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As we are fewer, more needs to be done.


NEWS:  Alumni Advisory Board Meets in Fall of 2017

Members of the Yankton College Alumni Advisory Board met last month, Saturday, September 23, for their second annual two-hour meeting to discuss routine matters and other business, old and new.  Twenty of the 24 members were present, leaving four with excused absences.  The majority of the AAB were able to participate this fall with free teleconference-calling, a new feature now available to the out-of-state members who wish to participate but are unable to travel the distance at the time.

The primary purpose of the Alumni Advisory Board is to foster alumni relations, which, in reality, is dwindling, according to the Yankton College business office, where a data base maintains current alumni contact information.  

The AAB motto “As We Are Fewer More Needs To Be Done” heads each agenda as the group organizes college reunions, locally and regionally, honors and recognizes its alumni’s career and college achievements, and encourages giving towards the future of YC. 

Ron Bertsch, a YC alum, coach and administrator from Yankton, leads the biennial meetings as the AAB Chair, with assistance from three AAB members chairing committees, that includes: David Welch, Sioux Falls, Reunion Committee, Gary Ward, Viborg, Giving Committee, and Cindy Filips, Yankton, SD, Awards Committee.    

The main business during the morning meeting dealt with adopting a set of reunion guidelines, a “working document” beneficial to YC staff and potential hosts, meant for organizing and hosting future regional reunions.  The next regional reunion will be in Omaha in 2019 and those YC residents from eastern Nebraska and western Iowa will be invited. The future event will act as the “test run” under the new guidelines.

A progress report was given on the newest YC venture: the establishment of the Yankton College Alumni and Educational Center in partnership with the Dakota Territorial Museum at the historic Mead building located north of Yankton. The campaign to raise funds for this development began in 2015, and has proven successful, raising approximately $467,000 in donations and pledges, over half of the $750,000 goal towards the partnership in the physical facility.  Phase 2 of the Legacy Campaign has begun with a mailing that announced a new challenge proposed by YC President Joe Ward III and the Joseph Ward family members who will match up to $50,000 in donations by the end of 2018. 

The nominations for the alumni and procausa awards were also finalized for next summer’s All-Class Reunion to be held July 19-21, 2018 in Yankton. The 2018 recipients and their awards are:  Dr. Roosevelt Weaver '62, Upper Montclair, NJ, Thomas Martino '70, Hyde Park, NY (posthumously), and Dr. Warren Peterson '63, Yankton, SD, each receiving the Achievement Award given to alumni for outstanding personal accomplishments consistent with the college mission; Rev. Paul & Marley Ann (Brosz '56) Opsahl '57/BTh '58, Sioux Falls, SD, and Pete O'Toole '71, Fayetteville, NC, each receiving the Service Award given to alumni for extraordinary contributions to Yankton College, and finally, Jan Bertsch and Jan Garrity, both from Yankton, each receiving the Procausa Award as non-alums for their significant service to the college. 

Thoughts and prayers are always offered to AAB members when needed, and were so, at this meeting for Robert “Bob” Titus, a 1949 YC graduate, who has served enthusiastically on the Alumni Advisory Board since the early 1990’s. Titus has volunteered regularly at YC through the years and received the Yankton College Service Award in 2014. (Note: Sadly Titus passed away days later after the September 23 meeting on October 1 at Sister James Care Center in Yankton at the age of 94.)   

The next Alumni Advisory Board meeting will be held in conjunction with the Yankton College Board of Trustees meeting next year, April 14, 2018.

The duties and primary responsibilities of the Alumni Advisory Board are as follows:  

1.   Develop constructive ideas as to how the office can be of service to the alums.

2.   Help implement the forming of regional Yankton College groups.

3.   Establish a group of volunteers who could help the alumni office with reunions, mailings and preservation.

4.   Promote alumni participation in the funding of scholarships and other projects in higher education.

5.   Continue the presenting of awards to alums for achievement, service and pro causa.

6.   Elect a representative to the Yankton College Board of Trustees, which may be the Chair or his/her designee.

7.   Encourage giving

The Yankton College Alumni Advisory Board meets twice a year, in April and in September, to foster the Yankton College alumni relations, its primary function.   To apply for the Alumni Advisory Board, fill out the AAB application and send to the Yankton College business office at PO Box 133, Yankton, SD  57078.

Alumni Advisory Board Members
Ron Bertsch '65, Yankton, SD, Chair
Virgil Andersen '65, Sioux Falls, SD, Vice-Chair
Marian Danforth-White '71, El Segundo, CA, Secretary 
Bruce Blankley '72, Rapid City, SD
Rick Evans '75, Garden City, KS 
Cynthia Filips '65, Yankton, SD
Sandra Gross '70, Cordova, TN 
Becky Huser '80, Sioux City, IA
Susan Kemnitz '79, Platte, SD
Allen Koliner '74, Yankton, SD 
Dennis Lokken '69, Sioux City, IA
Peg Michael '76, Yankton, SD
Pete O'Toole '71, Fayetteville, NC 
Doug Paterson '68, Omaha, NE 
Warren Peterson '63, Yankton, SD 
Paul Rehfuss '61, Yankton, SD
Dane Sanger '75, Redfield, SD 
George Schermerhorn '74, Yankton, SD  
Rand Schuft x'66, Rapid City, SD
Dennis Steffen '85, Vermillion, SD  
Gary Ward '71, Centerville, SD 
David Welch '69, Sioux Falls, SD
Andy Youngworth x'81, Carthage, MO    


For more information, contact the Yankton College business office toll-free (866) 665-3661.