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Marshall B. Ketchum University Inaugurates First Female President And Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary

Inauguration speech

Dr. Julie Schornack Addresses Institution’s 100-Year History In Orange County And Vision For The Future


Marshall B. Ketchum University (MBKU), an independent, private, non-profit, accredited educational institution in Fullerton, California formally introduced Julie A. Schornack, OD, MEd as its next president to lead the university following a highly attended inauguration event Friday, April 28, 2023. The event welcomed over 200 guests including faculty, students, local dignitaries, family and friends to honor the university’s second president. The ceremony was followed by a 10-year anniversary celebration at the MBKU campus, which commemorated the milestone of the university’s expansion and name change in 2013.

Dr. Schornack is not only the first-ever female president at MBKU, but also a long-standing faculty member of over 35 years. During her time with the university, she has witnessed first-hand many impressive graduating classes, worked with extraordinary faculty and influenced a number of education and industry developments that have positively impacted the school’s trajectory. She plans to harness her experience and knowledge to carry out a vision focused on people, programs and places. These key areas of focus will support admissions and enrollment, identifying ways to continue to curb the high cost of education while still delivering a premiere healthcare education and improving campus infrastructure. Her vision takes inspiration from the past and centers around excitement for the future.

“Sometimes entry into leadership has everything to do with timing,” said Dr. Schornack during her speech. “Although I initially downplayed the significance of being the first woman president, I now would like to embrace the importance. You know who it is important to? It is important to my daughters and to your daughters, and to every student at the university as an example of what they can be. So being the first female president is something that I am proud of, and I wear the cloak with great honor.”

The event included a traditional ceremony welcoming the university’s president into her new position. Members of the Board of Trustees, faculty, student body and close colleagues stood by Dr. Schornack’s side in unity to highlight her remarkable journey, service and leadership in a manner that touched each and every guest in the room.

“President Schornack and I have known each other for many years, and I have always admired her passion for overseeing fine details, while at the same time, keeping focused on the bigger picture and how it all fits together,” said keynote speaker, Sally Dillehay, OD, EdD and chief medical officer at ClinTrialSolutions, LLC. “I have watched Dr. Schornack oversee the thousands of details needed for an educational community focused on excellence in patient care, while keeping her eyes on the bigger purpose of collaboration across multiple disciplines, something that is no small feat in today’s complex and ever-changing world of clinical education.”

Following the ceremony, guests gathered on campus to celebrate Dr. Schornack and recognize the 10-year anniversary of MBKU becoming a university and changing its name from the Southern California College of Optometry to reflect its expansion to also include a school of Physician Assistant Studies and College of Pharmacy.

To watch the full inauguration ceremony, visit: