Our Town York: York University

Pure Nebraska
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 10:19 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2022 at 11:04 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Care for students is a top priority at an important educational institution in York that’s been around since 1890.

We got a chance to visit with York University President Sam Smith, about what makes the campus unique to the area.

“This is a place where students come, not just for an education, not just to play sports, but to find a place where they can be welcomed, loved and cared for, while they are getting their education,” Smith said. “Our whole history is based on that identity of being a Christian faith-based institution, and it’s something we are very proud of.”

Students come to the university from across the state, from across the nation, and even from other parts of the world.

“Students come here for a variety of reasons,” Smith said. “If students are looking for a business degree, they are coming to York University. If they want to become a teacher, they are coming here. Criminal justice is one of our growing programs. They might even be coming here for biology.”

“One of the amenities here that might not be listed on paper, is the relationships,” Smith said. “Students will come and they will experience faculty and staff in their homes. Often, students will be welcomed in for a dinner, or a devotional, or just time, and that’s something you may not see at a larger institution. We also have incredible facilities. We have new buildings we’ve opened up recently, we’ve renovated buildings like Hulitt Hall, we have a newly renovated cafeteria that students are loving, and we have a recently renovated athletic training facility. We are investing a lot of energy and resources, to make sure students have what they need for a great experience at York University.”

A big development at the school is the name change. “We recently moved from being called York College, to being called York University,” Smith said. “What that means is we are leaning into an identity we already had. But we want students and employers to know that when a student has graduated from York University, it’s not a two year degree. It may not even be a four-year degree. It could be a masters degree that they earned. We have incredible masters programs that are online in education and organizational leadership. But when a student comes to York University, they are getting more than a four year degree. They are getting a lifetime of memories.”