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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Northwest's Student Center supervisor Annette Hill fits Kay Medsker Dolph for her commencement gown. Dolph has regretted not participating in the University's commencement ceremony when she earned her degree in 1967 and will instead walk in this week's summer commencement ceremony.

Northwest's Student Center supervisor Annette Hill fits Kay Medsker Dolph for her commencement gown. Dolph has regretted not participating in the University's commencement ceremony when she earned her degree in 1967 and will instead walk in this week's summer commencement ceremony. (Photo by Dominique Evans/University Relations)

July 29, 2013

Alumna walking in commencement 46 years after earning degree

By Elisa Lanter, media relations assistant

Kay Medsker Dolph as she appeared while attending Northwest

Kay Medsker Dolph as she appeared while attending Northwest

Northwest Missouri State University will help 81-year-old alumna Kay Medsker Dolph, of Savannah, mark an item from her bucket list this week - walking in the University’s commencement ceremony.

Dolph graduated from Northwest in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in education but did not participate in her graduation ceremony that year.

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. “Ever since then, I have always wondered what it would feel like to walk across that stage.”

Dolph is grateful to Northwest for helping her make this wish become reality.

“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 in 1967, Dolph worked in the adult education department at Jefferson College in Hillsboro and was a recruiter for the School of Nursing at Graceland 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.

Northwest’s summer commencement ceremony is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, in Bearcat Arena. More than 240 students from Northwest’s three colleges and graduate school are expected to receive bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, education specialist degrees or certifications. The general public may watch the ceremony live via an online video stream at www.nwmissouri.edu/live.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468