Ray Tolbert to be inducted into the IU Athletics Hall of Fame http://www.idsnews.com/news/story.aspx?id=83185
Ultimate IU alumna will mark 75th year of watching IU football Saturday
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When Dorothy Stoelting attended her first Indiana University football game as a freshman, the legendary Alvin “Bo” McMillin was in his second year as coach of the Hoosiers and IU beat Centre College of Kentucky 14-0.
A decade later she witnessed one of the most glorious seasons in IU history when the 1945 Hoosiers went 9-0-1, won the Big Ten Conference title and ended the season ranked fourth in the nation.
Dorothy doesn’t recall which game she caught in Bloomington during the 1967 season but she was there in Pasadena on Jan. 1, 1968, when coach John Pont’s Hoosiers took the Hoosiers to their only Rose Bowl appearance, a 14-3 defeat at the hands of O.J. Simpson and the University of Southern California Trojans.
Still, she was taken aback this week when asked how she felt about reaching the milestone of seeing at least one IU home football game each year for 75 years.
“Seventy-five? It doesn’t seem possible!” she exclaimed over the phone from her St. Louis home. “Oh my goodness! I hadn’t thought of that.”
It’s apparently true, according to her daughters, Jean Burgess of Bloomington and Judy Sanford of St. Louis. Dorothy always has been proud of attending at least one football game in Bloomington every year since enrolling at IU and to the best of her memory never missed a year except for 1963, when she arrived in Bloomington expecting to see the Hoosiers play and the game was cancelled because of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
“I think the neatest thing of all is that she’s never wavered from her loyalty or support of IU,” Burgess said. “Even when I was a little girl growing up, we always went to at least one game and sometimes several. Sometimes we were thrilled if IU didn’t lose by 20 points. That’s what we called a victory. But she’s never wavered, not even when people would get down on the team. She’s always been there for them.”
Dorothy came to IU from Warsaw, Ind., where she was class valedictorian. She went on to a long career as a public school teacher. For many years, Dorothy and her husband, Richard, came down to Bloomington from their northern Indiana home and met up with a regular group of friends for a weekend of fellowship, fun and football rah-rah. “We always stayed at McCormick’s Creek,” Dorothy said. “It didn’t matter what game we went to. We just got a room whenever we could get a room and there was a game that weekend. We’ll be there again this year.” (And booking rooms for next year before they leave.)
Burgess recalled that part of the attraction to McCormick’s Creek for her parents was that IU’s team stayed there on the night before games. “They’d get up bright and early to see the team. It was really sweet in the later years: you’d see eight little old people trudging down to cheer for the boys as they got on the team bus,” she said . . .
. . . At age 93 and approaching 94 on Oct. 8, Dorothy will no doubt be one of the few fans in the stands older than Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who is 84.
“She’s still sharp. She’s an amazing person — an amazing alumna,” said Burgess. “Her favorite part of the game is when the Marching Hundred comes out. She always cries. She’ll tell you that, too. It always brings tears to her eyes.”