A Longtime Vision
The name change also honors the late Dr. Dale Larsen, York College's fourteenth president,
whose vision for the school led to his tireless efforts to re-open the shuttered institution
in 1956. His dream included regional accreditation, four-year degrees, and much more.
In his last comments to the campus, delivered by a recorded message during the 2009
homecoming chapel, he said, “And we believe that in years to come instead of calling
them (our alumni) former York College students we might even call them former York
University students.” While Dr. Larsen’s words were always carefully measured, his
dream for the institution was bold and irrepressible.
Why York University? Why Now?
York College transitioned to York University during the summer of 2022. The name change
decision was finalized by the trustees at in January 2021.
Following is a brief overview of reasons for the change.
1. The name change provides clarity about the type of institution we are and what we offer prospective students in an
era of split-second evaluations. As the definition of the word ‘college’ morphs over
time, there is a growing tendency to mean either ‘technical’ or ‘community’ college.
In contrast, university implies a comprehensive curriculum and multiple degree options,
often including graduate studies. These criteria fully reflect who we are as we recruit
students from across the nation and around the globe. Making the strongest case possible
with our name has become increasingly important as a growing number of our student
recruits have no prior relationship with the institution.
2. For alumni and long-time friends, the name change removes any question about whether or not York is “still a two-year college.” Additionally, for alumni
the university title is a plus on a resume, providing clarity about your academic
preparation when seeking career advancement or additional education.
3. Advent of York College Online (YCO) is already changing the academic structure
of the institution. YCO has a growing independent infrastructure to meet the specific
needs of these programs. With substantial growth in online graduate programs, the
university name more accurately reflects the institution’s current profile.
4. Transition happens best in an atmosphere of momentum. With more than a decade of
stability, success, and growth, this is a good time to make the change. Record enrollments two years in a row and a newly announced comprehensive
fundraising campaign provide the context to sustain and accelerate this momentum.
The transition is the latest chapter in a story that began more than 130 years ago.
York College has changed ownership twice since its 1890 founding, but the charter
and the name have remained unchanged. The institution, however, is not the same, and
the context in which we compete bears no resemblance to late 19th-century America.
Since York College reopened in 1956, major milestones include:
- Two-year accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), 1970
- HLC accreditation for our initial four-year degrees, 1989
- Unrestricted accreditation to offer a full range of four-year degrees, 1994
- HLC accreditation for graduate programs in Education (2011) and Leadership (2016)
Discussions about changing our name to York University began years ago and were complete
in Summer 2022. Although the name has changed, some things have not. Our institutional
mission, identity, values, and vision will remain focused on transforming lives through
- Payment on student accounts will be unchanged. After the name change is complete,
we will retain a d/b/a (doing business as) York College status for the foreseeable
future. Payments will be accepted to York College or York University for the fall
- Students finishing degree requirements after the Spring 2022 commencement will be
awarded diplomas from York University.
- Transcripts processed after July 1, 2022 will be issued by York University with that
name on the document. A notation on the back will state that our former name was
- For your resume, vita, or any job or graduate/professional school applications, use
the York University name, accompanied with a note: (Formerly known as York College).
List it as: York University (Formerly known as York College)
- Replacement diplomas with York University named as your alma mater will be an option
for alumni after the spring 2022 semester is complete. At that time, you may place
your request by completing the York U diploma form. The price for a new diploma is
$25. York College replacement diplomas will be available while supplies last.
- Campus landmarks, especially the York College ‘arch’ on Kiplinger Avenue, will be
honored and retained after the name change. York College is part of our identity and
that will not change. We will celebrate our heritage even as we embrace our future.
Official York College shirts, hats, and other materials will continue to be available
in the bookstore while supplies last.
- To simplify giving to York College/York University for donors, we will retain a d/b/a
(doing business as) York College status for years to come. Whether your gift is designated
for York College or York University, it can be easily receipted, recognized, and appreciated.
In either case, your gifts will continue to be acknowledged as a charitable deduction
for tax purposes.
- The provision for us to accept gifts for either York College or York University means
that any provisions you have made for a donation, whether through a testamentary gift,
as a beneficiary of an IRA, or other account will still be valid after July 1, 2022.
- York College will retain a d/b/a (doing business as) York College once we transition
to York University. The d/b/a gives vendors time to transition to the new name.
- Remaining payroll and accounts payable work processes will be formatted to use all
existing York College checks in order to be fiscally responsible. VP of Finance will
begin using new university labeled checks when old supplies lapse.
- You can transition to billing us as York University beginning when we are registered
with the Secretary of State.
- Reminders will be included with payments after July 2022.
- We will have an indefinite period of d/b/a York College.