Hon. Raymond W. Kelly '71L, '98HON is the personification of a
21st Century St. Vincent de Paul. As was Vincent, Commissioner
Kelly is a man committed to doing good, someone who envisions
solutions rather than merely seeing problems. Throughout his
exemplary life he has achieved great things on the local, national
and international levels, and our world is a better place because
Spirit of Service Award Video Presentation
As a young man Kelly knew that the world was an imperfect place,
and decided to do whatever he could to tame the forces of evil. He
chose a career in public service, becoming a member of the first
class of the New York City Police Cadet Corps and served for three
years while an undergraduate at Manhattan College. Although eager
to pursue his police career, he decided to put his plans on hold
and accepted a commission to the United States Marine Corps
Officers Program. During his time as a Marine he saw combat duty in
Vietnam, an experience that strengthened his commitment to make the
world safer by confronting those who choose evil over decency.
Kelly returned home to enter the New York City Police Academy,
graduating with the highest combined average for academics,
physical achievement and marksmanship. During his stellar NYPD
career he held every rank within the department, culminating with
his being named Commissioner by New York City Mayor David N.
Dinkins in 1992. After serving as Commissioner for two years, he
became Director of the International Police Monitors of the
Multinational Force in Haiti, for which he was awarded the
Exceptionally Meritorious Service Commendation by President Bill
Clinton. Kelly subsequently served as Under Secretary for
Enforcement at the U.S. Treasury Department and Commissioner of the
U.S. Customs Service.
After spending time in the private sector, he re-entered the
realm of public service when he was again appointed Police
Commissioner of the City of New York by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
in 2002, making him the only person ever to hold the position for
two non-consecutive tenures.
The recipient of numerous local, national and international
awards, Commissioner Kelly holds a BBA from Manhattan College, a
J.D. from St. John's School of Law, an LL.M from New York
University Graduate School of Law and an M.P.A from the Kennedy
School of Government at Harvard University. St. John's University
presented him with a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, in 1998, the
President's Medal in 2001 and the Medal of Honor in 2005.