On September 26, 2014, Fr. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C., was inaugurated as the 20th President of the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon, in the United States. The inauguration ceremony, which was held at 3 p.m. in the Chiles Center, capped two days of public celebration celebrating the university's mission and honoring the new president. Fr. Poorman succeeds Fr. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C., who was President of UP from 2004-2014.
The celebrations began the evening of Thursday, September 25, with a formal dinner in the Chiles Center. Attendees at the dinner included members of the University of Portland's Board of Regents, which elected Fr. Poorman as the university's president earlier this year, as well as Fr. Richard V. Warner, C.S.C., Superior General of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
On Friday, September 26, the events continued with Mass in the Chiles Center. The Most Rev. Alexander K. Sample, Archbishop of the Archidocese of Portland, presided at the Mass, while Fr. Thomas J. O'Hara, Superior of the United States Province of Priests and Brothers, was the homilist.
In homily, Fr. O'Hara said to Fr. Poorman: "You should also be very confident for you were widely affirmed by this university when they chose you for President. The good news for you is that wisdom does not mean you need to know how to do everything on this campus. You don’t have to know how to teach a physics class or how to coach a Pilot Athletic team to victory or how best to attend to the grounds of this beautiful campus. The second reading, today outlines for us how the Body of Christ, the people of God, are endowed with different gifts that when combined together form the living body of Christ. The Body of Christ needs all of us who believe to work together to make that body obvious to the world.
"So too in the complexity of the academic world," continued Fr.O'Hara, "this Portland community has achieved greatness not essentially because of the work of only one person. Greatness comes as each part of this community--students, faculty, staff, administrators, regents, alumni, and benefactors--work together. There is a wholeness of the community that is essential to its greatness and we pray this day that you are able to lead, inspire and help mold this community to continued greatness."
Lunch followed Mass. Then thousands of people, including students, alumni, faculty, staff, community members, and presidents of other universities, gathered in the Chiles Center for the actual Inauguration Ceremony. After receiving the symbols of his office, Fr. Poorman spoke to the assembled crowd, pledging to work hard together with others to continue advancing the university's mission to educate in the Holy Cross tradition.
"I will work hard, every day. I will listen intently. I will be ever aware of the treasured work that each of you are doing to advance this wonderful university. … This is what we are all about, now, and in the future: A great, intentional gathering of talent and potential and excitement and hope and community," said Fr. Poorman.
Fr. Poorman was selected as the 20th president by the University of Portland Board of Regents in January 2014. At the time that he was named president, Fr. Poorman was Executive Vice President of the University, a position he had held since 2011, In that role, he oversaw the divisions of university operations, financial affairs, university relations, and student affairs. He also has served as a professor of theology and pastoral resident of Schoenfeldt Hall. Prior to arriving to the University of Portland, he served as vice president for student affairs, a faculty member in the theology department, and pastoral resident at the University of Notre Dame.
The University of Portland is one of the Congregation's six colleges and universities in the United States. Holy Cross shares governance at its educational institutions with its lay collaborators to fulfill the Congregation's charism as Educators in the Faith.