYU Magazine". BYU Magazine. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  8. ^ Anonymous (September 1996). ""Clipped and Controlled": A Contemporary Look at BYU" (PDF). Sunstone Magazine: 70. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  9. ^ Bateman, Merrill J. "The Mission of Brigham Young University - BYU Speeches". Brigham Young University. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  10. ^ Romboy, Dennis (20 August 1996). "Y. PRESIDENT WRITES SCHOLAR, DENIES PLAGIARIZING HER WORK". Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  11. ^ Whatcott, Andrea (12 March 2014). "Brigham Young University presidents, past and present". Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  12. ^ Bateman, Merrill J. "9/11 Reflections and Temples of Learning - BYU Speeches". Brigham Young University. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  13. ^ Jones, Jennifer (10 March 1999). "Lighting the Way campaign helps Y community in many ways". The Daily Universe. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  14. ^ a b "University Accomplishments During President Bateman's Tenure" (PDF). Brigham Young University. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  15. ^ Call, Jeff (4 June 2000). "Q & A: Merrill J. Bateman". Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  16. ^ Tomoser, Sarah (18 April 2011). "BYU - Marriott School - News - Marriott School Students Select 2011 Merrill J. Bateman Award Winners". Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  17. ^ Lloyd, R. Scott, "A Pioneer in Building the Kingdom", Church News July 4, 1992.
  18. ^ Deseret Morning News | Knight & Co. put zip in LDS hymns
  19. ^ "Look Forward with an Eye of Faith" - Merrill J. Bateman Archived 2006-09-01 at the Wayback Machine

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
Rex E. Lee
President of BYU
Succeeded by
Cecil O. Samuelson
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Robert D. Hales
Presiding Bishop
April 2, 1994 – December 27, 1995
Succeeded by
H. David Burton
This page was last edited on 19 January 2021, at 13:14
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