Kay McGlothlin’s family was too poor to afford groceries, let alone college. But a family friend helped fund her tuition at Abilene Christian College. Years later, she and her husband gave a gift to the university that brought them together by helping fund the McGlothlin Campus Center.
“She knew that the only reason she had gotten to go to school was because she had got a gift,” said her daughter, Nita Rampey.
Kathryn “Kay” Dollar was born in 1927 in Memphis, Tennessee, and died Oct. 9, 2017. Throughout her lifetime she gave to the university not only monetarily, but also through founding Women for ACU, serving on the Alumni Board and hosting college students at her house for a meal every week. In 2015, the university dedicated the Quad in honor of her and her husband.
Her family suffered from poverty during the Great Depression, and often received groceries from church members. A family friend helped her go to ACU – ACC at the time – to study English.
She heard about Ray McGlothlin before she met him. He had started attending ACC as a 17 year old, but joined the navy to fight in World War II as soon as he was able.
“He was a handsome service men and everyone was talking about Ray McGlothlin,” Rampey said.
He returned to campus after the war, met Kay, and by 1947 they got married. She also became a member of GATA women’s social club.
“When she was a pledge they had to swallow raw oysters on a string,” said her daughter, Karyn Henley.
McGlothlin’s other campus activities included Alpha Chi, CSO, Who’s Who, A Cappella Chorus, Girls’ Sextet, Orphesian Society (music club), W Club (President 1948-49) and Girl of the Year (1948-49). After graduating, she served in many ministries at Hillcrest Church of Christ, sponsored the Wildcat softball team when it started, and traveled with the women’s basketball team.
“She was always involved in music,” Rampey said. “She and Daddy both sang at all of the alumni reunion chorus CDs that they put out.”
Once a month in the 1960s, she and her husband hosted “Sing Along with Ray and Eat Along with Kay,” a food and song event for college students. She also served in women’s Bible classes until a few years ago, Rampey said.
In 1965, the McGlothlins joined three other families in giving $1.6 million to the university to build the Evelyn McGlothlin Campus Center. At the time, it was the single largest gift in university history.
Her daughter Caryl Parker said although her mother preferred a cappella worship, she was never bothered by the university growing more accepting of things like instrumental worship or dancing. She supported all of her daughters when they chose to attend instrumental churches.
“They were more concerned with our relationship with Jesus,” Parker said. “I think they’ve always been open to progress.”
Every week for more than 40 years, McGlothlin met with a group of women to pray for their families. Her daughters said she still loved to be involved in college activities up until she had a fall in August and was restricted for the first time.
McGlothlin was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Dan Dollar and grandson Bryce Oliver. Survivors include her husband, Ray McGlothlin, Jr., daughters Karyn Henley, Nita Rampey, Danna Oliver and Caryl Parker; sister Dot Lincoln Cunningham; ten grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will take place at Hillcrest Church of Christ Friday, October 13 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for gifts to the Ray and Kay McGlothlin Scholarship Fund at Abilene Christian University, Hillcrest Church of Christ Zambian Mission Fund, World Christian Broadcasting, Pregnancy Resources of Abilene, or a charity of the donor’s choice.