University of Portland Names Robert D. Kelly as Its First Black President

April 29, 2022 | Willamette Week

With Kelly, the Catholic university is stepping outside its historical comfort zone.

Since its founding in 1901, the University of Portland has always had as its president a priest from the Order of the Holy Cross. But the Catholic university in North Portland pledged to cast a wider net in 2020 when its then-president, the Rev. Mark Poorman, retired.

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