Alumna, 81, Takes Part In Commencement 46 Years After Graduating

Posted 9 months ago

By John P Tretbar


Kay Medsker Dolph of Savannah graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in 1967, but she didn’t take part in her graduation ceremony. Now commencement is on her “bucket list,” and school officials will help her out.

Officials at Northwest will help the 81-year-old alumna mark an item from her bucket list this week.

Doph graduated in ’67 with a bachelor’s degree in education. At the time of her graduation, Dolph looked forward to returning to her husband and children in St. Louis and was not concerned with walking in the ceremony.

“Last year, my youngest grandson graduated from the University of Missouri, and I was so proud of him,” Dolph said in a news release. “Ever since then, I have always wondered what it would feel like to walk across that stage.”

“When I called the University, they mentioned that no one had ever requested this before,” Dolph said. “I wondered why not, it means a great deal to me to be able to walk in a graduation ceremony.”

Dolph noted several changes on the campus since she completed her degree.

“I remember Colden Hall was the most confusing building, the library was in Wells Hall and the gym was in the Administration Building,” Dolph said.

After earning her degree, Dolph worked in the adult education department at Jefferson College in Hillsboro and was a recruiter for the School of Nursing at Graceland College University in Lamoni, Iowa.

Both of Dolph’s parents also attended Northwest in the 1930s.

Dolph is now retired and volunteers at the Rolling Hills Library in Savannah. She has five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, with one more on the way in January. She has three sons, two of whom are in the military and the other lives in Kansas City. Dolph hopes to see a few family members at the ceremony.