DePauw appoints new student affairs leader

John Mark Day, who describes himself as “a fierce advocate for a world where everyone belongs,” will join DePauw University Aug. 1 as its new vice president for student affairs and dean of students.

Day comes from Oklahoma State University, where he has been the director of leadership and campus life for seven years, overseeing student engagement initiatives such as fraternity and sorority life, student activities and the Student Government Association. He also has overseen orientation, international students and scholars, career development and student basic needs.

He previously worked 12 years at Texas Christian University, where he held several positions culminating in director of the first-year experience, and advised TCU’s chapter of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, of which he is a member.

He is involved in leadership in several nonprofit and professional organizations, including the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, for which he helped to lead the association’s return to in-person conferences in 2022.

Day holds a doctorate in education from Vanderbilt University. He has two master’s degrees, one in media and communication with a focus on theology from Dallas Theological Seminary and the other in journalism from TCU. His undergraduate degree, also from TCU, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, is in religion and news-editorial journalism.

“Dr. Day brings meaningful experience to DePauw, gained through many years of working directly with students and at institutions with highly engaging student life,” President Lori White said. “This work is particularly important to me, as a veteran of many years in the student affairs arena, and it is tremendously important to our university. I have been impressed with Dr. Day’s leadership in his various student affairs roles, in which he has worked with colleagues to create a compelling vision for student life and to ensure student involvement and success for all students.”

Though his previous positions have been at universities much larger than DePauw, “they’re all places that have been, and continue to be, so special and meaningful in the lives of their students and in the lives of their families,” Day said. “And so even though the context is different, the size is different, that core value is the same. I am excited, because of DePauw’s small, residential community, to have the opportunity to form even closer relationships with students, faculty, staff and alumni.”

He said that he is aware that, before coming to DePauw, White spent most of her career in student affairs, and thus he expects that she will have “high expectations for what we do in student affairs because she knows the critically important role of student affairs on campus. I look forward to the opportunity to help DePauw enhance the exemplary student experience articulated in the new strategic plan.”

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