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Y. C. Alumni

Yankton College provided a liberal arts education to thousands of students for 103-years, producing scholars and educators, lawyers and doctors, theologians and musicians, artists and athletes before its campus doors closed in 1984. Today, Yankton College, a 501c(3), non-profit charitable organization, remains vibrantly active in alumni outreach,  awarding scholarships, supporting  educational  opportunities and sponsoring fine arts events.     
News Minimize

   After reviewing the 2015 general and post-graduate applications, the Yankton College Scholarship Committee recommended to the Board of Trustees awarding a record-setting twenty-five scholarships this spring at the annual spring Board meeting held in April.   Students who ranked the highest from their scholastic merit, writing skills and most importantly having a connection to Yankton College to recommend the applicant will receive up to $1,000 from designated named-scholarships.

   The recipients of a Yankton College scholarship for the 2015-16 academic year are listed here with their Yankton College connection:    

Meghan Schenk, Mission Hill, SD, William Schenk ’23, Great-grandfather

Bridget Bickner, Colby, KS, Deborah (Kimmel '81) Bickner, Mother


Ellen Koester, Sioux Falls, SD, Robert "Puttie" Putnam '39, Great  grandfather/Coach
John Dannenbring, Yankton, SD, Suzanne (Dannenbring 'x56) & Iro    Mogen '54, Great aunt and uncle

Lily Steffen, Fordyce, NE, Jerry Fleege '70, Grandfather


Lucas Rockne, Yankton, SD, Carol (Shuff ’64) & Bob Winter ’63, Friends



Austin Winter, Dallas Center, IA, Ray Wendel '63, Marilyn (Van Epps '63)  & James Wendel '62, Grandfather, Great aunt and uncle



Sarah Nolan, Sioux Falls, SD, Linda (Litschewski ED '64) Balfany, Tom  Balfany '72, Grandmother, 3rd cousin


Morgan Sellend, Forestburg, SD, Barbara (Boswell ED'61) Selland,  Grandmother

Andrew Heck, Sioux Falls, SD, Sharon (Eggers '75) List, Grandmother

Patrick Binder, Yankton, SD, Jennifer (Vondracek '78) Powell, Sponsor

Emily Turner, Shoreview, MN, John E. Turner '39, Grandfather

Jaclyn Arens, Yankton, SD, Judith (Link '70) Tereshinski, Sponsor       Thomas Pfiefle, Rapid City, SD, John Nooney '81, Family friend


Story Lesher, Yankton, SD, Jennifer (Vondracek '78) Powell, Sponsor

Allie Thiesse, Yankton, SD, Rock Boyd ‘78, Sponsor



Erica Westerman, Yankton, SD, NA (selected by YHS)

Jacob Selgestad, Yankton, SD, Suzan (Rasmussen ’80) Gass, Family  friend


John Dannenbring, Yankton, SD, Suzanne (Dannenbring 'x56) & Iro  Mogen '54, Great aunt and uncle

Lucas Rockne, Yankton, SD, Carol (Shuff ’64) & Bob Winter ’63, Friends

Erica Eis, Urbana, IL, Irma (Betty) (Bement '50) Eis, Grandmother
David Jenny, Beresford, SD, Robert Frieberg, Sponsor

Austin Oyen, Crooks, SD, Alvina (Shaefer '65) Knispen, Robert Shaefer    '75 and Paul Schaefer '72, Family friends 

Charlotte Walter, Bismarck, ND, Michael Rich '71, Family friend
Gabrielle Kachena, Yankton, SD, Gerald Ebel x'76, Family friend

   Funds for the named-scholarships are endowed from the kindness of Yankton College alumni or their family members in memory or in honor of individuals or a group inspired by the positive influences of Yankton College.  The Yankton College Scholarship Program awards two types of scholarships, general and post-graduate, to deserving students to use at an accredited college or university.  The goals of the program are to perpetuate the College tradition of liberal arts in higher education, support deserving young persons who have shown outstanding promise, apply discretionary funds to a higher function and promote the memory and reputation of Yankton College.

   The Yankton College Scholarship Program does, indeed, exist as a legacy of Yankton College. Alumni are encouraged to spread the news about their availability. Your connection to Yankton College could sponsor a student who could earn $1,000 in financial aid.  Simply download a current application from this website, click PROGRAMS, find and click SCHOLARSHIP.  There you will already find the 2016-17 Yankton College general and post-graduate scholarship applications.  

   For more information on Yankton College scholarships, contact Yankton College at (605) 665-3661, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.     

Yankton College Board of Trustees Take Action In April - Thursday, May 07, 2015

               On behalf of the Yankton College and the Board of Trustees l to r:  newly elected Vice-Chair
 Sandra (MacTavish '70) Gross, re-elected Chair Joan (Bunnell '57) Neubauer and appointed President Dr. Joseph Ward III. 

   When the gavel was laid to rest by the end of the spring meeting held April 25, the Yankton College Board of Trustees had approved the following:  a new College president; a record- setting twenty-five scholarship awards for the 2015-16 academic year; a preliminary agreement between the Yankton College Scholarship Program and the South Dakota Community Foundation and the conferral of an Honorary Doctorate degree.

   The sixteenth president of Yankton College, Dr. Joseph A. Ward III, will be inaugurated next September 19 in a dual ceremony with William Bobzin who will receive a Yankton College honorary doctoral degree.  Dr. Ward - great-grandson of the College founders, Rev. Dr. Joseph and Sarah Wood Ward - is a 1966 graduate of YC and has served on the Board of Trustees since 1983 and as Vice-Chair of the Board since 1986.  Because of the Ward family history and the commitment to Yankton College, Ward says he is deeply honored to serve. 

  Mr. Bobzin received from Yankton College a Bachelor’s degree in biology in 1965 and his Master’s degree from the University of South Dakota in 1977.  In 1969, Bobzin joined the YC faculty serving as Assistant Football Coach then Head Coach and eventually the Director of Athletics.  As Head Coach, Bobzin led the Greyhounds to several successful seasons.  As an alumnus, Bill’s most notable contribution was the implementation of the Forever Club - dramatically increasing alumni contributions.

  Bill has shown his leadership by reinvigorating the Y-Club making it possible to honor numerous outstanding YC athletes.  Bill has been a faithful and active member of the Board of Trustees since 1999. 

  After reviewing the 2015 general and post-graduate applications, the Scholarship Committee awarded a record-setting twenty-five scholarships from endowed funds to students who ranked the highest from their scholastic merit, writing skills and most importantly having a connection to Yankton College.  Each recipient will receive up to $1,000 from designated named-scholarships to be used during the coming 2015-16 academic year.   

    The approved preliminary agreement officially sets off the relationship between the Yankton College Scholarship Program and the South Dakota Community Foundation and designates the course of action for when the SDCF will become the administrators of the Yankton College Scholarship Program sometime in the future.

   Other business from the Legacy Fundraising Committee included approving the Yankton College Alumni & Educational Center as the new official name for the future home of Yankton College to be located on the third floor in the historic Mead Building by 2024 and kicking off the campaign to get there.  From the Nominating Committee, action on members serving the Board included:  Joan Neubauer, Yankton, SD was re-elected as Chair; Sandra Gross, Cordova, TN, who has served as a trustee since 2000, was elected Vice-Chair;  Vicki Lehrman, Spencer, SD and Peter O’Toole, Fayetteville, NC were elected as new trustees and a re-election was held of the following members whose terms expired:  Richard Evans, Kansas City, KS, Rand Schuft, Rapid City, SD and Dr. Charley Trantina, Sun City West, AZ.    

   The YC Alumni Advisory Board also held its meeting, April 25 and heard the plans for the October 10 Regional Reunion to be held in Fayetteville, NC, as well as initiate plans for the 2016 All-Class Reunion.   A re-election was held of members whose terms expired and a nomination was accepted for Bruce Blankley, Rapid City, SD to join the AAB, effective July 1.    

    A no-host dinner was held at Murdo’s Atens Resort for the trustees, members of the AAB and their spouses Friday evening.  

   Members of both Boards travel to Yankton twice every year from a wide-range of U.S. locations to attend these meetings that foster the ongoing affairs of the College and alumni outreach.  For further information, call the Yankton College office at (605) 665-3661.


Dr. Kenneth B. Jones Honored by Yankton College Board of Trustees - Thursday, March 19, 2015

  It  was June 3, 1963, when Kenneth B. Jones first became a member of  the Yankton College Board of Trustees; it was April 20, 2014 when he announced that he was retiring from that body and it was September 26, 2014 when that same Board elected and proclaimed him as Trustee Emeritus.  This story, then, spans more than 50 years.

   In 1965, soon after joining the Board, Ken spearheaded the Yankton College Community Fund, which was a portent of things to come as his name became synonymous with Yankton College Finance and remains so to this day.  In 1972 Ken was elected to and served in the South Dakota State Senate for two terms and upon returning to Yankton he was once again elected to the Yankton College Board of Trustees.

    In 1972 the Yankton College Pro Causa Award was conferred upon Ken for his devotion and leadership over the many years.  In 1973 he received a Yankton College Board of Trustees Citation.  In 2000 his fellow Board of Trustee members saw fit to bestow upon him the title of Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa, a title he proudly bears today.

   Community work got its share of Ken’s time – in 2003 he spearheaded the establishment of the Auld-Brokaw Trail and soon after that was awarded the honor of Citizen of the Year.  His own alma mater, South Dakota State University, recognized his 50 years of service to the South Dakota Pharmaceutical Association in 2006.

   The Yankton United Church of Christ has also been the beneficiary of Ken’s time, effort and monetary acumen.  Most recently he worked tirelessly on the revitalization of the church building and the re-configuration of the Yankton College Memorial Organ in the sanctuary.

  The Yankton College Board of Trustees gratefully acknowledges the long and dedicated service of Dr. Kenneth B. Jones and humbly bestows upon him the title of Trustee Emeritus.        


Coming Together - Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Mount Marty College recently hosted over 30 Yankton College alumni at the Lancer home doubleheader basketball games against Grace University, Saturday, February 14. YC alumni were invited to attend and gathered on the west balcony in the Cimpl Arena to watch the games, enjoy refreshments, view memorabilia and visit.  

Couples who attended the separate schools and ultimately married one another were recognized on the center court during one of the half times and presented Valentine gifts from Mount Marty Alumni Director, Dave Dickes and Yankton College Executive Director, Jan Garrity.  Other attending YC alumni were also introduced later.

Barb Rezac, chief advancement officer at MMC said since there were so many Yankton College alumni from the closed college still in the Yankton area, she wanted YC alumni to be able to attend a college sporting event in their hometown.

During the years that Mount Marty College and Yankton College co-existed in Yankton, the two private schools naturally found ways to collaborate on their resources for increasing their enrollment and creating strong curriculums.

Pictured above, left to right:  (MMC) Jean & Russ Weller '63, Ellis Bliley '69 with photograph of his wife (MMC) Cathy, (MMC) Cathy & Paul Rehfuss '61, (MMC) Mary & Don Fiedler '80 and Larry Hintgen x'61 and (MMC) Kathy who was unavailable. 

Yankton College Bids Farewell to President Emeritus - Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Yankton College is saddened to bid farewell to President Emeritus, Dr. Charles N. Kaufman who passed away last week after a lengthy courageous battle with Parkinson's disease.  

For nearly 50 years, Dr. Kaufman was involved with Yankton College: serving on the Board of Trustees; serving as an adjunct professor; serving twice as Interim President, as a result of which, he was awarded an Honorary Degree; and from 2004 to September 2014 had been the inaugurated fifteenth president.  The list of committees, tasks and responsibilities which he had undertaken as a result of this laudable relationship is too lengthy to enumerate; his leadership and inspirational style have benefited generations of faculty, administrators, students and friends of Yankton College.  The level of dedication demonstrated by Dr. Kaufman is exemplary.

"Many of us visited Chuck during the weeks since he resigned from his role as our Yankton College President, and sorrowed at his declining health and yet rejoiced that he conversed and laughed as in the past," said Joan Neuabauer, Chair of the Yankton College Board of Trustees.

Dr. Charles Newton Kaufman was born March 12, 1933 in Huron SD to Charles A. and Belva (Janzen) Kaufman. He passed on Friday, February 20, 2015 at the age of 81, at his home in Vermillion, SD. Chuck grew up and attended school in Freeman and Parkston SD. He served in the United States Armed Forces during the Korean War. 

Chuck married the love of his life, Fern Ching, on June 3, 1956 in Castlewood SD. Chuck and Fern began their married life in Huron SD while Chuck was finishing his degree at Huron College. Their eldest son, Norman Charles was born in Huron and shortly after that they moved to Yankton, SD while Chuck was attending the University of South Dakota. Chuck did some research work for USD while living in Elk Point. They then moved to Vermillion where he taught in the Business School before attending Indiana University for his doctoral work. Their son Kevin Charles was born in Watertown in 1960.

The family then moved back to Vermillion in 1964 and their daughter Nanette Fern was born. Chuck resumed his teaching at the University. During his tenure at USD he was Director of the MBA program and later Dean of the Graduate School. Chuck had many professional accomplishments and also enjoyed working as a consultant. He was on the Yankton College Board of Trustees and given the honor of President Emeritus for almost five decades of service. Chuck retired from the University in 1999 after 35 years of service.

Hunting was one of Chucks’ favorite pastimes. He enjoyed gardening, making wine, reading and singing in the church choir. Chuck also enjoyed serving in many ways for the United Church of Christ Congregational both locally and statewide. He enjoyed keeping score at basketball games for over 25 years. Chuck enjoyed being a member of the Masons. He was Grand Master of the Masons in SD in 2001-2. He became Sovereign Grand Inspector General (SGIG) of the Scottish Rite Masons in SD in 2003. His interests in the Scottish Rite involved helping establish the Speech and Hearing Clinics in Vermillion, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Aberdeen. 
Chucks lasting legacy is his family. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend to many. He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Fern of Vermillion, his sons; Norman (Sherie) Kaufman, Vermillion, Kevin Kaufman Sioux Falls, and Nanette (Mark) Christofferson, Glendale, AZ. His six grandchildren: Chris Kaufman and Kelly (Sherwin) Gilbert, Kendra and Natalie Kaufman, Matthew and Thea Christofferson, and one great grandchild, Hemera Gilbert. Chuck was preceded in death by his parents.

Visitation will begin at 5:00 PM Tuesday, February 24, at the United Church of Christ in Vermillion with a Masonic service at 7:00 PM. Memorial services will be 11:00 AM Saturday, March 7 at the church. Burial of ashes will be at 10:00 AM on March 7 at the Bluffview Cemetery in Vermillion.  Memorials can be sent to the United Church of Christ.