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50 years married, 50 years as Flyers

50 years married, 50 years as Flyers

Tori Miller ’23 June 08, 2022

It’s no secret that UD cares deeply for its alumni. That’s why each year at Reunion Weekend, Flyers celebrating 50 years as alumni are honored at a special ceremony, earning a lapel pin and the title of Golden Flyer.

Dan Kelley and Mary Cunniff Kelley, both members of the Class of 1971, realized that their 50th class reunion and wedding anniversary fell on the same year — 2021. 

The couple married their senior year at UD and wanted to celebrate the milestone at their induction as Golden Flyers at Reunion Weekend with their classmates. But due to COVID-19, the Class of 1971 instead celebrated virtually.

The couple poses in their backyard wearing red and blue, Flyer colors.
Dan Kelley '71 and Mary Cunniff Kelley '71


So, in honor of the 50th anniversary of their graduation from UD, the couple decided to become members of the 1850 Society, a giving society that recognizes donors who give at a certain level throughout the fiscal year. They plan to continue that support moving forward.

“We cherish UD. It really changed our lives.”

"We cherish UD," Mary said. "It really changed our lives."

Each year, the Kelleys have made contributions to various scholarship funds. For their special year, they wanted to find a way to to make a more meaningful impact.

“We wanted to make a contribution for future Flyers because we believe in Catholic education,” Dan said. 

The Kelleys have volunteered with the UD Alumni Association for several years, serving on their class reunion committee for every five-year milestone reunion. They have been in charge of representing the voices of their classmates and reaching out to invite them to reunions. 

As part of this year’s 2022 Reunion Weekend, the classes of ’70 and ’71 will join the Class of 1972 Friday, June 10, in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception for an induction ceremony to collectively celebrate their Golden Flyer reunions. The party then moves to the Dayton Arcade.

While the Kelleys cannot attend this year, they will be on campus in spirit. 

“Reunions are a great opportunity to just tell those stories to catch up to where they are today,” said Dan. “Time goes so quickly.”

“Time goes so quickly.”

Amanda Rupp ’10, assistant director of reunion and affinity programs, has worked closely with the Kelleys for years and said their enthusiasm sparked early conversations for making class reunions the best they could be — really highlighting what a special couple they are to the University.

“Dan and Mary are what I think of when someone says UD alumni,” Rupp said.

They hope to be back at Reunion Weekend next year, as they said UD has truly blessed them with the opportunity to make lifelong friendships, grow strong connections in the community, and allow future Flyers to have the same experiences as they did.

Find out more information about Reunion Weekend 2022.