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March 4, 1999

James Kelly Jr.

James Kelly Jr.

Dean emeritus of Pitt's School of Education James Kelly Jr. died Feb. 20, 1999, of congestive heart failure. He was 78.

Kelly earned his doctorate in higher education from Pitt in 1972. He held a master's in philosophy from Marshall University and bachelor's degrees in the philosophy of religion from Howard University and in theology and philosophy from Eastern Nazarene College in Wollaston, MA.

Kelly served as associate dean of the education school from 1968 to 1972. When he was named dean in 1973, he became the first African American to serve as dean of a school in a major U.S. university, a position he held until 1985. Kelly was named Distinguished Service Professor of Education and continued to teach until his retirement in 1990.

Prior to coming to Pitt, Kelly served as dean of personnel, director of religious life and chair of the philosophy department at West Virginia State College from 1948 to 1966.

After graduating from Howard University in 1946, he served as dean of the chapel and chair of the philosophy department at Florida A&M University, 1946-48.

Among his international positions, Kelly was a fellow of the College of Preceptors, London, and a member of the board of directors of the International Council on Education for Teaching.

Nationally, Kelly held the positions of chair of the National Commission on Multicultural Education of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (1971-72), as well as board member of that association (1975).

Kelly was also a board member of the Negro Educational Emergency Drive, the Urban League of Pittsburgh, Vintage Inc., the Pittsburgh YMCA, the Pittsburgh Council on Public Education and the World Federalist Association.

He also served as a consultant to businesses and industries as well as colleges and universities. Kelly is survived by his wife, Rachael Kelly of Pittsburgh; three children, James R. Kelly III of Washington, D.C., John A. Kelly of Cincinnati, and Lily M. Kelly-Radford of Greensboro, N.C.; two stepsons, Derrick Nowlin and Wes Nowlin of Pittsburgh; two brothers, John Kelly of Stamford, Conn., and Samuel Kelly of Vancouver, Wash.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the United Negro College Fund.

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