SALEM, OR (May 1, 2024) – On Wednesday, May 1, Corban University celebrated a historic occasion with the official inauguration of the institution’s 11th president, Dr. John Mark Yeats. Dr. Yeats was officially named to the position on March 14 of 2023 and has served in an official capacity for the entirety of the 2023/24 academic year. The inauguration formally recognized Dr. Yeats’ leadership and vision for the future of the University. 

The inauguration ceremony was held on Corban’s campus in the Psalm Performing Arts Center, welcoming in hundreds of University students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University, including delegates from 10 other universities. The event featured choral performances by the Corban University Concert Choir, a keynote charge by President of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and former colleague of Dr. Yeats, Dr. Jason K. Allen, and a special benediction led by Dr. Yeats’ own father, Dr. John Yeats, Sr., executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention. 

During the presidential charge, Dr. Jason K. Allen encouraged President Yeats in his new office to be faithful to the mission of Corban University. “The Pacific Northwest needs a bright gospel light shining from this campus,” he said. “But that light will shine no brighter than the depth of the conviction of this faculty and of the president who leads it. Dr. Yeats, I charge you to be faithful in the future as you have been in the past.”   

Following Dr. Allen’s charge, president Yeats was bestowed with the ceremonial chain of office and took to the podium to give his first address as officially inaugurated president of Corban University. “On this chain of office are the names of 10 of my predecessors. To have my name added to this august group of leaders is deeply humbling,” Yeats said.  

He went on to address his vision for Corban’s future that will see the University not as an isolated city on a hill but continuing to integrate into and impact the broader community, welcoming new initiatives, programs, and partnerships as Corban grows in its mission to educate Christians who will make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ. “For faith communities to thrive, we must hand off that which we have been given to the generation yet to come. It is a priceless legacy we leave behind,” Yeats said. “How do we leave a legacy that passes to the coming generation? Our actions today set us on a trajectory that will, by God’s grace, allow Corban University to be faithful and flourishing for the next 50 years and beyond.”  

The ceremony concluded with the gathered group singing the doxology, followed by a special prayer of benediction by President Yeats’ father, Dr. John Yeats, Sr., after which the faculty followed their newly inaugurated president out of the doors of the Psalm Center to the ringing of the clocktower bells.  

Festivities continued with a provided luncheon where attendees could converse with and congratulate the University’s newly inaugurated president, followed by a series of campus tours led by Dr. Yeats himself, during which he spoke about the many new initiatives and opportunities on the horizon for the University. The inauguration day celebration concluded with a special evening gala held at the Brother’s Car Collection.  

“Dr. Yeats’ inauguration is truly a celebration of God’s provision for Corban University,” said Corban University Board Chair, Rod Hoff. “Dr. Yeats has quickly engaged with the Corban community, building strong relationships on campus and with its constituents across the country. His work to build a compelling strategic plan for the University is already creating momentum, and we are excited about Corban’s future under his leadership.” 

ABOUT CORBAN UNIVERSITY: Corban is a private Christian university, founded in 1935, with a storied history of educating Christians who will make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ. Situated on a beautiful, forested hillside overlooking Oregon’s capital, Corban is only an hour from Cascade Mountains and the Oregon coast. Offering academic excellence at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels, and online, Corban prepares students for careers as business leaders, educators, medical professionals, politicians, ministry leaders, and more. Expert faculty, a tight-knit community, and opportunities for local and global engagement provide for students’ growth both in and beyond the classroom.