Framed portrait of Ann Manchester Kelley

Lasting Impact

Ann Manchester Kelley celebrated for mentoring, supporting generations of nurses
Framed portrait of Ann Manchester Kelley
Barbara “Ann” Manchester Kelley came to UNH in 1964 to help establish a department of nursing, seeking to apply her knowledge from her own nursing education and her experience working in the field.

Her husband of more than 50 years says teaching the next generation of nurses was his wife’s passion.

“Ann had accumulated valuable knowledge, and her aim was to pass it along. A student puts trust in a teacher who is always straightforward and well educated, and that was Ann,” says Roland “Sam” Kelley of his wife, who passed away in March 2020 at the age of 85. “She gravitated to nursing and teaching simply because she loved the work.”

To honor her legacy at UNH, and for the generations of nurses now working near and far on the frontlines of medicine, two scholarships have been created in Ann’s name: the Ann M. Kelley Scholarship for Nursing and the Ann Kelley Great Nurses Scholarship. Both were results of Ann’s wishes to continue to support future generations of nurses.

“Without the support of the Kelley family, many of us would be struggling to meet the financial needs of college tuition. I thank them for their generosity and for playing a part in making my dreams come true,” says Alex Carbone ’22, a recent scholarship recipient.

Ann received her nursing diploma in 1955 from Peter Bent Brigham Hospital School of Nursing, Boston, and her master’s degree in nursing education from Boston University. She remained on the UNH nursing faculty until her retirement in 1998, and along the way served as department chair. The department’s Nursing Inquiry Day, a research presentation day for UNH undergraduate and graduate nursing students, is named in her honor.

During her career, Ann served as president of the New Hampshire Nurses’ Association and founding member of Eta Iota Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Ann received the Joseph D. Vaughn Award in 2011 for 29 years as a founding volunteer in the NH Long Term Care Ombudsman Program.

Roland “Sam” Kelley, Husband of Ann Kelley

Ann had accumulated valuable knowledge and her aim was to pass it along.”
Roland “Sam” Kelley, Husband of Ann Kelley
Ann’s life and impact were celebrated last year with a special event in the new state-of-the-art Health Sciences Simulation Center, which Sam attended. It was a fitting place to celebrate her impact: She and Sam spent a summer traveling across the country visiting nursing simulation labs, and, after returning home, Ann wrote and received a federal grant to develop and direct UNH’s first simulation facility, a precursor to today’s modernized lab.

The gathering featured several speakers who recalled Ann’s influence, as well as her family and dozens of students, alumni, faculty and staff who shared their memories of Ann’s guidance and mentorship.

Dayle Sharp, who is now a clinical professor of nursing at UNH, shared her own anecdote with the crowd. Sharp left UNH after three semesters to get married and have a child; 12 years later she decided to return to finish her degree after working in engineering. “So I left a good-paying job, left my husband and moved my daughter and myself to Lee. I remember sitting in our apartment thinking, ‘What did I do?’” she recalled.

That’s where Ann Kelley stepped in as her advisor, offering both professional and personal support to Sharp.

“At the end of my program I asked her if she thought I would ever finish my degree. Ann said, ‘I knew you would finish, and I felt bad for anyone who got in your way.’”

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