Renovated Lounge Dedicated in Honor of Youngs

February 20, 2008

President Richard F. Wilson unveiled the plaque dedicating the lounge in the Memorial Center to the Youngs. 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— The Main Lounge in Illinois Wesleyan University’s Memorial Center has a new name. The lounge, which underwent extensive renovations this winter, is now the Young Main Lounge after a dedication ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 19.

The lounge is named in honor of Nicholas and Iva Young, who were benefactors of Illinois Wesleyan. Though neither graduated from the University, both were professional fundraisers who understood the importance of further excellence in education.

The couple, who were married in 1928, worked side by side as fundraisers for YMCAs across the country, as well as hospitals, church buildings and service organizations. During World War II, Mr. Young worked with the National Council for the YMCA and internationally with the United Service Organization (USO), establishing USO clubs in Jamaica, Trinidad and Brazil. In 1970, the couple raised more than $7.5 million for the YMCA in Rochester, Minn. They then worked for the American City Bureau Beaver Association before retiring to Bloomington in 1972.

“After her husband passed away in 1974, Mrs. Young continued to be active in local fundraising initiatives, and greatly aided the development efforts for Evelyn Chapel and the Fort Natatorium at Illinois Wesleyan,” said Illinois Wesleyan’s Associate Vice President for Advancement Ben Rhodes, who added she was a member of the Illinois Wesleyan Board of Visitors and the President’s Club.

In 1987, Mrs. Young established the Nicholas T. and Iva G. Ellington Young Endowment Fund, which provides scholarship funding for Illinois Wesleyan students. She died in 1998 at the age of 90. “Mrs. Young was a kind and gentle lady with a very big heart.  She attended many events in the lounge, so it is a fitting tribute that it be named the Young Main Lounge.

  Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960