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Miriam York Establishes Endowment
Miriam and Meredith York were school teachers and ranchers. He died in 1983 and she lives in Giddings.
Mrs. York recently notified Sam Houston State that she was establishing the Miriam and Meredith York Presidential Endowment for Excellence with a gift of $300,000, bringing to more than a half million dollars the amount which the Yorks have given to Sam Houston State over the years.
"I have sold the farm (actually Meredith's) and the cattle," Mrs. York wrote to Sam Houston President James F. Gaertner. "Meredith would want Sam Houston to receive this."
"The farm" is actually known as the Y Bar Ranch, which Meredith York's grandfather established in Lee County in 1865. From that ranch Meredith York's father came to Sam Houston Normal Institute, from which he graduated in 1894.
Meredith also came to Sam Houston State Teachers College, where he participated in football, track, and debate, was male soloist in the Glee Club and vice president of his senior class, and a three-year letterman in track.
He was a teacher and coach of football, basketball and track at Timpson, Corrigan, Granger, Humble, Bellville and Caldwell High Schools. He and Mrs. York always had time to support SHSU. He served as vice president of the Alumni Association and was named to the Athletic Hall of Honor in 1977 and presented a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1983.
After teaching and coaching, Meredith York was public schools supervisor for Austin County from 1959-61 and county school superintendent of Lee County from 1965-74.
Mrs. York attended the University of Houston, receiving degrees in 1943 and 1947, and attended Sam Houston State in the summer of 1959.
"Education was our main focus," said Mrs. York. "He and I both had a hard time going through college, and I felt like this is how he would want that money used."
President Gaertner praised the Yorks for their down-to-earth values and willingness to give something back to an institution that had been important in their lives.
"Mrs. York and her late husband have been two of Sam Houston State University's most loyal, devoted, and generous friends," said Gaertner. "We appreciate so much their thoughtfulness, which will benefit our students and programs so greatly."
Gary A. Bouse, vice president for university advancement, said that previous York gifts have gone into scholarships in education and athletics. Bouse worked with Mrs. York on setting up the endowment, and said it is rare for a donor to give an institution such freedom in the use of a gift.
"Such flexibility is a great benefit so that a president can recognize and take advantage of various opportunities as they arise," said Bouse. "Mrs. York's foresight in creating this endowment is as creative as it is caring and is an excellent example for current and future donors."
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