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Boldly Buffalo

Gift to Establish Investment Club

Donor KellyAs a school librarian, Terese E. Kelly once fended off boredom with 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 recalls 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."

Terese devised a kind of stock market game, asking the girls to choose the stocks they would follow by thinking of their favorite foods and 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 says, laughing.

Giving Runs in The Family

Terese, now retired, 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 UB shortly after earning a bachelor's degree in 1968 and a master's of library science degree in 1973.

Terese, who worked as a librarian for 25 years, as well as a Latin teacher, established a scholarship in 2003 for residents of the former Little Valley Central School District. Three generations of the Kelly family attended school there, beginning with Terese's grandmother, Marie Heber Kelly, also a librarian and a suffragette.

"She died when I was in 2nd grade but I just remember her being a very generous person, so she was my inspiration," Terese says.

Ongoing Generosity

Terese, who went on to earn an MBA, clearly inherited her grandmother's spirit and generosity: she is giving again to UB, this time to establish an investment course for students in the School of Management. The idea for the course, which harkens back to the game she invented in 1995 for her sixth-grade girls, formed when the school told her about a group of students who wanted to start a similar course and were willing to invest their own money.

Although she has never worked in business herself, she sees creating the investment course as another way to use her MBA "for my own purposes."

"It's kind of like a hobby with me. But sometimes when you are working your hobby, it's not so much fun anymore, so this is makes it more fun," says Terese, who says she will serve on the program's advisory board "more out of curiosity than anything."

Learning Business from Family

Her lifelong interest in business began with her father, who owned a title-searching company.

"When I was in high school and college, they didn't encourage girls to major in business, but in my father's company, most of his employees were women," Terese says.

While other companies at the time allowed women to "only do the typing and have the men work as abstractors," Terese's father "thought that was just ridiculous."

"He always said that his women employees were the ones who gave the attention to detail needed in that job," Terese recalls.

Terese made her donation by working with the UB Office of Gift Planning, which helped to match her interests to the School of Management and create the innovative investment program.

She hopes her gift will inspire others to give to the university. "There's so much the state keeps cutting. I think people ought to think about it, even if they only have a few dollars to give," she says. "I am firm in my belief that we need to support our state universities."

For more information on how you can support UB, please contact Wendy Irving, Esq. at (877) 825-3422  or