BC Recognizes Beanie Tradition through Family Award
- Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Benedictine College is one of the few colleges in America still observing the tradition of its freshmen wearing beanies. Not only is it a long-standing tradition going back longer than anyone can remember, the woman who makes the beanies has done so for the last 20 incoming freshman classes.
Carol Keithline, of Kansas City, Kansas, has hand-sewn hundreds of beanies each year since 1986 when her son, Jeff, then a student leader at Benedictine, asked her to help out.
“Jeffrey came to me and wanted me to do it,” she said. “And I told him to give me a beanie so I could see what it looked like. Once I saw one, I made a pattern, cut the fabric, and started sewing.”
“It’s really quite an extensive process,” added her husband, H.B. “It’s a very time-consuming project each year.”
With two sons, Jeff ’88 and Jerry ’90, graduating from the college, the Keithline’s have had plenty of involvement with Benedictine. From football and soccer games to family weekends, Carol and H.B. have been supporters and fans for a long time. Even 15 years after their youngest son graduated, the couple is still committed to BC and its beanies.
“I’m glad the boys went to Benedictine,” Carol Keithline said. “They got a great education and they still have a lot of good friends from there and I’d just like to keep (the beanie tradition) going. Each year they call me and I start cutting.”
In appreciation of their extensive commitment to one of the rich traditions of Benedictine College, the school will recognize both Carol and H.B. Keithline with the annual Benedictine Parent Award. The award will be given by the president of the college, Stephen D. Minnis, on Saturday, October 15, during halftime of the BC football game against Evangel University. Kick-off is set for 2 p.m.
Overall, ties run deep between the Keithlines and the Benedictine communities of Atchison. Both Carol and H.B. attended Benedictine-run Catholic high schools in Atchison. H. B. graduated from Maur Hill Prep School in 1952, then served in the Navy during the Korean War. He came back to Atchison for one semester and attended St. Benedict’s College (now Benedictine College) in 1957. He retired in 1991, following a 30-year career with Colgate-Palmolive.
Carol (Miller) Keithline graduated from Mount St. Scholastica Academy in 1957. She graduated from Gards Business College in St. Joseph, Mo., and worked at the Social Security Administration until 1967. She spent eight years on the Piper School Board and spent 16 years as the chairperson for the Precinct Committee. She spends much of her free time volunteering for community education.
Legacy ties to Benedictine College also run deep in H. B. and Carol’s family; daughter-in-law Julie Branch Keithline is a 1989 graduate; Carol’s brother, Ronald Miller, attended St. Benedict’s College from 1962-63, and other siblings, Burnace and Linda Miller, Melvin and Ruth Miller, Richard and the late Dorothy Miller, and Sug Miller McGuire, each have had children attend or graduate from the College. They include: Rick Miller, ’80, Pat Miller, who attended 1978-79; Debbie Miller Van Larr, ’83, Scott Miller, ’86, Paul Miller, ’88, Mark Miller, ’90, Kelli Miller Nichols, ’00, Mike McGuire, ’94, and David Miller, who attended 1991-92. Carol’s godchild, Barb Miller Holder, a 1979 graduate, is a current BC employee and student in the college’s Executive MBA program.
The Keithlines are the parents of four children, Dana Carroll, Jay, Jeffrey, and Jerry, and spend much of their free time spoiling their grandchildren and working on the family farm.