Ken Kelly Annual Scholarship
A conversation with Ken Kelly.
Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
My goal in life while growing up in Wetumpka, Ala. was to become a veterinarian. Unfortunately, family circumstances changed that goal. However, I did not want someone that had the opportunity to become a veterinarian to lose their lifelong dream. So I established this scholarship to help offset some of the annual costs of vet school. I also believed that my goal would be achieved through other individuals. My take on this is that every student that receives this scholarship and becomes a veterinarian allows a small part of me to be a veterinarian within them.
What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
I would like each recipient to know that there are individuals out there who believe in helping students achieve their goals. It is not about the amount of money designated for these scholarships, it is more about the heartfelt thanks toward these students who are willing to risk and create their own opportunities. For that, country people like myself just want to say thanks, and we do that by giving back to an organization that means a lot to those of us who create scholarships to benefit deserving, hardworking, overachieving individuals. I sum it up by saying, a great work ethic needs to be recognized, and this is my recognition.
Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
Although I did not complete a degree at Auburn and my BBA and MBA were completed in Texas, I never lost sight of my love and the family relationships I made with other Auburn students. Those are moments in time you do not forget. A lot of students went to Auburn from Wetumpka High School and those friendships are alive today. So when the slogan is “Family,” it is true. There’s nothing better than rolling Toomer’s Corner with a fresh lemonade in hand. On the funny side, I will not say if there was anything else in the lemonade at the time, after all we were all young once and made let’s say, not the best decisions sometimes. I do miss the Wreck Tech parades from many years ago.
What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
People you don’t even know are willing to invest in your future, and a great work ethic has its rewards. Also, by people like me giving back, it may set a precedent for the recipients to do the same when the time is right. After all, it is meaningful for the recipient to receive a monetary gift, but how more meaningful will it be for a recipient to reciprocate back to the College of Veterinary Medicine to help a future young student.