Lee University to Inaugurate Walker as President

Lee University is set to celebrate the inauguration of Dr. Mark L. Walker on Friday, April 23, 2021 at 10 a.m. EST.

Walker, the 17th individual to serve as president of the Church of God’s oldest educational institution, took office on August 1, 2020, but due to health and safety concerns surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, inauguration festivities were postponed.

Lee University President Dr. Mark Walker

Prior to his presidential appointment, Walker served as vice president for ministerial development and chair of the Department of Christian Ministries at the university for three years. Previously, he served as pastor of Mount Paran North Church of God for 25 years. He also served on Lee’s Board of Directors for seven years. He is married to Udella Richardson Walker and they have two adult children.

Walker succeeds Dr. Paul Conn, who served as the university’s president for 34 years, making this the school’s first inauguration ceremony since 1986. On August 1, 2020 Conn moved to the role of Lee University Chancellor.

Several events will surround the ceremony, providing opportunity for students, staff and faculty, and family and friends to join in the occasion.

Guidelines from the CDC and Tennessee Department of Health will be observed and live streaming will be available for those wishing to attend virtually.

More details will be released as the event date approaches.

Lee University was founded as Bible Training School (BTS) on January 1, 1918. The school has been located in Cleveland, Tennessee ever since with the exception of 1938-1947 when they were located in Sevierville, Tennessee on the campus of what is now the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home. It underwent two name changes: to Lee College in 1947 and Lee University in 1997. Those who have served as the superintendent/president include A.J. Tomlinson as the first leader from 1918-1923, the university’s namesake, F.J. Lee from 1923-1924, Paul Conn’s father, Dr. Charles W. Conn who was president between 1970-1982, Paul Conn’s predecessor, Lamar Vest, and two men who have served two, nonconsecutive terms, J.H. Walker and Ray H. Hughes.

For more information, contact the Office of Public Relations at (423) 614-8621 or email [email protected]

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