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Terese Kelly

Terese Kelly

As a school librarian, Terese Kelly once fended off boredom for a small group of sixth-grade students by teaching them a stock market game. “It was sort of an accident that I did it,” she recalled of the group—all girls—who were assigned to the library for an hour each week. “I remember thinking, what can I do that will be interesting for them? So I introduced them to the financial pages of the newspaper.”

Kelly devised a kind of stock market game, asking the girls to choose the stocks they would follow by thinking of their favorite foods, then finding companies that produced them.

“They picked out six or seven stocks that we followed every week. We didn’t have computers, so we would mark the stocks’ progress on a piece of graph paper. Fortunately, we had a bull market that year, so we could watch them go up,” she said, laughing.

Now retired, Kelly is a living lesson in how to make the most of your finances and be generous at the same time. A longtime donor to the University at Buffalo, she began giving back to the university shortly after earning a bachelor’s degree in 1968, then a master’s in library science in 1973.

Kelly, who went on to earn an MBA, is giving again to UB, this time to establish an investment course for students in the School of Management, one that harkens back to the game she invented in 1995 for her sixth-grade girls. The idea formed when then-dean Arjang Assad told her about a group of students who wanted to start such a course and who were willing to invest their own money. Kelly loved the idea and made a generous lead gift that enabled the fund to begin officially in September 2011.

“This is an exceptional learning opportunity and we are so grateful to Terese,” said Assad. “For years to come, our students will have a chance to demonstrate their initiative with a practical, hands-on experience.”