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Wake Forest University awarded Fred M. Kirby II '42 an honorary doctor of laws degree during its commencement ceremony in May. Kirby is president and director of F.M. Kirby Foundation, which gave Wake Forest $5 million in 2000 to support construction of a five-story addition to the home of its Calloway School of Business and Accountancy. The addition will be named the F.M. Kirby Wing.

Kirby has been chairman of Allegheny Corp. in New York, one of the largest holding companies in the United States, since 1967. He is director of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, and of United Cerebral Palsy Research and Education Foundation.

F.M. Kirby Foundation, which awards grants to a wide range of nonprofit organizations, made a $32.5 million gift to the Lafayette Leadership Campaign, the largest gift ever received by a college, university, or other non-profit organization in the Lehigh Valley, most of which went toward construction of Kirby Sports Center.

A Lafayette trustee, Kirby was president of his class and a member of the College's 1940 undefeated football team. He earned varsity letters in football, swimming, and wrestling. After serving as a World War II naval officer in amphibious operations, Kirby graduated from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1947. He has been honored with an honorary doctorate of laws from both Lafayette and St. Joseph's University, a Silver Anniversary All-American Award from Sports Illustrated, a Pennsylvania Society Gold Medal, and a 25th anniversary citation from the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Kirby has been director and trustee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, and has served on the board of directors of Affirmative Insurance Company, American Express, Chicago Title and Trust Company, Cyclops Industries, Inc., Insura Property and Casualty Insurance Company, The Pittston Company, Shelby Insurance Company, and F.W. Woolworth Company.

The Fred Morgan Kirby family has been prominent in the life of Lafayette for nearly a century. Seven family members are alumni, four have served as trustees, and three received honorary doctorates.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles