Nancy, second from the right and John Kellett, centre, always knew they would give back to McGill. A recent gift to the GCRC was like “repaying a debt to McGill,” Nancy Kellett said. The Kelletts are shown here with McGill’s vice-principal of University Advancement, Marc Weinstein, GCRC director Morag Park and vice-principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of Medicine David Eidelman.

Nancy and John Kellett always knew they wanted to give back to McGill.

John Patrick, BA'42, MDCM’43, would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. So his daughter, Nancy Kellett BA’70, MLS’73, and her husband John Kellett BCom’68, decided now was the right time to give to McGill. Their contribution to the Goodman Cancer Research Centre’s Gala not only honours Patrick’s life, but also the role that McGill and the Faculty of Medicine has played in their lives.

Nancy Kellett’s family has a long history with the university. Not only was her father a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine, but he was also a clinical lecturer in gynecology and obstetrics in the Faculty of Medicine. Her grandfather also graduated from the Faculty and Nancy herself was a librarian at the medical library. And, of course, she met her husband there.

John Kellett came to Canada from England specifically for McGill. “McGill brought me to Canada from England, which was the best thing that happened to me,” Kellett said. “{{My twin brother and I}} met our wives at McGill, and both of us have had our careers thanks to McGill.”

“When John first got his degree and when we got married, we really didn’t have two sticks to rub together. But he always said that if we were ever in a position to give a significant donation to McGill, we would do it. And we’re fortunate now that we’re in this position,” Nancy Kellett said. “It’s like repaying a debt to McGill.”

Of course, there are many ways to give back to McGill, but the Goodman Cancer Research Centre was a particularly meaningful choice. John has survived cancer, as has his son and his brother. “We all recovered very nicely, thanks to research that made it possible for us to be treated.”
“Everyone’s family has had to deal with cancer in some way,” Nancy Kellett said.

During a recent tour of the centre, the Kelletts saw what the Centre is doing for the future of cancer research—and how they could help push research forward. “We were so impressed with the people we met!” John Kellett said. “We just feel a big donation can have a big impact, and we can see our donation at work.”

The Kelletts have established a pool of matching funds to ensure supporters at the Gala can make an even greater impact.

Learn more about the Goodman Cancer Research Gala