Campus dedicates York Seminary Village

Wed, 2006-08-16 16:28 -- univcomm
August 16, 2006

Anderson University dedicated the first phase of York Seminary Village south of Decker Hall on Wednesday, August 16. The dedication was conducted at the site of Phase I, consisting of 4 buildings, located on the west side of Walnut Street, between 6th and 7th Streets, in Anderson. York Seminary Village 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 (photo--l to r: President Edwards, Dr. James York, Elizabeth York, Dr. David Sebastian).

“York Seminary Village adds an exciting new dimension to the nature of seminary education at the School of Theology,” said Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University. “Housing is more than a convenient necessity. It adds the dimension of a living and learning community to the seminary experience. We believe this residential element will greatly enhance the breadth and depth of students and families preparing for ministry."

The project is being developed in phases. Phases II will be located on the east side of Walnut Street, a mirror image of Phase I. Construction of Phase II will begin as the need and demand arise. The total project will consist of 20 apartments in 8 buildings, plus a community building.

“Through the generosity of the Yorks, we have been able to accelerate the time frame for fulfilling a long-standing institutional dream,” said Bob Coffman, vice-president for Advancement. “Their support for this project is the most recent of many gifts that are making a significant difference in the lives of our students.

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. Future plans for the fund include support of a visiting professorship.

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.