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Seton Hall University

Alumna Donates $2 Million for Medicine, Law and Education Scholarships  

Picture of the Kelly Siblings, who are alumna donors

Patricia Kelly O'Callaghan '53 and her brother, Timothy Kelly '51.

Seton Hall University has received a gift of $2,000,000 from the estate of Patricia Kelly O'Callaghan '53. 

O'Callaghan, a public school teacher who passed away earlier this year at the age of 89, requested that the endowed scholarships honor her brother, Timothy Kelly '51, also a public school teacher. 

Raised in Jersey City, NJ, Kelly was one of the first generation in his family to graduate from college. He aspired to work on Wall Street, but lacked the requisite connections or the ability to pursue a graduate level education that would have made such an opportunity available to him. So instead, he worked as a public school teacher and spent time each weekend in his local library researching stocks and bonds. 

Using his native intelligence and public resources, he developed a considerable financial acumen and proved in dollars and cents that given the opportunity he could succeed on Wall Street. Over the ensuing decades, Kelly built a modest income into an investment portfolio worth several million dollars. Kelly never married and when he passed away left the bulk of his estate to his sister, Patricia O'Callaghan, with whom he lived in his later years. 

Callaghan was married twice but, like her brother, did not have children and amassed considerable wealth through her diligence and prudent stewardship. 
After she passed away, her neighbor and the executor of her estate, William V. Kelly, J.D. '70 (no relation), informed the University that O'Callaghan, who had given the bulk of her estate to charity, generously remembered Seton Hall in her will and directed that the gift be established in memory of her brother, Timothy. She asked that the money be used "to provide scholarships for undergraduate or graduate students who qualify for financial aid."

The gift will honor both she and her brother and will be known as the "Patricia O'Callaghan and Timothy Kelly Endowed Scholarships."

Interim Seton Hall University President Mary Meehan said, "We are humbled and honored by this gift and the exemplary lives of Timothy Kelly and Patricia O'Callaghan. They show that if given the opportunity, a Seton Hall student will succeed. If not given an opportunity, our alumni make their own, and then go on to show the generosity of spirit to make those opportunities available to others. This gift is a blessing, and it will help fulfill the aspirations of countless students in the years to come."

Establishing endowed scholarships has been deemed the most appropriate manner in which to memorialize O'Callaghan's generosity, with the scholarships distributed in accord with both the foundation of Patricia and Timothy's success as educators as well as his career aspirations and her desire to help others in need. The distribution of the scholarships is as follows: 

Estate executor William V. Kelly said, "Patricia and Tim would be very pleased to know that they were honored this way by their alma mater. They would be even more pleased to know that the fruit of their lives' work would become the seeds of success for others."

Categories: Alumni

For more information, please contact:

  • Michael Ricciardelli
  • (973) 378-9845
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