Celebrating 75 years of Donnelly College (2024)

Celebrating 75 years of Donnelly College (1)

For three quarters of a century, Donnelly has been committed to providing affordable, accessible, faith-based education in the urban core of Kansas City, Kansas. Locally, regionally and nationally, Donnelly is setting the bar in educating students from various ethnic and life backgrounds.

Since the College was founded in 1949, the campus has changed dramatically. Some programs have been retired while new ones have been added and thousands of students have walked the halls and crossed the graduation stage. Although much has changed over the past 75 years, Donnelly’s student-centered mission has stayed the same.

The kickoff celebration for the 75th anniversary year will be at this year’s SHINE gala on Thursday, October 3. The event’s fundraising goal is $1 million, which, if met, would make SHINE 2024 the most successful fundraiser in the College’s history. Additional celebratory events will be announced in the coming months.

As supporters and friends reflect on Donnelly’s past, the College is also laying the foundation for an increasingly bright and impactful future — transforming lives with the power of education for the next 75 years and beyond.

Well wishes from supporters, alumni and friends

“Donnelly is special to me because working with the caliber of teachers and students at Donnelly College, I grew into a better version of myself and developed the drive to give back to those I had the opportunity to serve.Although we experienced some tough times at Donnelly during my tenure, I realized after I retired that those were some of the best years of my 38-year experience in higher education. On occasion, it seemed that we didn't have a lot, but I always knew that the people who served at Donnelly had a lot to give.

I am so gratified to see Donnelly celebrate its 75th anniversary. My first year at Donnelly... we were operating on a razor thin budget. To see the wonderful facilities and beautiful campus... I think the current administration and the board have done an unbelievable job. They have created a lasting monument that honors all those who have gone before.”

– Dr. Ken Gibson, Former President of the College

“Congratulations to Donnelly College on the 75th anniversary! I am so happy and proud of Donnelly College as it continues to enrich the lives of so many students and the local community.”

– Sister Mary Agnes Patterson, OSB, Former Dean of the College

“Donnelly College holds a special place in my heart for the profound impact it had on my life, from instilling confidence in me to providing unwavering support from professors and connections that led me to further academic achievements. As the institution celebrates its 75th anniversary, I reflect on the transformative journey that began there and the countless lives it continues to touch.”

– Dr. Isaac Falcon-Campos, ‘10, Director of Academic Support

“Donnelly's low-cost tuition allowed me to afford college and save to finish my bachelor's degree at Rockhurst. I met my future wife (Mary Peterson) at Donnelly College, and she has been with me not 75 years but an amazing 59 years.”

– Larry Meyers, '61

“It feels great to see Donnelly achieve this major milestone, especially in having humbly had the opportunity to make a contribution to the history of Donnelly in some small way. In having been abundantly blessed, and especially in having been a motivated, first-generation college student myself, Donnelly has provided me with an amazing way to give back to my community in a purposeful way -- one that I know from personal exposure and experience indeed adds value to the collective health of our metropolitan area and its residents. I'm a believer that a lot can change for the better when people are educated. And that's what Donnelly helps do in a special way!”

– Karen Jones, Board of Directors Chair

“Donnelly provided me the chance to interact with people not like me, which broadened my worldview significantly. It was a safe environment that also challenged me to grow and do things I had never thought I could do. I am thrilled that this academic environment continues beyond its 75th anniversary!”

– Tim Kruse ‘75

“Donnelly College is special to me because it's a small, incredibly diverse community where the teachers and staff genuinely invest their time and energy in their students' success. I always felt welcomed and valued, making my experience truly unique and memorable. Seeing Donnelly College hit 75 years is truly inspiring! As a cornerstone of our community here in Kansas City, it has transformed countless lives and made a profound impact. I'm thrilled to celebrate this milestone and excited for the future, envisioning even greater growth, community involvement, and expansion of programs in the years to come!

– Ada Sanabria ‘18

“Donnelly has impacted my life by providing me with the proper education and allowing me to create lifelong friendships. Donnelly has become a safe space for me and many others to study, decompress, or even just spend time when life becomes overwhelming. As an alum, it is great to see and feel the sense of community and union that can be found at Donnelly... Seeing Donnelly celebrate 75 years feels inspiring and fills me with joy to see everything is has done for current and past students and I cannot wait to see what the future will bring.”

– Felix Dominguez ‘23

“Now that I’m older, I have degrees from three different colleges, and they were all good institutions, but I’ve always felt that Donnelly had something about it that was different... Donnelly had an ingredient that the others didn’t have – that I felt a part of the community.”

– Bill Reardon '61

If you would like to submit your own well-wishes for Donnelly’s 75th anniversary, please email marketing@donnelly.edu.

Celebrating 75 years of Donnelly College (2024)
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