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Memoir

Francis Willey Kelsey
Regent's Proceedings 216

On Saturday, May 14, 1927, Francis Willey Kelsey, Professor of the Latin Language and Literature in the University of Michigan, died in Ann Arbor after sixty-eight years of busy, useful life.

Since 1889 he had been a member of the Faculty of the University of Michigan, and in 1890 he succeeded his honored predecessor, Professor Henry S. Frieze, in the headship of the Department of Latin.

Professor Kelsey was gifted with a keen appreciation of the beautiful in literature, music, and the other arts, which influenced his whole life. It made him an inspiring teacher and enabled him to send out others, who in their turn became teachers, and it also inspired the great service which he rendered to the University community, the City of Ann Arbor, and the State of Michigan generally by promoting, through the University Musical Society, of which he was for many years President, the concerts and opportunities for instruction in practical music which have proved so great a distinction to the City of Ann Arbor and of such great benefit to many generations of University students.

Professor Kelsey was a man of immense energy and enthusiasm, qualities, which likewise he was able to pass on to his associates. His school texts were nationally known; his scholarly work on the antiquities of Pompeii had an even wider audience. He had been the President of two national societies.

It was his initiative, ability, and ever forward moving spirit to which were due the Humanistic Series of University of Michigan Publications, the explorations and excavations conducted by the University of Michigan Near East Expedition in late years, and the gathering at Ann Arbor of collections of Greek, Roman, and Coptic papyri, ancient manuscripts, and objects of archaeological value which are not to be rivaled by any university, and by few public museums, in the Western Hemisphere.

With all these capacities and characteristics Professor Kelsey possessed those human qualities, which gave him the liking as well as the respect of his colleagues. For these reasons, and for many others which will readily suggest themselves to his friends, Professor Kelsey's sudden death has come as a great shock to the Regents of the University of Michigan, and as an expression of their feelings and of the indebtedness of the University to Professor Kelsey they have passed the following resolutions and have directed that they be incorporated in their proceedings and that a copy be sent to Professor Kelsey's family: