$500,000 Gift Supports Student Services Center; Honors Mike and Barbara Yalich

Standing from left, Mike Edmonds and Bob Ross with  Barbara Yalich '53  seated
Standing from left, Mike Edmonds and Bob Ross
with Barbara Yalich '53 seated

Colorado College has received a $500,000 gift from the Inasmuch Foundation for the Mike and Barbara Yalich Student Services Center. The new student services center will be adjacent to the Ed Robson Arena and will honor the legacy and contributions of alumni Barbara Neeley Yalich ’53 and her late husband Milo “Mike” Yalich ’50. The Yalich Center will house the student wellness center, health services and counseling, the bookstore and mail center, as well as an art studio, café, and pub.

“We are deeply inspired by Barbara and Mike Yalich’s leadership in the Colorado College community and beyond, and we are immensely grateful to Inasmuch Foundation for their generosity and support through this gift, which will enable us to carry on the Yalichs’ legacy of community engagement,” says Mike Edmonds, acting co-president of Colorado College.

Barbara Yalich has devoted her life to public service. She began her career as the international president of the Association of Junior Leagues of America, and also served as the first executive director of the Health Association of Pikes Peak Region and executive director of El Paso County Mental Health Association. She returned to Colorado College at several points throughout her career, ultimately serving as director of development. In this position, she was instrumental in dramatically increasing the financial well-being of the college. In 1991, she was appointed to vice president for development and college relations, which she served in until her retirement in 1994. Following her retirement, Barbara Yalich was awarded an honorary Bachelor of Arts degree by the trustees of the college.

Barbara Yalich’s involvement in community volunteerism also includes a longtime connection to Inasmuch Foundation, established in 1982 by Charter Trustee Edith Kinney Gaylord ’36. The foundation, based in Oklahoma City, continues its late founder’s interest in Colorado Springs by supporting nonprofits that directly serve the residents of the city. Inasmuch provides grants to address dynamic community needs, from healthcare access to food and housing to the arts and journalism.

Mike Yalich is remembered as a teammate, coach, community leader, and veteran. He served in the United States Navy from 1943-46, predominately aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Honolulu. He was part of numerous WWII campaigns in the South Pacific, among them the bombardments of Bougainville, Tinian, Saipan, and Guam. During his time at CC, Mike Yalich captained the NCAA championship ice hockey team that later was inducted into the Colorado College Sports Hall of Fame and the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame. He also played football and baseball at CC, was manager of the intramural sports program, and a member of Sigma Chi fraternity.

The Inasmuch Foundation has been a key supporter of the college over the decades, directing $10 million for the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, which was finished in 2008 and serves as a space dedicated to innovation and the arts. Inasmuch was also a generous supporter of the Tutt Library renovation and expansion, and gifted $5 million toward the project. Additionally, Inasmuch awarded a grant to the college to support the production of the Block Plan Documentary Project, which tells the history and future of the Block Plan at Colorado College and beyond.

“Since 1982, when Barbara joined the original Inasmuch Foundation advisory committee, I’ve had the honor of watching her and her late husband Mike support and serve their community,” says Bob Ross, chairman and CEO of Inasmuch Foundation, and Colorado College Trustee. “They have been tremendous stewards of Colorado College and the Colorado Spring community.  We are thrilled by the opportunity to recognize their invaluable contributions by way of the new student center, which will bring together both the campus community and the wider Colorado Springs community. What a perfect way to honor the legacy of these dedicated alumni and community members.”





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