94 year-old among 2023 graduating class

Micah Tucker, Mulumba Asukulu, Beulah Hester and Alex Frahler pose for a photo with a group of...
Micah Tucker, Mulumba Asukulu, Beulah Hester and Alex Frahler pose for a photo with a group of friends, family and Kentucky School for the Deaf staff members. The four were honored during the school’s graduation ceremony on Friday. (Photo by Joe Ragusa, May 26, 2023)(Photo by Joe Ragusa, May 26, 2023)
Published: May. 27, 2023 at 7:49 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT,Ky. (WSAZ) -Beulah Hester was supposed to graduate a lot sooner from the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD). The 94-year-old went to school from 1937 to 1948 but left before her senior year to start a family.

“I always thought about graduating, but I also wanted to stay home with my family,” she said.

Despite not finishing her coursework, Hester remained committed to KSD and was employed by the school as a dorm houseparent for 30 years until she retired in 1990.

“It was the kids. It was the students. Everyone I loved was there,” she said.

Hester was awarded an honorary diploma during KSD’s graduation ceremony on Friday, one of four students to walk the stage this year as the campus celebrates its 200th anniversary.

“I’m very surprised at everything that’s happening with this,” she said. “Getting this diploma has been so important to me. I’ve just enjoyed it so much.”

Hester said she remembers staying on campus a lot with her friends as a kid, running around in the dorms, and having as much fun as possible.

“We were pretty mischievous,” she said.

Her love for the campus continued as she worked at KSD, and Friday’s ceremony reminded her how important the school is to her.

“It’s great being with friends and all the people that I’ve known all my life,” said Hester. “Each person is just so important to me.”

During her graduation speech, Hester reminded the other three graduating students to never forget what KSD meant to them.

All three graduating seniors said they plan to come back and contribute to KSD in some way, much like Hester did for decades, but they will miss their time as a student.