Kelley Program in Historical Studies

The Kendrick K. Kelley Program in Historical Studies is Davidson’s unique honors program for history majors, and encompasses multiple components all designed to foster the study of history. The program, named for and endowed by the family of Ken Kelley, class of 1963, an honors history major and Charles A. Dana Scholar, intended to serve as a “living memorial” to Kelley, killed-in-action in Vietnam. “Funded by gifts of family, alumni and faculty, the Kelley Program seeks to enrich the academic experience of students majoring in history and to encourage them to emulate his virtues and achievements.”

Kelley Honor Program Certificate

Kelley Certificate

Kelley Program in Historical Studies Certificate

The Kelley Program began at Davidson in 1988, with the first students engaging in the program in the 1988-1989 academic year. The first Kelley award winner was Gretchen Ferris Schoel, and the first students to participate in the program were Sara Barton, Renier Brentjens, Harry Bryant, Jr., Mary Frasche, Junius Prince, Davids Rochford III, John Scherer II, and William Tanner, Jr. The first Kelley Lecture was given by William E. Leuchtenburg, Kenan Professor of History at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, on “Franklin D. Roosevelt: His Presidency and Legacy” on September 22, 1988.

As of 2011-2012 three core components still constitute the Kelley Program:

1. Kelley Scholars – Students chosen among the most promising history majors, who are given stipends to conduct independent research towards the completion of a Kelley Honors Thesis.

2. The Kelley Lecture Series – brings distinguished historians to speak at Davidson. Past Kelley Lecturers include: John Gaddis (1991), Peter H. Wood (1994), Joseph Ellis (1997), Walter Johnson (2004), and Gary Gallagher (2004).

3. The Kelley Award – Awarded to a senior history major who “best exemplifies Ken Kelley’s personal qualities – superior academic performance, self-effacing leadership, and genuine integrity.”

Works Cited:

Inauguration of The Kendrick K. Kelley Program in Historical Studies. 22 April 1988. RG 3/5.10. History Department. Davidson College Archives, Davidson, NC.

Shi, David. Letter to Chalmers G. Davidson. 31 August 1988. RG 3/5.10. History Department. Davidson College Archives, Davidson, NC.

Author: Jim Harris
Date: 23 January 2012

Cite as: Harris, Jim. “Kelley Program in Historical Studies” Davidson Encyclopedia, 23 January 2012.

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