Sleuthing Series — Alma and Arthur Yardley

JCCC Archives presents the Sleuthing Series, where every Tuesday, we bring you an image from our past and ask you to help us find out more!

1.  In December 1982, the Yardleys presented a gift to the JCCC Foundation. Pictured from left to right: Dr. Carlsen, Alma Yardley, Arthur Yardley, and Sharyl Wallace, Foundation Dir.

What We Know

  • The December 1982 photo shoot was logged as, simply, “Donation to College.”
  • A Transcript article in March of 1993 announced:
    At 3 p.m. on March 21, in celebration of her 84th birthday, Alma Yardley will perform for the first time in Yardley Hall, the premiere performing arts center that bears the family name.  Mrs. Yardley and her 87-year-old husband, Arthur, have pledged more than $2 million to the JCCC Foundation, which provides an endowment for musical, theater and dance performances in the Cultural Education Center.
  • Perhaps the best insights into the lives of Alma and Arthur would come from her former piano students, as noted in the above-mentioned  Transcript article.  Alma started teaching right out of college in 1929.  She was a well-known and well-loved music educator in the Kansas City area, with about 40 students annually for most of her career.  She taught at the Conservatory of Music.  The Yardleys had no children of their own, and the many students who came into the Yardley home for lessons over the years were like children to Alma and Arthur.  She kept in touch with many of them over the years.
  • Alma and Arthur Yardley enjoyed deepening friendships while taking continuing education classes as members of the JCCC Brown & Gold Club.  Perhaps they felt that JCCC was a part of their family.  Alma was quoted in the article, “Arthur and I did not have children, and we have no other heirs, so we decided to give our money to the college.”  Alma thought it a wonderful birthday present to be able to begin her next journey round the Sun by sharing some of her favorite piano classics with friends, former students, and others in the beautiful auditorium named for her and her beloved husband, Arthur.
  • The JCCC Archives holds letters, pictures, momentos, some of Alma’s art work, assorted issues of Music Teacher, and (of course) some music.

What We Don’t Know

  • What happened between the JCCC Foundation and the Yardleys between 1982 and 1993.

If You Know More…

  • Contact  librarians: Anita Gordon Gilmore (, ext. 4369) or John Russell (, ext. 3284).  You may also comment below!

For More Information…

2.  Alma Yardley will present a free recital in the auditorium named for her and her husband, Arthur. — Transcript, March 1993
3.  Alma and Arthur at a practice session.
4.  From the Yardley memorabilia, date unknown. Quite possibly, the couple on the left is Alma and Arthur.


5.  Alma Yardley’s recital in Yardley Hall.
6.  Alma Yardley’s recital in Yardley Hall.
7.  Alma Yardley’s recital in Yardley Hall.
8.  The doors open for a show in Yardley Hall, November 5, 1994. According to newsletters from the time, this was Kevin McCarthy’s “Give ‘Em Hell Harry.”
9.  From the stage toward the back of Yardley Hall, February 1995.
10.  From the back toward the stage in Yardley Hall, February 1995.
11.  From the back toward the stage in Yardley Hall, February 1995.
12.  Yardley Hall sound board, September 2001.