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Dallastown resident, retired faculty member, and husband make significant gift to York College

March 01, 2019
Les and Nina Grove on their four wheelers outside their home in Dallastown.

While Nina (Reid) Grove has worn many hats during her 40-plus years at York College, her first love has remained consistent. “I am a physical educator at heart,” she said. “I tried to individualize physical education, so that students did not compare themselves to anyone else. I worked hard to make sure they always felt comfortable in my classes and could focus on and see their own progression.” 

Grove arrived at York in 1974 and instructed a diverse array of physical education classes throughout her 42-year career, including tennis, badminton, field hockey, basketball, modern dance, concepts of wellness, and her favorite, country western and square dance. She regularly attended both national and state association conferences to stay abreast of current trends and keep the Physical Education program current.

Grove also dedicated her time and energy to coaching. When she arrived at York College, there were two sports available to women athletes: basketball and field hockey. She coached both of these, as well as softball when it was added. “I came in coaching field hockey and basketball,” she said. “After the birth of my twin boys, I went with field hockey and women’s softball to avoid an overlap of seasons. I stayed with field hockey for 19 years, coaching while I pursued my doctorate in adult education from Penn State-Harrisburg.” 

Grove’s tenure was marked by the growth of women’s sports and equal opportunity for women as leaders. “Title IX was big during my time at York, and it was a driving force behind this,” she said. “When I arrived, York’s female athletes participated in the Penn Mar Conference, which included schools like Gettysburg, Dickinson, Elizabethtown, Western Maryland, Lebanon Valley and Wilson. These colleges and York were very supportive of the growth of women’s athletics.”

The Penn Mar Conference also encouraged women, including Grove, to serve in leadership roles. “There were very strong women serving as leaders at these schools,” said Grove, who served as the first Title IX athletics compliance officer for York College. “There was constant change, and it was a one-person show. We did our own thing. It was a different time, and we served students differently. Competition was important, as was winning, but the whole idea was to let the girls grow through participation and love of sport.”

Grove served two departments throughout her career. In addition to teaching physical education in the Department of Education, she also later taught sport management courses in the Department of Hospitality, Recreation and Sport Management. Outside the classroom, she served as the NCAA faculty athletics representative for many years, on the College’s Athletic Board of Control, and also as a member of several committees for the Academic Senate. She received the Student Senate Faculty Recognition Award in 1994, and was recognized for her service to the athletic department and to York College’s athletics in 1999 when she was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame.

Grove also served her community as a 25-year member of York Township Recreation Board and in leadership roles at her church. She and her husband, Les, have lived for years on her family’s farm in Dallastown. (They continue to farm the property, which has been in Nina’s family since 1852, in their retirement.) Les also has a strong connection to York College; he earned an associate’s degree from the College as an adult learner in 1997. He worked as a purchasing agent at several different organizations, including Blockhouse Company, Inc. before retiring. The Reid/Grove children also enjoyed the tuition benefit available to York College employees.

The Groves recently decided to make a significant gift to the York College Fund through their will. “Over the years, we have contributed regularly to the College,” Nina said. “When Grumbacher was built, we were not in a position to make a significant gift – we were raising children and had a farm to run. We both wanted York College to get a significant gift from our estate because of the impact it had on our lives.”

The gift to the Annual Fund is a “way of ensuring that the needs of students, like scholarship and wellness, are met,” said Nina. “Our York College friends and colleagues have been a significant part of our lives, and we will maintain those relationships throughout the years. Our gift will ensure that students have that same experience. York College felt like family throughout my career, and that’s the experience I want for students.”

“I believe the strength and beauty of York College is in the positive interactions of students, faculty, administration/staff all working toward common goals. That’s the heart and pulse of this institution.”