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Alumna Dorothy Bailey '32 Honored at Basketball Game

From Stuart Kaufman, Sports Information:

Keene State College alums returning to campus for a basketball game is the middle of winter is nothing new. But when the alum is 102 years old and attended the College when it was named Keene Normal School, well that’s a different story.

Keene State College had the pleasure of hosting one of its oldest alumnae, Dorothy Bailey, class of 1932, at Saturday’s women’s basketball game against Southern Maine. Bailey, who was born in Marlow, N.H., and spent over 40 years in the teaching profession, was recognized at the game’s halftime when KSC athletic director John Ratliff presented her with a blanket.

Keene Normal School produced well-rounded teachers. Bailey took a wide variety of classes, including a few about sports. Back then, students were supposed to know the rules and know how to score all the sports. One of the sports was rifle shooting. Bailey got permission from her father to handle a rifle, but her first class ended up being her last class. “I’m left handed,” explained Bailey. “The teacher looked at me and said, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do with you.’ So I put the gun down, and that was my lesson.”

Bailey married twice, first to Dr. Anthony Kendall and later to Bob Bailey, a KNS grad from her class, who she got reacquainted with while helping to plan Keene State’s 50th reunion. “We were both retired teachers who hadn’t seen each other for 50 years,” said Bailey. “He was living in Florida, so I called him to come up and get busy and help me plan this reunion. He came up and it took off from there.”

Living for a time with her second husband in St. Petersburg, Fla., and later in Royalton, Mass., Bailey, a member of KSC’s Golden Circle Society (Alums who graduated 50 or more years ago) has been residing in Prospect Place, an assisted living home in Keene for almost a year. “Dorothy is one of my most coherent and physically active people that I work with,” said Vicki (Bishop) Bean, a 1993 KSC grad who works at as LNA at Prospect Place. “She just amazes me. She doesn’t like to be signaled out though. She just wants to be one of the ladies.” Bean said Bailey plays cards and bingo, does her exercise group, and goes on all the trips – including Saturday’s crosstown visit to watch the Keene State women’s basketball team.

Looking forward to coming over to the campus and seeing the women’s team play, Bailey wasn’t adverse to offering an opinion or two about the old women’s basketball rules that prevented some players from crossing over half-court. “I hope they changed the rules. They were so stupid,” said Bailey before entering the gym.

Asked about the game as she departed the gym, Bailey said the first thing she noticed was the players’ uniforms. “They’re quite different,” she said. “They’re not as prudish as they were in my day.”

Dorothy called the game “zippy.” “I’m glad they changed a couple of the rules,” she said. “The girls aren’t afraid to get in there and battle for the ball. That never happened when we used to play.”

For more about details about Bailey, including details of her experience at KNS and her teaching career, see the full story at the news site.

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