Seminary Housing planned south of AU campus

Fri, 2006-02-10 10:02 -- univcomm
February 10, 2006

Anderson University is preparing for the construction of the first phase of a seminary housing project south of Decker Hall. The seminary housing project is made possible through the generous support of Dr. James and Elizabeth York. The project will provide apartment units for students studying through the Anderson University School of Theology and their families. Construction of the seminary housing project will be located on Walnut Street, between 6th and 7th Streets in Anderson.

"The Yorks are sharing our vision to create a vibrant, supporting community for students coming to spend a few years in graduate-level preparation for ministry," said Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University. "This living-learning village will become a wonderful place for bonds of friendship to flourish among future church leaders."

The project will be developed in phases. Phase I of the seminary housing project will be located on the west side of Walnut Street, consisting of four buildings. Phase II will be located on the east side of Walnut Street, a mirror image of Phase I. The total project will consist of 18 apartments in 10 buildings, plus a community building. It is anticipated that Phase I of the project will be completed by the fall of 2006.

"We have been inspired by the generosity and energy of this remarkable couple," said Bob Coffman, vice-president for Advancement. "Their lives serve as wonderful examples of commitment to service to others, the importance of a global world view and the centrality of theological principles to all of life."

Dr. James and Elizabeth York have given of their time and resources to make a difference in people’s lives. Their giving spirit was what convinced the couple that Dr. York should retire early from his practice of orthopedic surgery so that they could work in mission hospitals throughout Africa. It also prompted them to contribute to the Harry L. and Henrietta Harp Endowed Memorial Fund at Anderson University. And it is one of the primary reasons they created the James M. York, M.D., and Elizabeth H. York Endowed Scholarship Fund through the Anderson University School of Theology.

Mrs. York’s parents, Rev. Harry and Henrietta Harp, were active in the Church of God, and it was in their honor that their children established the Harp Endowed Memorial Fund. The fund supports the Harp Lectures in Christian Theology and Leadership at Anderson University and provides an annual award (known as the Harry L. and Henrietta Harp Memorial Award) to a graduating seminary student who has made the most outstanding accomplishment in congregational ministries.

Advocates of lifelong learning, the Yorks recently established the York Endowed Scholarship Fund through the Anderson University School of Theology that is designed to reduce tuition expenses for deserving seminary students and promote a healthy diversity within the seminary community.

Mrs. York came to Anderson University in 1949. She later married Dr. James M. York, a graduate of Johns Hopkins University Medical School, and they spent the next several years in various locations as Dr. York completed his orthopedic surgery training. As they traveled, Elizabeth continued her undergraduate studies, graduating from Rutgers University in New Jersey. Dr. York took early retirement after 32 years of practice and volunteered his surgical skills at mission hospitals throughout Africa. The couple served hospitals in Kenya, Cameroon, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. In all, they served as short term missionaries for six years.

The Yorks have given generously to the Anderson University School of Theology and the university is grateful they have committed resources for the construction of the new seminary housing project on the south side of the campus.

Anderson University is a private, four-year, Christian liberal arts institution of approximately 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, the university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.