14:52 PM

Golf Helps Student Speaker Kim Moore Conquer Distraction

Kim Moore knows more than a little about focusing to accomplish her goals.

Earlier this year, she brought her powers of concentration to the 36 holes that stood between her and a conference golf title. She focused. She blocked out all the distractions. She hit the drives, made the putts, and defined herself as a champion by claiming the North Star Athletic Association women’s golf individual prize.

That focus also served her well as the student speaker at Bellevue University’s 2019 Spring Commencement speaker this past Saturday, June 2 at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Originally, from Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Moore has had to block out distractions during her entire tenure at Bellevue University and a good portion of her life prior to that. The focus she has demonstrated paid off recently as she earned her bachelor’s degree in Sports Management

Overcoming Obstacles

Moore’s support system began to fracture at a young age when her father suffered a disabling accident at work. Her parents divorced while she was in high school and both her father and younger brother fell afoul of the law and were incarcerated for different periods of time.

“I have fought to overcome those circumstances. College gave me the freedom to push beyond the past and embrace the future,” Moore said. “Statistics show that children with an incarcerated father have a 15% chance of ever graduating from college. Today, I am of that 15%. I made the choice to break away from the mold that could have so easily defined who I was going to be.”

Moore graduated from Scottsbluff High School in 2014 having led the Bearcats to the Nebraska State High School Championship. She was a three-time qualifier for the state tournament and two-time all-state selection. She began her collegiate career at Metropolitan State in Denver playing her first two years for the Roadrunners.

But some trouble and home forced her to take a year off. She made a pact with her personal golf coach, Ed Oldham, to return to school. The opportunity to play collegiate golf kept her motivated. Bellevue University women’s golf coach Shelly Liddick began recruiting her and Moore decided to head east.

Coaches, Faculty Step Up

“The University had strong academics in the area I wanted study -- Sports Management,” Moore said. “It seemed like the right fit.”

Liddick along with Sports Management professors Dr. Brenda Mechels and Bob Danenhauer kept her engaged and supported her efforts.

“The thing I’ve enjoyed the most is the awesome coaches I have. Shelly is great, the athletic department is great. My teammates have been great. It’s been an awesome way to spend my last two years,” she said. “Brenda and Bob -- they have kind of taken me in and mentored me.”

Mechels said Moore’s focus carries beyond the golf course and into the classroom.

“Kim is a great student, but an even better person.  She’s so respectful and pleasant to be around, plus, she carries a quiet confidence. In the classroom, she’s a quiet leader, often raising the standard of those around her without them even knowing it,” Mechels said. “When she commits, whether on the golf course, in the classroom, or other day to day things, she follows through. Kim is driven to succeed, and I’m so excited to watch what she will accomplish in the years to come!”

Following graduation, Moore has lined up an opportunity as an assistant golf professional out at The Ranch Country Club in Westminster, Colorado and is considering pursuing a Master’s degree in Sports Management.

“We have the choice to set the bar for ourselves,” Moore said. “The adversity that each student and graduate had to overcome did not stop us from being successful today. It has made us stronger and will surely make us even stronger for what lies ahead.”

To see Kim's commencement speech click here.