Colorado College received a donation of $ 500,000 from the Inasmuch Foundation for the Mike and Barbara Yalich Student Service Center. The new student services center will be adjacent to the Ed Robson Arena and 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 and counseling services, bookstore and mail center, as well as an art studio, cafe and pub.
“We are deeply inspired by the leadership of Barbara and Mike Yalich in the Colorado College community and beyond, and we are extremely grateful to the Inasmuch Foundation for their generosity and support through this donation, which will allow us to continue the legacy of Yalich community engagement. Says Mike Edmonds, interim co-chair of Colorado College.
Barbara Yalich has dedicated her life to public service. She began her career as the International President of the Association of Junior Leagues of America, and was also the first Executive Director of the Health Association of Pikes Peak Region and Executive Director of the El Paso County Mental Health Association. She returned to Colorado College several times during her career, eventually taking on the role of Director of Development. In this position, she significantly increased the financial well-being of the college. In 1991, she was appointed Vice President of Development and College Relations, which she held until her retirement in 1994. Upon her retirement, Barbara Yalich received an honorary Bachelor of Arts degree from the college administrators.
Barbara Yalich’s involvement in community volunteering also includes a long-standing connection with the Inasmuch Foundation, established in 1982 by Charter Trustee Edith Kinney Gaylord ’36. The Oklahoma City-based foundation pursues its late founder’s interest in Colorado Springs by supporting nonprofit organizations that directly serve the city’s residents. Inasmuch provides grants to meet the vibrant needs of the community, from access to health care 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 to 1946, primarily aboard the destroyer USS Honolulu. He participated in numerous WWII campaigns in the South Pacific, including the bombings of Bougainville, Tinian, Saipan and Guam. While at CC, Mike Yalich was captain of the NCAA Championship ice hockey team which was later inducted into the Colorado College Sports Hall of Fame and the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame. He has also played football and baseball at CC, was director of the intramural sports program, and a member of the 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 completed in 2008 and serves as a dedicated space for innovation and the arts. Inasmuch was also a generous supporter of the renovation and expansion of the Tutt Library and donated $ 5 million to the project. Additionally, Inasmuch provided a grant to the college to support the production of the Block Plan Documentary Project, which tells the story and future of the Block Plan in Colorado College and beyond.
“Since 1982, when Barbara joined the original Inasmuch Foundation Advisory Board, I have had the honor of seeing her and her late husband Mike supporting and serving their community,” said Bob Ross, President and CEO general of the Inasmuch Foundation and administrator of Colorado College. . “They have been excellent stewards of Colorado College and the Colorado Spring community. We are excited for the opportunity to recognize their invaluable contributions through the new Student Center, which will bring together both the campus community and the broader Colorado Springs community. What a perfect way to honor the legacy of these dedicated alumni and community members. “