Join us for an edifying and uplifting experience.
The 19th Annual Education Conference will feature two days of instructive and inspiring presentations from influential speakers on a variety of topics related to this year’s theme:
A House Unto His Name.
This spiritual retreat, organized and hosted by Kathleen Knight and Southern Virginia, will also include the musical “Bells Are Ringing,” performed by the university’s theatre program. We invite you to join with us in the majestic Shenandoah Valley this summer for an experience that combines education and spirituality like no other.View the schedule
Elder William R. Walker served as the Executive Director of the Temple Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 2007 to 2014. As Executive Director, he worked closely with the First Presidency in the oversight and administration of the Church’s many temples throughout the world. He was first called as a General Authority of the Church in 2002. He served in the Second Quorum of the Seventy for six years. On April 6, 2008, he was named a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
Elder Walker was raised in Raymond, Alberta, Canada, and served a mission in Japan as a young man. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University. During his career, he held a number of executive positions with major firms in the securities and investment banking fields.
Elder Walker has served as the Area President of the Asia North Area in Tokyo, Japan. Prior to his call as a General Authority, he was president of the Japan Tokyo South Mission and also served as a stake president and bishop. He married Vicki Van Wagenen in 1968. They are the parents of five children.
For more than ten years, Robert Boyd has been creating images of temples around the world in a unique fine-art style. A professional photographer for nearly twenty years, he once traveled the world photographing for clients. The temple has long played a significant role in the life of Robert and Eleah Boyd. In particular, the passing of their first child, and the subsequent adoption and sealing of 3 additional children, have driven home the importance of the temple to the Boyd family.
Today, Robert Boyd is fortunate to work full time both creating images of temples and other inspirational art. He feels very blessed to be a part of something that is so meaningful to so many, and he hopes to share his feelings of the temple as he strives to illuminate his photographic art with peace, light and balance. Robert and Eleah Boyd live in Spring, Texas, with their five children.
Kent and Kathryn Colton are currently serving as the president and matron of the Washington D.C. Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. President and Sister Colton have spent the past 35 years in the Washington D.C. area, where he was CEO of a prominent trade association and later formed The Colton Housing Group LLC.
He has served as a bishop, stake president, president of the Florida Tampa Mission, and sealer in the Washington D.C. Temple. Sister Colton has a background in education, having worked as a teacher before focusing her efforts on raising five children. She served with her husband when he presided over the Florida Tampa Mission and has served in many of the auxiliary organizations of the Church.
Jenny Oaks Baker is a Grammy Nominated, Billboard No. 1 performer and recording artist. She received a master’s degree in music from the renowned Juilliard School in New York City and a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
She has performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Strathmore Hall, the Library of Congress and as a guest soloist with the Jerusalem Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Utah Symphony, and the internationally-acclaimed Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Over the years she has collaborated with such luminaries as Gladys Knight, Kurt Bestor, Marvin Hamlisch, and the former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Baker has released twelve studio albums since 1998. They have sold over a quarter of a million copies and consistently chart on Billboard. Her emotionally stirring music has also been featured on the soundtracks of many films, and her popular music videos can be viewed on her YouTube Channel. She and her husband, Matthew, have four children and reside outside of Washington D.C.
Anthony Sweat is an assistant professor of church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University and the author of several books, including “Mormons: An Open Book,” “Why? Powerful Answers and Practical Reasons for Living LDS Standards,” and “I’m Not Perfect, Can I Still Go to Heaven?”
He holds a doctorate in education from Utah State University and regularly participates in conferences such as BYU’s Education Week and Especially For Youth.
Sweat and his wife, Cindy, live in Utah and are the parents of six children.
Michael Enfield worked for the Church Temple Construction Department for 24 years in a number of capacities, including as director of administrative and technical services, before retiring in 2002. While there, he was the onsite project manager for temples in Seattle, Atlanta, Denver and Portland, Ore. and the project administrator for the now Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. He has also been involved in the construction and remodels of temples around the world in numerous countries, including China, Bolivia, New Zealand and Mexico.
In addition to his work for the Church Temple Construction Department, Enfield served in the Vietnam War as an army pilot and received the Bronze Star and Air Medal for heroism for his participation in 225 combat missions.
He and his wife, Kathy, are both converts to the Church and have served in several callings, have been ordinance workers in the Salt Lake City and Bountiful temples and served a mission as ordinance workers in the Nauvoo Temple. They currently live in North Salt Lake, Utah and have six children, 21 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
“Bells Are Ringing” is a musical originally performed on Broadway by the famous Judy Holliday in the 1950s and will be produced by Southern Virginia University Theatre this summer.
The musical tells the story of Ella, a young woman working at her friend Sue’s telephone answering service, “Susanswerphone.” As she takes messages and makes phone calls, she becomes more and more engrossed in the lives of the people she speaks to and falls in love with a playwright, Jeff, who is struggling with writer’s block. The only problem is – he only knows her as her persona, “Mom,” an old lady who gives him advice and calls to wake him up in the mornings. As Ella steps into Jeff’s life as well as the lives of a number of other interesting characters, she finds herself involved in confusion not only regarding love but a sly German bookie and even the police.
Though comedic and lighthearted, “Bells Are Ringing” is ultimately a musical about love, life and embracing both.
Book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Music by Jule Styne
Directed by Robert Stoddard; Audra Bertagnole, Associate Director