Though neither of them attended York College, LaVerne and Joan Haselwood from Omaha have always felt a strong loyalty to the school for various reasons. That loyalty eventually led the Haselwoods to include York College in their estate plan.
"We both have always loved York College," LaVerne explained. (He has served on the York College Board of Trustees for more than 20 years.) "Once we established our home in Nebraska, we always felt that York College was our Christian college, and that we would support whatever was "ours," Joan noted.
Both had previously been invited to be part of the York College community, at different times, for different roles, but by the same person. Dale Larsen, longtime president of the college, tried to recruit Joan to attend York as a student. Later, Dr. Larsen invited LaVerne to join the York faculty. Circumstances dictated otherwise in both cases, but the pair always felt an affinity for the school that only got stronger when they married and started their own family.
York College benefited from two other Omaha-area sources of influence on the Haselwoods: Mabel Phelps and Ina Townsdin. "We always thought sister Phelps made it her life's mission to recruit students and donors for York College," Joan said.
And the Townsdin family was the heart and soul of church activities here in Omaha, and the beginnings of York College which resulted in their children attending York College, with son John being in the first graduating class when the school reopened in 1956.
LaVerne and Joan have both been involved in education in their professional lives, with him serving as professor of education for more than 40 years at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and with her teaching in public schools before taking time off to raise their four daughters and then again later in life. One of their daughters, Polly, attended York College, graduating with an associates degree in 1988.
Eventually the Haselwoods met with their financial advisor and requested that York College be included as a beneficiary in their living will and trust, an estate planning instrument that has since been signed and filed.
"We did that because we believe deeply in the mission of the college," Laverne added. "Over the years we've seen hundreds of students whose lives have been transformed during their York experience. And now we have a lifetime of relationships that are associated with York College."
"For those reasons and more," Laverne said, "we've known that we would support York College for the rest of our lives...and beyond that as well. Our living will and trust allows us to accomplish that goal.".