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Columbia Business Monthly

CIU to Inaugurate Seventh President on Nov. 3

Oct 24, 2017 02:23PM ● By Emily Stevenson

The inauguration of Dr. Mark A. Smith as the seventh president of Columbia International University will take place on Nov. 3. The ceremony will be held in Shortess Chapel on the campus of CIU beginning at 11a.m. Smith has been serving as president of CIU since July 1 after being approved by the CIU Board of Trustees in February.

Early in his college career, Smith committed his life to Christian higher education administration, a path he has faithfully followed for over two decades.

Smith comes to CIU from Ohio Christian University (OCU) where he served as president for 11 years, increasing enrollment from 400 to approximately 4,600 students during his tenure. Prior to coming to OCU, Smith served as vice president for adult and graduate studies at Indiana Wesleyan University where he oversaw the doubling of enrollment from approximately 5,000 to 10,000 students in four years. Smith also has experience in Pre-K to 12th grade education, having served as principal of Bible Fellowship Christian School in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Since Smith became president of CIU, the school has added a fully online MBA, as well as fully online bachelor’s and associate degrees in business. In addition, CIU has announced $22 million in facility expansions with the largest portion dedicated to a $15-20 million Business and IT Global Initiative Center.

The inaugural address will be given by Dr. Ralph Enlow Jr., president of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), and the 2017 CIU Alumnus of the Year. Enlow served as an educational leader at CIU for 28 years, including six years as senior vice president and provost.  

Presiding over the inauguration will be The Honorable J. Ronald Mullins Jr., vice-chairman of the CIU Board of Trustees and a Georgia Superior Court judge. The public is invited to attend. CIU is located at 7435 Monticello Road in Columbia.

The inauguration is a part of CIU’s 2017 Homecoming celebration Nov. 3-4.

Founded in 1923, CIU is private, Christian and multidenominational, preparing students to make a positive impact on the world through their professional calling. The university is recognized for the quality of its academic offerings, consistently ranked among the top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report. For information on attending CIU, visit, or call (800) 777-2227.