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A Legacy of Kindness

February 2024

John and Anette PackerFrom scenic Idaho Falls, to bustling Southern California, and eventually to the inspiring halls of BYU-Idaho, the journey of John and Anette Packer, members of the BYU-Idaho Legacy Society, is a testament to the transformative power of generosity and the enduring legacy of kindness.

A Higher Purpose

John, from Idaho Falls, and Anette, from Logan, Utah, married after meeting at BYU. Overcoming financial hardships in their early years of marriage helped them to intimately understand the challenges faced by students juggling work, family, academics, and student loans. This was the catalyst for a lifelong mission to make a difference as they recognized the profound impact that even a small act of generosity can have on those striving to build a brighter future.

The couple’s journey together led them to various cities in Southern California, along with stops in Denver and Seattle, before they moved to Utah in 2016.

When asked about their generosity, John is quick to answer, “We don’t consider it our money. We’re stewards, and it’s the Lord’s money. We’re putting it back in circulation.”

The Transformative Power of Education

The Packers established a scholarship program at BYU-Idaho in honor of a former bishop who had a significant influence on John’s life. The scholarship aids married, working students on their journey to graduation. “Kids are coming from families who have very little—kids who got here because of their grit, their grades, a prayer, and faith,” says Anette. “They do all that they can. If [we] can give a little bit of money and it makes a difference, I’m willing to sacrifice for that cause.”

John and Anette appreciate the “education first” approach at BYU-Idaho. Education is the cornerstone of their philanthropic efforts, shaping their charitable endeavors and their family’s values. Their children have embraced the spirit of giving and service, extending the legacy of kindness to refugees, neighbors, and other universities. The Packers and their children have witnessed firsthand the power education has in the lives of students of determination and faith.

Inspired by Wisdom

The Packers’ journey into the world of philanthropy was inspired by figures like Doris Buffett, who advised, “Make sure the last check you write bounces.” This wisdom exemplifies the Packers’ belief that anyone, regardless of their financial status, can extend a helping hand.

The Packers embody the idea that one need not possess immense wealth to make a difference; it is the willingness to sacrifice and the desire to help that matter. Their legacy stands as an enduring source of inspiration, reminding us that it is not about what you have but what you give that defines your impact on the world.

“Your time at BYU-Idaho should enhance your capacity to advance the kingdom of God on the earth, to ‘lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees,’ and to extend charity, the pure love of Christ, throughout civil society as well as the Church.”
—Elder D. Todd Christofferson, BYU-Idaho Inauguration Address, October 10, 2023

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