GAME CHANGER Coaching to Save My Life Benjamin Smail '12
Coaching to Save My Life
photo by Tim Swenson
The mission of York College is to transform lives through Christ-centered education and to equip students for lifelong service to God, family and society.
As one of the emcees for Songfest, Levi was front and center during the finale number.
On The Cover: Kenny and Roni Miller were overwhelmed this spring by the support and blessings they received as Coach Roni underwent radiation treatments for breast cancer. It changed how she coached and how her players viewed the game (see pg 14).
They didn’t meet their goal, but they made us all proud with their effort. What they did achieve has changed our campus—I hope for years to come. This spring, a group of seniors dedicated their final semester to raising the academic culture of our campus through a movement they dubbed Ignite Excellence. Their effort began when Levi Swenson, a business communication major from Benkelman, Nebraska, saw a Tweet announcing the fall Dean’s List honorees. The list had 87 names on it. Levi was determined to get that number to 100 by the end of the next semester. Levi shared his vision. Others in his senior communication seminar capstone class and Student Government were eager to take the challenge and run with it. His simple idea grew to a campaign, with chapel announcements, events, and motivational badges and Tweets. Students challenged each other to commit to Ignite, to give their best on every test and assignment and to create a culture of shared academic excellence. They used the hashtag #IgniteYC to spur each other on. Faculty members adopted the hashtag and badges to remind students to not lose heart as the semester got ever busier. Student Government hosted campus-wide study sessions in McGehee, serving food and coffee donated by different departments and clubs. These study sessions exemplify the best of our campus, our collaborative and caring family environment. We like to say York College is the ‘and’ school—where students can be a residence life assistant and a Songfest club rep, a member of Campus Ministries and an athlete. Ignite Excellence reminded students that they can be all of these things... and be serious-minded academics, too. While the Ignite Excellence effort fell short of the goal by four students, the work was not in vain: the overall percentage of students on the Dean’s List increased from 21 in the fall to 25 in the spring and the cumulative student GPA rose as well. In fact, the spring 2018 Dean’s List had more students on it than any semester in years. Levi finished his final semester as a Songfest MC and NAIA All-American Track and Field athlete, competing with teammates in the 4x800 relay at nationals. He didn’t make the Dean’s List, but he worked hard and had a successful semester academically. I’m pleased that Levi has accepted a position as an admissions recruiter for YC. He is a great example of the transformation that can occur here. Levi’s first attempt at college left him frustrated and disillusioned. He left for two years, traveled with AIM (Adventures in Missions), and returned to YC with a new focus. He had to fight to reestablish himself and work hard to keep his grades up; in the process, he became a powerful leader on campus. “I wanted to be the best possible version of myself and I wanted to encourage everyone else to do the same,” he said. I couldn’t be more proud of Levi and all of our hardworking students who commit to their studies, to their sports and performances, and to building the Christ-centered community of York College. Steve Eckman President
(above) The men's 4x800 relay team finished fourth overall at the NAIA Indoor National Championships with a YC record time of 7:40.47. (l-r) Ian Meek, Mason Held, Head Coach Justin Carver, Cameron Sorter, and Levi Swenson (see pg 25).
Profile Excellence in
hen I caught up with Benjamin Smail '12, he had just finished an hour-long phone call with some first-time buyers. After putting a house under contract, they were feeling a bit nervous. “They texted me a list of questions and fears they were having,” said Ben, who is in his fifth year as a real estate agent in the Omaha area. “We had to talk through the emotions. Purchasing a house is a big deal. I thanked them for sharing their concerns with me and we chatted until they felt assured about their decision.” His voice is soothing and cheerful. Though we are talking as he zips across the city on a tight schedule, he sounds like he has all the time in the world for me.
ryce Tyler, a business communication major B from Lincoln, Nebraska, and Taylor Abraham, a psychology major with a minor in Biblical studies from Buffalo, Missouri, were named Mr. and Ms. York College for 2018.
In this issue: 3 6 8 10 12 14 16 19 20 22 24 26 27 28 29 30 31
Benjamin Smail - Profile in Excellence Amazing Grace Communication Grads Find Career Success Campus News Business Beat Coaching to Save My Life Real Happiness Letter of Gratitude Alumni News and Notes P.I.T. Crew Panther Athletics Doors of Opportunity Campus Spotlight Memorials Peru 2019 Alumni Trip Homecoming Dates and Awards Around the Corner
This is his gift—a knack for seeing people, understanding their needs, and making them feel heard and valued. His care for his clients goes way beyond guiding them through their real estate transaction. Ben’s mission is to shower the love of Christ on all of the people that are a part of his life. “Many realtors get into this business because they like houses. I do it because I like people,” he said. Facilitating the sale of houses is only one small piece of his day. The vast majority of Ben’s work is educating, advising, encouraging and delighting his clients, even well after a sale. “I like doing the unexpected extras for my clients,” he said. “For some realtors, the relationship is over once the check is cashed. I want to be valuable years beyond that.” It appears to be a winning strategy. The average realtor in Omaha sells six houses a year. Last year, Ben sold 59. ...continued next page (right) Before enrolling at York College, Benjamin attended a YC leadership camp in 2008 with his future brother-in-law Matt Grimes.
(above) Graduates pose with their new alumni sweatshirts after Senior Banquet. Heritage is a semi-annual publication for alumni and friends of York College. The magazine is available online at www.york.edu/alumni. Heritage Editor Vol. 21, No. 2 Chrystal Houston ’03 Director of Alumni and Communication 402-363-5607 firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Editor/Design Steddon Sikes ’84 Director of Publications Heritage Contributors Bob DeHart ’95 Rachel Dollen ’18
Trent Hinton ’02 Brent Magner ’79
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Going the Extra Mile Ben tries to make himself available to his clients no matter the time of day and treats everyone the same, whether they're buying an expensive home or have a much smaller budget to work with. His favorite activity is “pop-bys” — visiting the homes of his clients with gifts, from movein day survival kits, to clothes for a new baby, to doggy gift boxes, to batteries for their smoke detectors. When cold weather hit this past winter, he delivered 160 gallons of de-icing wiper fluid.
That puts him at Emerald Elite status, the top two percent of salespeople within Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate nationally. This spring, he was recognized with their Excellence in Marketing award, given annually to one agent out of more than 11,000 nationwide. “The days are full, but worthwhile,” says Ben, who admits he is rarely not working. “When clients need me, they need me...and often it’s at night and during the weekends.” No matter when they call, Ben patiently answers questions and shows the same regard for every client. “Everyone deserves sincere and skillful care totally independent from what I stand to gain. Everyone gets the best treatment,” he says, whether it’s someone with a $13,000 house to sell or someone buying a home worth 30 times that.
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“They’re all important to me.” Benjamin studied special education and coaching at YC. After a few years of teaching, he left the classroom but he still sees himself as a teacher. “In every situation, I want to have the heart of a teacher. I educate instead of sell and do as much hand-holding as my clients need.” Ben is committed to guiding and educating his clients with the type of care that he formerly employed in the classroom. Hard work and dedication are lessons Ben learned young. In the summers of his high school years he worked as a coal miner alongside his father. In York Ben worked for Mosaic, providing care for adults with developmental disabilities while earning his degree. He took every opportunity for overtime, occasionally working as
many as 90 hours per week, while juggling a full class load. He purchased a used bicycle and rode it to class and work each day to cut expenses. “I likely won’t take up wintertime bike riding ever again but for those few years that silly bike was an important part of graduating with as little debt as possible,” he said. “One of the things that impressed me most about Ben during those years was that every week he would drive a vanload of Mosaic clients to church at East Hill on Sunday mornings,” said YC President Steve Eckman. “They had a variety of special needs. He made sure they felt welcomed and cared for. Some of them continued to attend East Hill even after Ben moved away.” During his final semesters, Ben moved in with Mike ‘84 and Janet (Reno
‘83) Rush and saw first hand what it meant to love and live generously. “I learned an incredible amount about giving while living in their home. They exhibited a level of generosity I have never seen before and I’ll always be grateful to them for teaching me so much. Their example of giving inspires me and I’ll forever be more generous because of the kindness they, and many others at York College, showed to me.” Ben doesn’t regret missing some of the fun on campus in exchange for more work and studies. Much of his motivation came from reading Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover. “I was inspired by the idea that if I lived like no one else then, I could live (and give) like no one else later.” Ben’s commitment to good financial management paired with his proven track record of sales has allowed him to be an Endorsed Local Provider for Dave Ramsey’s organization. The
His approach is related to the guiding philosophy of his life: Live for someone other than yourself, work with the goal of giving to others, and be generous beyond what is reasonable. “My life has been blessed far beyond what I
“Live for someone other than yourself, work with the goal of giving to others, and be generous beyond what is reasonable.” endorsement means he’s committed to guiding clients in alignment with Ramsey’s principals. “I want my clients to be in a house they can comfortably afford and eventually pay off. Debt interferes with many wonderful things that could be done for others,” he said.
ever imagined it could be. I want to give the same measure as what’s been given to me. I want to bless others however and whenever I can.” Despite the fight against debt, Ben admits he owes much: He met his wife
(above) Benjamin and Megan are on the President’s Council, providing support as well as valuable ideas and marketing insights to the college. When Ben isn’t working for his clients, he and Megan enjoy traveling, both locally and internationally. They spend time visiting new places in Omaha with their Chinese Sharpei, Dudley. (below) A fitness nut, Ben enjoys participating in local competitions. He recently won the Trek Up The Tower Vertical Mile Challenge, which is a race up the First National Bank building in Omaha—412 cramp-inducing flights and 8,961 knee-punishing steps. He completed the challenge in just over an hour.
Megan (Grimes ’10) and obeyed the Gospel as a student at York College. “I owe an incredible amount to York College,” he said. “I know I’ll never be able to fully repay that debt, but it doesn’t mean I won’t spend years trying.” n
Amazing Grace "In the last two years, I’ve seen a shift in our ladies. It’s hope. Each of us is now looking forward to life outside these gates."
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to join in. As Roush’s booming baritone swelled, many in the room were wiping away tears. Roush had previously taught the cohort’s Music Appreciation class and was a clear favorite of the students. In thanking him, one student told Roush, “I listen to classical music now, and I like it!” The admiration was mutual. “You have been an amazing grace in my own life, in my own heart,” Roush told the students. “You have changed the way that I think about things. You’ve changed my life... and I came out here expecting it to be the other way around.” Roush also gave them a challenge. “What you have been given, it’s now your turn to give to others.” Latoya Ross thanked the faculty members for always making the NCCW students feel just like they were traditional on-campus YC students. “The only difference is they never have to tell us to turn off our cell phones,” she joked, as they are not allowed to have them. Another key difference? “We show up hungry for knowledge,” said Ross. Dr. Shane Mountjoy, provost, concurred. “My faculty are asking to come out here to teach. They’ve heard so many good things about you,” he told the students. Mountjoy praised the students for their generosity: a recent Christmas project they took on provided backpacks full of supplies for families in need. “You are women of virtue,” he said.
hree miles from the brick streets and historic buildings of the campus on the hill, there live a group of York College students who attend classes in a chapel behind 20-foot fences topped with razor wire. These women are working to change the trajectory of their lives, and their attitudes about their studies reflect the value of the education they are engaged in. They are inmates at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women (NCCW) and members of the first cohort of the Second Chance Education Program at York College. In August 2019, these 11 women will earn what for some of them was previously unimaginable--a college degree. That gratitude was evident in the spring Teacher Appreciation Day at NCCW. The emotional event was organized by student Jennifer Kerby, who also served as master of ceremonies. “I once was lost, but God has given me a second chance,” Kerby told the audience of York College faculty and staff, as well as NCCW staff and other students in the cohort. “I’m going to honor you for being a part of that,” she said, thanking the faculty for giving her and classmates the tools to grow. “You teach us faith and give me hope for my future...You are my amazing grace.” She invited Dr. Clark Roush, endowed chair for the performing arts at York College, to sing "Amazing Grace." On the final chorus, Kerby invited everyone
program and work in food service. She recalled her hardest class, Basic Speech taught by John Baker, associate professor of communication. “At the beginning I thought, ‘there’s no way I can do that!’” But by the end of the class, she had found her voice. Now public speaking doesn’t scare her at all. For some of the students, college previously seemed like a thing that other people did, but not them. It is a challenge to overcome their personal narratives of failure and dare to reach for success. Jennifer Gillpatrick said that at the beginning of each class, anxiety overwhelms her. Plagued by low self-esteem, she perpetually doubts she will be able to complete the next course. Then she meets with the faculty member for the first class session and discovers that their belief in her gives her the confidence to keep moving forward. “You take that stress block right off my back and help me to feel comfortable,” she told them. Kerby will be leaving on work-release this spring. While she won’t be able to complete the program at NCCW with the rest of the cohort, this is not the end of her educational journey. She is planning to continue her studies at York College on the main campus as soon as she is able and may seek employment there as well. When her studies are complete, she hopes to do search and rescue work or ministry. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without York College and these people who really want to make a difference for us,” she said. Kerby encouraged her classmates to keep on striving and achieving academically. She also encouraged the York College faculty and staff. “Don’t give up on us. Don’t give up on this program, because it’s changing our lives and changing our futures.” Bridgette Mann-Welch is hoping to be granted work release soon after completing the York College program, at which point she will continue working toward a bachelor’s degree and her dream of working in healthcare. “I didn’t think I could do it when I first signed up,” she said. “It’s been a long, hard journey. We’ve come a long way.” Mann-Welch said a main challenge for the students is having enough time in the prison library and resource center to complete homework. She is thankful for the cooperation from NCCW staff who are flexible with the students’ schedules to make sure they are able to get their work done. With limited access to the internet, sometimes faculty members have to go above and beyond to provide resources for the women. “It’s insane how much they do for us,” she said. The students study together as much as they are able, quizzing each other while they work. “We pull each other through it,” Mann-Welch said, noting that often their assignments are completed early because they are so motivated to not let this opportunity pass them by. Angela Manns agreed. “I’m determined to finish the program with a 4.0,” she said with a grin. Manns mentioned a recent article she had seen about York College alumni giving during the Beyond 125 Campaign. “I got excited thinking, someday that’s going to be me. I’m going to be an alumni and I’m going to give back,” she said. n
(top left) Students and teachers pose with a handmade Panther banner at the conclusion of a recent teacher appreciation event. (left) Angela Manns shares her gratitude for those who pushed for the program and the hope that it has given to participants and future students.
Mountjoy told the students he is already making plans for a real graduation ceremony at the prison when they’ve completed the program. “We are so proud of you and what you are accomplishing,” he said. The Second Chance Education Program offers 12 students per cohort the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree through four years of part-time study. The next cohort of students will begin studies in the fall of 2019, made possible in part by a grant York College has been awarded by the Department of Corrections Vocational and Life Skills Program. During its twoyear pilot phase, SCEP has been financially underwritten by York College, costing more than $130,000 per year. The grant funds of $110,000 over two years make the program more sustainable moving forward. One student commented that Dr. Terry Seufferlein’s Bible class has inspired her to continue her studies and earn a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies. Others echoed her sentiments, saying that they too will pursue a bachelor’s degree once they’ve completed this program. Dr. Seufferlein received special recognition as the initiator of the Second Chance Education Program. After a standing ovation from his students, he responded, “I think I speak for all of the faculty when I say coming here is the highlight of our day. It is a joy to teach students who are so eager and ready to learn.” The York College initiative was the start of a lot of new programs at the prison, said student Angela Manns. “I’m so thankful for Dr. Seufferlein pushing for this for us,” she said. “We have so many more opportunities now.” When she is released in a few years, Manns hopes to start a business building and selling tiny houses or possibly work in the corrections system, bringing her personal experience and knowledge to the field. “In the last two years, I’ve seen a shift in our ladies. It’s hope. Each of us is now looking forward to life outside these gates,” said Manns. They are spreading that hope to other inmates at NCCW. “Because of our interaction with our teachers, we are encouraging others to do this program,” she said. “I never thought I’d be able to do college,” said student Elisa Seastrong. “But with the help of the teachers and the other students in the program...I think I’m going to make it.” After her York College studies, Seastrong hopes to complete a culinary
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Communication grads find career success From leading a classroom to leading a business, young graduates from the York College communication department are blazing new trails and finding career success in unexpected places. Here are a few of their stories.
Zach Ahrens ’01
photo by Nathan Ham Photography
The Newspaper Man
ach Ahrens got his start in the newspaper industry in York. He began work at the daily local paper, The York News-Times, soon after graduating with his communication degree from York College, working as a sales rep and helping to implement ‘new media’ technology that was just beginning to transform the whole business model. “I was part of the transition in the industry to online content, ads and news,” he said. In this new digital landscape, he rapidly climbed the ranks, moving from paper to paper with increasing responsibility, from advertising director to general manager, to publisher, to vice president and then president of publishing groups, managing revenue streams at many papers. “My communication degree has helped me as the media industry is going through
upheaval and disruption,” said Ahrens. It’s a challenging industry that’s being remade in this highly competitive marketplace, where everyone wants the latest news but few are willing to pay for quality journalism. It’s a 24/7 news cycle, which means there’s no rest for those in the newsroom. Journalists have to be more skilled than ever—they have to be great writers, but they also have to post to social media, modify their content across several platforms, and often be their own photographer and videographer as well. On the other hand, the time has never been better for those in the news industry. “We have a larger reach than ever before. We have greater audience and greater content, and I can monetize both of those,” said Ahrens. It’s important work, as a strong media is vital to a strong democracy and to strong communities. “In so many ways we are the watchdog and the cheerleader for the communities we serve.” n
(left) Last November, Ahrens was featured in TK Business Magazine's "Top 20 Professionals Under 40" to recognize young professionals who are impacting the future of Topeka in a positive way. Ahrens has recently accepted a new position as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Midland Care in Topeka. "An education from YC prepares future professionals to be nimble in industries of disruption," he added. (above right) Dr. Shannon Leinen directs Concordia University's BA to MBA five-year program, as well as the face-to-face and online MBA programs.
Dr. Shannon (Sukraw ’07) Leinen
s the director of the MBA program at Concordia University, Dr. Shannon Leinen has wide ranging responsibilities from hiring faculty to designing courses to teaching inperson and online. Her favorite part of the job? Working with adult learners, many of whom are looking for a new direction mid-career. “The material is so real-life applicable to them,” she said. “I’m helping them find greater life satisfaction because they gain a new skill set and the confidence to go out and apply for their dream job, or to start their own business.” Leinen’s interests are varied, as evidenced by her eclectic educational background: she earned three master’s degrees and a PhD in communication, business, and instructional technology. All of those areas of study are combined in her current position, enabling her to touch the lives of her students and the companies they work for. She also runs an organizational development clinic in Lincoln, Nebraska, pairing her students with local entities that need help. “I recruit small
businesses, non-profits, and entrepreneurs that are struggling or don’t know what to do next or need some advice but maybe can’t pay for it,” she said. From radio stations to restaurants, Leinen’s MBA students come alongside these struggling businesses to assist with marketing initiatives, copyright issues, grant writing, financial planning, and myriad other tasks. If small businesses are the engine of growth for economies, the work Leinen is doing is vital to the health of the state and nation. “It’s wonderful to see these people and businesses making a difference here in Nebraska,” she said. n
John W. Baker ’13
The Sports Media Manager
or John W. Baker, working in the Creative and Emerging Media department of Nebraska Athletics is a dream come true. Since Nebraska doesn’t have a professional sports team, working for Nebraska Athletics is the closest thing you can find in the state, he says. As a graphic designer on a team of communication professionals, he is responsible for managing social accounts during games and maintaining the visual brand of the department—a job that is important to recruiting players as well as fans. His job entails working with several teams, specifically Nebraska Football, to create content for print publications, social media, inhouse uses, and custom graphics which are created specifically for recruits to use on their social media accounts and phone lock screens. He also serves as the main
photographer for Nebraska Football’s recruiting efforts and practice content. A lifetime sports fan, Baker is enthusiastic about this work. He played soccer at YC and later coached and recruited for the program, so he knows first hand the experience and needs of student athletes and coaches. He earned an MA with a specialization in Intercollegiate Athletics Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2017. He was in the second cohort to go through the program, which pairs traditional MBA curriculum with athletics specific experiences and content. The degree has exploded in popularity and is recognized as one of the best programs in the nation for this subject area. Baker’s experience also includes serving as the Director of Risk Management and Merchandise for Tour de Nebraska, a fourday, 248-mile bike ride through Nebraska that annually attracts over 500 cyclists. Baker ran social media for the event, created crisis plans and protocols, coordinated pre-race details, and collaborated on print materials. His team’s efforts increased merchandise sales by 500 percent over the previous year. “It’s busy and there’s always a lot to do,” he said of his career, “but I love it.” n
Erinn (Bristol ’02) Criner
to work there full-time, learning the ropes in their HR department. She was heavily involved in the York College chapter of PBL (see page 12) as a student and credits that experience alongside her academic training for her career success. While she was a student, she also worked for several years for Women of Faith as a part-time merchandise manager, traveling to events nationwide on weekends to sell books and branded materials. Her current work with the Department of Corrections is challenging and encouraging. “We are very focused on rehabilitation. Many of these people will be released someday and we help them to be prepared to be productive citizens,” she said. For many, prison may be the rock bottom place where they get their lives together. For all of the tragic stories, there are many inspiring ones as well, she says. Prison can be a place where healing occurs and lives are transformed, but it takes the right team of people with the best training to make that happen. That’s where Criner comes in. Managing a team in this high stress environment is not an easy job, but it is one she cherishes as it is a way to create safer communities and improve the lives of all who live there. n
rinn Criner’s business communication degree has taken her to an unexpected place: prison. As the human talent director for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services, Criner oversees the onboarding, performance management, training and development of a workforce of 2,300 state employees, from corrections officers to administrative staff to educators. Criner has held a variety of management and HR positions, but she got her start as a teller at Cornerstone Bank in York as a student. After graduating she went
The Team Leader
(left) One of the perks of Baker's position is spending a considerable amount of time in Memorial Stadium, (above) Erin Criner (far right) goes over plans with some of her employees in their daily huddle.
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FA C U LT Y A N D S TA F F N E W S BITTERSWEET FAREWELL: Miller and McNeese Retire At the end of the spring semester, York College said goodbye to two longtime faculty members: Dr. L. Ray Miller, professor of chemistry, and Beverly McNeese, assistant professor of English. Both provided decades of leadership on campus and touched the lives of hundreds of students, helping them achieve their dreams of graduate school and workplace success. From grading thousands of papers and leading countless laboratory exercises, these skilled educators and caring mentors well deserve this retirement. “York College is more than an educational institution, it is a family,” President Steve Eckman said. “Both Dr. Miller and Mrs. McNeese have been integral reasons for the family atmosphere and the feeling of acceptance our students experience. At the same time, their expertise and teaching have helped countless numbers of students excel in their careers and leadership positions.”
Beverly McNeese has been teaching at York College since 1996. She started as an adjunct professor and continued to add responsibilities through the years, eventually serving as department chair. She has kept the York College chapter of Sigma Tau Delta English honor society active with workshops, guest speakers, and opportunities for publishing. Sigma Tau Delta’s literary magazine Unvarnished Words has been a valuable vehicle for many budding writers to have their work displayed. She also implemented an annual Writer’s Workshop event in 2013 that brings in speakers from around the region to present on topics related to writing and publishing. Hosted by the English Department and Humanities Nebraska, the workshop has brought hundreds of attendees to campus to take part in this valuable program. McNeese has also been a part of developing a domestic study trip program with her husband Dr. Tim McNeese, associate professor of History, that takes students on the road to view locations of literary and historic significance.
Ray Miller has been teaching at York College since 1982. He has served on many different committees and worn many hats, including terms as division chair and vice president of academic affairs. He also served behind the scenes of many student activities. For 25 years, Miller managed the backstage area at Songfest; he also assisted the basketball teams by keeping the scorebook at home games for many years. He has dedicated his time and resources for more than 30 years to his students, the science department, and the college. After retirement, Miller plans to continue to be active on campus in his new role as an emeritus faculty member. (above) During the spring commencement ceremony, the rank of Faculty Emeritus was conferred upon Dr. Ray Miller by Provost Shane Mountjoy. (top right) Mrs. Beverly McNeese gave lectures during this year's RoundUp on literature of the Great War generation. (right) Ray and Bev were honored with a reception to celebrate their retirement.
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“Our students have been blessed for many years by the teaching, personality, and heart of these two fine faculty members,” said Provost Shane Mountjoy. “Their influence extends beyond the classroom and we are grateful for the dedication and service to York College given by both Ray Miller and Bev McNeese.” n
FA C U LT Y / S TA F F T R A N S I T I O N S PASSING THE BATON: Leadership Transitions in YC Athletics The York College Athletic Department has undergone significant changes in the last few months as some have expanded roles and others are returning to York College in new capacities. Changes included the top position in the department as Jared Stark, Vice President for Athletics and Enrollment, has tabbed Matthew Madole ’02 to fill the position of athletic director. Stark wore the VP and athletic director hats for several years, but is now moving to an expanded administrative role. Stark will continue to be involved in big picture decisions, budgets and fundraising for athletics, while Madole will handle the day-to-day operations including staffing, student Madole eligibility, and communication. Madole has been the head coach of the women’s basketball program since 2012. He has also served as the assistant athletic director for several years. Head Track and Field Coach Justin Carver will step in as assistant athletic director moving forward. Filling the coaching position vacated by Madole is Corrina (Minjarez ’15) Latorre. Latorre joined the program as a player during her junior year (2013), scoring over 1,000 points and earning All-Conference honors twice. After she finished her playing career she stayed on as an assistant coach for the next three seasons. She recently completed a master’s degree Latorre in organizational and global leadership through York College Online.
Crystal (Sitton ’06) Nething has returned to York College to lead the volleyball program as head coach. Nething helped reestablish the volleyball program as a player during her student years. The program was suspended in 2000 and Nething was the lone senior that helped the Panthers to a winning season in their first year back in 2004. Now she will have that chance again, this time as the head coach. A multisport athlete while a student at YC and a former admissions counselor, Nething brings a wealth of experience in athletics as well as recruiting. Nething Greg Smith ’07 will return to YC this summer to lead the men’s wrestling program as head coach. Smith is no stranger to the program as he was part of the inaugural team in 2003 and then took over the program in 2007 as the head coach. He was the first York College wrestler to earn NAIA All-American status. Smith stepped down as the head coach in 2010 to obtain his education degree then went on to earn a master's degree in education curriculum and instruction from York College. Coach Smith has taught and coached at DoniphanTrumbull junior high and high school for the past two years in Doniphan, Nebraska. Smith
“It’s definitely been a season of transition for our department the last few months,” said Athletic Director Madole. “ Sometimes there is a little uneasiness with so much change, but that’s not the case at all here. Coach Latorre is doing a fantastic job with women’s basketball, and we are beyond excited to have Coach Nething and Coach Smith coming back home. We have an incredible coaching staff and I am looking forward to seeing what 20182019 brings for YC Athletics.” n
O’Neal Joins Faculty Aleshia (Showen ’85) O’Neal will join the York College faculty this fall as an assistant professor of English. O’Neal previously served at Harding University, where she taught first and second year writing courses. Prior to that, she taught a range of subjects in middle schools and high schools in Arkansas, Wisconsin, and Missouri. O’Neal holds degrees in English from York College, Abilene Christian University, and Harding University. She is currently a PhD student at Arkansas State University in the Heritage Studies Program. Her dissertation topic is “Charlie May Simon: Hearing the Voice of Ozark Folklore in Arkansas.” She will complete her PhD in 2019. Aleshia (far right) was able to catch up with YC classmate Anne (Grueber '85) Anderson and beloved English professor Dr. Robert Lawrence when she interviewed for the position.
Aleshia and her husband Stephen will be moving to York from Searcy, Ark., this summer. They have three grown children and one grandson. n SUMMER 2018 2016 | 2017
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B U S I N E S S B E AT
PBL Heads to Nationals The York College chapter of Phi Beta Lambda achieved new heights as they competed in the PBL State Leadership Conference in Kearney in March. Students participated in live and online events in order to test their skills and knowledge of the modern business world. The York College PBL Panthers showed their aptitude and readiness for the marketplace by dominating the competition in multiple categories. ualifying for nationals were Garrett Ewing, Clayton Eldred, Q Hannah Parker, Cole Satterfield, and Connor Towle. PBL President Hannah Parker was also named a member of “Who’s Who” in Nebraska PBL 2017-2018. This is an honor given to an individual who has distinguished themselves in their local chapter through extraordinary leadership and service. ork College PBL students proved themselves the equals of Y competitors from much bigger schools from across the state, including University of Nebraska Lincoln and many other public and private colleges and universities. PBL Sponsor Tim Lewis was enthusiastic about this chapter’s performance at the state competition. “I could not be more proud of our students in the way they represented themselves and the York College business department,” he said. “In only our second year as a reactivated chapter, our kids competed head to head, and won against much larger schools with more experienced participants. They are laying a great foundation for continued success in these competitions and in the overall quality of the business culture we are building here at York. We hope that PBL continues to be a growing club on the York campus.” PBL is a national organization dedicated to growing the future generation of leaders looking at business or business-related fields. They provide opportunities to help future business leaders to grow in professional and personal skills through unique opportunities, such as business tours, workshops, and more. The National Leadership Conference will be held in Baltimore, Maryland in June. (At the time of this magazine’s printing, national results were not available.) In 2017, Melissa Strong represented York College PBL at the National Leadership Conference in California and placed fourth in the nation in the business plan competition. n
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Levitt School of Business Receives Candidacy Status The Board of Commissioners of the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) announced in April that the Levitt School of Business at York College has been granted the status of candidate for accreditation. This recognition shows that the Levitt School of Business has developed an appropriate quality management system; has satisfied candidacy requirements relating to its business programs, resources, and operational processes; and is eligible to undergo an accreditation review. “We have been working toward accreditation with IACBE for the past several years and we’re excited to be one step closer to our goal,” said Nick DiToro ’78, associate professor of business and Roger Collins Endowed Chair. “This accreditation is important to the improvement of our business program. We are thrilled with both the DiToro success of our students, seen through our PBL chapter and alumni career outcomes, and now the process of having our program recognized by an independent source.” DiToro expects the accreditation process to be complete in 2019. The International Accreditation Council for Business Education is the leader in mission-driven and outcomes-based programmatic accreditation in business and management education for student-centered colleges, universities, and other higher education institutions throughout the world. The IACBE has hundreds of member institutions and campuses worldwide, and has accredited over 1,500 business and business-related programs in the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Central America, and South America. n
York College PBL State Leadership Conference participants (l-r): Diego Korol, Melissa Strong, Hannah Parker, Taylor O'Brien, Cole Satterfield, Garrett Ewing, Leiah Reichel, Clayton Eldred, and Tim Lewis – not pictured Connor Towle and Robert Ozuna.
Recognizing alumni, friends and organizations who gave $1,000 or more from June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018. Donations of $25,000 or more Gary ’67 and Gwen ’66 Bartholomew Shawn Bengtson ’80 Aaron ’02 and Holly ’03 Fletcher Jeff ’89 and Lorena Hannel Jerry and Kay Henry C. G. “Kelly” and Virginia Holthus Richard ’97 and Rachel ’99 James Haun Kite Thomas and Helen Norris Joe and Linda Thomas
Donations of $10,000 to $24,999 Anonymous (3) James Bennett Joe ’82 and Bridgette Brazell Jerry and Judy Gallagher Jarrell and Cynthia Gibbs Jim and Sandy Reischl Irma Terpenning Doug ’83 and Danna ’84 Townsdin Charlie ’65 and Mary Ann Watts
Donations of $5,000 to $9,999 Tim and Kathy Bruner Charles and Patty Ganus Dickie ’64 and Onita ’65 Hill Harold and Irene Hornbaker Darrel and Kim ’02 Hoyt Brian and Joan ’82 Kramer Ed and Pat McLoud Jason ’00 and Sara Rice Ryan ’88 and Valene ’88 Roseke Ken and Cassandra Savage Charles and Carolyn Stephenson Wayne and Harriet Studebaker Elaine Townsdin ’58 Dennis ’64 and Sue ’64 Willard
Donations of $2,000 to $4,999 Scott ’99 and Beth Abraham Anonymous Ben ’00 and Tracy ’96 Babcock Gwen Carver ’80 Don and Rudith Drennan Steve ’71 and LaRee ’71 Eckman Pat and Pam Ewing
John Goeppinger ’73 Justin ’99 and Tammy ’00 Graham Mark ’78 and Diana ’77 Grimes Mary Harms Van and Mary Ann Harrold LaVerne and Joan Haselwood Sherri Herndon ’81 Everett ’70 and Ann Hinton Lee and Anita ’78 Hofsommer Jack Hoover Joe ’58 and Jackie ’59 Humphrey Gordon ’65 and Jackie ’66 Jenkins Larry Johnson Dennis and Denise Leinen Roger ’66 and Deb ’80 Lowry Quinton and Helen Martin Ron ’78 and Lola ’78 Maxwell Mike* and Diane McEndree Kerry and Susan ’79 McKeever Tom ’71 and Brenda Miller John ’83 and Sharron ’82 Morrill Don and Nan Nelson Margarett Orr ’76 Jay and Carol Rounsaville Perry and Dorothy Rubart Dottie Schulz ’58 Howard and Margaret Sheldon Todd ’81 and Denise ’81 Sheldon Ben ’12 and Megan ’09 Smail Joan Stirlen ’79 Marjorie Strawther Ellen Welker Wayne ’63 and Karen White Mitch and Shannon Wilburn Arthur ’62 and Jackie ’61 Williams Gladys Willis
Donations of $1,000 to $1,999 Charlie ’68 and Cathy ’69 Anderson Mike and Frances Armour Hon. Dave ’77 and Cindy ’78 Arterburn Ed and Louise Bailey Wayne and Darlene Baker Stephen ’77 and Tammy ’78 Batten Ron Berges ’79 Rory ’81 and Lori ’82 Berges Misty ’02 and Jon Brouillette Don and JoAnne Brown Glenn and Randy Brown Darlene Casey
Marion Cawood Aaron ’15 and Eryn ’16 Conyers Wil and Dawn Dabbs Harry Denny Denewiler Joseph Dillie Nick ’78 and Deb ’78 DiToro David and Patty ’60 Dowdey Michael and Macie Eckhart Randy ’76 and Donna ’75 Ervin Gordon Fillman ’51 Brad ’87 and Tina Fisher Bart ’80 and Shirley ’79 Florea Rod ’80 and Trisha ’85 Goben Lanny ’98 and Jenny Gridley Dave ’76 and Sue ’76 Grimes Bill and Colene Hance Justin ’99 and Donna ’99 Harrold Mike and Pam ’79 Hart Thomas and Linda Henderson Mark ’05 and Chrystal ’03 Houston Dean and Loma Howard Jared and Annie ’01 Johnson Mary Kite Jason and Lena ’97 Kozlova-Pates Michael and Bev ’73 Kuskie Ren and Angela ’04 Lai Brent ’79 and Kay Magner Jason ’00 and Kendra ’03 Matkins Rob ’98 and Rachel McKinzie Wanda Middleswarth Kenneth and Roni ’01 Miller Ray and Gail Miller Norman ’63 and Mary Morrow Shane ’88 and Vivian ’88 Mountjoy Scott ’90 and Teri Mueller Stanley Murray ’60 Harry Patterson Glenn and Aimee ’04 Piller Hon. Ted Poe Gaylin and Lisa Prior Brad ’99 and Tina Reischl Gayland and Maidalyn Roberts Titus ’04 and Angela ’04 Robison Clark and Sue ’01 Roush Ed and Marilyn ’56 Shingleton Kris ’85 and Beth Shuman Caleb ’15 and Brianna ’15 Smith Jared ’01 and Charla ’00 Stark Jack and Jean Stewart Wayne and Janet ’73 Tolley Paul ’61 and Cheryl Touchton
Victor ’01 and Haley Treat Joe and Shirley Waldrop Craig Ward Alex and Becky Williams Caleb ’02 and Kim ’02 Williams Tom and Robbie Williams Wilburn “Dub” and Mattie Wilson Drew and Andrea Woodburn Renee Zinck ’78 *Deceased
Council membership also recognizes young alumni making gifts of $500 or more from June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018.
Corporate Partners Anonymous (2) Victor E. & Rosa M. Blum Charitable Foundation Boeing Gift Matching Program The Chatlos Foundation Inc. Circle of Honor Society Charitable Foundation, Inc. ConocoPhillips Jim B. and Lillian F. Cooper Foundation Cornerstone Bank Council of Independent Nebraska Colleges Foundation The Victor L. Durrington Charitable Annuity Trust FOE Electric R. E. Maxwell Associates, Inc. Jane A. Morgan Charitable Remainder Unitrust Northwestern Mutual Foundation Pfizer Foundation Raindrop Repair, Inc. Rockwell Collins The Savage Group, LLC Self Storage Co. of Iowa, LLC Sold Out PC Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Tulsa Christian Foundation, Inc. Union Bank & Trust Company York County Visitors Bureau
C ACHING TO SAVE MY LIFE
"I wasn’t coaching to win this year. I felt like I was coaching to save my life."
t’s been a year of intense challenges and blessings for Head Softball Coach Roni (Arellano '01) Miller. She began working on a Master’s of Arts in Organizational and Global Leadership degree through York College Online in summer 2017 heading into her fourth season with York College Athletics. Later that year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Not a person who quits easily, Miller chose to continue with the graduate program while aggressively attacking the cancer. The result of that combination was the transformation of her approach to coaching—and life. Coach Miller has a family history of breast cancer (her mother is a survivor, her grandmother was not as fortunate) so in some ways, she wasn’t surprised by the diagnosis. She moved very quickly from fear and frustration to “Ok, how do we beat this?” Talking with her daughters Peyton (9) and Aubrey (6) for the first time about it was hard. Some people told her not to use ‘the C-word’ because it would frighten the girls. However, she didn’t want to risk them hearing it from someone else. So Miller told them plainly, “I have breast cancer, but it’s going to be okay.” “They said, Mama, are you going to die? I told them no, not right now.” Coach Miller’s (above) Miller daughters, Aubrey and husband, Kenny, a Peyton, play on a California beach. retired US Coast Guard officer and also one of (below) YC softball poses with the Oklahoma Wesleyan team after a her assistant coaches, double header at home. The OKW was her rock through the players sold shirts as a fundraiser on experience. “I couldn’t Coach Miller's behalf and presented have done this without her with a $2,000 check on game day.
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him...I have read about how cancer can tear relationships apart, but Kenny has loved me more through this.” Kenny was never far from her side, monitoring her recovery after surgeries and driving her to Lincoln for radiation treatments for six weeks. The trips required them to miss daily chapel—a great loss to Kenny who especially loves the singing. Instead, the Millers sang along to praise and worship CDs everyday on the way to radiation. The spring semester was full as they traveled for treatments and games. When Miller wasn’t coaching, she was doing homework. “There were a lot of late nights getting assignments done, but the faculty were incredible,” she said, recalling all the messages of support she received. They encouraged her to turn in assignments as she could, but to take care of herself first. “There were two weeks that were really hard on me,” she said, but the faculty didn’t knock off points for late work. “My professors emailed me daily that they prayed for me and I believed them.” Miller completed her degree in May and graduated from York College a second time. She has no shortage of good things to say about the Organizational and Global Leadership program. A class on diversity introduced her to more effective communication methods that had a direct impact on her coaching style. A class on budgeting transformed her relationship with money and equipped her to better manage her team’s finances as well as her personal spending. Simply put, her studies were life-changing. “You’re going to sort your life out in this program. It forced me to think about things I’d never thought about before. It forced me to reconsider my life...I am a better person because of this coursework. I am a better coach, a better mom, and a better wife.” She implemented new strategies with her team immediately, such as doing personality assessments so players could celebrate strengths in their differences. They did team exercises in communication and listening and looked for new character building opportunities. Though she’s always held her players to a high standard, this year was different. Players were called out
“They said, Mama, are you going to die? I told them no, not right now.”
Kenny and Roni have been overwhelmed by the amount of support they continue to receive. Roni's office in Middlebrook Hall is filled with gifts, cards, and special messages of hope from all across the country.
for poor attitude and there was a new focus on character. “I was hard on them. I told them the truth and loved them more,” said Miller. Coach Miller set the example for character by pitching in practice, even though it was painful and tore the skin off of her radiation site. “I played through it,” she said. Why not let someone else pitch during practice? “That was my job. And because I’m stubborn. I’m a coach. That’s what I signed on for. I’ll do whatever I have to do to make my players successful.” Miller’s players became as protective of their coach as her husband was. Sometimes they intervened during practice (a thing Kenny knew better than to try) when they could tell she was hurting. “Coach, go sit down,” they’d tell her sternly and take the ball away. Sometimes she even listened. The team’s goals stopped being about number of runs scored and games won. Instead, they focused on taking care of each other. “They played so much better when they realized they had each others’ backs,” Coach Miller said. As a result, they doubled their conference wins and one of the players, Alysia Rodriguez (JR/ Canyon Lake, Calif.) made first team all conference. Two others, Lia Hamamoto (FR/Long Beach, Calif.) and Mikayla Lawrence (JR/Lake Elsinore, Calif.) were named Honorable Mention All-KCAC for their efforts.
There were other blessings, too. “I liked coaching more,” said Miller. “The team liked each other more...I wasn’t coaching to win this year. I felt like I was coaching to save my life.” The Millers were overwhelmed by the support of the York College family. Alumni she’d never met sent her checks. She recalls the sinking sensation the day she opened a
“I am a better person because of this coursework. I am a better coach, a better mom, and a better wife.” bill from the hospital and was not sure how she was going to pay it. A few days later, she received a check from a well wisher for more than the amount. “When I would worry, I would think, ‘you need to stop and recognize that God is going to provide and is providing,’” she said. “I’ve always talked about how incredible the York College family is, how we take care of each other, but I never needed it before myself. I’m happy to say that it really does work the way I had
Dr. Kirk Mallette and Kenny hood Roni at this year's graduation ceremony.
always said it did. I tell my players, we may not be Yale...but there’s no other school in the country that cares like we do.” Other teams sent gifts and donations, from signed equipment, to personalized blankets, to beribboned boxes filled with cash. Miller received a gift from every softball team in the conference and heard from coaches across Nebraska and the country, from Fresno State to Purdue. She gestured to the collection in her office. “It looks like Pepto Bismol exploded in here,” she laughed. “It was difficult to play some of these teams because I knew they were all rooting for me.” Throughout this season, Coach Miller has rejoiced in her trials and developed new perseverance. “My faith has been made stronger through this. I saw my husband’s faith grow, too...I believe we’re all given battles to fight for a reason. I hope and pray that the battle I fought this year is seen by others and their faith grows stronger, too.” n
Don't Buy the Lie: Senator Ben Sasse on Real Happiness "The flat world of hyper technology is really interesting, but it's only interesting if we understand it to be a tool and not confuse a digital community with being a substitute for a physical community. Because it turns out what we know about happiness is that it's really, really aggressively opposed to the lies our smartphones tell us....We are going through a loneliness epidemic. The average American has had a halving of the number of friends we have since 1990, and I don't mean social media friends...I mean actual friends. People you can count on in a time of crisis. It turns out...there are only four things that drive whether people are happy or not. They're pretty simple. Do you have friends? ...Do you have a family? ...Do you have a theological world view that makes sense of death and suffering?...Do you have meaningful work? The number one driver of what makes people happy is do they have meaningful work? When I leave home on Monday morning, do I think anybody needs me? If I think that my work benefits a neighbor, I'm probably happy. If I don't think that anybody needs me, almost surely I feel unsatisfied, purposeless, rootless. We live in a time when there's a misfit between how fast our tools are giving us more...freeing us more from time and space, and the fact that almost everything that makes you happy, family and friends and theology... and work, are all things that are fundamentally anchored in place."
Enjoy all of Senator Sasse's moving speech on our Youtube channel, www.youtube.com/YorkCollegeNeb.
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Global Leadership Summit at York College
A group of friends share one last happy moment at graduation before going their separate ways. Pictured left to right are Peyton Horton, Ainsley Mountjoy, Sarah Shafer, Justus Bjelland, Aubrey Tate, Caleb Magner, and Grady Johnson, this year's recipient of the Dean's Award.
world-class leadership training event will be available this August at York College. For the first time, the campus will serve as a satellite location for the Global Leadership Summit. While the main location for the Global Leadership Summit will be near Chicago, York will be one of hundreds of locations across the world to simulcast the two-day event, August 9 and 10. The theme for the Summit is “Everyone Has Influence.” The event is expected to attract nearly half a million attendees worldwide. The Global Leadership Summit is the largest event of its kind, bringing together leaders from many disciplines and areas of industry. Speakers include Simon Sinek, New York Times Bestselling author of Start With Why; Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president of retail at Apple; Strive Masiyiwa, founder of Econet and one of Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders; Erwin McManus, author and futurist; and Dr. Nthabiseng Legoete, doctor and South African social entrepreneur. The line-up of speakers includes 15 influential ministers, authors, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and social advocates. According to the Summit’s website, the annual leadership summit exists to transform Christian leaders around the world with an injection of vision, skill development and inspiration. “We are extremely excited about hosting the Global Leadership Summit on our campus,” said event organizer Dr. Kirk Mallette, dean of York College Online. “I have attended the Summit in the past and there is something for every type of leader who wants to become better, regardless of a title or employment position. If you influence people, this opportunity is for you.” Additionally, York College Online offers a Master of Arts in Organizational and Global Leadership with exclusive access to content from the Global Leadership Summit and the Willow Creek Association. This program brings together leadership experts and the best resources for Christian leaders in an affordable and flexible degree program. For registration information for the York College site, please visit www.york.edu/Leaders. For all other locations, visit www.willowcreek.com/events/leadership.
SUMMER 2018 |
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2017-18 Board of Trustees Mr. H. Jarrell Gibbs Chairman Mr. Patrick W. Hendricks Vice Chairman Mr. Richard W. James Secretary Mr. David F. Lynn Treasurer Dr. Michael C. Armour Dr. Edward J. Bailey Mr. E. Joe Brazell Dr. Jeffrey W. Hannel Mr. Chester M. James Mr. Edward E. McLoud Mr. Norman E. Morrow Mr. Michael V. Myers Mr. Ed G. Nill Mr. James N. Reischl Mrs. Cassandra R. Savage Mrs. Carolyn R. Stephenson Dr. Charles B. Stephenson Mr. G. Wayne Studebaker Mrs. Linda J. Thomas Mr. Douglas J. Townsdin Mr. Paul E. Touchton Mr. Charlie J. Watts Dr. R. Wayne White Mr. Mitch C. Wilburn Dr. Gregory N. Woods
The Jarrell and Cynthia Gibbs Residence Hall and the Kiplinger Avenue Women's Apartments were both opened in 2006 to house upperclassmen.
Upon my retirement as chairman and member of the Board of Trustees of York College, I want to offer my sincere thanks for your support, encouragement and, more importantly, your dedication to York College. You have taught me that this place is very special in our service to the Lord, in the state of Nebraska and in the lives of citizens of York. I will be forever grateful for the friendships and associations Cynthia and I have experienced as a result of having served on the York College Board of Trustees. To students and parents, thank you for choosing York College. You have many choices. However, I can guarantee that if you complete your degree, your life will be forever changed! Not only will you be prepared to launch your career in your chosen field; but, you will receive a spiritual experience that will make you a better person, a better citizen, and a better servant. Once you graduate, please remember that you did not fully pay for your education; no one ever does. Many alumni and friends contributed to the cost of your education. When your turn comes, I encourage you to financially support “the York Experience” and pass this gift on to the next generation so others may have the privilege you received. To the alumni, thank you for your continued support of the school you hold so dear. Having visited with a number of you through the years, I know that you hold “the York Experience” close to your heart. Unfortunately, it appears to be one of the best kept secrets in the nation. I encourage you to tell others of your experience; especially young people and their parents. Share the secret. Promote this opportunity so others can share this lifechanging experience. To the leadership, faculty, and staff of York College, thank you for your support of the board of trustees. More importantly, thank you for your vision, your care and concern for students, and your dedication. I know you have other choices where you may employ your talents, but you have chosen to give your time and energy to York College. You undoubtedly do it because of your love for the Lord and your desire to see young lives transformed and equipped for lifelong service to our Lord, family, community, and nation. You do it well! Thank you for imparting the knowledge required for academic success, and thank you for letting your lights shine as examples of lives of service. To the community of York, thank you for providing a safe, secure, and encouraging home for our students. Thank you for allowing those connected with the college to become an integral part of the York community for the betterment of all. Your nurturing, encouragement, and support are vital to the success of York College. To our donors, without whom we could not continue to exist: the need for scholarship awards, campus improvements, program development, and much more means we will always require annual operating funds. Whether you give a million dollars or a “widow’s
Larsen Commons, dedicated in 2009, was named in honor of Dale and Raylene Larsen. Dale was York College’s longest-tenured president, serving from 1960-1977.
The Wayne & Darlene Baker Center, connected to the Holthus Field House, was opened in 2011 and boasts a full range of strength exercise and circuit training equipment.
Built in 2013, the Campbell Activity Center provides space for intramurals and student activities. It also houses daily chapel, making it one of the most used facilities on campus.
mite,” your financial support is vital to the college and, thus, vital to fulfilling the mission of transforming young lives for a life of service. Many of you have made a lifelong commitment to give, and I would be remiss if I did not encourage you to consider establishing an endowment to ensure your desire continues after you have departed. I know that in a general letter of sincere thanks to all, it is dangerous to single out anyone in particular. However, I cannot let this opportunity pass without personally thanking Cornerstone Bank, the Holthus family, and our anonymous donor. To Cornerstone Bank and the Holthus family, I know it is good business to financially support local businesses, but you go well beyond “good business” in your financial support for York College. I do not possess enough elegant words to adequately express York College’s and my personal appreciation for all you do. To the college’s anonymous donor, I applaud and honor your desire to remain anonymous, but that does not negate my appreciation for what you give to York College. Without your generosity, York College would not have two endowed faculty chairs, the Campbell Activity Center, the Bartholomew Performing Arts Center, several endowed scholarships and many other gifts for operating funds that have buoyed the college in an era of fiscal challenge for higher education. York College would not be what it is today – so well positioned for the future – without the untiring support of these three. I also must single out four others to whom I feel a great debt. My thanks to Steve Belden and Wayne White for encouraging Cynthia and me to become involved with York College. The journey has been and continues to be one of the most rewarding experiences we have had in a life filled with blessings. To Wayne Baker and Steve Eckman, the two York College presidents with whom I have had the pleasure to serve, thank you for your support of the Board of Trustees and for your leadership of this great institution. You each brought different talents to bear while leading the college, working to fulfill its mission and to create a vision for York’s future. Finally, but certainly not least, to my colleagues on the Board of Trustees, thank you for allowing me to be your chair and for providing continued support and encouragement. Thank you for giving your time, talent and financial support to York College. Thank you for sharing with each of us your views on how to succeed and your unity of purpose and dedication to fulfilling the mission you so expertly expressed. Thank you for your guidance and support given to the president and his leadership team. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a dedicated group of servants. As you can see by this letter of thanks, it “takes a village” to ensure the fulfillment of the mission of this unique institution. May God bless each of you in the role you play in ensuring success now and in the future. Your servant in the Lord,
Mr. Gibbs was presented an honorary doctorate during the spring commencement ceremony by President Eckman.
Not only has the YC campus changed dramatically in the 12 years that H. Jarrell Gibbs has served as chairman of the Board, but the fiscal well-being of the college has also been reflective of visionary leadership. Endowment has grown to more than $15 million during his tenure, two endowed faculty chairs were established, and the college has operated in the black for nine years straight. During the latest Beyond 125 Campaign, the college raised $16.8 million for scholarships, campus improvements, and programs, eclipsing the campaign’s original goal of $10.7 million, thanks in part to the leadership provided by Mr. Gibbs, who chaired the campaign.
H. Jarrell Gibbs “Retiring” Chairman of the Board
Middlebook Hall, which for 50 years housed the York College cafeteria, was repurposed in 2014 with three state-of-the-art classrooms in the lower level.
Located in the lower level of the Mackey Center, the Clayton Museum of Ancient History featuring the Stanback Collection offered its first tours in 2015.
The Bartholomew Performing Arts Center became the new home for fine arts in 2016, featuring a multi-form theater, Moody Choral Rehearsal Hall, and the Jim Brock Green Room.
Touchton Clubhouse was dedicated in the fall of 2017, providing the baseball team a meeting place, locker room, laundry facilities, and office for the coaches.
1979 Beth Croxson passed away February 24, 2018, in Mulvane, KS. David Ramsey, a writer for The Gazette in Colorado Springs, has been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors for column writing for the second time. 1936 Howard Caldwell, 103, passed away peacefully at home in Ocala, Florida. He was born in Puerto Rico, flew planes for the Marines, and later lived in South America while working for Pan American Airways. After retiring to Florida in 1975, he was a charter member of Grace Presbyterian Church and a volunteer for Meals-on-Wheels until he was 96. He continued to enjoy flying his private plane, playing tennis, and riding his bicycle throughout his later years. Gladys, his wife of 73 years, preceded him in death in 2013. 1951 Alberta (Frost) Stephenson turned 90 on June 15. You can send her a note of congratulations, fond memories and fun stories, at 5500 W 9th Ave 517B, Amarillo, TX 79106 1952 Patricia (Taylor) Speece recently passed away. Survivors include her husband Arthur and two sons, Craig (Mary) and Grant (Bethany) Speece. 1954 Caroline (Walkup) Carr, 89, passed away May 15, 2018, in Lyons, Neb. She was preceded in death by her husband Clinton Carr ’52. Dean Hollinger passed away in May 2018 in Golden, Colorado. 1955 Don Ellison retired after a career in the banking and insurance industry. He served as the president and CEO of Farmers State Bank in Rising City, Nebraska. His wife Ramona (Burgett) Ellison is a retired teacher. They have three grown children. Don recently
1966 Dale Neal was named NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coach of Year. His team, the FreedHardeman University Lady Lions, went 34-4 on the season and were the 2018 national champions. Larry and Judy (Gray) VanEgdom will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on August 17. They are both retired and they have four grown children. 5714 W 17th St, Greeley, CO 80634 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 1967 Jerry L. Bohaty and wife Judith have updated their contact info: 1400 Westinghouse Rd #616, Georgetown, TX 78626 email@example.com 1970 Anna Louise (Freeman) Evans is a retired teacher and is married to Rick. 2335 Dovecreek Dr, Tuttle, OK 73089 1972 Jeffrey James Kelley has recently published two screenplays on Amazon.com: “Monaco Volcano” and “Vampyre Gold.” firstname.lastname@example.org 1973 Lita Jean (Loreman) Jensen, age 62, passed away peacefully on January 29, 2018, after a tenacious battle with lung cancer. 1975 Carla Dean Thompson moved back to Nairobi, Kenya on February 15. She’s going to work with the local church for the next 5 to 10 years. email@example.com 1977 Cindy (Henderson) Fisher has updated her contact info: 230 W Laurel Ave, McMinnville, TN 37110 Bruce McGee was recognized with the 2017 Above the Crowd award from Remax. He is a realtor in the Billings, Montana, area.
received a certificate of continuous membership for his 50 years with the American Legion Post 125, where he serves as chaplain. He remains active with Boy Scouts. 335 W Spruce St, PO Box #56, Rising City, NE 68658 firstname.lastname@example.org
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1978 Brenda Reicheneker and Linda (Reicheneker ’73) Scott are mourning the passing of their parents, Dixie ’84 and Erwin ‘Rick’ Reicheneker, who both passed away in York in the past year.
1980 Dempsy Jefferies, Jr. passed away May 16, 2017 in Memphis, TN, from a brain tumor. He left behind a daughter and son. 1983 Board member and alumnus Doug Townsdin visited York College on Monday, March 26, to bless students with stories from his personal and professional experiences (see pg 26). 1985 Myra (Neuhold) Simpson has updated her contact info: 557 W Greenwood Dr, Grand Junction, CO 81507. email@example.com 1997 Twyla (Christian) Abraham has accepted a new position as a counselor at Buffalo Prairie Middle School. Husband Brennon is also an educator. They have three children and their daughter Taylor ’18 was recently named Ms. YC (see pg 2). 17 Saddleback Dr, Buffalo, MO 65622 firstname.lastname@example.org 1998 Talley (Banning) Morrow just completed a master’s degree in teaching from Southwestern College of Professional Studies. She also completed her second year of teaching 6-12 instrumental and vocal music at St. Francis Community High School under a restricted license and can now apply for her initial license and be a certified teacher. She and husband David have one daughter, Mia Claire (14). 411 E Spencer St, St. Francis, KS 67756 email@example.com 2003 Corren (Coonts) and James Lind have moved: 2284 Basil St, Strasburg, CO 80136. She is the assistant to the town administrator for the town of Bennett, Colorado. He is an applications engineer at Baker Hughes. The couple has two sons, Logan and Brendan. firstname.lastname@example.org Karissa (Gaer) Sears updated her contact info: 20623 Pine St, Elkhorn, NE, 68022. Kimmie (Beitler) and Spencer (’05) Vogt welcomed a son, Sawyer Wayne, into the world on March 6. He joins big sister Marie (3). Vogtteacher226@gmail.com
2005 Rebekah (Carden) wed Scott Armstrong on February 17, 2018. Rebekah is in export compliance for Viavi AvComm and Scott is a supply tech for VA. 1360 N Kokomo Ave, Derby, KS 67037 Becca.email@example.com Born, to Anya Kozlova and husband Shawn Cumberland, a son, Thomas, in March 2017. He joined big brother Charlie (3). Anya is the senior program manager for Europe and Eurasia at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. firstname.lastname@example.org
2008 Christian musician Logan Bahler has released a new single, “Waiting,” about the experience he and Nikki (Burleson ’09) have had with international adoption. The song is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Music, and Spotify. The song asks “Are you willing to put your trust in God when things are at their worst and nothing makes sense to you?” said Logan. You can hear a sample of the song and learn more about Logan and Nikki’s story at www.loganbahler.com. Mary Reynolds will be teaching 8th grade English this fall at Neely’s Bend Middle School. She is just returning from 3 years of teaching internationally in Guatemala. 2235 Modena Ct, Nashville, TN, 37214 email@example.com 2009 Jake and Elise (Hart) Owens are living in the Omaha area. Elise is a realtor and Jake works at Boys Town in intervention and assessment. You can contact Elise at EliseTheRealtor@gmail.com or 319-804-5331. They have two children, Atticus (4) and Matilda (1). Keri (Bornschlegel) and husband Jeff Stripling welcomed daughter Elliot Lynn in September 2017. Keri is the Campus Director of Webster University in Rolla. 403 Winter Dr, St. James, MO 65559 Kerib3@gmail.com 2011 Marty and Meghan (Boyle ’08) Salsbury have moved: 660 W Dry Creek Rd, Belgrade, MT 59714. Meghan is the youth services librarian at Belgrade Community Library. They have a son, Ciaran (1).
PANTHER MILESTONES 1975 Dr. Dale Hawley was recently awarded the Carl Whitaker Award, given by the Wisconsin Association for Marriage and Family Therapy to a member who has contributed to the field in creative or innovative ways. Hawley is a professor of human development and family studies at University of Wisconsin-Stout as well as the director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Harding School of Theology and Bethel Theological Seminary. His wife, Vicki (Osborne ’74) Hawley is a professional development coordinator with the Center for Early Education and Development at University of Minnesota. 1991 John Bonner was one of 40 leaders nationwide to be tapped to participate in the highly selective Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a leadership program aimed at preparing the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve high and equitable levels of student success both in college and in the labor market. Fellow alumnus Bill Pink '87, participated in the institute prior to becoming the president of Grand Rapids Community College. Currently Bonner is the Vice President for Corporate and Workforce Training at Everett Community College in the Seattle area. He has worked in college administration and other educational settings for 25 years. He is working on a Doctorate of Education via Northeastern University and is set to complete the degree in 2020.
2003 Eric Eckert is officially in the record books for his creation of the world’s largest solvable maze. Entirely hand-drawn, the Guinness Book of World Records' maze exceeds the previous world record holder by over 900 square feet. It took Eckert 160 hours, 536 feet of two-foot-wide paper, and 166 sharpies to finish the 1,072.08-squarefoot hand-drawn maze. The maze is solvable, and he proved it by solving it along the way with a red Sharpie. Eckert was able to display his creation on campus inside the Campbell Center. The public was invited to see firsthand the finished product and enjoy a winter carnival to help celebrate Eckert's accomplishment. It was estimated that 500 people turned out to give their support and witness the record breaking event.
2012 Ben Smail was recently recognized by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate with an Award of Excellence for sales professionals (see pg 2). benjaminsmail.com 2013 Born, to Alice (Hackett) and Cody Hartman, a daughter, Nora Jane, on October 24, 2017. Alice recently graduated from physical therapy school. Cody is a food scientist with Cargill. 4033 Clarendon St, Bel Aire, KS 67220 firstname.lastname@example.org 2014 Bryce Ballard is a youth minister at The Colonies Church of Christ. He and his wife Allison have a new address: 3311 Higgins Pl, Amarillo, TX 79121. Amber Clark has a new job and new address. She is the staff and volunteer coordinator at Fort Wilderness Ministries. 6444 Pine Dr, Rhinelander, WI 54501 email@example.com Born to Jordan (Kinney) and Dylan Ford, a son, Lukas Daniel, on July 16, 2017. Jordan is a student and family advocate in the Council Bluffs Community School District. Dylan works for Contemporary Food Management. 613 Roosevelt Ave, Council Bluffs, IA 51503 Jkinney@york.edu Ryan Nelson has a new job as a library assistant and a STEM teacher at Belle Fourche School District. 2050 12th Ave, Belle Fourche, SD 57717 firstname.lastname@example.org 2016 Amanda (McAllister) Diedrich is an English teacher. 1005 6th St, Gering, NE 69341 Lindsay Jones married Hunter Kothenbeutel and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Master’s of Environmental Studies in May. 3431 Stover St, Apt E520, Fort Collins, CO 80525 email@example.com Natalie Ostrander has updated her contact info: 404 4th St NW, Rushville, NE 69360. firstname.lastname@example.org Zanoria (Echols) and Abram Veasey ’17 have moved: 750 Gaines School Rd, APT 14E, Athens, GA 60305. Zechols@york.edu 2017 Jarrell Cunningham is a youth minister at Orient Street CofC. 2150 N Judge Ely Blvd, Abilene, TX 79601 email@example.com
Alyssa Didier has a new job as a kindergarten teacher. 1710 H ST #201, Fairbury, NE, 68352 MacKenzie Eller updated her contact info: 647 Jamestown Blvd Apt 2164, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714 Mpeller@york.edu Halie Ewing has a new job at Hudl, where she is in Volleyball Sales. 8200 Renatta Dr, Lincoln NE firstname.lastname@example.org Bethany Ford is a 911 dispatcher for Weld County Regional Communication Center. email@example.com Corey Holmes is a sales manager. 922 A St, Lincoln, NE 68502 Cmholmes1995@gmail.com Ashlee Ivey is an English teacher at Columbus High School and will be marrying fellow alum, Troy Rowen, in the fall. Ashlee: 2908 25th St, Columbus, NE 68601 firstname.lastname@example.org Troy: 2061 Kountry Lane SE Apt 9, Iowa City, IA email@example.com Courtney (Lovelace) and Josh Horton were married May 19, 2018. Courtney is a law student at Jones School of Law at Faulkner University. 726 Sandhurst Dr, Montgomery, AL 36109 Ryan Murphy is a car salesman at Larry H. Miller Toyota in Albuquerque. Rmurphy@york.edu Dani Palensky is a vocal teacher and is appearing this summer in a local production of “The Musical of Musicals.” firstname.lastname@example.org Renee Rayls has a new job as a PE teacher in Crescent City, Calif. 2329 Shirley St, Crescent City, CA 95531 email@example.com Ben and Becky Sinclair have moved: 1331 Rainey Rd, Temple, GA 30179. Both work as claims analysts at Greenway Health. firstname.lastname@example.org Caleb Stewart is a career specialist at Jobs for America’s Graduates in Garden City, Kansas. Tyler Wilt updated his contact information: 24308 E Roxbury Cir, Aurora, CO 80016 email@example.com Renee Wubbenhorst moved to Japan to become an English teacher. firstname.lastname@example.org
photo by Michelle Grimes
2018 Born, to Austin and Andrea Dredge, a son, Huxlee Kenneth, on October 5, 2017. The family has recently moved: 4929 N 32nd St Apt 2B, Lincoln, NE 68504 email@example.com
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PREACHERS IN TRAINING LEARN ON THE JOB
t’s said that learning to lead is like learning to play the violin in public. The same could be said of learning to preach—practice all you want in front of a mirror, but preaching is not a skill you can hone without an audience. So for York College Bible majors Christian Eggar, Jacob Gibson, and Cameron Merrill, getting out of the classroom and into the pulpit has been terrific preparation for their future careers in ministry. The trio were guest preaching and teaching Bible classes in small congregations around Nebraska throughout the spring semester. While they were paid by the churches for their efforts, they weren’t doing it for the money. “We’re doing it for the experience. The money helps, but the experience is much more valuable and necessary at this point in my life,” said Gibson, a senior from the San Francisco Bay area. Merrill, a junior from Oklahoma City, concurs. When he was first invited to preach at the Nelson Church of Christ, about 70 miles southwest of York, he jumped at the opportunity. “When Titus [Robison] talked to me about preaching, I was all for it because I wanted to get hands on experience. He said ‘don’t worry, they’ll pay you.’ I said, ‘They’ll pay me?! I’ve never preached before!” Robison, who worked in the York College Advancement Office, guest preaches in churches regularly and has coordinated the student preaching efforts. That first preaching experience at Nelson was positive for Merrill. He recruited seven supportive
friends to accompany him, and in so doing nearly doubled the size of the congregation that Sunday. Once there, the group of young men from York College was invited to do more than support their friend—they also jumped in to lead worship and pray. It was a learning experience for the students as well as the congregation, Merrill recalled with a laugh, as the students led several songs that were unfamiliar to the church members. “The churches are welcoming and willing to accept whatever you have to offer,” said Eggar, a junior from Miles City, Montana. Eggar’s father, brother, and uncle are all preachers in small congregations in the North, so the experiences at the Nebraska congregations are nothing new for him. He’s been practice-preaching at his home congregation since he was 12 and has taught Wednesday night classes. He still has plenty to learn, though, as there are new challenges when you’re not preaching to your home audience, he notes. “Going to new congregations with new people and situations has been really good for my spiritual growth as well as theirs, I hope,” he said. All three young men talked about the challenge of knowing what message to bring to the congregations. “It’s really important to know your audience, and I didn’t know them at all that first time,” said Gibson. “I didn’t know what their base knowledge was, or how deep to go with certain parts of the lesson, or how they might feel about issues.” Also, the churches tend to be comprised mainly of older people, which can be intimidating for a young preacher. “Picking a lesson that was going to be applicable to someone with a lot more life experience than me was challenging,” he said. Eggar was nervous the first time, too, “but it went better than I could have expected,” he said. “The best lesson you can give as a minister is one that is also good for your soul as well as the souls you’re trying to teach. I try to remember that every time I prepare a lesson.” Belinda Genung has been a member at the Nelson Church
of Christ since before these student-preachers were born. Her first experiences with the church was in the mid-80s, listening to David Reppart, a former YC employee, preach on Sunday nights. “He had a way of making the Old Testament really come alive,” recalled Genung. Reppart and his wife Nellie worked at York College in a variety of roles for 20 years. Every Sunday for 17 years, they would make the drive to Nelson so that David could preach at the morning and evening services. After he retired, their son Thomas took over, preaching regularly at the little church for many years. Today the Nelson church has a number of visiting preachers that take turns filling the pulpit. “It’s really nice to have the youth and excitement and variety the college students bring,” said Genung. “We get more of the experience and wisdom from some of the older preachers who come, but the young kids are a lot of fun. It’s really inspiring to see them maturing into that role.” The churches often provide lunch for the college students—a gesture Gibson appreciates. “They make us feel really welcome. They take you in as family right off the bat,” he said. “People in Nebraska are ten times friendlier than people in California. I like the family atmosphere. I like
getting to know everyone.” Gibson says he hopes to continue working in smaller congregations. He would like to return to the coast eventually, but is open to going wherever the Lord sends him. “The churches are a lot smaller than what I’m used to, but the people are very friendly and very open to hearing our messages,” said Merrill, who also preached in Broken Bow, Columbus, and Norfolk during the spring semester. “They are very accepting of what we have to say. They do offer opinions and advice afterwards. It’s open and conversational. When they give good feedback, it really boosts my spirits.” Merrill is set to graduate in December of 2019 and would love to find a position in youth ministry. “My general idea is to stick with the kids as long as I can, shape and mold them the way my youth minister did for me and show them that there’s so much more out there than what the world sees the church as. I want to show them real christianity, what real Christlike love is supposed to be,” he said. Starting in the fall, Merrill will be interning with York Campus Ministries, working under Dr. Sam Garner, vice president of spiritual development. Eggar is currently interning with the youth group at East Hill Church of Christ in York. He plans to continue preaching
and teaching wherever there is a need in the surrounding area while he’s a student. When he graduates in 2020, his plan is to look for a ministry position in Montana. “I have a passion for going back home. We don’t have a lot of churches in Montana but the churches that we do have are strong. I want to help cultivate the next generation in the church,” he said. “I know what it’s like to be the only ‘youth’ in a congregation. I want to encourage kids however I can.” Dr. Frank Wheeler, professor of Bible and chair of the department, says that the practice these young men are gaining enriches their classroom preparation. “When we talk about ministry and the role of a minister after they’ve had these experiences, the conversations are not just theoretical. They can relate to the material in a new way. They know what questions to ask. It makes the classroom discussion much more meaningful, for them and for us.” All Bible majors are required to have at least one internship before graduating. “They come back from these internships and the experience has deepened their perspective,” Wheeler said. “It’s a beautiful combination of learning and doing. It’s fun to watch as a professor. It’s exciting to see them learning in the classroom and learning in the churches.” All of the student preachers agree, the chance to preach in area congregations has been beneficial. “I appreciate York for giving me this experience to try something new in a new place,” said Gibson. “I’m excited about the opportunity to preach at these small congregations,” said Eggar. “It’s definitely something I want to continue to do throughout my time here at York. I get something out of it every time I go.” n
(top left) Jacob Gibson, Cameron Merrill, and Christian Eggar. (left) Along with his preaching abilities, Cameron is also a gifted song leader and uses those talents in YC chapel, youth rallies, and retreats. (above left) With the friendliness that Jacob has experienced, he hopes to continue to work in smaller congregations. (above) Christian delivers a Sunday morning lesson at the East Hill Church of Christ in York as part of his summer youth intern duties.
SUMMER 2018 |
Heritage | 23
Athletics Rising to the Challenge Baseball turns season around
24 | Heritage | SUMMER 2018
s I watched the final out of my last collegiate game, the feeling of having lost something huge in my life swept over me. 18-19 years of me playing baseball throughout my life and one pitch had brought it all to an end. No tears. Just shock. How can something that means so much to me be taken away in the amount of time it takes a baseball to reach home plate from the Mixon pitcher? The tears finally did come during our last talk at the field when players and coaches all cried together because of how special our team actually was and what we had to accomplish to make it into a regional tournament. God thankfully had other plans for me and by His grace I was granted an opportunity to play at least six more weeks this summer with the possibility of prolonging my career even further. You just never know what He has in store for you and I couldn’t be more grateful. Corey Mixon '18
photo by Bob DeHart '95
disappointing year for the perennially strong YC baseball program was salvaged midway through the schedule as the Panthers went 15-7 on their final regular season games. Even more importantly, it was the exact number of wins needed to secure one of the final spots in the KCAC tournament. At stake was the regional playoffs of the NAIA World Series, and with #6 Oklahoma Wesleyan University’s guaranteed bid in the postseason, the guys knew that they needed a secondplace showing to punch their ticket. Standing in their way was Tabor College and Friends University, two successful programs with 30+ wins each. More importantly, they both swept York in the regular season series. But those six losses were early in the season before York had regrouped—before Head Coach Brian Walth’s “thought-provoking” challenge to the players—before they started playing as a team. Beating Tabor 13-3 in the opening game of the tournament certainly got everyone’s attention and propelled York into the winner’s bracket against Friends University. A 6-3 victory against the Falcons set up an anticipated rematch against OWU, a team with only six losses on the season… two came at the bats of YC. The Panthers lost that game in a 12-inning defensive battle and would have to face Tabor once again. The winner would be moving on; the loser would be packing for home. Behind the solid pitching performance of senior Corey Mixon, who had a comeback story of his own, York’s 6-3 victory guaranteed them an invitation to the regional playoffs of the NAIA World Series. York’s 26-26 record was next to last of the 45 teams to make the nine regional playoffs across the country. Of the five teams in the Oklahoma City bracket, York was the only team not ranked in the top 25. The men went 1-2 in the tournament and were able to knock off #14 University of Mobile before their final 1-3 loss to #18 University of Jamestown. As the team exited the field, many were in tears, even though most tried to hold them back. This group would never be together again. While some will be in touch, some relationships would likely end with this final game, this final time on the field. The ending of a team is a hard thing to take. You have spent years together and know each others' strengths and weaknesses. It isn't just about playing the game you love, it is about learning to love the people who share the game with you and knowing there is a bond that will last the rest of your life. Through it all, they competed, had fun together, laughed together and cried together. They represented York College well and came back after a tough start to their season to show their courage and their character. n
Senior third baseman Kevin Olmstead hits a 2-run home run in the sixth inning of York's 13-7 victory over then #4 ranked Oklahoma Wesleyan on March 30th. The Panthers were able to win that home series 2-1.
(above) York won the KCAC Wrestling Championships and had five athletes win their individual weight class. (far right) Robert Ozuna's 11-9 decision in the rematch against Gresh Jones earned him 3rd place in the NAIA Championships.
The men's outdoor track and field team was awarded the 2018 KCAC Team of Character at the KCAC Championships.
36 All-Americans in track and field
ork College track and field had yet another successful year with their indoor and outdoor seasons. Besides a growing list of KCAC champions and each team finishing in the top half of conference point totals, the indoor and outdoor seasons produced six NAIA All-Americans and 30 NCCAA All-Americans. The NAIA All-American medals were earned at the Indoor Championships in early March with Mason Held’s 2nd place showing in the 600m (1:18.98), Carter Price taking 8th place in the 400m (48.52), and the 4x800 relay team finishing in 4th place (7:40.47) with team members Levi Swenson, Ian Meek, Cameron Sorter, and Mason Held (see pg 2). Held became YC’s first NAIA National runner-up, and the relay team is the first relay team to earn NAIA All-American status in the program's history. The men's team finished 15th overall. At the NCCAA Indoor Track and Field National Championships, the Panthers brought home three national champions: Ashley Dugan took 1st in the pentathlon (3,023 pts); Held won the 400m (49.27), and the 4x800 relay team of Swenson, Meek, Sorter, and Held were national champions (7:56.37). Held was also named athlete of the meet for the second year in a row. Dugan and Price highlighted the NCCAA Outdoor meet in May with five top-three finishes (All-American status) between them. High on the list of honors was the men's outdoor track and field
team being awarded the 2018 KCAC Team of Character. "Our team truly cares not only about competing, but helping others on their team and in the community,” said Head Coach Justin Carver. “Every chance this team has had to give back this season, they have. They have truly shown servant leadership." n
NAIA All-Americans Mason Held 600m 2nd 1:18.98 Carver Carter Price 400m 48.52 4x800m 4th 7:40.47 Levi Swenson, Ian Meek, Cameron Sorter, Held NCCAA All-Americans — outdoor season underlined Ashley Dugan Pentathlon 1st 3,023 pts; Long Jump 3rd 5.34m; LJ 2nd 5.52m; Heptathlon 2nd 4,203 pts; 400m Hurdles 3rd 1:06.46 Camery Nielsen Pentathlon 2nd 2,903 pts; 60m Hurdles 2nd 9.80; Heptathlon 3rd 3,845 pts Brianna Eckerberg Shot 2nd 12.76 m Mason Held 200m 2nd 22.36; 400m 1st 49.27 Carter Price 200m 2nd 22.05; 400m 3rd 48.07 Jaraad Salas Javelin 2nd 48.8m 4x200m Relay 3rd 1:30.93 Price, Sheyi Ajiboye, Kermit Thomas, Held 4x400m Relay 2nd 3:22.11 Price, Sorter, Ajiboye, Held 4x800m Relay 1st 8:00.50 Swenson, Sorter, Meek, Held Distance Medley Relay 2nd 10:22.21 Swenson, Held, Sorter, Meek
Championships, winning the tournament with a score of 149 points. Every Panther wrestler won their first match and five of them were champions, earning an automatic bid to the NAIA Wrestling Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, March 2-3. KCAC champions were Pierce Mederios – 125 lbs (FR/ Mountain Home, Idaho), Robert Ozuna – 133 lbs (SR/Omaha, Neb), Austin Coy – 165 lbs (JR/Swink, Colo), Jack Murphy – 197 lbs (SR/Bakersfield, Calif), and Dayne Thomason – 285 lbs (FR/Blackwell, Okla). Julian Melecio – 133 lbs (SO/Bloomington, Calif) finished third as he went 3-1 on the day. He received the number three wild card berth to compete at NAIA Nationals. Three wrestlers finished second at conference but did not receive a wild card berth: Justin Dyer – 141 lbs (SR/Topeka, Kan), Lupe Jimenez – 149 lbs (SR/Gilroy, Calif), and Noah Manly – 184 lbs (JR/Chelsea, Mich).
photo by Joe Coy
York dominated the field at the KCAC Wrestling
At Nationals, YC wrestlers represented the blue and white in great fashion: Mederios 1-2, Melecio 0-2, Ozuna 5-1, Coy 2-2, Murphy 2-2, and Thomason 1-2. Ozuna won four matches in a row as he battled through the consolation bracket to pick up a third place finish and become the eighth Panther wrestler to be named NAIA All-American. After a first round bye, Ozuna beat Isiah Lysius of Briar Cliff 8-4. He then fell 7-5 to Gresh Jones of Dickinson State. Ozuna would wrestle three more matches before his third place bout, a rematch with Jones. This time it was Ozuna who would have his hand raised after the 11-9 decision and become just the third wrestler in program history to finish that high. n SUMMER 2018 |
Heritage | 25
Alumni Words of Wisdom
tudents were blessed to hear from several distinguished alumni who visited campus to guest lecture during the spring semester. Two of note were Chris Reid ’07, a prosecutor for the Lancaster County Attorney's Office in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Doug Townsdin ’83, audit services partner at Grant Thornton (a global accounting agency) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Each shared about their life, education, work and faith, leaving students inspired and informed. Reid brought his years of experience in human services and law to bear as a guest speaker in a psychology class that looks at the myriad ways a psychology degree could be employed, from human services, to research, to the legal field. A psychology major at York College, Reid later attended the University of Nebraska School of Law. He talked to students about the preparation required for law school as well as the rigors of a career in the legal field--emotional, spiritual, mental and physical. “You need to be grounded and know why you do what you do,” he told students. What’s his why? Faith. “Working as a lawyer is striving for ‘shalom’,” he said defining ‘shalom’ as a state of universal flourishing, a society where we put the needs of others above our own. “This is a fallen world, but we are vessels of shalom.” Townsdin brought his professional expertise to a senior level business capstone class to talk to students about changes in the accounting industry and what skills they’ll need to thrive. From digital currency expertise to superior communication skills, Townsdin instructed the group of seniors on what it takes to stand out and succeed. He stressed the importance of integrity, which he defined as “making your words line up with your actions.” He encouraged students to never be afraid to say, 'I don’t know,’ as long as they can follow it up with ‘but I will find out.’ The field of accounting is undergoing major shifts: ease of access to big data and improved technology that makes it harder to hide corruption has made obsolete some of the work accountants used to do. “Be adaptive,” he told students. Even with these changes, the value of accountants as interpreters, turning data into insights, will remain. Interested in guest lecturing at York College? Contact alumni@ york.edu. n
(above) Doug Townsdin gives some pointers to a business capstone class.
26 | Heritage | SUMMER 2018
Doors of Opportunity
rom ideas for youth ministers struggling to stay relevant, to grief counseling as community outreach, to neurologically appropriate early childhood Bible classes, the Doors of Opportunity and Bible Teachers Workshop offered a full spectrum of speakers and topics for more effective ministry. The event was held on campus in May, co-hosted by York College and Sojourners. Joe and Linda Thomas coordinated the event, which drew more than 100 church leaders and Bible class teachers from six states. The Thomases are Sojourners and Linda is a recent addition to the York College Board of Trustees. The pair has a passion for strengthening the church in the North-Central states. This is the third time they offered Doors of Opportunity at York College, which was previously a distinct event from the Bible Teachers Workshop focused on church growth. “As we’ve gotten acquainted with many smaller congregations in Nebraska and see their faith and love for the Lord, we want to do everything we can to strengthen and encourage them as they work to tell their friends and neighbors about Jesus,” said Linda Thomas. More than 40 Sojourners and York College staff participated in the day as presenters, greeters, and other roles. “We couldn’t have done it on our own,” said Thomas. Response from attendees of the day-long workshop was very positive. Tracey Vaughan from Salina, Kansas, appreciated learning “about ways to engage children and bring the Bible to life for them, how to help them to live Jesus.” Gene and Teresa Adrian from Council Bluffs, Iowa, enjoyed the event, attending classes on friendship evangelism and women’s Bible studies, among others. “The main takeaway for me was learning different approaches on how to interact with people and build relationships while presenting the Gospel of Christ,” said Gene. “It was an awesome experience,” echoed Teresa. “We learned so much about how to revive a church that’s smaller.” The next Doors of Opportunity Workshop is planned for spring 2020. Be watching for other events of interest for area churches at York College at www.york.edu/church-relations. n (above) Joe Thomas welcomes participants to the Doors of Opportunity and Bible Teachers Workshop.
Campus SpotlightCorrie McDonald “My perspective on college was that it was only for the rich, private school educated, what I would call ‘posh’ people,” said Corrie McDonald, a psychology major from Cornwall, England. “I decided I didn’t want to go to school back home because it was becoming more and more expensive. I even started looking at going into the Air Force until someone told me that American [colleges] offer scholarships for sporting activities. I play soccer and I have ever since I could walk.” Ready for adventure, McDonald listed with an agency to promote her athletic prowess to American schools. Her number one criteria: “I had to find a school I could afford,” she said. “My parents supported me, but couldn’t help much financially.” She eventually ended up at a community college in Western Nebraska, where a soccer scholarship helped to offset her costs. During her sophomore year there, a friend invited her to church. “That was a huge stepping stone for me,” said McDonald. “I definitely wasn’t brought up in the church.” She had occasionally attended a Catholic church with her grandfather as a young child, but that was the extent of her religious experience. “In England it’s becoming less and less popular to be a Christian. Some people are even bullied for attending church back home. There were a couple of events that happened in my life where I became angry at God and questioned whether he was even real,” she said. After this reintroduction to her faith, she decided she wanted to transfer to a Christian college to foster her spirituality. She narrowed her search to two schools, York College and a school in Florida. “I visited both, had similar scholarships to both, and I just felt more at home here,” she said. “My first impression of York College was so positive. The staff and faculty cared about me. I wasn’t just a number. I was very welcomed by the soccer team. I was welcomed by every single person that I came across. It just made me feel like I was at home.” In her two years at York College, McDonald has been active in campus life. “I was able to jump in straight away. With social clubs, campus PR squad, soccer team,”–she was team captain for two years–“the incredible friendships that I have made here at York College. Ever since August 2016, there hasn’t been a moment when I thought maybe I shouldn’t be here,” she said. “York College has without a doubt been the best thing to happen to me. I feel like I have grown so much in my faith in my time here.” (above) Corrie and classmates enjoy a group discussion in professor Lindsey Eckert's psychology class. (left) Corrie's aggressive playing style earned her a spot on the Honorable Mention All-KCAC team as a senior. (right) The Campus PR Squad utilizes Corrie's outgoing, friendly disposition... and her English accent certainly adds to the mix.
There was a bit of a learning curve once she arrived, however. “When I came to York College I found there were these things called ‘devos’. I had no idea what a devo was so I asked someone and they said, ‘well, it’s a devotional’… I still had no idea what they meant,” she recalls with a laugh. Daily chapel struck her as kind of strange at first, too. Now if she misses chapel it’s not as good of a day, she says. She loves to go to Wednesday night devotionals and Sunday evening communion service. “Having students be vulnerable and staff and faculty be so open, and
"I was welcomed by every single person that I came across. It just made me feel like I was at home.” bringing in outside speakers...It’s been important to me to know that I’m not the only person that’s new to this and I’m not the only person that’s struggling or who doesn’t have all the answers.” She is thankful that York College is an openly Christian place, but that it welcomes people of all kinds of faith backgrounds and levels of belief. “You can come here to learn and grow, no matter where you come from,” she said. And that’s just what she’s done. Her faith strengthened and a college degree—once out of reach— now secured, she’s ready for the next adventure. She has begun working as an admissions recruiter for YC and will continue her studies via York College Online this fall, working toward a master’s degree in Education: Curriculum and Instruction. Her long range plans involve helping young people find their way as a school counselor and mentor. “Without York College, I wouldn’t be the person I am today,” she said. n
In Memory of ... December 2017 - May 2018
$62K Challenge Alumni and friends respond to life-changing challenge Backstory: Seven alumni and friends banded together to offer a $62,000 challenge earmarked for student scholarships. Within days of being announced, two friends of York College stepped forward with an additional $62,000 to turn the challenge into a 2-to-1 match opportunity. Response: By mid-June, alumni and friends responded with $85,920.08 in gifts and pledges that qualify toward the challenge, exceeding the original goal by $23,920 and providing a total of $209,920.08 in much needed scholarship funds. Outcome: With an average award per student of $6,000, $62K Challenge gifts will underwrite scholarships for about 35 new students this fall. From a new scholar in the classroom to an eager athlete on the playing field to a fresh voice in the concert choir, thank you for making their dreams a reality. Thank you for your generosity during the $62K Challenge! 28 | Heritage | SUMMER 2018
Ryan Abrams Mr. & Mrs. Ryan Roseke Harvey Anderson Daryl Anderson Dr. Roger Collins Mr. & Mrs. Roger Lowry Johnnie Conway Anonymous Myra Bengtson Dr. Shawn Bengtson Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Carleo Lesa Crockett Mr. & Mrs. Wayne French Ruth Green Saundra Ellison Mr. & Mrs. Gary Johnston Mr. & Mrs. James Langston Mr. & Mrs. Rob McIntosh Sherry Mirts Mr. & Mrs. Frank Montague Mr. & Mrs. Charles Morrow Mr. & Mrs. James Peoples, Jr. Carole Powers Mr. & Mrs. Harold Tandy Mr. & Mrs. Steve Thompson Mr. & Mrs. Rollie Whitworth Maureen Williams Effendi Daoedsjah Carla McDonald Patricia Dean Cynthia Scharr Newcomb Brent Dickerson Bartine Dickerson Sgt. Ron Dickerson Bartine Dickerson Steve Dickerson Bartine Dickerson
Donald Frugoli Mr. & Mrs. Steve Wilderson Monroe Hawley Mr. & Mrs. Wayne Hawley Steve Hickel Mr. & Mrs. James Leupold Jo Kite Mr. & Mrs. Ryan Roseke Dr. Dale Larsen Mr. & Mrs. Bob Jacobson Ruth Lawrence Mr. & Mrs. Jason Pates Penny Markley Mr. & Mrs. Larry Brewster Pat Martin Tod Martin Kimball & Debbie Matkins Mr. & Mrs. Jason Matkins Kirk Miller Mr. & Mrs. John Ratliff Dr. & Mrs. Scott Simpson Cathy Pearson Dr. & Mrs. Ray Miller Erwin ‘Rick’ Reicheneker Mr. & Mrs. Dan Hirschfeld Louise Reno Mr. & Mrs. Carlos Abello Brenda Robison George Robison Dr. Thomas Schulz Dr. & Mrs. Ray Miller Dr. Dorris Schulz Jack Sikes Mr. & Mrs. Derryl Morgan Bill Witt Richard Witt Donald Worten Dr. & Mrs. T. Gayle Napier
ohnnie Conway passed away March 21, 2018, at the age of 96. She started the Helping Hands for York College (women’s auxiliary group) chapter in Bellevue, Nebraska, and for 50 years served in various capacities, including many years as chapter president. Though diminutive in stature, “Miss Johnnie” was a giant in the eyes of many at YC. Johnnie was preceded in death by her husband Andrew Conway, son Berkley Conway ’68, and daughter-in-law Marilyn Marie Conway. She is survived by her son Carr Conway ’65 (Carla); four grandchildren; brother William Brown; and numerous loving church friends. HONORARY GIFTS Friends and family honored the following with donations to York College in their name: Steve Belden Conrad Morris Mr. & Mrs. Dave Grimes Mr. & Mrs. Terry Quigley Marika Bich Donna Swanson Mr. & Mrs. Joel Bich Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Swanson Chelli Cummings Morris Aubrey Tate Ann Cummings Mr. & Mrs. Dane Tate Dr. Robert Lawrence Ralph Whitfield Mr. & Mrs. Jason Pates Dr. & Mrs. Dickie Hill Mr. & Mrs. Sterling Lawrence YC Concert Choir Dr. Ray Miller April Dinius Mr. & Mrs. Darrel Hoyt “To those I never met, but made York possible for me...Thank You!” Joan Stirlen
Alumni Trip to Peru Planned for 2019 Calling all Panther alumni with a passion for adventure! You’re invited to travel with Dr. Erin (Beske ’94) DeHart, associate professor of education, to Peru June 19-29, 2019. The trip includes guided tours of palaces and cathedrals, hiking through the Sacred Valley and viewing the ancient ruins at Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo, and exploring the diversity of wildlife in the Amazon jungle. It will be an immersive trip, filled with local foods, people, lodging and experiences.
The adventure in Peru is not for the faint of heart. “This isn’t a trip where you’ll sit on a tour bus or train most of the time,” said DeHart. Many days will involve significant physical activity, including hiking at higher altitudes. “I’m planning to train for this trip. Alumni that participate will need to be fit and active,” she said.
Pricing for the trip is all inclusive, covering round trip airfare, accommodations, transportation, meals, educational guides, and fares for all activities. “This trip will be stress free travel with an educational component,” said DeHart. “We will learn a lot about the historical and cultural background of these locations.” Machu Picchu is one of the wonders of the world and access to it is increasingly limited, which is part of the reason DeHart selected this destination. An experienced international traveler, DeHart has led study trips in the past for students and alumni focused around historical events and locations.
DeHart plans to offer additional summer travel trips to York College alumni in the future. “I see this as an extension of the learning and growing we offer our students...I want the trips to be about more than just a cool location. I want them to be about the cultural value and expanding the worldview of everyone who goes,” she said. Future locations may include Jordan and Israel, or Portugal and Morocco.
Educators will reap an additional benefit with the trip to Peru. “If someone is a current teacher, they can receive a certificate of professional development hours related to cultural perspectives after completing this experience,” said DeHart.
(above and below) Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru above the Urubamba River valley. Built in the 15th century and later abandoned, it’s renowned for its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, intriguing buildings that play on astronomical alignments and panoramic views. (right) Church in the Barranco District of Lima, Peru.
Questions? Contact DeHart at email@example.com. Full details about pricing and itinerary, plus registration at www.york.edu/ AlumniTravel.
Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon Friday, October 19
Celebrate with us!
Reserve tickets now for the Athletic Hall of Fame induction luncheon, honoring David Hawley ’72, Laura (Hastings ’98) Hawley, and Jeremy Hogan ’00. Tickets are $25 and proceeds support the athletic department. Seating is limited. Reserve your tickets at york.edu/homecoming/AHOF.
There's much to celebrate as we honor some special alumni and friends of York College during the weekend. Alumni of the Year — Scott ’79 and Lisa (Hinrichs ’81) Eckman Young Alumnus of the Year — Mark Smesrud ’10 Servant Leader Award — Joe and Linda Thomas Distinguished Achievement in Academics — Dr. Ray and Gail Miller A luncheon honoring Ray and Gail Miller will be held at noon on Saturday in the Miller Room, Mackey Center.
30 | Heritage | SUMMER 2018
The 1992 York College Men's Soccer team were the 2017 inductees into the Athletic Hall of Fame.
...just around the
Alumni and Friends Work Days, August 3-5
eautifying the York College campus with friends while blessing students—what could be more fun? Join us for the 10th annual Alumni and Friends Workdays, where volunteers from near and wide pitch in to paint, pull weeds, spread mulch, and give campus a quick burst of TLC before students return. Volunteers can stay in the dorms and eat in the caf for free. Grab your work gloves and a few friends and head to campus this August. Contact Scott '79 and Lisa (Hinrichs '81) Eckman at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details or to register.
Global Leadership Summit, August 9-10
veryone has influence. Attend the Global Leadership Summit hosted at York College for fresh actionable and inspiring leadership content from a world-class faculty that will take your church, team, classroom or business to the next level. Leverage the Summit as a resource to transform yourself and your community. Join a community of like-minded Christians from 135+ countries and 60 languages who attend the Summit around the world. Full details at www.york.edu/leaders.
Archaeology and the Bible Symposium September 25
r. Mark Zeise will be the featured speaker at the annual Archaeology and the Bible Symposium hosted by the Clayton Museum of Ancient History this fall. Zeise is a professor of Old Testament and the Dean of the School of Bible and Theology at Johnson University. He is also an adjunct professor with the Jerusalem Center of Biblical Studies in Jerusalem and a frequent leader of Bible lands educational tours. Full details at www.claytonmuseumofancienthistory.org.
Homecoming & Fall Panther Days, October 19-21
ake plans now to attend our biggest event of the year! Alumni, join your fellow classmates on campus for a weekend of reunions, receptions, and events you won’t want to miss—including a Friends reunion concert! If your class year ends in a “3” or “8” it’s a reunion year for you. Contact email@example.com to schedule a reception for your class. Prospective students, this is a great time to visit! You’ll take part in fun activities, stay in the dorms and visit with faculty and students while enjoying music, drama and athletic events.
Don’t forget to check the calendar on the back cover for other important dates. SUMMER 2018 |
Heritage | 31
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Looking for a new direction? YC offers online masterâ€™s degrees. Learn more at online.york.edu.
COMING EVENTS July 31 August 2-4 9-10 18-21 22
Legacy Alumni Reunion (thru Aug. 2) Alumni and Friends Work Days Global Leadership Summit New Student Orientation Classes Begin
September 25 Archaeology and the Bible Symposium October 19 19-21
Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Homecoming & Fall Panther Days
November 17-25 Thanksgiving Break December 10-12 Final Examinations January 3-8 7
Concert Choir Winter Tour Classes Begin
photo by Bob DeHart
February 21-24 Spring Play
Taylor Abraham of Buffalo, Mo., and Jolene Herzog of Pullman, Wash., celebrate their YC experience. The two became fast friends at York, played four years on the volleyball team, and served together in York College Campus Ministries.
April 4-6 27 May 19-25
Spring Panther Days (Songfest: April 3 - 6) Commencement RoundUp
York College Heritage Magazine, Summer 2018 - Vol. 21, No. 2