Benedictine College Recognizes "Beanie Lady" | Benedictine College

Benedictine College Recognizes "Beanie Lady"

Published: Thursday, September 03, 2015

Atchison, KS - 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 at the college, the woman who makes the beanies has done so for the last 30 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 Keithlines 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 25 years after their youngest son graduated, the couple is still committed to Benedictine College 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 recognized the Keithlines with the Benedictine College Family Award in 2005. Carol was again honored during this year’s Beanie Banquet, when all the freshmen receive the beanies she had worked on for so long.

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) 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.

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. Legacy ties to Benedictine College also run deep in the Keithline family, with siblings, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and god-children all attending.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.