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Tale Of Two Kellys



Kelly Shannon Gehrke ’96 was named after a stranger—an artist whose pottery caught her father’s eye as he looked through a magazine. Last fall, 26 years after Kelly’s birth, her father searched the Internet for the artist Kelly Shannon. Then he called to tell him of their connection.

“He sounded very educated so I asked him where he went to college,” relates Kelly’s father, Dave Gehrke, “and he said Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. I about dropped the phone. I told him my daughter graduated from Cornell 40 years after him.”

When Kelly Shannon ’56 received the call, he says, “I was just dumbfounded. But it was a very enjoyable thing to hear from him.” Shannon spent most of his career with the Museum of New Mexico as an exhibits designer and preparator. Kelly Shannon Gehrke works in Denver for Jones International University, the first accredited fully online virtual university.

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