Sometimes it’s not just the academics, athletics or architecture that students love most about their college campus. Sometimes it’s not just the achievements or experiences that students take with them after graduation. For many, it’s the lifelong friendships they create and smile back on when reminiscing about the college years.
If you ask the students from Southwest Baptist University (SBU) what they will remember, they will mention one person, Miss Kay.
On the faculty listing, Kay Lockhart is a member of the dining staff at SBU. To everyone else, she’s Miss Kay, a friendly cashier who prides herself on getting to know as many students as she can from the moment they set foot into the dining hall.
“I really do try to remember everyone’s name. If I had to guess, I think I know about 80% of all students names,” agrees Miss Kay. “I love interacting with them. Sometimes they ask me to say prayers for them about their upcoming tests or their families. And often students ask me if I could use any of their prayers, too. “
Miss Kay has been at SBU for 13 years, bringing a litany of knowledge that has transformed SBU’s Mellers Dining Hall into what feels like a family kitchen, giving every student a chance to feel right at home.
Miss Kay places a great value on getting to know her students, and often sharing words of encouragement or just a meaningful hug during stressful times of the semester. The students often repay her kindness in the same.
“Usually on Valentine’s Day, I just buy a box of chocolates to take home after work, as I am a widow, but last year something special happened,” described Kay. “One student, Jamir, showed up to the dining hall with chocolates and flowers for me. This is just a special community.”
Between classes, finals, friendships, game days and young careers, there’s no doubt that every student who has come through Mellers Dining Hall takes with them the fond memories and connection with Miss Kay.