Welcome New Members Drs. Jim and Cris Kelley 

August 25, 2014

An interview with the Kelleys

Why and when did you move to the Seattle area?

We moved here from Wichita, Kansas in October 2007, because our first and only grandchild, Lucia, was born in July, 2007. We raised our son in Minnesota and his maternal grandparents were in Connecticut and paternal grandparents were in Washington State. He rarely saw either of them and we selfishly wanted to be much more involved in Lucia’s life. We lived in Wichita 25 years, St Cloud, Minnesota 10 years and in Fort Collins, Colorado two years.

How and where did you meet each other?

We met in graduate school at the University of Denver where we both were resident assistants in the residence halls. Jim had completed his Master of Arts degree and was working on his PhD. I was working toward my Master of Arts.  

Where did you attend college and what was your focus?

I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine; a Master of Arts in Student Services and Education at the University of Denver in and a PhD in Higher Education Administration from the University of Minnesota.

Jim received a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science at Oregon State University and both a Master of Arts degree in Student Services and Education and a PhD in Higher Education at the University of Denver.

What are your current and/or past careers?

Jim spent nearly his entire career in higher education. For the first two years after he received his PhD, he worked on a Department of Education grant based at Colorado State University and as Director of Lighthouse, a drug rehabilitation program. For the next 10 years, he taught Urban Studies at St. Cloud State University (Minnesota). For 25 years, he was Dean of University College and administrator in the Division of Student Services at Wichita State University.

I was Assistant Dean of Women, then Director of Women’s Relations at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, Director of External Studies, Assistant Vice President of Administrative Affairs and Assistant to the President at St Cloud State University. After the move to Wichita I served briefly as Director of the Wichita YWCA and then as Assistant Academic Dean at Kansas Newman College. Upon leaving higher education, I worked in human resources at Symbios, a computer company and at Via Christi Health Care System in Wichita. My last job was Vice President for Community Development at a large, not for profit Hospice in Wichita.

We both retired in fall, 2007.

What Seattle neighborhood do you live in?

For seven years we lived in Ballard, loved walking everywhere and enjoying its first class restaurants. Health challenges required we leave our two-story home. May 2014 we moved to Merrill Gardens First Hill assisted living facility. We met in the dorm at DU and we have ended up in the dorm on First Hill.

Why did you choose Plymouth Church?

We left a church in Wichita (University Congregational Church) which was uniquely able to nurture us and allow us to grow in our faith. We have looked for similar churches here, but did not find what we were looking for until we moved to Merrill Gardens and discovered the bus came to Plymouth each Sunday. We tried it once and discovered a beautiful modern version of the white, New England Congregational Church with the large clear glass windows to call in the light in which we were married, combined with the thoughtful message and truly fine music we were used to in Wichita. It was meant to be.

Topics: Church Life



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