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KU alumnus’ estate gift adds to top scholarships at KU

Laura Wood and Marlesa Roney, vice  provost for student success
Laura Wood and Marlesa Roney, vice provost for student success

A $50,000 estate gift to KU Endowment from University of Kansas alumnus Stanley Kelley Jr. will provide a four-year scholarship for a Summerfield or Watkins-Berger Scholar at KU. These scholars represent top students from Kansas high schools.

Kelley was a professor emeritus of politics at Princeton University. He was born in Detroit, Kan., and attended KU as a Summerfield Scholar in 1944 and 1945, then served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific theatre during World War II. He returned to KU and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1949 and 1951, respectively. He went on to study and serve as an instructor at Johns Hopkins University, where he earned a Ph.D. in 1955, and spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Rome.

He worked at the Brookings Institution before joining Princeton’s faculty in 1957. Throughout his career at Princeton, he was known as an accomplished scholar and teacher on topics such as the American party system, elections, voting and mass communications. He died in 2010 at the age of 83.

Kelley’s grandniece, Laura Wood, is carrying on her family’s KU tradition. A KU senior majoring in East Asian Languages and Cultures, Laura will graduate this week. She recently presented a check to KU Endowment representing her uncle’s estate gift to KU.

My uncle deeply appreciated the education he obtained at the University of Kansas. While the majority of his professional career was spent at Princeton University, he dearly loved KU and was always proud to call himself a Jayhawk.

Marlesa Roney, vice provost for student success, expressed sincere appreciation for the estate gift. “Mr. Kelley’s gift will create life-changing opportunities for a future KU student,” Roney said. “Gifts for scholarship support are always meaningful, but even more so then they come from grateful alumni. KU made a lifelong impact on Mr. Kelley’s life, and through his generosity, he wanted to pass this on to future generations.”

The Summerfield scholarship for men, KU’s first merit scholarship, was established in 1929 by alumnus Solon Summerfield. He supported the scholarship program throughout his lifetime and, in his will, provided for its continuation through gifts from the Summerfield Foundation. Watkins-Berger scholarships for women are financed by the estate of philanthropist Elizabeth M. Watkins of Lawrence and an endowment in memory of Emily Berger by her younger brother, the late Arthur Berger, and his wife, Marie, of Dallas.

KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

Rosita McCoy

Senior Vice President, Communications and Marketing 785-832-7336

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