York College Graduation
Grads Get Warm Send Off
by Steve Moseley
York News-Times Managing Editor
A few tears were washed away by a landslide of wide smiles Saturday as York College held their commencement ceremonies in the York High School theater.
Appropriately given the location, YHS principal Dr. Dan Endorf delivered the keynote address.
Speaking of the far reaches from which the degree candidates in caps and gowns came together to occupy their chairs Saturday morning, Endorf said it’s remarkable that “here you sit in the middle of the middle of the middle of America. How did you find yourselves smack dab in the middle of Nebraska?” he asked. “Maybe it’s the same reason Dr. Wayne Baker found his way to the middle of the middle of America.”
Endorf related how, soon after meeting Dr. Baker, he asked the man with the rich southern accent what had brought him to York.
Baker answered: Because it felt like the right place to be.
Endorf exhorted the graduates to, “Take the York College culture and way of life and weave it into your own adult experience.” He advised them to, “Treat others the way you want to be treated. Do the right thing. It’s just as simple as that.”
Simple perhaps, but not effortless.
“It never has been and it never will be easy to live a selfless life,” he said. “You are educated. You are smart. You have risen above the crowd today,” Endorf said, then asked the grads to adopt an attitude of servant leadership.
“Servant leadership is the giving of yourself through a leadership capacity,” he explained.
Turning to faith, Endorf said there will no longer be York College right outside the window to foster that aspect of life.
“You won’t have an 11 o’clock chapel” as the college does every day, “but remember, you’ll still have an 11 o’clock. Your life is changing, but it doesn’t mean 11 o’clock has to change that much.”
Closing his remarks, Endorf asked, “What is your personal mission? What is going to guide your life, your decisions?”
Endorf advised the new grads to, “Take Dr. Baker’s advise and find your right place to be.”
Dr. L. Ray Miller, Vice President for Academic Affairs, presented the Dean's Award , honoring an outstanding senior graduate, whose involvement and leadership are matched by their high academic success. The award is the highest academic honor given by the faculty. This year's recipient was Bethany Stanger who graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music, Vocal Music Education degree. Stanger is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin..
The Dale R. Larsen Teacher of Achievement Award was then announced and presented to Mrs. Erin DeHart, Assistant Professor of Education. Recipients of the award are nominated by other faculty members and are considered on the basis of teaching, service, spiritual commitment, attitude, and dedication to York College as demonstrated in activities outside the classroom. DeHart graduated from York College in 1994 and is in her 7th year at YC.
At the conclusion of these honors, Chancelor Baker presented seniors with their diploma and then President Steve Eckman shook each graduate's hand and congratulated them on their accomplishment.
Seniors were then hooded by a relative or close friend. The color of the hoods represents the institution conferring the degrees as well as signifies the area of study to which the degree pertains.
Click here to view graduation pictures.
Click here to view commencement address.