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The Niedfelt home­coming flag. Courtesy | Seth Ramm

Phyllis West­er­field Nied­feldt, who pro­vided funds for the con­struction and main­te­nance of the dorm which bears her name, died on Oct. 31 at the age of 92. 

She sup­ported the men who called Nied­feldt Res­i­dence their home since it was built in 1990. According to those who knew her, she fre­quently thought about “the dorm.” For more than 30 years, she encouraged edu­ca­tional and fra­ternal activ­ities for the dorm com­munity, such as a yearly class on dining eti­quette, which is now known as “Nied­Formal.”

Born in St. Louis in 1929, Nei­dfelt grad­uated from Winthrow High School and attended the Cincinnati Con­ser­vatory of Music. She fur­thered her edu­cation at the Maryland College for Women, after which she studied dance at the New York Ballet School. In 1957, she married L.A. “Red” Nied­feldt, a suc­cessful busi­nessman, with whom she lived happily for many years. 

She became a member of the Hillsdale College President’s Club, as she was an avid sup­porter of the college and its mission. Senior and Nied­feldt Head RA Ryan Perkins said in the letters she sent to past Nied­feldt house directors, she seemed like a woman of con­viction with an active temperament. 

She cared deeply for the res­i­dents of the dorm, whom she always addressed as “the fellows,” Perkins said. 

The Nied­feldt res­ident assistant team placed a display case at the entrance of the dorm with some items to remind stu­dents of Nied­feldt, including several photos of her past visits to campus. They encourage stu­dents to stop by and take time to look at them. 

A photo of Phyllis and Red hangs in the Nied­feldt lobby as a dorm relic. Beneath it stands a plaque which sum­ma­rizes the Nied­feldts’ message to the dorm, which serves as a reminder of the things for which its res­i­dents should strive.

“Stu­dents who live and study here are asked to pre­serve the ideals of truth, dili­gence, service, stew­ardship, and love,” it says. “Life’s blessings will then be their companion.”