Cathy Thogmorton Retires

The name Thogmorton stands out to many in the Fayette community, especially when reflecting on Central Methodist University’s history, and the people who were there to help nurture and transform a small, private college into a growing, thriving institution. 

Cathy Thogmorton is one of the individuals who played a big part in that success story. 

Cathy ThogmortonFor fifteen years, she worked for Central Methodist’s Public Relations Department, primarily serving as the editor of Talon Magazine – Central’s alumni magazine that features updates and information on Central graduates, as well as campus activity and news.

Recently, Thogmorton said goodbye to the place she regularly referred to as “home.” Her last day on campus was Friday, Aug. 17, as she retired from Central Methodist.

Born in Denver, Colo., Thogmorton is the daughter of the late Helen Gertrude Puckett and James Pleasant Thogmorton – names still often spoke of in the CMU community, and also prominently displayed on the outside of campus buildings. Her parents met and fell in love while attending then-Central College, both graduating in 1943 and then marrying in 1944. 

After living in Warrensburg, “they jumped at the opportunity to return to their home base, and in 1955, we moved back to Fayette,” Thogmorton said of her parents and older sister, Louann. Her father became the director of the men’s dorm, McMurry Hall, and shortly thereafter, dean of students.

“For my sister, who was seven, and me at age five, Central became our playground, our jungle to explore, our grand experience,” Thogmorton said. 

She reflected on learning to ride her bicycle on campus, and on viewing Central students as teachers, playmates, and babysitters. She remembered Central as the place where she grew up – a place that in her heart, was home.

At 17, Thogmorton entered then-CMC as a freshman. 

“I went through all the joys and trials of four years of studies, roommates, eating in the basement of Holt Hall,” she said. “As a freshman, I was in the pajama parade, and as a sophomore, I joined the A Cappella Choir and fell in love with Luther T. Spayde.” 

During her senior year, Thogmorton taught English at Boonville High School, and then went on to Lee’s Summit to begin her professional career as a secondary English teacher for 25 years. 

When she lost her closest friend and decided to retire from teaching, Thogmorton made the decision to return “home” to Fayette in 2003 to take care of her parents who were entering their 80s. She was hired by CMC to create its sesquicentennial Talon Magazine, and was then offered the opportunity to continue working with Don Cullimore as an editor.

“I became Central green from the age of five. I have loved it, rolled in its grass, cried tears over it, been filled with it,” Thogmorton said. “Deciding to stop working there was an impossible decision, but time passes and needs change – but, I am not leaving Central. I belong to it and it belongs to me. Some things will never change. I am Central.”

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