Giving the Gift of Education

Florence Williams Kelly ’31Ed Kelly says he has long wanted to generate a legacy for his mother, Florence Williams Kelly ’31, an alumna who loved teaching and recognized the opportunities it brought to teachers and to students. Kelly’s gift to establish the Florence Ellen Williams Kelly ’31 Scholarship commemorates the contributions she made through her life’s work.

While Kelly himself is not a SUNY Oswego alumnus, his mother, by her example and through the memories she shared, conveyed to him the quality of education she had received at her alma mater. Florence Williams Kelly’s career as a first-grade teacher in Middletown, N.Y., afforded her opportunities to influence the educational experiences of children at one of the most important learning times in their lives.

“Her teaching influence guided me throughout my life, helping me establish goals, study diligently and stay focused,” Ed Kelly says. “This allowed me to achieve my objectives.” Thanks to his mother’s support, Kelly has had a successful career as the proprietor of two engineering firms.

Florence Williams Kelly died in 1962, but the memorial scholarship for education majors created by her son has ensured that her love of teaching and her commitment to public education live on.

“Through education my mother achieved a career in which she was able to give her heart and soul every day,” Kelly says. “She both nurtured and educated the many children who passed through her classroom for 20 years. She would be very proud to be helping deserving students begin teaching careers at this local level.”

—Brittany Sperino Horsford ’14

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