January 2011 Volume 8

Robert Kelly: Back to Jamaica

Earl Gordon
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Robert Kelly, the perfect definition of the “KC MAN,” has served his alma mater with distinction since 1982; he was one of the original members drafted by Sidney "Foggy" Burrowes to help organize the New York Chapter of the Old Boys’ Association.

Robert was a student at Kingston College from 1967-1973, and migrated to the United States immediately after completing his secondary school education. He has made Springfield, Massachusetts his home for the last 36 years, however, he has decided to return to Jamaica and so his tenure as President of the New York Chapter will end in June 2011.  He first served as President from 1995-1997 and his current stint started in 2005.

During his time as President he has initiated and overseen several programs that have been instrumental in the development of both boys at school and alumni who have gone on to higher education. The breakfast program on the Melbourne campus was the brainchild of Robert, started in 1997, it provides both breakfast and lunch for about 35 boys daily. He is particularly passionate about this program because it provides needy students with the nourishment for the body that is absolutely necessary if proper learning is to take place.

Each year the New York Chapter provides several scholarships to boys at school and alumni at the University of the West Indies (UWI), University of Technology (UTECH) and at tertiary institutions in Cuba and North America. These tuition scholarships are awarded annually and provide recipients with the chance to pursue an education which in many cases is an unattainable right.

The scholarship program will be a lasting legacy of Robert’s time with the association. Additionally, through his stewardship the New York chapter has provided support to the Manning Cup and Track and Field Championship teams, and has also contributed to improvements to the physical structure of the school.

The most gratifying aspect of life in the United States for Robert has been his ability to afford a respectable quality of life and being able to assist his family and Kingston College. Of his time with KCOBA, he is most proud of making the association more humane; recognizing and responding to the needs of indigent students and young alumni, leveling the playing field for those less fortunate, letting students know that they are not alone but are today and always will be part of the Fortis Family.

Robert returns to Jamaica, where he will be even closer to his beloved alma mater, we wish him all the best.

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