M. Lee Pelton became Willamette’s 22nd president in July 1998.
Pelton’s inauguration in February 1999 included visiting academic dignitaries from almost 90 colleges and universities, a ball at the State Capitol and a one-mile community run.
Many Willamette students remember Pelton for his willingness to listen to their perspectives.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu visited Willamette in 2003 for an Atkinson Lecture. He is one of many notable national and international leaders who visited during Pelton’s tenure.
Pelton and other dignitaries cut the ribbon in 2007 for the Kaneko Commons residential facility, one of several new and renovated buildings from the past decade.
Many Bearcat football fans remember Pelton pacing the sidelines during games in his letterman’s jacket.
Pelton visits with local Native American leaders during a 2005 opening procession for the Hallie Ford Museum of Art exhibition “Toi Maori: The Eternal Thread,” which brought a major collection of New Zealand Maori weavings to the U.S. for the first time.
Pelton meets with former Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, one of many ways the president worked to strengthen Willamette’s relationship with the local and state communities.
Willamette Academy, which provides underrepresented middle- and high-school students with academic support to help them get to college, is one program Pelton initiated during his tenure.
Pelton built relationships with Willamette alumni of all ages and helped them reconnect with their alma mater.
Pelton attends the Atkinson Graduate School of Management commencement ceremony in May 2009.
Pelton helps cut the ribbon for the fall 2009 opening of Ford Hall, Willamette’s newest academic building.
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