Yanicke ’67 continues supporting Cornell students

When Georgia Yanicke ’67 was a Cornell College student in the pre-Title IX era, intercollegiate sports weren’t offered for women and she participated in Kippers, the synchronized swimming team. Her love of swimming led her to choose Cornell’s new sports medicine hydrotherapy area for her gift to the college’s Athletic and Wellness Facilities Project.

Georgia Yanicke '67 smiling in white blouse and necklaceYanicke is giving $100,000 to support the hydro space in Cornell’s $19.5 million Richard and Norma Small Athletic and Wellness Center (the SAW), part of the Greater > Than Campaign. 

“I’ve had hydrotherapy. It works really well. They are going to use it for athletic injuries, and I want to help student-athletes,” Yanicke said. 

She has been supporting Cornell for years through the Cornell Fund, the recent Science Facilities Project, and her own Georgia A. Yanicke ’67 Endowed Fund for International Education Studies.

“I wanted to pay back in small quantities over time, and I just kept going,” she said. 

President Jonathan Brand said the college is grateful for Yanicke’s ongoing support.

“Georgia’s enthusiasm for Cornell is infectious,” he said. “Through her giving she has touched the lives of our students in so many ways—through international travel, the sciences, and now our sports medicine hydrotherapy program.” 

Yanicke is a Wisconsin educational leader who retired as a special education supervisor for the Milwaukee Public Schools after serving over 35 years. She has taught swimming to Milwaukee students with disabilities for 40 years. 

“It gives me my kid fix,” she said.

At Cornell she studied psychology and elementary education and in addition to Kippers she played oboe in the band and orchestra. She went on to specialize in behavioral, learning, and cognitive disabilities while completing master’s and doctoral degrees. Prior to joining the Milwaukee Public Schools, she taught at Creighton University, lectured at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and supervised student teachers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison while working on her Ph.D. thesis.

Yanicke, who got to live in Dows Hall the first year it opened, was a tenacious student. She created her own program at Cornell that allowed her to get around a multitude of rules and regulations so she could study in Germany and Austria for a semester with her high school exchange student sister.

“I just thought it was a great experience. I thought everybody should have an experience like that,” she said. 

So while her Georgia A. Yanicke ’67 Endowed Fund for International Education Studies helps make it possible for Cornell education students to travel the world, her latest gift will ensure injured student-athletes are well cared for.