Celebrating Black History Month – George Biddle Kelley
As we celebrateBlack History Month this February, Qk4 is exploring the past to spotlight Black civil engineers who made remarkable impact on the industry.
• This week, we’re celebrating George Biddle Kelley (1884 – 1963) •
After graduating from Cornell University’s College of Civil Engineering, Kelley became the first African-American engineer registered in the state of New York. For a good portion of his career, Kelley worked for the New York Engineering Department on the New York State Barge Canal.
Kelley’s father, a Civil War veteran, migrated from Virginia as a fugitive slave during the Civil War. Kelley credited his father’s spirit and influence which lead him to become a founding member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the oldest Black Greek fraternal organization.
Now, Kelley is commemorated through the George Biddle Kelley Education Foundation—a program with a mission to engage in activities that provide information, resources, advocacy, programs, and services to assist the development of strong families in underprivileged communities. The Foundation provides scholarships, conducts college bus tours, and hosts workshops to increase youth awareness about responsibility, leadership, and entrepreneurship. To learn more, get involved, or donate, visit https://www.gbkfoundation.org/.