As numerous friends and family members gathered in the lobby of the Student Learning Center, UGA-Griffin Assistant Provost Gerald Arkin spoke highly of Yates.
“He has always been a champion, supporter and friend of the University of Georgia,” Arkin said. “On a personal note, John’s been a trusted person, a friend, someone I could talk to. He’s a person who will tell you truthfully what you need to hear. He’s a straight-shooter.”
Yates responded jokingly. “You just heard the opening speech for my campaign next year,” he said, adding, more seriously, that he was glad to see many friends in the audience. “I’m so appreciative of all of you coming today.”
Then Yates talked briefly about the importance of education. “Without education, I could have never become an army officer and a manager at Ford Motor Company,” he said.
Before the portrait, which was painted by Jennifer Edwards, was unveiled, UGA Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness and Extended Campuses Bob Boehmer addressed the honoree.
Considering the many guests who came to be part of the unveiling, Boehmer said, “I think it speaks for itself the level of affection and respect this group has for you. We have the deepest gratitude for what you have done here at UGA-Griffin.”