BVU Honors Dennis Young with Templeton Life Trustee Honor

Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Sir John Marks Templeton Life Trustee Dennis Young is congratulated by Buena Vista University President Joshua Merchant following a ceremony that capped off the spring meeting of the BVU Board of Trustees in Storm Lake. Young graduated from BVU in 1965, served with distinction on the Board of Trustees from 1979 through 2012, and has served the University on a host of committees for decades.
/ Photo submitted

Dennis Young, a longstanding servant leader for Buena Vista University, was recognized as a Sir John Marks Templeton Life Trustee during a ceremony that capped off the spring meeting of the BVU Board of Trustees in Storm Lake.

“Induction as a Sir John Templeton Life Trustee is a special honor,” BVU President Joshua Merchant said in a presentation. “It is reserved for those who have had a far-reaching impact on this institution. I am confident Buena Vista University would not be where it is today without your service, support, and leadership.”

Young, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Wells Fargo Financial, LLC., at the time of his retirement in 2006, has given of his time, energies, and resources to a variety of BVU programs and initiatives for decades. The track inside the Lamberti Recreation Center bears his name, the Dennis Young Indoor Track, the oval that held the inaugural Iowa Conference Indoor Track Meet. Thousands of athletes from across the nation have competed in the Dennis Young Indoor Track and Field Classic since its founding in 2002.

“I felt that back in the 1990s, we needed a 6-lane, 200-meter indoor track and multi-purpose facility to not only serve our track and field team, but all of our athletes and students, providing teams a place to practice and students a place to play intramurals or workout when Siebens Fieldhouse was in use,” Young said. “Don and Charlene Lambertis’ gift provided the building within which we could place the track and courts. It represented a team effort from the start.”

Dennis and his wife, Diane, have also hosted and networked with BVU student-athletes and alumni at their home, on campus in Storm Lake, and throughout Iowa.

“Dennis purchased the BVU record board and the All-American/National Champion banners that grace the track,” said Colton Slack, BVU head track and cross country coach. “He funds the Dennis Young Indoor Track Classic, he once brought an Olympian to our clinic, and he and Diane host a wonderful dinner for our team on the Thursday night of the Drake Relays every year.

“Dennis isn’t only a great supporter of Buena Vista University and the Beaver track and field program—he’s also a genuine guy who cares about others,” Slack said.

Young, who graduated from BVU in 1965, served with distinction on the University’s Board of Trustees from 1979-2012, joining the board at the age of 36 and eventually serving as Board Vice Chair, and as a member of the Academic Affairs Committee, Investment Committee, Trusteeship Committee, Marketing Committee, Business Service Committee, Student Affairs Committee, Presidential Compensation Committee, and Executive Committee.

Additionally, Young served as a BVU Alumni Board Member from 1974-1977, earning the Keith Briscoe Alumni Award in 1975 and the John Fisher Alumni Award in 1993 for past student achievements, career success and consistent dedication to the qualities for which BVU stands.

In bestowing the honor, Dr. Norm Nielsen, chair of the BVU Board of Trustees, remarked that the Youngs’ support has also helped boost BVU’s Annual Fund, and aided in the construction of The Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum, The Estelle Siebens Science Center, and the Donald W. and Grace Young Endowed Scholarship Fund, among others.

The honor is named for the late Sir John Marks Templeton, an internationally acclaimed investor and philanthropist who managed the growth of the BVU endowment following the record $18-million gift of Dr. Harold Walter Siebens, then served as a member of the BVU Board of Trustees.

Young joins the following as a Sir John Marks Templeton Life Trustee in service to Buena Vista University: Dr. Edward Bodaken, Dr. Keith Briscoe, Robert Cramer, Dr. James Haahr, Dr. Donald Lamberti, George Schaller, and Bernadine Sikorski.

In his first “official act” as a Life Trustee, Young drove to Cedar Rapids on May 11 to catch his alma mater’s track and baseball teams in action as they vied for conference titles.

“Both the track meet and the baseball tournament were in Cedar Rapids, so I told, Diane, ‘How can the guy who just received the Sir John Marks Templeton honor not be there?’” Young said with a laugh.

He watched a good portion of the track meet before “sprinting” to Veterans Memorial Stadium to watch the baseball team clinch the American Rivers Conference Tournament Championship. “I celebrated the final innings with everyone and was so proud to be there and to shake Coach Steve Eddie’s hand,” Young said.