President William G. Kelly - President William G. Kelly - Christopher Newport University
President William G. Kelly in the act of being hooded at his Inauguration ceremony.

President William G. Kelly

William G. Kelly is the Sixth President of Christopher Newport University. His tenure as president began July 1, 2023, and he was inaugurated at a ceremony on August 14, highlighted by an address with this message:

"Our goal is to be recognized as among the very best regional public universities in America. We will recruit, educate, and graduate students committed to leadership, honor, service, and scholarship.

We will be committed to excellence in all that we do.

And above all, our students will define what it means to lead a life of significance."

About President Kelly

William G. Kelly is the Sixth President of Christopher Newport University and a nationally respected educator and military leader, Bill is a lifelong public servant with nearly four decades of distinguished service in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Prior to his appointment as President, Rear Admiral (retired) Kelly was the 42nd Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. As Superintendent (President) of one of the nation’s five federal service academies, he was responsible for the education, training, and development of the future leaders of the U.S. Coast Guard. He oversaw every aspect of academic, athletic (NCAA Div. III), military, and civic development, ensuring graduates were prepared to serve as officers in service to their nation. Under his tenure and leadership, the student body became the most diverse in the Academy’s history.

Throughout his career he has been an advocate for inclusive leadership, he spearheaded the Coast Guard’s Diversity and Inclusion strategic planning efforts, and implemented the first joint Affinity Group Council to provide a venue and a voice for the numerous affinity groups across the Coast Guard. He focused on enacting significant policy changes that advanced the goals of diversity and inclusion within the Coast Guard’s College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative and he led the Coast Guard’s first study in over 25 years of women’s retention issues.

He is a 1987 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and earned his master’s degree in Instructional Systems Design from Florida State University, along with a Certificate in Human Resource Management.

A Yonkers, New York native and lifelong athlete, Bill played baseball for the Coast Guard Academy and remains an avid golfer and runner who has completed several marathons and sprint triathlons. Bill met his wife, Angie, during his junior year at the Coast Guard Academy, and they “have been a team ever since.” Married for 35 years, they are the proud parents of two sons, Patrick and Tyler, and the adoring grandparents to their young grandson, Liam Kelly. The family has moved 15 times during their Coast Guard journey, including three years in Newport News and six years in Northern Virginia.

In their free time, the Kellys enjoy sports, music, art, and theater, and on any given day will be found enthusiastically cheering on the countless Captains who give their all on the stage, court, classroom, and field.


Signature Selfies

President Kelly attends countless events on campus and in the community. His selfies have already become a tradition.

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