Paul K. Kelly's $3 Million Gift

The University of Pennsylvania Almanac
December 10, 2002

        K. Kelly

Paul K. Kelly, an SAS overseer and a trustee of Penn, and the Kelly Family Foundation have made a $3 million gift which will be used to endow a professorship in the English department, to provide program support for Kelly Writers House and the undergraduate program in studio arts, and to create a challenge fund to provide scholarships and financial support for summer study and internships for students in the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business.

"This latest generous gift from Paul Kelly demonstrates his keen understanding of the value of the many areas that are critical to a Penn education," said President Judith Rodin. "We are enormously grateful to him for once again offering his support and leadership to further enhance a broad array of opportunities for our students."

Paul is very committed to enhancing the many interdisciplinary offerings, that make Penn unique, said Dean Samuel Preston.

Alan Filreir

The Kelly Family Professorship recognizes a faculty member with a demonstrated track record of teaching excellence and a commitment to undergraduate education and who has made significant contributions to creating a culture of writing on campus. The first holder is Dr. Alan J. Filreis, professor of English, and founder and director of the Kelly Writers House. Dr. Filreis came to Penn in 1985 after earning a B.A. from Colgate University and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. His research and teaching focus on modern and contemporary American poetry and the literary politics of the American 1930s and 1950s. He has served as director of the Writing Program, faculty master of Van Pelt College House, chair of the Residential Faculty Council, chair of the English department's undergraduate program, chairman of the WXPN Policy Board, and faculty liaison to the Trustees Committee on Student Life. He is a member of the Provost's Council of Arts and Culture, the Provost's Committee on the Continuum of Education, and the College's Admissions Committee. Recognized as a campus leader in the integration of computer technology into the curriculum, he has received the Kahn Award for Faculty Excellence, the Abrams Award, the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the Carnegie Foundation's Pennsylvania Professor of the Year Award. He has written five books, including Modernism from Right to Left: Wallace Stevens, the Thirties, and Literary Radicalism, and is working on a sixth.

"I am delighted that Al has been named the first Kelly Family Professor. I can't think of a faculty member more worthy of this chair. No one can surpass Al's enthusiasm, vision, and achievements for undergraduate education and for writing at Penn," Mr. Kelly said.

Mr. Kelly is the president and CEO of Knox and Co., an investment banking firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, and international financial advisory services. Considered an expert in foreign investment, he has been instrumental in introducing new financing concepts to the international capital markets. He holds a B.A. in English and an M.B.A. in finance from Penn and serves as chair of the advisory board of the Huntsman Program. He is also the treasurer of the Board of Governors of the Penn Club in N.Y. and served as the chairman of the University's Agenda for Excellence Council. His other gifts include naming the Kelly Writers House and endowing the Paul K. Kelly Challenge Grant in 1998, providing scholarship support.