As Latter-day Saint students around the world celebrate the graduation season, we take a look back on graduation and yearbook photos of prophets and apostles through the years. Check out these ten rare images!
A renowned heart surgeon, President Nelson has received multiple degrees. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Utah and then received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Minnesota. The above photo shows President Nelson when he graduated from the University of Utah with a Doctor of Medicine degree in August 1947.
President Dallin H. Oaks first attended Brigham Young University, graduating in 1954. His graduation photo is pictured left. He then went on the attend the University of Chicago Law School. On the right is a picture of President Oaks in a law school publication highlighting him as the Wormser Scholar.
While President M. Russell Ballard attended the University of Utah for a few years, he ultimately decided to leave college and work at the car dealership his father owned. He had a young family to provide for and made more money at the dealership than many of his professors. However, President Ballard would later say he regretted not finishing because it was a worthy goal he didn’t remain focused on. The above photo is President Ballard’s yearbook picture from 1949.
Elder Quentin L. Cook is pictured here in a yearbook photo for the Blue Key National Honor Fraternity (now Society). Many Latter-day Saint leaders were members of the group, which recognizes students who have both a balanced and excellent record in scholarship, leadership, and service. Elder Cook received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Utah State University and went on to receive a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Stanford University.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson graduated from Brigham Young University in 1969 with a degree in English and International Relations. His graduation photos are shown above. He then went on to graduate with his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Duke University School of Law in 1972. He would famously begin his law career as a clerk to Judge John J. Sirica during the Watergate trials.
This photo shows Elder Neil L. Andersen, bottom far left, as a member of the Executive Council at Brigham Young University. After graduating as a Hinckley Scholar, he went on to earn a master’s of business administration from Harvard University.
Elder Gary E. Stevenson attended Utah State University and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 1979. The above photo is his yearbook book photo from 1978.
A California native, Elder Gerrit W. Gong traveled to Brigham Young University for his education. He was a Rhodes Scholar, a distinction highlighted in the 1977 yearbook. He graduated with a degree in Asian and University Studies. He went on to graduate with a Master of Philosophy degree and a Doctorate in international relations from Oxford University.
President Gordon B. Hinckley graduated from the University of Utah in 1932. He studied English, Latin, and Greek. The photo above is President Hinckley’s graduation photo.
President Thomas S. Monson’s college education was interrupted when he joined the United States Naval Reserve. He intended to fight in World War II but was never stationed overseas. He returned to the University of Utah and graduated in business management in 1948.
We loved sharing these photos of prophets and apostles during college. It helps better appreciate their lives and the sacrifices they’ve made to serve. Which photo was your favorite?
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.