February 01, 2012
John Bates’s relationship with Lewis & Clark goes back to 1975, when he joined the college as an associate professor in the business department. The next year, he was voted the Outstanding Faculty Member of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1979, Bates led an overseas study program in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, taking his wife, Susan, and their son, Christopher, along for the experience. He has been a trustee for Lewis & Clark since 2003, serving as the chair of the Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2007 and as a life trustee since 2010. He has also been a member of the Board of Visitors of Lewis & Clark Law School since 2007. In 2008 Bates and his wife were named honorary alumni of the law school. In 2009, Lewis & Clark awarded Bates a doctor of humane letters.
Before joining the college, Bates earned his bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Oregon. He worked for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith in New York, and he taught at Oregon State University. In 1988, Bates and his son founded Bates Private Capital, a company that eventually grew to 250 employees before it was sold in 2005. Today, although nominally retired, Bates is the honorary consul general of the Republic of Korea.