Bobby & Shirley Kelley Excellence in Education Award
The Bobby and Shirley Kelley Excellence in Education Scholarship was established in 1988 by their children, NWMSU graduates Janet Kelley Epperson, Roger Kelley, and Keith Kelley, to honor their parents six decades of combined service to education, during which they encouraged both students and teachers to reach higher, farther, and deeper in the joint quests of educating and being educated. Born to mothers who were both teachers, Bobby and Shirley graduated in 1953 and 1952, respectively. They served in teaching and administrative capacities in the northwest Missouri communities of Gallatin, Hamilton, Stanberry, Graham, Maitland, Skidmore, Maysville, Clarksdale, Hopkins, and Pickering. As a school administrator for 34 years, Bobby took time to get to know the unique needs of the students, faculty, and community members. He was always willing to go the “extra mile” in helping people start or continue their careers, referring many of them to NWMSU, confident they would receive a quality education. His belief in the educational quality of his alma mater was demonstrated by the number of NWMSU graduates he hired to teach in school districts under his direction. Shirley touched the lives of several hundred students during six years teaching home economics and 21 years teaching various elementary grades. She served as a mentor for numerous student teachers from NWMSU and welcomed hundreds of observation students into her classroom. In honoring their parents with the scholarship, the Kelley’s children also honored Northwest Missouri State University, which during the late 1940s and early 1950s became Bobby’s and Shirley’s “home away from home” and helped them form the foundation of their professional lives.
Scholarships associated with Bobby & Shirley Kelley Excellence in Education Award