Duncan, Beulah

Beulah
Duncan
Year Inducted: 
1985
Beulah Duncan
Highlights: 
  • Program Coordinator for the Adult Life Resource Center at the University of Kansas
  • Head of KU Elderhostel Program, the Senior Scholars Program, and Keeping in Touch Program
  • First woman Moderator of both Plymouth Congregational Church and Kansas-Oklahoma Conference of the United Church of Christ
  • Chair of the Vocational Services Committee for Altrusa, International
Biography: 

Beulah Duncan not only provides a role model for students choosing careers and starting out in life, but she is also an excellent model of how to get the most out of life in later years.  She served as Program Coordinator for the Adult Life Resource Center at the University of Kansas, and clearly is worthy of this praise.

Working through the Division of Continuing Education, she headed the KU Elderhostel Program, the Senior Scholars Program, and the Keeping in Touch Program.  Her warmth, caring, and individual attention have attracted many people to return to the campus to take an opportunity to enjoy new experiences.   Her commitment to the program made KU’s one of the best known Elderhostel program out of over 700.

In connection with Elderhostel, she organized a study trip to Italy for students and alumni, sponsored by the Office of Study Abroad and the School of Architecture and Urban Design.

Not only does Ms. Duncan devote herself to the Universit, but she also extends herself to the community.  She qualified for membership in Altrusa for her position of leadership in her field.  Ms. Duncan was asked to chair the Vocational Services Committee after only a few months because of her exceptional ability to match human needs to available resources.  She is also active in her church.  She served as the first woman Moderator of the Plymouth Congregational Church and was also the first woman Moderator in the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference of the United Church of Christ.  She served as Senior Deacon at the Church and as a member of the Board of Trustees.  Her pastor, Dr. Homer D. Henderson wrote, “She commands the respect of those with whom she works and is a genuinely caring person.”

Louis Michel, former Professor of Architecture, stated “She has that unusual blend of abilities which both encourages students toward intellectual investigation, while at the same time instills in their lives a feeling of worth and friendship.”  Former Executive Vice Chancellor Robert P. Cobb summarized her attributes well when he said “She is an enthusiastic, personable, and lively advocate of Browning’s comment, ‘Grow old along with me, the best of life is yet to be.’”

Honors & Achievements: 
  • Valedictorian, Clayton High School, Clayton, New Mexico, 1937
  • Associate of Arts, Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri, 1939
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 1941
  • Veteran of World War II, Coast Guard Spars
  • Original developer and coordinator for the Senior Scholar Program at the University of Kansas, 1976-1988
  • Original developer and coordinator for the Elderhostel Program at the University of Kansas, 1980-1988
  • Original developer and coordinator for the Keeping In Touch Program at the University of Kansas, 1984- 1988
  • Board Member, Penn House, Lawrence, KS
  • Member of the Horizon 2020 environmental quality and natural resources task force for comprehensive planning for the city of Lawrence, KS
  • Member of the advisory board for the Museum of Anthropology, University of Kansas
  • President, P.E.O. Sisterhood, Chapter GQ, two years
  • Program speaker at the dedication ceremony for the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, University of Kansas, 2003
  • First female Moderator at Plymouth Congregational Church, Lawrence, KS
  • Board of Deacons and Board of Trustees, Plymouth Congregational Church, Lawrence, KS
Quotes: 
  • My philosophy in life: Be the best that you can be. You need to challenge yourself
  • Do not let perceived gender roles or barriers deter you from your true goals

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