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Kelly Everett ’77 Retires

Everett’s 23 years of service to Graceland are ultimately about personal relationships.

Horizons Spring 2022 Home

Class Notes - Spring 22

April 28, 2022

He joined the Institutional Advancement office as Don Keairnes ’53 was about to retire. “He asked me to consider applying for a job that I would love, not just like. The rest is history. Graceland has been the most rewarding job I could have ever imagined,” Everett said.

Everett joined Graceland in 1998 and since 2007, served as Graceland’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement. His most recent work was critical in ensuring that important capital projects like the renovations of Newcom Student Union and Morden Center were funded and completed. He also helped steward the university’s fundraising and alumni programs strategy.

For Everett, who graduated from Graceland in 1977, the connection to Graceland and Community of Christ has always been at the forefront. When he was a student, he was inspired to change his major to business administration by faculty emeritus Jerry Runkle ’34, whom he considered a great teacher and a wonderful minister. “I would find out where he was preaching and go find and listen to him if I could,” Everett said.

“My favorite memories are of my coworkers, the families that I’ve called upon, and the many students I’ve interacted with,” he said. “Some of my best friends are those that I worked with at Graceland.” Everett talked about how rewarding it was for him to work for Graceland, and even in retirement, he continues to come to campus regularly. “I’m working in a couple of part-time roles,” he said. “Anything I can do to help Graceland in any way, I am happy to stay involved.”

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