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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
Lyle Alzado To Be Featured On NFL Network - Monday, November 17, 2014

   To describe Lyle Alzado has having a “softer side” might come as a surprise to most, especially since the NFL star was famous for his intimidating style of play, but that is exactly what the NFL Films series intends to do when the hour-long documentary “A Football Life” on the late Alzado airs November 21 at 8 p.m. CST on the NFL Network.

   To piece this untold Alzado story together, supervising producer, Neil Zender, and a crew from NFL Films came to Yankton last August to visit the former Yankton College campus where the Long Island, NY, native obtained his higher education and played football for the Greyhounds.  Yankton’s YC alumni and former faculty that knew Lyle were interviewed and Alzado archives were also researched at the Yankton College office.  Zender admitted at that time there “is more to Lyle Alzado than just steroids…there is a positive lesson that can be learned from his life.”

   A Football Life is a documentary series developed by NFL Films and aired on NFL Network that documents the lives of select National Football League players, coaches, owners, and teams. Check local cable stations for the NFL Network channel or request viewing the documentary at your favorite sports bar.    For more archival information on Lyle Alzado, contact Yankton College by phoning (605) 665-3661.

Alzado returns to Yankton, SD, to visit Yankton College in 1976.  He is pictured with then YC President, Orlan Mitchell, in Nash Gymnasium.  

 


YC Alums Gather in Gainesville, FL - Friday, November 07, 2014

   Yankton College still matters in the hearts and minds of its alumni and friends even though the 103-year-old campus closed in Yankton, South Dakota thirty years ago.  YC alumni, within the Gainesville, Florida region, re-connected with their alma mater while attending a Yankton College Regional Reunion at the Gainesville home of Joe and Carol Ward November 1.    

   The afternoon get-together was devoted to meeting, visiting and catching up with one another. Guests were encouraged to bring good memories, a photo or keepsake to share. Updates on Yankton College were announced to the group on the College Mission as it exists today.  Lunch was provided. 

   Yankton College was the first institution of higher learning in Dakota Territory incorporated in 1881 and provided a quality liberal arts education until its closing in 1984 because of declining enrollment and financial struggles.   Among its distinctions are the Conservatory of Music, the School of Theology, the astronomical Clark Observatory, the first U.S. Shakespearean Outdoor Garden Terrace Theatre, influential faculty and a record breaking athletic program. 

   Regional reunions are held in areas with a high density of Yankton College alumni.  For more information on regional reunions, contact Yankton College by phoning toll-free (866) 665-3661.  

Front row...l to r:  Bonnie Thompson '82, St. Petersburg, FL; Gayle & Robert Ufnar '71, Melbourne, FL.

Back row...l to r:  Joe Ward '66, Gainesville, FL; Alexa Manning '83, St. Petersburg, FL; Alan Cooper '69, Summerfield, FL; Barbara & Ken Malkin x71, Jacksonville, FL; Doris (Schatz x63) & Dale Kent '62, New Smyrna, FL.  


 


Changes To Be Made At Yankton College - Thursday, October 09, 2014


Pictured l to r:  Dr. Charles N. Kaufman, Yankton College President 2005 to 2014; Dr. Joseph Ward III newly appointed Interim President. 


A
t the meeting of the Yankton College Board of Trustees held September 26-27 in Yankton, Dr. Charles N. Kaufman, who was inaugurated as the president of the College in 2005, submitted his resignation from the presidency and the Board of Trustees due to health reasons.  

Dr. Kaufman, an alumnus of the University of South Dakota, has been integrally involved with the Board of Trustees since 1968, and his resignation was received with surprise, followed by regrets and gratitude for his long service.  In 1973-74 he served as interim president while the college searched for a replacement of Dr. Fred S. Honkala. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws and Letters in appreciation of his having taken on that responsibility, but there are few committees upon which he has NOT served or provided with leadership.

His association with the University of South Dakota was of even larger proportions, having been Dean of the Business School and of the Graduate School.  At his retirement from that institution, he was officially named Dean and Professor Emeritus.  

The Yankton College Board of Trustees and the Alumni Advisory Board will honor Dr. Kaufman's long and meritorious service by granting him President Emeritus status at a ceremony in the near future. 

In order to maintain an active ongoing program, the Board of Trustees, under the leadership of Dr. Joan Neubauer, voted unanimously to declare Dr. Joseph Ward III President ProTem.  Dr. Ward - great-grandson of the College founders, 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 about 1986.  A retire public school Director of Human Resources, Dr. Ward and his wife have recently moved to Gainesville, FL.  The Vice-Chairman's seat will remain vacant as the transition of leadership is completed.  
 


Yankton College 2014 All-Class Reunion Held - Thursday, July 31, 2014

   Yankton College's photo.The 2014 Yankton College All-Class Reunion was held July 17-20, according to Ron Bertsch ’65, Chair of the YC Alumni Advisory Board.  Approximately 200 alumni from nationwide and two countries attended the various functions held at locations throughout Yankton.  Bertsch said the AAB makes the final decisions in planning for the reunion, “This is our chance to connect with the alums and emphasize that we still exist, well beyond the days of the classroom.”  

   The four-day event kicked off with a Meet & Greet on Thursday at Rounding 3rd in downtown Yankton; then, Friday, officials from the Federal Prison Camp offered two guided tours of the campus, for those who pre-registered; two mini class reunions were held in various locations, including  the Class of 1959 and the Classes of 1963 & 1964 and finally that evening, there were two events: a YC Theater alumni get-together and the Greyhounds Greats, a program recognizing the YC athletic greats; on Saturday, college athletes,  humanitarians and distinguished alumni were recognized or honored during two luncheons and at an evening social;  the Talent Show showcased performing alumni; and memories were rekindled while browsing the college historic collection at the Yankton College office.  The reunion closed on Sunday with a special church service at the United Church of Christ featuring special music on the Yankton College organ performed by Ted Powell ’78 and by the UCC choir (many YC alums) directed by Jennifer (Vondracek ’78) Powell.

      Two Alumni Achievement Awards were presented to Marilyn (Tunberg ’57) Nyberg, Yankton, SD and Howard Waldron ’75, Taunton, MA for their outstanding contributions in their chosen field of endeavor; two Alumni Service Awards to Carol (Kasulka ’62) Boos, Tuscon, AZ and Robert Titus ’49, Yankton, SD, for their significant service and contributions to Yankton College and one Pro-Causa Award to Michael Marek, Vermillion, SD, for his significant contribution to Yankton College as a non-alum.      

   Marilyn Nyberg is worthy of recognition for her years of performing on the organ and piano.  She began playing the organ during Sunday church services in Volin, SD, as a teen.  She developed a passion for the pipe organ and obtained a Bachelor of Music with majors in Sacred Music and English magna cum laude.

   After graduation, she married Jim Nyberg x’57, whom she met at YC when they were freshmen, and while he attended dental school in Minneapolis, she served as the organist and choir director for their church in MN.  They moved to Germany for three years where Jim practiced dentistry for the U.S. Army and Marilyn continued studying the organ, while raising their family. 

   In 1966, the Nybergs returned to live in Yankton, where Marilyn has stroked the organ keyboard at Trinity Lutheran ever since as church musician.  Besides playing for Sunday services for over forty years, she was a driving force in the restoration of the church’s pipe organ and was also instrumental in launching the successful Bach’s Lunch music series held every Advent season. 

   Howard “Howie” Waldron came to Yankton College from Taunton, MA to earn a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in Physical Education and History.  After graduating in 1975, he remained in South Dakota to gain head coaching experience in girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ track and football.   He returned to his MA high school in 1979 and over the years coached track and football, but is most known for strength conditioning and power lifting.

   As a Power Lifting Coach, Waldron has led countless high school students to championship status.  From 1989 to the present, Waldron has coached two World Champions, twenty-one National Champions and forty-nine State Champions.   “I was fortunate to coach such great kids, who had fun and worked hard,” Waldron says of his protégés.  Throughout his career, Waldron has received professional recognition for his “dedication and service to High School Power Lifting” and for “excellence in teaching students historical research and writing” and was inducted into the Coyle & Cassidy High School Warrior Hall of Fame in 2012 where he was referred to as a “legend in his own time.”  Although Howard retired from teaching in 2009, he continues to oversee the power lifting program and assist with football scouting.

   Upon her 1962 Yankton College graduation, Carol Kasulka suggested to her classmates that they consider leaving their alma mater with some kind of ongoing gift.   Her idea did not receive much attention then and over the years, Boos wondered “what if.”  Fifty years later when the Class of 1962 met during the 2012 All-Class Reunion, their 50 year anniversary date, she approached her classmates again with the idea of perpetuating the memory of Yankton College and their class with a one-time scholarship.  Classmates quickly responded to Carol’s idea after she made the first contribution; all were genuinely surprised when the contributions kept on growing, large enough to establish within the Yankton College Scholarship Program, the Class of 1962 Scholarship in perpetuity.   Carol’s vision and generosity, assisted by her classmates, will provide students an opportunity to continue their education while leaving behind their legacy. 

   With financial aid from the G.I. Bill, Bob Titus attended Yankton College as a non-traditional student after serving in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1946.  Because of family obligations and holding a job Titus said he had no time for extra-curricular activities on the campus while majoring in History and Political Science.

   Bob, later, became closely involved with Yankton College in the early 1990’s after the College closed when he was asked to serve on the Alumni Advisory Board.   As an AAB member and volunteer for Yankton College, Bob rarely says “no” when asked to help out.  He is an avid spokesperson for YC touting the “vital education” that he received leading him “to discover who I was and where I was going in life.”

   Titus also acquired a Masters in Counseling at the University of South Dakota.  His 40-year career with the South Dakota Labor Department was as an Office Counselor administering aptitude tests and marketable job-skill training to youth, then as a Program Supervisor on the South Dakota Indian Reservations, managing Federal Training Programs to aid public welfare recipients to find gainful employment.   Bob believes in the true meaning of Christian charity and has been involved with community service in Yankton for many years.  At the age of 90, Bob can be found regularly volunteering at the Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, Sister James Nursing Home, Sacred Heart Church and St. Benedict Church.

   Michael Marek may not have attended Yankton College as a student, but he was often on campus while his mother, Leona Marek, taught the cello and the string bass for twenty-five years at the Conservatory of Music.  Because of this connection, in 2010 Marek was asked to serve on the Yankton College Board of Trustees.

   Marek has both a BS and Masters in Communications from the University of South Dakota and has brought his communications knowledge and talents to Yankton College in many ways.  He was instrumental in creating a newer version of the YC website and assisted in training the staff to supervise it.   He has gladly documented two All-Class Reunions, professionally photographing the alumni events.  In 2012, Marek brought Social Media to Yankton College creating a Yankton College Facebook page.

   After completing his Ed.D in 2005, Marek has taught Mass Communications at Wayne State College as a tenured full professor for nearly ten years.  He specializes in Broadcasting, advises the campus radio station and specializes in use of Social Media.  Marek has had several peer-reviewed journal publications based on his work with a Taiwanese colleague, using social media techniques to support the learning of English by native speakers of Chinese.  Mike has led students to Taiwan and China for a full semester abroad program.

   Two Yankton College alumni were inducted into the Humanities Hall of Honor for their commitment to excellence and to the ideals of Yankton College, Joan (Bunnell ’57) Neubauer, Yankton, SD and James Wendell ‘62 posthumously.  Neubauer grew up in Yankton and graduated from Yankton College in 1957 with a BA in English and Speech.  After graduation she located in California where she specialized in elementary education, then earned a Master’s Degree in Speech Rehabilitation which served as an entry to the areas of special education and administration.  Wendell graduated from Yankton College in 1962 with a degree in education and became a career educator and coach for 46 years in school systems at Hartington, NE and Stanwood, IA.  His posthumous award was accepted by his wife, Marilyn (Van Epps '63) Wendel from Neubauer. 

   The following alumni were inducted into the Yankton College Hall of Fame for their outstanding athletic college and career achievements:  Lee Shepherd '77, Rapid City, SD, Darryl James '84, Bronx, NY, Bill Spears '65, Cherokee, IA, Mark Herman '71, Dassel, MN,  posthumously to Amanda Clement '10 (accepted by Marilyn Kratz '80), Ray "Chip" Salvestrini '75, Ridgefield, CT and posthumously to David Armstead ’66 (accepted by Bob Miller '63).   Don “Murdo” Edwards ’74 was named the 2014 Mr. Greyhound.



   The following Greyhound Greats were recognized for their athletic abilities during their college years at YC:  Russ Weller ’63 and Gerry Ebel ’75, Yankton; Rick Evans ’75, Garden City, KS; Ernie Ferency ’70, Boynton Beach, FL; Darryl James ‘84, Bronx, NY; Bob Maffei ’77, Trumbull, CT; Gerald Geditz ’65, Mansfield, SD, John Siwicki ’72, Elk Grove Village, IL and Frank Niglio ’71, Mount Carmel, PA.    Members from the 1966 Greyhound Football Team and the 1966 Cross-Country Team were recognized for their championship successes.  

   Yankton College produced thousands of students and graduates from 1881–1984.  It was the first institution of higher learning in Dakota Territory providing a liberal arts education to young men and women from the Midwest, both sides of the nation and around the world.  Scholars and educators, lawyers and doctors, theologians and musicians, artists and athletes emerged from here.     

   The 2014 reunion marks the 30-year milestone of the continuation of Yankton College since the closing in 1984.  Yankton College continues – in a non-traditional way - remaining active in alumni outreach, awarding named scholarships, supporting educational opportunities and sponsoring fine arts events administered by its Board of Trustees. 

   For more information, contact Yankton College at (605) 665-3661.