Susan Weisenbarger Kelly, 1958
B.A., Denison University
M.A., Sarah Lawrence College
United States Congresswoman
19th District of New York
Katona, New York
Citation awarded May, 1998
Sue Weisenbarger Kelly is in her second term as U.S. Congresswoman from the 19th district of New York. Her career is a model of community and national service.
After graduating from Denison, Sue was employed by Harvard University as a researcher. Over the subsequent three decades, she has been an educator, small business owner, patient advocate, rape crisis counselor, and community leader. Her volunteer work includes service as co-founder of the Bedford League of Women Voters; founding member of the Town of Bedford Recreation Committee; and president of her children’s PTA; and leader in the American Association of University Women. She is also active in the Bedford Presbyterian Church.
While involved in these civic activities, Sue continued her formal education, attending Pace Law School for two years, and later earning a master’s Degree in Health Advocacy from Sarah Lawrence College.
Over the years, Sue involved herself as a behind-the-scenes volunteer for the Republican Party in her home district, and eventually was persuaded to stand for election herself. On January 4, 1995, she was sworn in as U.S. Congresswoman. During her first term in office, Sue fought for a balanced budget, greater opportunities for small businesses, an end to the capital gains tax, and the well-being of programs that promote health for the neediest in our society, such as “Meals on Wheels.”
During her current term, Sue’s attention is again focused on many of the same issues. In addition, as the Chair of the Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform and Paperwork Reduction, she is also seeking innovative ways to create jobs that pay well and are secure.
She and her husband Edward, who live in Katonah, New York when not in Washington, have four grown children. At least nine of Sue’s relatives have attended Denison, including her father, the late Dr. Harold C. Weisenbarger ’26, her son Eric Kelly ’85, and her daughter Charity Kelly ’88, who is married to Stephen J.M. Bortmann ’88.