Jeanne Wolford McKelvey ‘65 has been named the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown’s 2013-2014 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. This award is the highest honor that Pitt-Johnstown bestows upon its more than 20,000 alumni, recognizing them for individual achievements, leadership in their professions, service to their community, and loyalty to their alma mater. Ms. McKelvey will receive her award at the annual Alumni Association Gala on March 29.
Pitt-Johnstown President Dr. Jem Spectar commented, “Ms. McKelvey has distinguished herself as a successful entrepreneur, business leader, attorney, and community citizen. Her outstanding advocacy work helped to establish the Windber Research Institute, which is at the cutting edge of scientific research nationally and internationally. She represents the very finest of Pitt-Johnstown alumni and stands as a shining example of career and professional success in the real world, service to community, and pride in her alma mater.”
Ms. McKelvey is owner, director, vice president and legal counsel for McKelvey Oil Company, Inc., a distributor of gasoline, fuel oil, diesel fuel, kerosene, and lubricants in a six county area of West-Central Pennsylvania. She is also an owner and director for MountainTop Technologies, Inc., a Johnstown-based technology company specializing in computer and Internet-based learning programs for military, government, and private companies. In the past, she also served as senior vice president and general counsel for the company.
Prior to her current positions, Ms. McKelvey was a medical technologist and chief technologist at Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital; a chief technologist at the Johnstown Regional Blood Center; an allied health training program coordinator and assistant director for public affairs at Pitt-Johnstown; director, owner, secretary, and legal counsel for Highland Financial, Ltd.; and an instructor for Business Law at St. Francis College.
Actively engaged in her community, Ms. McKelvey is secretary of the Board of Directors, executive committee member, immediate past chairman of the finance and personnel committee, and initiator of the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center for Windber Medical Center; treasurer of the Board of Directors, incorporator, and trustee for Windber Research Institute; vice chairman, director, and secretary of the Board for 1st Summit Bank; and member of the Hiram G. Andrew Center Special Planning Task Force, among myriad other present and past positions. As a loyal alumnus, Ms. McKelvey is a Pitt-Johnstown Alumni Association (previously known as Alumni Council) member and a member of Golden Panthers. She served as past director for the Pitt-Johnstown Foundation for Campus Ministry, where she received the Chi Rho Award in 1978.
Following an early graduation from Adams Township High School, where she skipped her senior year, Ms. McKelvey enrolled at Pitt-Johnstown where she majored in microbiology and was accepted into Pitt-Oakland’s first class in its School of Medical Technology. She received a master’s degree in biochemistry from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In 1984, then-Governor Richard Thornburg appointed her to the Board of Medical Education and Licensure for the Commonwealth, where she served for ten years.
Ms. McKelvey later went on to earn her juris doctorate degree at the Dickinson School of Law. She is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court of Florida, and the Western District of the United States Federal Court for the Third Circuit. Ms. McKelvey is a member of the Fulton, Cambria, and Allegheny County Bar Associations. Additionally, she studied at St. Andrews University in Scotland and Cambridge University in England.
Ms. McKelvey is a 15-year breast cancer survivor, which reached stage four in 2008. A supporter of breast cancer research and awareness, Ms. McKelvey was honored as the 2013 recipient of Windber Research Institute’s Taunia Oechslin Community Advocate for Breast Cancer Research Award at the fifth annual Pink Tie Affair to celebrate breast cancer awareness month.
A native of Johnstown, Ms. McKelvey resides in Salix with her husband William G. McKelvey and twenty-year-old twins, Colt and Chey. During her free time, she enjoys flying, horse training and riding, golf, sewing, music, and skating. She is a private mission-qualified instrument rated pilot and is a commissioned Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP); she was the first woman ever appointed as National Controller of the CAP.
On learning of her selection, Ms. McKelvey stated, “I’m very honored.”
In order to be eligible for the Distinguished Alumni Award, candidates must have earned a bachelor’s or associate’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Candidates can also have earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh after having completed two years of study at Pitt-Johnstown during a period when four-year degrees were not available at the Johnstown campus. Nominations for the award can be submitted by any member of the University of Pittsburgh community, including alumni, faculty, staff, students, and Advisory Board members.
Past recipients of the award are the late Congressman John P. Murtha '60; James E. Wilkes ’53, an entrepreneur in the oil and gas industry; Chester "Chet" Thomas '66, founder and Executive Director of Proyecto Aldea Global (Project Global Village) in Honduras; retired Air Force Colonel Karen A. Esaias '79; and Martin A. Fritz ‘86, vice president of EQT Corporation and president of Midstream Operations. In the past, alumni G. Fesler Edwards ‘28, Carl M. Gillespie ‘47, and Paul E. Lego ‘54 have been recognized as distinguished Pitt-Johnstown alumni.
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Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University is the regional leader, educating for the RealWorld. The distinctive combination of our people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” by AC Online as one of the “Highest ROI Colleges in Pennsylvania,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been presented with The Seven Seals Award by the US Department of Defense’s office of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).