To Honor and To Serve

York University publicly launched a $15.9 million fundraising campaign during the September 24, 2021, presidential inauguration of Dr. Sam Smith. Following a silent phase that lasted more than two years, Smith announced that more than 80% of the campaign goal had already been given or pledged. Campaign priorities include student scholarships, renovation of historic Hulitt Hall, renovation of Levitt Library and more. While campaign funding will underwrite a wide collection of initiatives, all share the common goal of enhancing the York Experience for every student, every year.

For a campaign overview and information about individual initiatives, review the To Honor and To Serve campaign case statement

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To Honor and To Serve Campaign funds will be invested in three goals.

  1. Expanding Our Reach through scholarships to provide a stronger presence and greater access
  2. Renewing the Campus​ through facility and educational infrastructure upgrades
    Read about the Brian Lemons’ Challenge and the Lemons Athletic Training Room
  3. Equipping Our Students through better learning structures and expanded programs
york univ arch

York College to York University

To Honor and To Serve is a first step in the transition to York University. The change from York College to York University happened July 1,  2022. 
Richard and Rachel James

A message from campaign co-chairs, Richard ’97 and Rachel (Nowlin ’99) James:

We love York College!

​We fully support our move to university status, but we also grieve the decision to change the name of a place that we hold so dear. Only one word. No more. But what a shock for deeply etched memories. At the same time, we are reminded that we love York because it is a place that shaped us, not because its second name happens to be College.

It was an experience marked by deep friendships, happy and sometimes hilarious memories, hard days of growth, and challenges to live out our faith. While the name change to York University is a jolt, it is the jolt we need to sustain and grow our school.

We are passionate about preserving the very best of who and what we are. Upholding core principles that define us. We are equally passionate about changing what is needed to propel us forward.

​We endorse this campaign and have agreed to serve as co-chairs. Why? Because we want to be part of a plan that is future-facing. Taking necessary, though sometimes tough, steps to fulfill our mission. Recognizing the daunting challenges ahead and laboring to meet them. Working to preserve, sustain, enhance and build York for the years ahead. More than endorsing this campaign, we are ready to invest in a greater vision for what comes next. Investing in new generations who will call York University home.

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Campaign Progress

Campaign Progress​
Comprehensive Campaign Total Goal    
$15,950,000    ​
Goal One: Expanding Our Reach    
Providing access through the York University Scholarship Fund 
and endowment earmarked for student scholarships



Goal Two: Renewing Our Campus    
  Goals achieved so far:
  Hulitt Hall renovation (slated for completion in 2022)
  Levitt Library renovation (slated for completion in 2023)


Goals to complete before June 30, 2023
Lemons Athletic Training Center –  The Brian Lemons’ Challenge
New Student Residential Housing 


Goal Three: Equipping Our Students    
$2,800,000 ​

Campaign Timeline

Campaign planning and fundraising began:  July 1, 2019
Campaign public announcement:   September 24, 2021
Dollars raised by March 31, 2022:    $15,720,857 
Percent of goal by March 31, 2022:   98.6%
Campaign scheduled to end:   June 30, 2023

Campaign Initiatives – the Brian Lemons Athletic Training Room

training room

Goal Two: Renewing our Campus 
The Brian Lemons’ Challenge
Brian Lemons Athletic Training Room : $400,000
Panther Athletics has used the same athletic training room for more than 20 years, dating back to a time when there were only 150 student-athletes. Today our athletic program includes nearly 350 student-athletes with the privilege and obligation to provide the best care possible for every participant. An expanded, fully renovated space in the Freeman Center will do this by tripling our capacity.

York University has received a $200,000 challenge gift toward the athletic training room project. Every gift will be matched one-to-one, making the long-awaited updates for this space a reality. 

Richard and Rachel James have stepped forward to honor the legacy of Brian Lemons whose life was cut short in a tragic accident during his first year at York University. A starting goalie on the men’s soccer team, Lemons influenced his peers in a way that continues to change lives, even today. Remembered for his concern and care for others, his name will be attached to the place where students go daily for kindness, care and treatment. A fitting tribute. Read the story about Brian and the Lemons' Challenge here.

Long-time athletic trainer, Chad Karcher, has designed this newly imagined space with an eye on providing the best service and best experience possible. Karcher is in his 23rd year as Panther Athletic Trainer.
Training room renovation will displace the current men's basketball locker room. Cost estimates include rebuilding the men's basketball locker room on the north end of Freeman Center. When the project is complete, a recognition will be displayed to recognize every partner for the project who has invested $50 or more.

For more information, contact Jared Stark at

Campaign Initiatives – a New Living Facility

Dorm room

Renewing the Campus - Eckman Hall, a new living facility: $1.8 million

Availability of a local assisted living facility for purchase and repurposing, has provided a new opportunity for updated residential housing which was previously deemed out of reach. With a long history of renewing resources instead of purchasing new and passing the savings on to our students, buying this lightly used space fits our culture as well as the price tag for our students.

This residence hall will accommodate up to 80 students in a facility that offers large living spaces, private restrooms, and multiple options for formal and informal gatherings of various sizes. The new space will also provide alternate housing for residents of Thomas Hall and McCloud Hall, giving the university an opportunity to conduct major renovations and updates in each of these campus structures. When complete, every student, every year will benefit from greatly enhanced housing and an even better York Experience.

Need more information? Contact Jared Stark at

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