Alumni Profile: William Kelly Jr. (’83)


Luke Costello, Multimedia Coordinator

“Prep: four of the best years of my life,” said William Kelly Jr, a lawyer from Erie, Pa., and a Cathedral Prep alumni from the class of 1983.

Growing up I have looked up to many people, and one of those men was Mr. Kelly. Although I do not have a direct relationship with Mr. Kelly, he has been a family friend for a while. As a child, he was one of the people that I looked at and said, “I want to be like him when I’m older.” His positive and fun demeanor makes him one of the most loving people out there. Before I was even thinking about high school as a child, Mr. Kelly would tell me stories and reflect on his years at Prep. This really attracted me to this “school of excellence and high expectations.” This only shows you how proud Cathedral Prep alumni are of their school and the tradition it has built.

Mr. “Bill” Kelly states his four years at Prep were the best years of his life.

“Coming in as freshman and a stranger, then leaving as lifelong friends. What could be better?” Mr. Kelly said.

The relationships that we talked about seem to this day still be some of his strongest friendships. Talking to other alums, one of the first things they tell you is about the people who they still talk to from high school. The legacy and mark Prep has left on the community is incredible.

I then asked Mr. Kelly how Prep prepared him for college. As a graduate of the prestigious Norte Dame university Mr. Kelly had been nervous heading into his freshman year of college. After finishing around 20th in his Cathedral Prep class, he was heading into the business school at Notre Dame with some of the smartest kids in the world. How would he stack up compared to the tough competition at ND? Mr. Kelly finished in the top 20% at one of the most prestigious universities in the country.

“Prep prepared me very well,” he said. “I just didn’t know it at the time.”

As we went on, Mr. Kelly said that his class of ’83 is one of the strongest classes in Prep history to him. Graduating with 214 men, Mr. Kelly claims to have more than 30 classmates that he is still in contact with in the Erie area to this day.

“These relationships I have generated really do matter,” he said. “They have created lots of business opportunities for me. Our network still matters to this day.”

Finally, on the more fun side of things, Mr. Kelly says that his favorite memory from Prep was graduation.

“The iconic white dinner jackets, and knowing your work is done,” he said. “The feeling of hugging your teachers who ceased to become our teachers, but had eventually became our friends. Looking at my classmates who were rivals four years earlier. That was the best feeling you could ask for.”

He depicts an amazing image of success and completion as the work is finished.

As many Cathedral Prep alumni would all agree, their time spent within those walls will be memories held within their life for eternity. The brotherhood and sisterhood that you can create by just attending this school is evident. In a few years, a lot of us who will be in the same shoes as Mr. Kelly will be saying very similar things. His advice to us is to not take this time for granted because you only go to high school for four years, so make the best of it.