By Alissa Sheppard
She may be Southwestern’s ultimate super fan. Athletic memorabilia fills her office as she talks about her 26 year journey at the college.
Born in California, Barbara Kaiser, finance office assistant, moved to Wichita when she was one year old. After moving to Winfield at 15 to follow in the footsteps of her older brother, Kaiser attended high school and junior college at St. Johns. After college she began to work in the business office at St. Johns until the day it closed. “I applied at Southwestern, and the day before St. Johns closed I got a call asking for me to start that next week,” said Kaiser. She has been at Southwestern since October 16, 1986, and that is when it all began.
“I pay bills,” is what Kaiser said when asked what she does in the business office. “Wednesday’s are my busier days because that is when I write checks, but every day is just like any other,” said Kaiser. She said even when the students are gone the bills go on.
In her free time Barbara loves to attend athletic events. She used to sell tickets for basketball and football. “That is where I started to fall in love with the students, I began to learn who they were and who their families were,” said Kaiser.
Kaiser calls all the students her kids. “I don’t have a favorite because I love them all, but I have some that I get to spend more time with than others,” said Kaiser. She remembers all of the students that come and go. Donald Carter was one of her all time favorites. “He really excelled when he was here at SC, I used to tease him and tell him to remember me when he got his Nike contract,” said Kaiser.
Last year Barbara got her first foster child. “She is such a sweetheart,” said Sheri Zoglmann, sophomore guard. She got Barbara as a foster mom last year. “If I could tell her anything I would tell her thank you for supporting us. I have never had someone come to every single game, she even drove to Iowa to see us play,” said Zoglmann.
Although he is not her foster son, Barbara said she adopted James Davis, as her own child. Knowing Barbara since his freshman year, Davis said she is like a mother to him. “She is my support when my parents are not at games,” said Davis. The two have a special bond, every time he walks past she yells “Go James.” “If I could tell her one thing it would be thank you for her support and time because she has done a lot of things for me that she has not had to do,” said Davis.
Kaiser tries to make it to all games, home and away. One of her all time favorite memories is when SC beat Sterling at their house. “I really enjoyed that game,” said Kaiser. She is not particular when it comes to offensive or defensive strategies. She said she just likes to see SC score. “I am not a big yeller. I sit next to people who holler at the refs so they do all the yelling for me,” said Kaiser.
Matt O’Brien, head men’s basketball coach, says he is humbled by the sacrifices Barbara makes to be at all the games. “Barbara has a great deal of passion for all SC sports. Our players and coaches appreciate her enthusiasm and commitment to our athletic programs,” said O’Brien.
“No matter if they are winning or losing, I support them all, I love them all, they are my kids,” said Kaiser.
Alissa Sheppard is a senior majoring in communication. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.