Aug. 3, 2006
Ron and Jeannette Yockey, residents of Dakota Dunes, S.D., have made the naming gift for the complete renovation of the community meeting room in Morningside College’s Olsen Student Center. The couple has named the room the Yockey Family Community Room.
Ron Yockey said, “I’d like to dedicate the room in recognition of the family’s association with Morningside College and the college’s contribution to the success and careers of our family.”
Yockey, president of Beef Products, Inc. (BPI), is a 1970 graduate of Morningside, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and physics. His father, Dr. William C. Yockey, a resident of Sioux City and retired Morningside College professor and environmental consultant, is a 1949 Morningside graduate.
His brother, Randy Yockey, of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, is director of quality assurance at Chesterman Co. in Sioux City and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the college in 1973. Ron Yockey’s sister Janet Fleckenstein, a sixth-grade teacher who works and resides in Sergeant Bluff, received her Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree through the college’s Graduate Studies program in 1978. His sister Pamela Schulz, of South Sioux City, Neb., earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Morningside in 1977 and is a teacher at West Middle School in Sioux City.
The new community room will be used by campus and off-campus groups for meetings, conferences, and banquets for gatherings of up to 200 persons. The renovation of this room, formerly called the Randolph Room, began this summer and is slated for completion in December 2006.
Morningside President John Reynders said, “Our students benefit immensely from connections with the Sioux City community. The renovated community room will provide an attractive space where Morningside students and community members can meet and interact. We deeply appreciate the generosity of Ron and his wife, and we’re excited to be able to move forward with this important project.”
Ron Yockey has been at BPI for 23 years and worked for the company in California and Texas before returning to the Sioux City area. Previously, he served as director of engineering at Knox Gelatin for one year and as manager of by-product development at Iowa Beef Packers, Inc. (IBP) for 15 years. He is a member of the advisory board for Process Technology Xchange (PTX), the food and beverage industry’s process and packaging technology event.
He is a member of the Morningside College Board of Directors and serves on the Siouxland Business Gifts Committee for the college’s current capital campaign, “This is Our Moment.”
He has a son, Eric, and two grandchildren.
The couple’s gift is in support of the $750,000 challenge grant that The Kresge Foundation awarded the college in March. The college must raise a total of $6 million for the renovation of the Olsen Student Center and completion of Phase II of the campus master plan by June 1, 2007, in order to meet the foundation’s challenge. Nearly $5 million in pledges or gifts towards these projects, including the Yockey gift, have already been raised.