John Kelly III ’76 to deliver keynote address at ABC breakfast

Publication Date

John E. Kelly III '76, senior vice president and director of research at IBM, will be the keynote speaker at Union's Annual Business Campaign (ABC) kickoff breakfast 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 12, at College Park Hall.

Kelly joined IBM in 1980. In his current position, he leads IBM's global research efforts with approximately 3,000 scientists and technical employees across 12 laboratories in 10 countries, and he helps guide IBM’s overall technical strategy.

Kelly received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Union. He received a Master of Science degree in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1978 and a Doctorate in materials engineering from RPI in 1980.

He serves on the Board of Trustees for both Union and RPI.

Kelly is the recipient of numerous technical and business leadership awards, including the semiconductor industry’s highest honor, the Robert N. Noyce Award, and the IEEE’s top award for R&D management, the Frederik Philips Award. In 2013, he received the National Academy of Engineering’s Arthur M. Bueche Award for his leadership in driving U.S. semiconductor technology excellence through broad government, university and corporate collaboration.

The author of many technical papers, he recently published Smart Machines: IBM’s Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing with Steve Hamm.

The ABC breakfast is a thank you to the supporters of the College's scholarship fund. Since 1993, hundreds of local businesses have contributed to the fund, which provides scholarships to students from Albany, Columbia, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schoharie and Schenectady counties.

ABC’s chair is Richard Fuerst '96 of Higgins, Roberts and Suprunowicz, PC.

For more information about the breakfast, contact Elizabeth Epstein at or (518) 388-6687.