Lynn board names campus road in honor of mother of long-time staff member
Published May. 01, 2013
Lynn University’s Board of Trustees named the main road entering campus from Military Trail Kelleher Drive in honor of Helen Kelleher, a former member of the Marymount (Tarrytown, N.Y.) board of trustees who voted to approve building a new Marymount College in Boca Raton (now Lynn University).
The Marymount system of universities is an independent Catholic higher education system of which the Tarrytown location was the first four-year university.
Kelleher is also the mother of Kathleen Clunan, Lynn’s archivist, who came to the university the summer before it held its first classes as one of the original nuns who staffed the new school. As a nun in the religious order of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Clunan was sent with a group of sisters to open the new school—originally a two-year liberal arts junior college for women and to build a library collection. Clunan celebrates her 50th year as an employee as the school celebrates its 50th anniversary.
“When we opened, the whole campus was really bare,” Clunan said. “It was nothing but sand and a few blades of grass. There were no trees on campus.”
This changed in 1966 when Clunan’s mother passed away and a friend of her mother from college donated money to plant more than a dozen Live Oaks along the road now being named Kelleher Drive.
“My mom was in the first graduating class of Marymount, Tarrytown,” Clunan said. “She stayed involved with the school her whole life and eventually served on the board.”
The decision to name the road after Clunan’s mother was first announced during the 50th anniversary celebration weekend (March 21-24) at dinner for long-time employees and friends of the university—the Legacy Dinner on March 22—which Clunan attended.
“I was overwhelmed and completely surprised,” Clunan said. “I was very grateful because my mother did so much for Marymount.”
An official road sign will be installed and unveiled this summer.