Craig KellyWhen Craig Kelly ‘67 was a student, he was asked to speak at the inauguration of then-president Wilbert Locklin. He knew he needed to find the perfect quote for the occasion. 

Locklin and Kelly had a close relationship, as Kelly was president of the student association when Locklin came to Springfield College and the two met every other week, without fail. In fact, it was Dr. Locklin who would give Kelly his very first job as a development officer at the College after Kelly had fulfilled his commitment to the National Guard.

The quote for Kelly’s speech needed to capture the strength of the bonds among Springfield College students, and how that bond metastasizes into the alumni network. After all, it was an alumnus who first introduced Kelly (then a high school student in upstate New York) to the beautiful campus on Alden Street. Years later, a different alumnus would give Kelly his first job in a bank, leading to a very successful 40-year career in banking.

The quote needed to communicate all the privileges and responsibilities that come with a Springfield College education, the way the experience continuously shapes one’s life. After reading through a copy of the student newspaper one day, Kelly had finally found it: “No one ever leaves Springfield College, they always take a part of Springfield College with them.”

Years later, that quote still resonates with Kelly.

“One of the reasons I think it’s important for me to give is that I took more than my fair share when I left. I think it’s important for all of us to give back so that others have the opportunity to take part of Springfield College with them through their lives,” Kelly said.

Kelly has given to Springfield College. He has even given his time and talents to his alma mater, having served as president of the alumni association and chair of the alumni council. He was both corporator and a member of the board of trustees.

Kelly continues to give. He supports the Springfield College Fund, encourages his classmates to make a gift for their 50th reunion year, and helped establish the Class of 1967 Emergency Assistance Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Kelly will give. A member of The 1885 Society, he has designated Springfield College as a beneficiary in his estate plan.

“To me, having the College in our estate plan is a way that we can make a final gift that will add value to the College and to future students. We have been blessed with a great life and family and this is a way we can reach out to others and hopefully give someone else an opportunity to become part of the Springfield family,” he said.

As a banker, Kelly began to recognize the debilitating effect student debt was having on so many young people across the country. Reflecting on all those who helped him along his path, he looked for a way to help future generations of Springfield College students.

“This is where we need to spend our time and effort. That’s why we created the Class of 1967 Emergency Assistance Endowed Scholarship Fund and hopefully it will pay it forward to students that really need help,” Kelly said.

Kelly knows that there will always be a new generation of students running for class president, networking with alumni, or searching for that perfect quote. Now he wants to ensure that they still take a part of Springfield College with them wherever they go.

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