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Gold-sequined memories


A 1984–87 Golden Girl, Kim Voss sports a sequined unitard and white boots — the iconic uniform for members of the dance group. Photo courtesy of Kim Voss

Some Mizzou fans file out of the bleachers in pursuit of nachos and sodas or bathroom breaks, but Kim Richardson Voss stays behind for her favorite part of the football game — halftime.

As a former Golden Girl, Voss watches the Marching Mizzou and spirit squad performances with pride — and a tinge of jealousy for the costumes of the modern era.

“I was a Golden Girl back in the ’80s, when all we sported was the gold-sequined, long-sleeved unitard with our white boots,” says Voss, BS Ed ’87, M Ed ’91. “We did get to shed the boots for a while and wear white Keds tennis shoes and white leg warmers after the movie Flashdance came out. Every once in a while, we’d go out and make a skirt or vest to go over the sequins, but that was it.”

Voss’ golden ambitions began when her grandparents Robert and Marie Sullivan took her to Mizzou football games as a child. Before kickoff, they’d gather on Francis Quadrangle, where Marching Mizzou and the Golden Girls performed a small concert, and then they’d follow the band’s procession to the stadium. The pregame tradition and her love of dance led Voss to try out for the team her freshman year. She danced with the squad from 1984–87, two years of which her sister Michele Richardson Grace, BS Ed ’88, was also a Golden Girl.

“As a student, I was doing it for the fun, the joy and the bond with the university,” says Voss, who works part time as a math teacher and a billing manager for Zick, Voss & Politte law firm in Washington, Mo. “But as I got older and became an alumna, the thing I appreciated more was the part I played to provide the spirit for the university. It was an honor being part of an organization that was the face of the university for parades and halftimes.”

In 2006–07, Voss showed her Tiger pride in a different way — serving as the Mizzou Alumni Association’s president and helping commemorate the association’s 150th anniversary. Coming from a black-and-gold family — her parents, husband and two sisters are alumni — Voss maintains a strong university connection and frequently returns for Homecoming festivities.

“House decs are one of the most unique Homecoming traditions,” says the Kappa Kappa Gamma member. “I try to describe it to other people who didn’t go to Mizzou, but it’s hard to do it justice. As a student, I know it’s costly and time-consuming, but you’ll look back on it and see that it’s worth the investment. As an alumna, I now come to look for those things that add to the atmosphere and spirit, those things that bring back memories.”

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