University of Washington Honors Its First African American Senior Administrator

Dr. Samuel E. Kelly and the building named in his honor.

The board of regents of the University of Washington voted to name the renovated Ethnic Cultural Center on campus in honor of the late Samuel E. Kelly. The building is expected to open later this year.

Kelly joined the staff at the University of Washington in 1970 as the university’s first vice president for minority affairs. He was the first African American senior administrator in the history of the university.

A native of Greenwich, Connecticut, Dr. Kelly was a graduate of West Virginia State University. He held a master degree from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, and an educational doctorate from the University of Washington.

Dr. Kelly died in 2009. His autobiography, Dr. Sam: Soldier, Educator, Advocate, Friend, was written with Quintard Taylor, professor of history at the university. The book was published by the University of Washington Press in 2010.

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