Wells College Mourns the Passing of Kathryn “Kay” Maloney

January 7, 2020
Kay Maloney, who leaves a legacy of more than a half-century of service to Wells, died Dec. 24.

Kathryn 'Kay' Lillian Stephenson Maloney will be missed by all who knew her, but especially by those in the Wells College community, following her passing in on Dec. 24, 2019 at the age of 101.

Her legacy at Wells was so iconic that a major award was created in her honor. The Kathryn S. Maloney Senior Scholar-Athlete Award was established to recognize those student-athletes who exemplified academic excellence.

It was that same excellence that Maloney displayed in so many endeavors while at Wells that spanned a half-century in Aurora.

Maloney, who joined Wells as a physical education instructor in 1946, began a 50-year career with the College after receiving an undergraduate degree from Shurtleff College in Illinois, and a master's degree in hygiene and physical education from Wellesley College in Massachusetts.

Maloney worked under nine Wells College presidents during her Wells tenure, and served as a physical education professor, associate dean of students and coach of multiple varsity sports teams. Her field hockey teams brought her the most success as a coach, but when not on the field or in the classroom, she was busy initiating new endeavors for the College such as the wellness program.

Upon her retirement in 1988, she was named professor emerita of athletics. She continued to teach physical education courses at Wells, and even returned at two different points to serve as the College's director of athletics.

Tennis and swimming were her passions, and she was a vibrant figure in the local community. Some of her participation within the Wells College community included activity with the Village of Aurora, the Thursday Club and bridge playing. Maloney also founded the community water aerobics program as an instructor.

Prior to arriving at Wells, Maloney taught at Alabama College and the University of Wisconsin.

There will be a private celebration of her life in Aurora this spring.

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