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Posted 11 Jun 2001   For week ended June 08, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 10Jun01

By Rosemary Pollock

Knight: Southern Virginia University 'Divinely Inspired'

BUENA VISTA, VIRGINIA -- Southern Virginia University is hoping that when members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints look for a college to attend, they will think east and not west. Southern Virginia University, already known as "BYU East," provides an environment that compares in values and academic standards with their western rival, Brigham Young University.

With an expected student body of 2,500 in the next 10 years, SVU has come a long way since its opening in the fall of 1996 with 74 students. BYU Hawaii, Idaho and Provo admit about 14,000 freshman each year, leaving approximately 66,000 LDS freshman attending outside of church-related schools.

Church spokesman, Dale Bills, says that SVU does not carry the official endorsement of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but they do wish SVU continued success. Instead, The Church sponsors supplemental educational and church programs near college and university campuses.

"I was the only LDS in my high school, and sometimes I got criticized for it," said Brian Uzcategui, 18, a sophomore from Palm Springs, Fla. "So this is great." "I always wanted to share the same values and morals with others around me."

Southern Virginia University had been in existence for 130 years before Glade M. Knight, chairman of the school's board of trustees and a group of LDS businessmen, took over the 150-acre campus. New owners then redesigned the curriculum, established the same moral code as BYU and paid off a $4.5 million debt.

"This was divinely inspired," Knight said. "It wasn't a moneymaking venture."


'BYU East'
Spokane WA Spokesman-Review (AP) 2Jun01 D4
By Chris Kahn: Associated Press
Southern Virginia University follows Book of Mormon to attract like-minded faithful

See also:

Southern Virginia Grows

Southern Virginia College, 'BYU East' Has Success in Sight

Southern Virginia College provides another LDS university experience


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