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Alumni Profile

Tri Delta turns 107

Rhoda Sheetz

Rhoda S. Sheetz, BS Ed ’28, lives in Rio Grande Valley, Texas. She celebrated her 107th birthday March 12, 2012. Photo by Allen Essex, Harlingen Valley Morning Star

Rhoda S. Sheetz is one of few MU alumni whose life span encompasses not only the 100th Homecoming in 2011 but also the 1911 football game that started the tradition at MU. 

Sheetz, BS Ed ’28, celebrated her 107th birthday March 12, 2012, at the Golden Palms Retirement and Healthcare Center in Rio Grande Valley, Texas. One of the first residents at the assisted living home, she's been a Tiger for 84 years.

When the Memorial Union bell tower was built in 1926, Sheetz was a Delta Delta Delta member and two years away from completing her undergraduate degree. 

Bessie Leach Priddy, the national president of Delta Delta Delta in 1931, was the dean of women at MU when Sheetz attended. 

“She kept a very close tab on all of us,” Sheetz says. “And I had good days there, thoroughly enjoyed all of them.” 

Sheetz forged friendships and cultivated Tri Delta connections that launched her education career in Houston. 

A teacher for 42 years, she paused only when her husband was called to military service in Hawaii. He died during the latter part of World War II, and Sheetz returned to Houston in 1945 after earning her master’s degree in counseling from the University of Houston.

She retired as a high school counselor in 1970, a year after MU welcomed its first black faculty member, Professor Emeritus Arvarh E. Strickland. 

 “I have been asked many times, to what do I attribute my long life,” Sheetz says. “I would have to say good genes; a loving Christian family; loyal, caring friends; and moderation in everything I try to do.” — Lauren Foreman