Gannon University Announces Winter Commencement Speaker
Posted: November 21, 2016
Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., will recognize
graduates at the University's Winter Commencement ceremony, to be
held at 2 p.m., Sunday, December 11 at Gannon University's
This year's keynote speaker is Philip H. Kelly, D.A., a fixture
on Gannon's campus since 1968 as a faculty member, administrator,
mentor and friend. Kelly will be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters
degree, honoris causa at the ceremony.
Kelly was recruited for a faculty position in English by John
Rouch, Ph.D. In addition to his teaching career, he had a parallel
career in administration dating to his earliest years at Gannon.
Kelly was named director of freshman English in 1970. Three years
later, he was appointed interim director of the Upward Bound
program. He served as ombudsperson for the School of Humanities and
later director of Gannon's Open University Program, a
correspondence program for non-traditional students that led to
Gannon's first online courses.
In the mid-1980s, Kelly served as interim dean of the College of
Humanities and concluded the decade as a half-time assistant vice
president of academic affairs. In 1991, at the suggestion of the
late Thomas Ostrowski, Ph.D., Kelly started the Advising Center for
the College of Humanities, an initiative that ultimately became the
University Advising Center and is now one part of Gannon's
comprehensive Student Success Center.
From 1992 through 1995, Kelly served as dean of Humanities, and
for one year, dean of the newly created College of Humanities,
Business and Education. Kelly served as interim provost twice and
as interim president from January through June 2011. He has been
the University's mentor for new faculty since 2006.
Kelly received his bachelor's degree in English/Secondary
Education in 1965 from Mount Saint Mary's College in Emmitsburg,
Maryland. While at the Mount, he was president of the chapter of
Lambda Iota Tau, the national literary honor society. He ran track
his freshman year and in his sophomore year was a founding member
of Fortitudo et Salutem, the Mount's strength and health club.
Kelly received a Master of Arts degree in English from the
University of Dayton in 1968 and a Doctor of Arts degree from
Carnegie-Mellon University in 1978.
A native of Marion, Ohio, Kelly married the former Judy Moloney
in 1967. Their two children are both Gannon alumni, as is Judy
Kelly, who completed a bachelor's and a master's degree in