Bob Kelly still remembers homecoming dances in Young Gymnasium, cheering on the football team from the stands of Fred Hughes Stadium and enjoying live music and comedy acts in Taylor Auditorium during his years at Missouri Southern.

“I had a wonderful experience at Missouri Southern as an undergrad,” says Kelly. “A lot of it had to do with my fraternity – the Kappa Alpha Order. It kept me in school during my formative years.”

He has remained involved with the university and KA over the decades since he graduated in 1977. He is a past president of the Alumni Board of Directors and has been involved with the Missouri Southern Foundation and the Lionbacker booster club. He currently serves as the secretary for KA’s Joplin-area alumni chapter.

Kelly, who recently retired as an insurance agent with State Farm, says it was important that he and his wife, Candy, consider the future when it came to their estate planning.

First and foremost was ensuring the continued care of their son, Brennan Shea, who they adopted 22 years ago from Russia and has special needs.

“We created a family trust that will take care of him for the rest of his life,” says Kelly. “What’s special about this trust is that it has to self-liquidate when he passes on. The value can’t be sent to anyone else.

“Candy has her 50 percent going to (her alma mater). Thirty percent of mine will go to the fraternity and the other 20 percent to Missouri Southern.”

For Kelly, giving back is a way to ensure future students have the same positive experience as a member of the Lion family as he did.

“Whatever we’ve done for Missouri Southern, it’s always been to help students have a good time,” he says. “If all you do is to class and then graduate, you’re not going to remember it. If you enjoy your time there and remember it with fondness, you’re going to come back and support it.”

The Kelly family’s planned gift has earned them inclusion in the Lantern Society’s Legacy Club.

To discuss a planned gift with the Missouri Southern Foundation, please call 417-625-3104.

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