Tuesday, October 26, 1999

HPU one of
Kellerman’s legacies

More obituaries
Chaminade supporter Hiu dies

By Craig Gima


Art Elizabeth "Libby" Kellerman, who helped a small Baptist college in Manoa become what is now Hawaii Pacific University, died Oct. 17 at her home. She was 93.

Kellerman also was active in the Republican Party of Hawaii, serving as Republican National Committeewoman from Hawaii from 1963 to 1971 and also was elected as one of four women delegates to the 1950 Constitutional Convention, which was convened to help Hawaii become a state.

As a delegate, Kellerman pushed for a clause in the Constitution to protect women from discrimination based on sex.

However, Kellerman was not a feminist. She was one of the first women graduates of the Columbia University Law School in 1933, but gave up her law career in Washington, D.C., to raise a family in Honolulu after she met and married George Kellerman in 1940.

While raising her family, Kellerman stayed active in civic affairs. At one point, she helped lead a "broom brigade" of about 400 housewives in a protest against the 1949 dock strike.

She also served on various other civic groups, including the Hawaii Congress of Parents and Teachers.

Kellerman was asked to join the board of Jackson College in Manoa after the small school ran into financial difficulty. She and other board members decided to merge the college with Honolulu Christian College. They then reopened the school and renamed it Hawaii Pacific College. When the new school opened on Sept. 17, 1965, it had eight faculty members and 54 students.

A few years later, the board voted to move the college to its present downtown location where it has expanded to serve about 8,500 students.

"She had a basic fundamental idea of education," said fellow board member Paul Loo. "She believed in a liberal arts education which was the intent of the institution."

Kellerman was born in High Point, N.C. She is survived by sons George "Keoki" and James; stepdaughter Peggy Paty; and eight grandchildren.

Services are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Friday at Waialae Baptist Church. The family suggests contributions to the Waialae Baptist Church, which has started a George and Elizabeth Kellerman fund.

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