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Keuka College News

Effervescent Esther: An Interview with the 1960 Graduate and Commencement Speaker

Esther Yoder, a 1960 Keuka College graduate and former chair of the Board of Trustees, will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the College’s 105th commencement May 26.

Yoder, owner of Subway EAY Stores Inc. in Gainesville, Fla., was a member of Keuka’s governing board for the better part of the last 20 years, serving as chair in 2006-07 and vice chair from 2001 to 2006. She is now an emeritus member of the Board.

She chaired the Shaping the Future: One Graduate at a Time campaign, the most prolific fundraising campaign in Keuka history. She is one of only six people in Keuka history to receive the Norton-Blyley Presidential Medallion, which recognizes service to the College “above and beyond an extraordinary high standard,” and is a recipient of the Alumni Association’s Eleanor Judd Wilkes Service to Keuka Award.

In this interview with Executive Director of Communications Doug Lippincott, Yoder discusses a number of topics, such as what it means to her to speak at commencement and receive an honorary degree, what campus life was like in the mid- and late-1950s, why she gives back to her alma mater in myriad ways, and how a Christian education major became a successful businesswoman.

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