With $1 Million Gift, Michael F. Young Establishes the Sue Ellen Young ’63 Endowed Scholarship to Provide Aid for Single Parent Students

By Daniel DiPrinzio | August 22, 2022
Aerial View of campus including Grey Towers Castle

Arcadia University is proud to announce a generational gift from Michael F. Young, the husband of the late Sue E. Young ’63. With a $1 million gift, Michael has established the Sue Ellen Young ’63 Endowed Scholarship, which will provide financial aid for students who are single parents. 

“On behalf of everyone at Arcadia University, I offer my deepest gratitude and personal thanks to Michael F. Young and his family for this transformative, $1 million gift,” said Dr. Ajay Nair, president of Arcadia University. “Sue has been an indelible member of this University community for more than 60 years, and the support she and her family have provided Arcadia and its students has been and continues to be transformative for our institution and to our students. This gift, and the opportunities it will provide for single parents, epitomizes the term ‘impact philanthropy’ at Arcadia.” 

At Arcadia, the concept of “impact philanthropy” embodies the ideals of charitable support that endeavor to solve the University’s most pressing problems and address Arcadia’s highest priorities. One of Arcadia’s institutional priorities has been, since its establishment in 1853, to expand educational opportunities for students — especially those students who face obstacles in their pursuit of higher education. This extraordinarily generous gift from Michael in honor of his late wife, Sue Ellen, will work to provide single parent students with the financial support needed to achieve their higher education ambitions and partake in the transformative educational opportunities at Arcadia. 

Sue Ellen was a role model of competence, grace, hard work, and servant leadership. She graduated from Beaver College in 1963 and went on to have two careers: first as an elementary school teacher and later as an entrepreneur in real estate, establishing one of the first women-owned real estate companies in Pennsylvania. 

As a philanthropist with her husband, Sue Ellen supported the arts and education, which included the establishment of the Geraldine and John Yerger Endowed Scholarship at Arcadia University in 2006. With this scholarship, she intended to lessen the financial hurdles single parents face once enrolled in college. Her desire to be a blessing to single mothers was born out of her own experience. At the age of 28, after the loss of her first husband, Sue Ellen became a single parent to five boys. She named the endowed scholarship after her parents, Geraldine and John Yerger, to honor them while creating a pathway for single parents to pursue a degree at Arcadia University. Reflected throughout her philanthropy to Arcadia and particularly in the scholarship she created, Sue Ellen took great joy in mentoring young women and seeing them succeed.

Mirroring the Geraldine and John Yerger Endowed Scholarship, Michael established the Sue Ellen Young ’63 Endowed Scholarship to honor and focus on what truly mattered to Sue. With this gift, he cemented her unwavering commitment to increasing access to higher education for this special population of students. Through the scholarship, special preference will be given for single parent students who maintain sole custody of their child or children, and who receive no external financial support for the care of the child or children. 

To learn more about giving opportunities at Arcadia, contact Brigette A. Bryant, vice president for Development and Alumni Engagement, at bryantb@arcadia.edu.