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30 years of artistry: Carol Keithline’s generosity

Over the years, she’s sewn thousands of them by hand…

I’m talking about beanies.

That’s right. Making beanies for every new freshman at Benedictine College has filled Carol Keithline’s spare time ever since her son, Jeff, was a student leader here in 1986. Beanies have been a tradition here since the 1800s and Benedictine is one of the few remaining colleges that still holds fast to this “old school” standard.

Keeping this fun tradition going is only one of the ways Carol and her husband, H.B. Keithline, show their seemingly endless dedication for Benedictine College. They’ve also established a scholarship to help aspiring students from the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas with a preference for legacy applicants, after two sons, Jeff ’88 and Jerry ’90, graduated from Benedictine College.

H.B. and Carol Keithline exemplify the spirit of Benedictine College by pursuing excellence and focusing on serving others. In appreciation of their commitment, Benedictine College recognized Carol and H.B. with the Benedictine College Family Award in 2005. Carol was honored again during the 2015 Beanie Banquet, an annual event when freshmen receive the beanies she’s sewn. You can imagine the congratulations, laughs and smiles.

I especially love that Carol and H.B. have chosen Benedictine College as a focus of their generosity. Their roots run deep and local. In 1952, H.B. graduated from Maur Hill Prep, a Benedictine-run school in Atchison. He later served in the Navy during the Korean War and attended St. Benedict’s College in 1957. After a 30-year career with Colgate-Palmolive, he retired in 1991.

Carol graduated from Benedictine-run Mount St. Scholastica Academy in 1957, then from Gards Business College in St. Joseph, Missouri. She worked for the Social Security Administration. She served on the Piper School Board and was the chairperson for the precinct committee. Currently, she volunteers for community education.

I find it amazing to see the variety of reasons people have for getting involved with Benedictine College. Sometimes it’s a strong community spirit, sometimes it’s rooted in a love for family, for Catholic tradition and education, and a deep and enduring faith in God, and sometimes, it’s for all of those reasons, just like it was for H.B. and Carol.

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