Cornell College Alumni Association Board of Directors

Dan Kellams '58

Dan Kellams, 1958

Dan’s career spanned nearly 50 years in public relations in New York City, where he worked as a corporate and agency executive and, later, as a freelance writer and editor. He developed programs, wrote articles, speeches, white papers and created other materials for a wide range of prominent clients.

He won industry awards for a global newsletter he edited for Reebok and an employee communications program he created for Citibank.

He managed national publicity programs for a Himalayan mountain expedition, a Borneo jungle crossing and speed skiing competitions.

He has published two books: a biography, “A Coach’s Life: Les Hipple and the Marion Indians,” (2010) and a memoir, “Mistaken for a King” (2016).

A native of Marion, Iowa, he majored in English and journalism at Cornell, where he played football and basketball for two years, acted in several plays, contributed stories and poems to the literary magazine and was editor of the Cornellian and copy editor of the Royal Purple.

“Cornell’s greatest gift was to know and work with Robert Dana, who became a lifelong friend,” Kellams wrote. (Dana, a nationally recognized poet, spent 40 years as a Cornell professor.) At Dana’s urging, Cornell nominated Dan for a graduate fellowship at Columbia University, where he earned a master’s degree in journalism. “Moving to New York was a long-held dream,” Dan wrote. “It profoundly altered my life.”

Along with two classmates, Dan funds an internship at Cornell that sends two students each summer to a creative writing workshop. He played a leadership role when his class conducted an unprecedented 55th reunion drive that raised $50,000 to support the Robert Dana Fellowship at Cornell.

Dan and his wife, Elaine, now live in Sun City, Ariz.


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