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Kathy Visser Sets 50 Year Employment Goal

By Elexis Rodgers
On April 26, 2013


Kirkwood Community College alumni Kathy Visser first began her journey as a student who became part of the college's history. 

       Currently Visser is working as the Office Coordinator in the Agriculture Science Department but she came to Kirkwood as a student in the class of 1981.

       Visser, originally from Traer, made her way to Kirkwood through sports where she played on both the women's basketball and softball teams.  In addition to her sports involvement, she said she was also part of the student government and the business club.

       As a result of her consistent involvement, she said she was later nominated and chosen as the college's first homecoming queen. Visser revealed that when she won, she was given a crown that she later had to return because the college had rented it. She did, however, get a tiara and flowers to keep.

       "There are just so many memories here", she recalled. These memories included a popcorn stand that used to be in Linn Hall that she regularly visited and a big tree that used to be where the current parking lot is.

       "The campus has changed a lot. Most of the buildings here today weren't here when I attended, like Cedar Hall. The baseball diamond used to be just an open field", she explained.

       Besides some parts of the campus that she remembered, she also recalled a favorite professor she had, Richard Koolbeck.

       "He was my favorite teacher because even though I struggled with math, he made me feel comfortable and relaxed", she admitted. She explained that he had worn a purple sweater that she was convinced it was lucky in helping her test grades.

       She said her ultimate goal is being the first employee to work for 50 years.

       "I've got about 18 and a half years left to go with my retirement date being Dec 31, 2031 but I'll probably stick around Kirkwood after I've retired", she added, "Kirkwood is my life and it's been a good life."

       Nowadays, she said she appreciates all the aspects of what this college still has to offer after all of these years.

       "The education offered here is phenomenal and affordable. It wasn't originally designed to be a transfer school but has turned out that way. I have students who don't want to leave after just two years, they wish-just like I had wished-that it was a four year school," she said.

       The best part, she said, is that she never had to leave. In May of her sophomore year, she applied for the part-time secretary position for the Student Activities Center, also known today as Student Life.

In the time that she has worked at Kirkwood, she's worked in many different departments and said she recognizes the rewarding part of it all-getting to see students excel and the campus thrive.

       "When I was in school, I would sit at this bench that was right by a huge window and just watch the campus come alive. I loved it," Visser reminisced.

       Even though it is a commuter campus, she advised students to stay and spend some time on campus.

       Her last piece of advice for students she offered, "and it's true you can start here and go anywhere but you can start here and stay here because that's what I did and I love it."

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