Wednesday January 24, 2007

Mourning One of Our Own

A 1984 graduate of the University of Dayton was one of 13 Americans killed Jan. 20 in a helicopter crash, just outside Baghdad.

Colonel Paul M. Kelly graduated from UD's School of Business Administration with a degree in management and is believed to be the first UD grad killed in Iraq. He was 45.

According to University archives, Kelly served in UD's Army ROTC program as a student and was a member of Alpha Nu Omega fraternity. Included in the archives is an announcement from the Army and Air Force that Col. Kelly graduated with silver wings from the U.S. Army Aviation School in Fort Rucker, Ala., after graduating from UD.

"The University of Dayton community is deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Colonel Paul Kelly," said Daniel J. Curran, University of Dayton president. "We know that he bravely served his country. May his life serve as an example of selflessness and love. We offer our prayers and support to his family. They are such a part of UD's family."

Col. Kelly was one of six children, all of whom graduated from the University of Dayton: Brita '84, Therese '85, John '85, Patrick '90 and Tony '95. Col. Kelly's father, John, also graduated in 1975 from UD with a master's degree and was director of graduate and alumni placement from 1977 to 1989, according to University records.

"Colonel Paul Kelly is the first UD Army ROTC graduate to give his life in the global war on terrorism," said Lt. Col. Verb Washington, chair of UD's department of military science. "He was an Early Commissioning Program (ECP) member, commissioned through our program in 1982 as an engineer officer, even though he had not yet graduated from UD. Col. Kelly's life of service to the nation is in keeping with the traditions and values that we strive to uphold and internalize. His loss touches us all and renews in our cadre and cadets a desire to continue serving this nation as he did."

For more information, contact Linda Robertson at 937-229-3257.