Presidents & First Ladies home

1997-2004

David and Susan Bednar

Elder & Sister Bednar
David A. Bednar

Elder David A. Bednar was born in San Leandro, California, the youngest of three children. He grew up in the San Francisco Bay area where he enjoyed playing sports, working on his grandfather's dairy farm and helping his mother can peaches and berries. He served in the South German Mission from 1971 to 1973. After his mission, he attended Brigham Young University-Provo. It was at BYU that he met his wife, Susan.

He obtained his B.A. in communication, and his M.A. in organizational communication at BYU. After BYU, Elder Bednar studied at Purdue University and received his Ph.D. in organizational behavior. He graduated in 1980, and the family moved to Arkansas, where he was an assistant professor of management at University of Arkansas (1980-1984). He taught for two years at Texas Tech University (1984-1986) before returning to University of Arkansas. He taught courses in organizational behavior, team management, total quality management, and managerial communication. He also served as the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Business Administration (1987-1992), as well as, the Director of the Management Decision-Making Lab (1992-1997).

He left Arkansas in the summer of 1997 to become the president of Ricks College. In the summer of 2000, Ricks College became to BYU-Idaho. Elder Bednar guided that sometimes rocky transformation from a two-year junior college to a four-year university with style and grace. This transition included an expansion of two-year undergraduate programs to B.A. programs and an explosion of student population.

He has served in the Church as bishop, as stake president, Regional Representative, Area Authority, and Area Authority Seventy. In the fall of 2004, Elder Bednar was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He and his wife now live in Salt Lake City.
Susan Bednar

Susan Bednar was born and raised in Star Valley, Wyoming. She is the oldest of four children. As a youngster, she enjoyed skiing and playing the piano. She took piano first from her mother, but during her high school years, her parents drove her to Rexburg or Idaho Falls for lessons. She participated in several piano competitions at Ricks College during that time. In later years she would teach piano herself.

Susan graduated from Star Valley High School and went to BYU-Provo. She majored in Elementary Education and minored in Music and French. She graduated from BYU in 1974 with a degree in education and taught first grade in America Fork, Utah for two years.

It was during her senior year at BYU that she met Elder Bednar. They were in the same ward and met during a family home evening football game. As Susan likes to tell it, “He threw a pass and I caught it.” They were married in 1975 and are the parents of three sons and grandparents of three granddaughters.

She served as a Primary president, Young Women's president, gospel doctrine teacher, ward organist, and primary chorister. While in Fayetteville, Arkansas, she was an advisor to Lambda Delta Sigma (the LDS sorority).

While at Ricks and BYU-Idaho, Elder and Sister Bednar held group home evenings with about 120 students every Monday night. She said, “It [helped] us keep our finger on the pulse of the students and what their needs and challenges and joys are.” She was instrumental in the formation of welcoming committee for new women teachers and wives of new faculty. Her committee put together information packets and assigned a mentor to each woman to help her feel welcome.

In October 2005, her husband was called to serve as an Apostle for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They now live in the Salt Lake area.
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