WEST ORANGE, NJ – On Saturday, May 2, Seton Hall Prep honored two stalwart supporters of The Prep with a pair of dedications at the Kelly Athletic Complex on Prospect Avenue. That morning G. Kelly Martin, Class of 1977, cut the ribbon on the Junior Varsity Baseball Field as President Msgr. Michael E. Kelly dedicated the field in his honor. He was joined in the celebration by West Orange resident Robert C. Williams, Esq H’18, whose name now graces the scoreboard in left field.
The morning was a celebration of Kelly Martin’s longstanding financial support of the school, which recently has been instrumental in ensuring that the baseball program’s junior varsity team has a first-rate field to play on, in keeping with the other venues at the KAC. As a Prep student-athlete under then-head coach Fr. Stephen Kilcarr, he was a left-handed pitcher and eventual Prep Hall of Famer, who began the 1977 season with a no-hitter against Union High School, the No. 1 team in the state. That year, he went 10-2 with a 1.52 ERA and was named All County, All State All Groups, finishing up with a career mark of 21-5 with a 1.60 ERA. He went on to a degree and a playing career at Princeton University, and subsequently to positions with Merrill Lynch, where he eventually headed a trio of global divisions. He is now CEO of Novan, Inc., a US based health care company. He has been married for 31 years to wife, Elizabeth (formerly Mortenson) with five children, now living in Connecticut after stops in Tokyo, London and New York.
Lifelong West Orange resident Robert C. Williams Esq. was a key figure in the legal process that resulted finally in the completion of the athletic complex last year. Since his admission to the New Jersey Bar in 1975, he has represented clients in more than 500 applications for development before planning and zoning boards. He is regarded as the state’s top attorney in the field of land use. He and his staff took it upon themselves to shepherd the Prep’s application for development of the 40-acre site on Prospect Avenue before the West Orange Zoning Board. With monumental generosity and preparation involving hundreds of hours of work, he took the point on 30 meetings in front of the Board over three years. In accepting an honorary diploma from SHP President Msgr. Michael E. Kelly, Mr. Williams noted his enthusiasm for working on behalf of Seton Hall Prep. He also took pains to express his gratitude for work of his paralegal assistant Eve Rappaport, who handled the organization of the thousands of pages of exhibits, appeals and motions during the process. He also complimented the West Orange officials on the Zoning Board for their tireless work and professionalism during the seemingly endless and sometimes contentious process.