Kevin J Worthen
By Ashley Holmes
Photo by Mark Philbrick.
On May 1, 2014, Kevin J Worthen officially became the 13th president of Brigham Young University. Worthen’s LDS Church service began with a mission to Monterrey, Mexico, but it certainly did not end there.1 He has since served as a seminary instructor, high councilor, bishop, and stake president, and he currently serves as an Area Seventy.
Worthen is a Utah native, born in Dragerton (now East Carbon-Sunnyside) and raised in Price. He remained in Utah for his collegiate studies, first earning an associate degree from the College of Eastern Utah (now USU Eastern), and then coming to BYU to earn a B.A. in political science, followed by a J.D. from the J. Reuben Clark Law School, graduating summa cum laude with both of his latter degrees.2
Soon after graduating, Worthen served as a law clerk to Judge Malcolm R. Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice Bryon R. White of the U.S. Supreme Court. He then practiced law for three years in Phoenix, Arizona, before returning to his alma mater to serve first as a professor and later as dean of the law school. Most recently, he has been BYU's advancement vice president, with responsibilities ranging from university relations to philanthropies.
Worthen enjoys spending his free time with his wife, Peggy. Together they have two sons and one daughter, as well as one grandchild. Worthen also loves basketball, and has spent time as spectator, team member, cocaptain, and even coach.3
President Worthen says that the growth and improvement he would like to see during his tenure is “not measured in the number of buildings or size of the student body, but in the quality and breadth of education the students receive in their time here.” He hopes that students will seek to follow the aims of a BYU education and “grow spiritually, intellectually, and in strength of character” while they are at BYU.
1. Jannalee Rosner and Jenny Spencer, “7 Fun Facts about BYU’s New President, Kevin J Worthen,” LDS Living, March 11, 2014.
2. Tad Walch, "New BYU President: Kevin Worthen to Replace Cecil Samuelson," Deseret News, March 11, 2014.
3. Jannalee Rosner and Jenny Spencer, “7 Fun Facts about BYU’s New President, Kevin J Worthen,” LDS Living, March 11, 2014.