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Regents Designate Mary Roark as Eastern’s Second President

Regents Designate Mary Roark as Eastern’s Second President

It was a proud day for the University when our Board of Regents officially designated Mary Roark as our second president.

As many of you know, Mrs. Roark served 1909-10 – at a time when women couldn’t even vote in state or federal elections. She followed her husband, our first president, Ruric Nevel Roark, when he became ill and passed away a few months later. Although her title at the time was “acting president,” she was quickly embraced by students, faculty, staff and the public as a legitimate leader in her own right. In addition to her many contributions to our fledgling campus, she was also a leader in the women’s suffrage movement and on other social issues.

We hope to hang her portrait at a Founders Day ceremony later this month in the Keen Johnson Building, an event that some of her family members plan to attend.

I am proud now to serve as Eastern’s 13th President, but I’m even prouder to serve a University that has seen fit to honor a true pioneer and trailblazer in this fashion.

President Mary Roark’s official portrait will be unveiled this month as we have invited members of the Roark family to join us in Keen Johnson for the ceremony and a luncheon.


Published on February 02, 2015

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