kerry Fitzpatrick ’57
He was among Peddie’s most loyal donors and most devoted and exuberant alumni. And though he kept a planned gift for the school under wraps until just a few years ago, the gift fit his style perfectly.
The late Kerry Fitzpatrick entered Peddie in 1955 as an 11th grade boarding student, immediately flourishing in varsity football, baseball and basketball and as a member of The Peddie News staff.
After graduation, he maintained ties with Peddie by supporting athletic programs and several faculty professional development funds. Kerry was a longstanding class secretary and reunion class captain, and he even stepped in as Peddie’s alumni director in the early 1980s. When the Bell Society was formed in 1990, he was one of its first members. 2016 marked 25 consecutive years of Kerry giving to The Peddie Fund. And he was always game to attend alumni events.
Kerry was excited when Head of School Peter Quinn visited the St. Petersburg, Florida area,” said Regina Ketting, Peddie’s former planned giving director. “He not only accepted the invitation for lunch, but rounded up other alumni in the area to meet with Peter, too.
“He came back for reunions reminiscing about living in Wilson Hall and having classes in ‘Memorial Hall,’ as it was known back then. Kerry was the sort of person who always made time for Peddie.”
Kerry was the sort of person who always made time for Peddie.” regina Ketting
Peter Quinn agreed. “I knew I was sitting down with someone who loved Peddie and kept up with the school,” he said. “What impressed me was the pride and passion he had for the role his years at Peddie had played in his life.”
In 2015, Peddie learned that Kerry created a trust, 80% of which would come to Peddie upon his passing, to establish the Kerry B. Fitzpatrick ’57 Endowed Scholarship Fund. It will benefit students enrolled at Peddie who excel in academics and athletics and may be awarded without regard to demonstrated need.
“It was important to Kerry to build and nurture character in youth through a combination of academics and athletics,” said Regina. When it came to athletics, “he was known to buy Major League Baseball tickets for Peddie’s baseball team. On a few occasions, he rounded up fellow Peddie alumni in Florida to attend the Peddie spring training sessions in Florida, and he drove several hours to get there, to cheer on Peddie students during games.”
Clearly, Kerry deeply loved Peddie and appreciated the extraordinary opportunities he found there. Peddie is humbled by his gift and looks forward to seeing his love continue to manifest in generations to come.
Kerry was thinking very much about how to help Peddie serve future students as it had him,” said Peter. “He knew providing access would allow us to continue to attract the best students for Peddie with every new generation. He was a forward-looking man.”