Gannon University Celebrates Winter Commencement Ceremony Sunday

Posted: December 10, 2016

Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., will recognize graduates at Gannon University's Winter Commencement ceremony, to be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11 at Gannon University's Hammermill Center.

Gannon will award 261 degrees that include eight doctoral degrees, 154 master's degrees, 98 bachelor's degrees and one associate's degree. Students from 14 nations will be earning degrees. Additionally, one Gannon University cadet from the Pride of PA Battalion, U.S. Army ROTC will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in a morning ceremony.

This year's keynote speaker is Philip H. Kelly, D.A., a distinguished presence on Gannon's campus since 1968 as a faculty member, administrator, mentor and friend. Dr. Kelly will be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa, at the ceremony.

Commencement Speaker: Philip H. Kelly, D.A.

Philip H. Kelly, D.A., a fixture on Gannon University's campus since 1968 as a faculty member, administrator, mentor and friend, will be the guest speaker. Dr. Kelly will be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa, at the ceremony.

Dr. 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. Dr. 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, Dr. 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., Dr. 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, Dr. Kelly served as dean of Humanities, and for one year, dean of the newly created College of Humanities, Business and Education. Dr. 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.

Dr. 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. Dr. 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, Dr. 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 education.