York College concluded the most successful campaign in its history on June 30. During the campaign, the college raised $16.8 million for scholarships, campus improvements, and programs, eclipsing the campaign’s original goal of $10.7 million. These gifts have made an impact on the student experience at York College, from ensuring access through scholarships, to improving and expanding academic offerings, to upgrading the physical campus. The campaign began in the college’s 125th year. As the 128th year begins this fall, the future of York College has never been more secure.

By every measure, response to the Beyond 125 campaign exceeded expectations and that means students have a better place to learn, grow, and prepare for life,” said York College President Steve Eckman. “It all means greater stability as we fulfill our mission to prepare men and women for service to God, family, and society. This stability permits us to look to the future with excitement and purpose.”

The top priority of the campaign was ensuring access to quality Christian education through scholarship gifts. Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of individuals, the original campaign goal of $4.6 million for scholarships was exceeded. More than $9.5 million was raised for the York College Fund and York College Scholarship Endowment, providing financial support for academic, arts, and athletic scholarships today and into the future.

“More scholarship dollars help more students get to York and find better support and preparation while here,” said Eckman.

During the campaign, York College saw high involvement from alumni, as 33.9 percent made a gift. During one four-day giving challenge, alumni gave more than $75,000 for scholarships and other priorities. These gifts and others were matched by a special challenge from four anonymous alumni, who pledged to match gifts up to $250,000. Many gifts to the campaign came from current students and recent graduates, whose gifts may have been smaller but were no less heartfelt than gifts with more zeros given by alumni with established careers. York College was also blessed by passionate alumni who spread the love by asking their classmates to join them in support of their alma mater and future generations of students.

Faculty, staff, and trustee participation in the campaign led the way with 100 percent making a gift toward the campaign when it launched in 2014. “This investment by those who know us best and who give so much for York College students is a strong endorsement of what happens on this campus,” said Brent Magner, vice president of advancement.
The greater York community responded in a big way to the Beyond 125 campaign, making gifts and pledges of more than $2 million over a three-month period in 2015. Many of the gifts from the community supported the construction of the Bartholomew Performing Arts Center, a teaching facility focusing on the day-to-day needs of students in the music and theatre programs that was opened in 2016. The building also provides a quality venue for productions and concerts. Thanks to the new facility, the music and theatre departments have been able to host festivals and concerts on campus that would not have been possible in Gurganus Hall, the previous home of the arts at York College.

“The Bartholomew Performing Arts Center, which includes the Moody Choral Rehearsal Hall, was the key piece missing in YC’s excellent performing arts programs,” said Dr. Clark Roush, Endowed Chair for the Performing Arts. “Now the top-notch faculty have a top-notch facility for teaching and performing. We are just beginning to explore the possibilities, and it is fabulous no longer having to ‘make do’ with a repurposed building. The new facility really does take the arts at YC to a new level. The faculty and students have immense gratitude for the leadership and generous hearts that made this a priority.”
Other important brick and mortar improvements made possible by the campaign are the construction of the Clayton Museum of Ancient History featuring the Stanback Collection, Touchton Baseball Clubhouse, renovation of the student center in historic McGehee Hall, installation of air conditioning in McCloud Hall and upgrades to Freeman Center. All projects were fully paid for during construction, adding no new debt to the college. In fact, during the period of the campaign, long term debt decreased by over $1 million while the college’s endowment grew to $14 million, the largest amount in its history.

Since its completion in 2015, the Clayton Museum of Ancient History has had thousands of visitors from across the state and nation. Featuring a rotating display of ancient artifacts and a children’s interactive learning area, the museum is a benefit to campus and community patrons of all ages. The museum was made possible by gifts from individuals and corporations, as well as from the York County Visitors Bureau. The Clayton Museum of Ancient History is a part of this year’s Nebraska Passport program, bringing even more visitors to campus.​​