The University of West Georgia’s First Lady, Dr. Tressa Kelly, is a champion of finding one’s truth. She is a proponent of empowering students to find their passion – and themselves – during their university experience.

Dr. Tressa Kelly and Dr. Brendan Kelly
Dr. Tressa Kelly and Dr. Brendan Kelly

Dr. Kelly spent her childhood years in Michigan, living only a half-hour away from the hometown of Dr. Brendan Kelly, UWG’s eighth president. As the daughter of two educators, she always felt comfortable in the classroom, earning a Ph.D. in communication from Wayne State University and receiving her master’s degree in communication and a bachelor’s degree in communication and theatre arts from Eastern Michigan University.

Having taught for 24 years at the collegiate level, Dr. Kelly always felt like she belonged in higher education, which she believes to be a key access point to success. Being First Lady aligns well with that passion, as she enjoys bridging the university and its students, faculty, staff, and alumni with the West Georgia community.

“A public university campus belongs to the community, and I love to remind people that they’re always welcome to visit our campus for the first time or to come back and find out what’s new. It’s a place for everyone to learn and grow – not just our students.”

Dr. Kelly is married to the University of West Georgia’s eighth president, Dr. Brendan B. Kelly. The Kellys have three children – Bree, Liam, and Kieran – and a Great Dane named Lucy. In addition to being a mother, Dr. Kelly is also a trained doula, an avid reader, and a yoga lover. She enjoys spending time outside and watching sports – especially basketball.