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UC presents Mr. Joseph Keelty with leadership award


Unable to attend the event, Dr. Ben Carson accepted the award on Keelty’s behalf.

Williamsburg, KY.,- On April 1, University of the Cumberlands (UC) and the Forcht Group of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Leadership presented “Logical Leadership” with keynote speaker, Dr. Ben Carson, Sr. M.D.. Several thousand people attended the event to hear the emeritus professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics give his inspiring testimony.

The Center, that sponsors internationally renowned speakers recognized for their character and leadership, provides a keynote speaker yearly at UC to help raise the visibility of the University’s values.

At this year’s program UC honored seven individuals who have been instrumental in demonstrating an excellence to their community and nation and for serving as a role model to others by taking active steps to pursue noble goals and high ethical standards.

Mr. Joseph Keelty was one of the honored guests to receive the Leadership Award. Unable to attend the event, Dr. Ben Carson accepted the award on Keelty’s behalf.

Joseph Keelty grew up in the Catonsville, Maryland area. His father emigrated from Ireland at the turn of the century. James and Nora Keelty raised four girls and two boys; Joseph was the youngest. He credits his good leadership skills to his McDonogh School education. “They prepared me for my future, for college, the military and my career, that began while working for my father,” he adds.

He attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia and spent the summers working with his dad building homes. However, he left Baltimore to serve in the Navy from 1943-1946, attending Midshipman’s School and then soon headed to the South Pacific. After the war, he joined his family’s homebuilding business back in Baltimore, Maryland. He took up golf then as well.

Philanthropy is another word for the deep convictions of modesty and generosity that have guided Mr. Keelty. At an early age he was taught to give back. The concept of philanthropy began with his father James, an Irish stonemason, who funded the building of St. Bernardine’s Roman Catholic Church in Baltimore in 1929.

Throughout the years, Mr. Keelty has been a strong supporter of many causes. He has served on several nonprofit boards, including McDonogh School, Loyola College, and Washington and Lee University Board of Trustees. He was the former Chair of the Gilchrist Hospice Care Board.

Mr. Keelty is a Maryland businessman and philanthropist who has provided his outstanding leadership and generous support to the Baltimore community and continues to contribute to the betterment of the area through his business and through the myriad of philanthropic activities in which he has been deeply involved.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit