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Alumnus' Love for Hockey and Rensselaer Live on in Memorial Scholarship

Keith Callanan

Rensselaer alumnus Keith Callanan was a firm believer in the value of education. He became an avid hockey fan when Ned Harkness coached the Engineers to a National Championship in 1954. Gertrude DeYoung Callanan, his wife, established a scholarship at Rensselaer in Keith's memory as a tribute to his values and his love for Engineer hockey.

As the most recent recipient of the Keith M. Callanan '25 Memorial Scholarship for aspiring varsity hockey recruits, former defensive player Jeff Foss '11 was honored to be recognized during his senior year at Rensselaer for his achievements on the rink and in the classroom. As a dean's list student majoring in mechanical engineering, Jeff successfully balanced his challenging coursework and demanding hockey schedule.

When recruited in high school, Jeff was impressed with Rensselaer's hockey program and its coaching staff, but he also knew that getting a first-rate education with excellent teachers was equally important. "The professors here are always willing to help students with their education as well as help them find a job after graduation," says Jeff, who has signed a contract with the American Hockey League's Milwaukee Admirals and plans to play professional hockey for a while before joining his family's engineering business.

After receiving the Callanan scholarship, Jeff had dinner with the family, giving him the opportunity to express his gratitude and learn more about Keith and the intent of his scholarship. "He [Keith] had respect for the game [of hockey] and the classroom and for doing what's right day to day," Jeff recalls from his conversation.

For someone who strives to act professionally in all that he does, Jeff believes that being chosen for the scholarship is an affirmation of his actions and his character.

If he had been able to speak with Keith and Gertrude personally, Jeff would have thanked them not only for their financial support but also for caring about the hockey program and its players. And that, he says, is characteristic of Rensselaer alumni. "The alumni here care about the students at their alma mater, and they want to help out in any way possible."

Keith's daughter, Lynn, says that her father would have been thrilled to know that his scholarship is helping players like Jeff. Because of his family's generosity, Keith's name will be permanently linked to Rensselaer hockey and the education of its players.

Rensselaer graduates have been applying science to the common purposes of life since 1824. You can assist our exceptional students, too, by establishing your own scholarship in honor of a loved one or as an expression of your own legacy. Please contact us today to discuss the different ways you can accomplish this meaningful gift.

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