Story courtesy Loyola.edu – Written by Stephanie Weaver
A respected businessman who valued strengthening communities through his work and his giving, Joseph S. Keelty, ’43, will be remembered as a man of distinguished service to his country, his local community, and his alma mater.
Keelty, who died Sunday, April 10, at 93, leaves a legacy of seven decades of leadership and support that will shape Loyola for the future.
“Over the years, and through the tenures of three Loyola presidents, Joe Keelty has shown extraordinary generosity in his support of our university,” said Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president. “Not only has he given of his time, insight, and leadership as a trustee, but he has offered his financial support in numerous ways. He often gave quietly and humbly, but always with an eye on ensuring that Loyola would be a stronger university in the future. We owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude.”
After graduating from Loyola in 1943, Keelty served in the United States Navy during the Second World War. After a three-year tour with the Pacific Fleet, he returned home and jointly took the reins of the family business, along with his brother, James. Renowned for high-quality building and developing new neighborhoods to meet contemporary needs of Baltimore-area residents, the Keelty Company today is a fourth-generation, family-owned and operated business.
Keelty served Loyola as a trustee from 1981 to 1995, including leading the trustees as chair during the beginning of the Renewing the Promise capital campaign.
A vital member of the University community, a member of Loyola’s Jenkins Society, and a loyal fan of the Greyhounds—and especially the men’s lacrosse program—Keelty took great pride in the success of Loyola student-athletes and teams.
In 1983, he established an endowed scholarship named in honor of his parents, Nora and James, to provide support for talented students from Maryland studying in the Sellinger School of Business and Management. He enjoyed attending Loyola’s annual Scholarship Dinner, where he had the opportunity to meet the students benefitting from his support.
Keelty has been the recipient of multiple honors from Loyola, including the Alumni Laureate Award in 1981 and “Volunteer of the Year” in 1984. In 1992, he received his second degree from the University—the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. Keelty was the recipient of the Carroll Medal in 2002, and at the 2015 Commencement he received the prestigious President’s Medal.