It was a chilly spring Saturday on the York College campus as 67 students graduated during the morning’s commencement ceremony. Held in the Campbell Student Activity Center, the seats and bleachers were filled with proud parents, excited family members, and eager graduates ready to receive their degrees.
Ruth Carlock, director of York College’s Levitt Library, will retire this spring after 30 years of service.
Carlock began working in the library in 1972, while her husband Lowell was a student. She left in 1976 to pivot her career into teaching until 1993 when she returned to the library. She served for a time as secretary to Charles Baucom, and then moved into an acquisitions and cataloguing role. In 2000, she was promoted to library coordinator during an interim between directors. She was named assistant director in 2001 and director in 2012. “Ruth Carlock is one of those employees who shows up and consistently does their job, day in and day out,” Provost Shane Mountjoy said. “Her servant heart and gentle spirit will be missed by students and faculty.”
York College Professor of History Dr. Tim McNeese was recently featured on Nebraska Educational TV (NET/PBS) on a segment of “Nebraska Stories” on April 25 and April 29. McNeese helped to tell the fascinating story of Nebraskan Barney Oldfield, press/public relations liaison for Eisenhower during World War II.
“When D-Day was being planned, Oldfield thought it would be valuable to ‘embed’ journalists,” explained McNeese. “Not only did he line up dozens of reporters to land on the beaches at day, but he suggested that a half dozen journalists be recruited to parachute behind German lines the night before the D-Day landings. He managed to get six volunteers, who had to go through parachute jump school and accomplish five successful jumps to prepare. When they jumped that night, they went behind lines without weapons, but with portable typewriters strapped to their chests. Miraculously, all six survived their jumps and managed to file some of the first reports by journalists, including one reporter who took a couple of carrier pigeons with him and sent a dispatch out on a leg band of one of those birds.”
Community Challenged to Make a Difference
Tim Lewis, assistant professor of business, knows first-hand the impact that an organ donor can have. In 2012, his son Tyson was the recipient of a donor heart--a gift that extended his life by six years. Lewis wanted to honor that gift by encouraging others to consider signing the Organ Donor Registry during April, national Donate Life Month.
Lewis and the students of Phi Beta Lambda business club organized a campus-wide “Me Plus One” drive, with the goal of signing up 250 new donors in April. So far, the push has yielded 172 new donors on the registry.
For education major Shania Brown, the most difficult part of her recent service learning trip to Ethiopia wasn’t the language barrier, or the 8,000 air miles traveled, or the side effects of the malaria pills--it was seeing the students in a special education classroom whose only curriculum past the fourth grade was weaving mats. Day after day, weaving, until their parents could no longer afford to send them to school. The eight students, who ranged in age from ten to young adult, were told to remain silent as a sign of respect, so Brown was not able to talk to them.
In Ethiopian culture, these young people are considered cursed. They have no future career options beyond begging or eking out a meager existence selling goods like the mats. “No one will hire them,” Brown was told by an educator at the school. “If they did have a job, they wouldn’t be paid. They would be beaten and abused.”
YC Celebrates With End of Year Banquet
It was an evening of celebration as York College held its annual All-College Banquet Tuesday night at the Holthus Convention Center in York. The student body gathered with faculty and staff for a night of reflection, recognition, and fellowship. Several awards were presented, including Mr. and Ms. York College.
There are big things on the horizon for YC senior Deidre Freitas. Amid juggling the usual end of semester chaos, she’s also designing sets and costumes, doing extra homework on European philosophers, and looking for an apartment (they call them flats there) to rent in a suburb of London. There’s a lot going on for Freitas, a native of McCool Junction, in the next few weeks and months. She will direct her senior capstone project at YC days before graduation, hop on a plane for a six week study abroad trip, and then move to England to start graduate school.
It’s overwhelming, but Freitas is excited about all of the upcoming opportunities. “This is just my face now,” she says with a huge grin. “I look like this all the time.”
From the Italian Renaissance to modern-day Broadway, the upcoming Spring Works concert from the York College Concert Choir will offer a wide range of composers, time periods, and styles. The concert theme is Musical Potpourri and will be performed Monday, April 22 at 7:30 P.M. in the Bartholomew Performing Arts Center. There is no cost for admission and all are welcome to attend this final event of the arts year at York College.
According to Dr. Clark Roush, professor of music and conductor of the choir, the concert will be a pleasure for all kinds of music lovers. The choir will perform classic pieces by established composers including John Rutter and Giovanni Palestrina, as well as modern American composers such as Elaine Hagenberg and Z. Randall Stroope.
The 42nd annual Songfest production came to an exciting conclusion Saturday night in front of a full Spring Panther Days crowd. The high-energy musical performance featured nearly a quarter of the student body, as well as a handful of talented alumni, and each night gave audiences their money’s worth of entertainment.
Emcees for the production were freshmen Justus Coppinger and Thad Kinney who entertained with jokes, songs, and a lot of friendly banter. Hosting this year’s show were Josh “Todd” Anderson, Asa Coppinger, Conrad Morris, Olivia Nabb, Emma Seilstad, and Dri Sotolongo.
Dr. Garrett Baker, who served as president of York College from 1995-1996, passed away on Monday, April 1, at the age of 88. Baker was the brother of longtime YC faculty member Dr. Elmer Baker, who passed away in 2004.
"Dr. Baker was willing to step in during a major transition for York College," said current YC President Steve Eckman. "He had been serving as a trustee for the school and responded when there was a need until a new president could be found. President Baker remained supportive of the College after his return to Texas and looked for ways to promote York College through connecting us with donors and exploring innovative partnerships and programs to advance our mission. We remain grateful for his willingness to serve."
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