John W. Kenelly was born in Bogalusa, Louisiana on November 22, 1935. John has many degrees in mathematics including a B.S. from Southeastern Louisiana University (1957), M.S. from the University of Mississippi (1958), and Ph.D. from the University of Florida (philosophy minor, 1961).
He was an instructor at the University of Florida (1959-1961), an Assistant Professor at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (1961-1963), and an Associate Professor at Clemson (1963-1968). He became Professor and the Chairman at the University of New Orleans. He returned to Clemson as Department Head in 1969 and served as Department Head for eight years. At that time he divided his duties as professor and began the service activity mentioned above. He became an Alumni Distinguished Professor in 1985 until his retirement 1994. Since then he has maintained close ties with the department in the form of grants and in an advisory capacity.
During his early years at Clemson he was in charge of recruiting and advising graduate students and building the mathematics collection in the library. When he became department head he was concerned in continuing the building of faculty in all of the mathematical sciences and the conversion to our present option-based curriculum and council-based system of administration.
The list of his visiting appointments is as follows:
George C. Marshall Space Flight Center (aerospace engineer, 1964)
Stanford University (1973-1974) Visiting Scholar (Operations Research)
U.S. Military Academy (1982-1983) Visiting Professor (Mathematics)
National Science Foundation (1988) Program Director (Calculus Curriculum)
College Board (1989-1990) National Director, Advanced Placement Program (Interim)
His activities with the Mathematical Association of America are numerous and include: International Mathematics Olympiad 2001 Task Force , Board of Governors (1985-1996, 2002-), Budget Committee (1988-1996, 2002-), Fund Drive for Building Committee (chair), Investment Committee, Committee on Calculus Reform (CRAFTY), Editor Placement Test Newsletter (1979-1985), Committee on Testing (1979-1991, chair 1985-1989), CUPM Undergraduate Program Report-Calculus Panel (1978-1981), Panel on Remediation (1983-1985), Southeastern Section: Chairman (1978), Section Lecturer (1984), Governor (1985-1988). (These activities involved invited hour lectures at more than a few section and national meetings.)
Other important activities are with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and include: Post-Secondary vice president South Carolina Council (1979-1981)and Editorial panel-1992 Year Book Calculators in Mathematics Education.
He was National President of Mu Alpha Theta (1989-1991) and on the Governing Council
He was on several governing boards , external advisory boards, and editorial boards as follows: University of Florida Mathematics Department, Oregon State Calculus Connections, U.S. Military Academy Mathematical Sciences Department, Futures (PBS series), Connecticut Common Core of Learning, FASE's Multimedia Project, National Faculty's Mathematics Advisory Board, COMAP (Consortium for Mathematics & Applications), Hewlett Packard Education Committee, Wachovia Bank, Pickens County (SC), SC Governor's Task Force on Education Accountability, LaCEPT (State of Louisiana NSF) Visiting Committee.
John Kenelly was the 1994 Alumnus of the Year for his alma mater Southeastern Louisiana University. He returned as their commencement speaker in May of 1999 and surprised the audience with a generous donation at the end of his speech.
He was awarded two NSF grants at the million dollar level on teaching mathematics with calculators (TMC) and technology intensive calculus with advanced placement (TICAP). TCM produced and nationally distributed videos showing the use of programmable graphics calculators in the calculus classroom and showing how mathematical modeling and quantitative literacy could be enhanced by technology. TICAP produced materials and trained the workshop leaders that facilitated the AP Calculus Program moving to the graphing calculator requirement. He gave invited addresses to a variety of organizations including: the National Association of Secondary School Principals Annual Convention, the 30th Anniversary celebration of the Advanced Placement Program, the College Board Forum, the NCTM, and the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics.
His publications ranged from research articles to many articles in the development of advanced placement calculus, mathematics testing and evaluation in secondary schools and in colleges, specific uses of Texas Instrument and Hewlett Packard calculators, and several books.
His additional activities (which are among his most prestigious) include being president of the International Mathematical Olympiad 2001 USA and serving a second five-year term as treasurer of the Mathematical Association of America. Both of these tasks involved raising substantial funds quickly. A previous successful campaign was to generate the funds needed to complete the Washington office of the MAA. For these activities and his many other contributions to the MAA, there is a room in the MAA building named in his honor.
John Kenelly was selected as the 1994 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year by his alma mater Southeastern Louisiana University. He returned to Southeastern as the commencement speaker in May,1999 and surprised the audience at the end by presenting a check to establish the Kenelly-Voss endowed Professor of Mathematics at Southeastern Louisiana University for he and his wife Charmine Voss Kenelly.