Rev. William N. Yates

President 1893-1895​

The Rev. William Nelson Yates became the first alumnus of Findlay College to be named as acting president in 1893. He graduate​d from Findlay College with an A.B. degree in 1891 and an M.A. in 1894. He was a pastor of the Front Street Church of God in Findlay at the time of his appointment and at age 28, took on the role reluctantly.

Yates was known as an outstanding speaker and winner of oratorical contests. Somehow, he also won the nickname “Nockemstiff" as an undergraduate at Findlay. According to the April 1892 issue of Ossarist, a monthly publication of early student groups on campus, Yates provided the institution with its official yell: Hic, Haec, Hoc! / Free from smoke! / Now you know, / Findlay College! / 0! Hi! 0!

The economic effects of the Panic of 1893 made Yates' job as president difficult. He was elected as “permanent president" in June of 1894 after he raised $24,000 in pledges from local elderships of the church and trustees to help alleviate the College debt. However, the inability to sufficiently cut expenses or raise enough money to balance the budget led him to resign in June 1895, and he gratefully returned to preaching and serving as a pastor.

Image captured after his time as president.