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Architects of the Future: The Last Graduates of York Junior College

Architects of the Future

Fifty years ago, on June 1, 1968, the 26th and final commencement of York Junior College (YJC) was held on the Country Club Road campus. The speaker, trustee and local attorney, W. Burg Anstine, told the 250 graduates that they were “the architects of the future.”

The nearly 30-year story of YJC came to an end that day, but its journey started 42 years before. In 1926,
York Collegiate Institute President Dr. Charles Hatch Ehrenfeld recommended to the Board of Trustees that the school “revert to its original [preparatory] standard…that of a junior college.” In 1941, the private school founded by Samuel Small in 1871 officially became “York Junior College of the York Collegiate Institute.”

There were just 16 members in the first graduating class of YJC in 1943. The “community college” survived the low enrollment of the war years to thrive under the G.I. Bill. Nearly three decades later, 250 students – the last of YJC alumni – closed a chapter in college history that spanned three wars, the creation of the interstate highway system, and five presidents.

YJC’s last commencement was the beginning of the York College of Pennsylvania story. For nearly three remarkable decades the students of YJC proved that they were, indeed, the “architects of the future.”