Kevin Kehoe ’77 made it his life’s mission to inspire, and empower, the next generation. Now, his legacy, in partnership with Stony Brook Athletics, will provide future teams of student athletes with the same foundation for success
As a successful consultant and entrepreneur, a passionate philanthropist and a devoted father, Kevin Kehoe ’77 left a mark.
You can see it in his professional accomplishments, his unwavering commitment to his beloved Kehoe Family Foundation, and the love and admiration shared by his friends, family, and those who knew him best. And you can see it here at Stony Brook University in the lasting impact he left on his alma mater and the many student athletes who will benefit from his generosity.
Kevin, who lost his eight-year battle with cancer last fall, was a founding member of Stony Brook’s football team.
Along with his teammates, he was credited with laying the groundwork for what the program has become more than four decades later. While Kevin and his teammates may have played a key role in setting the tone for the future of the football program, the same can be said about the impact the program had on him, says Julia Kehoe, Kevin’s daughter.
“You can’t win unless everyone wins,” Julia said, recalling her father’s guiding mantra, both in business, and in life. “He looked at everything as though it were a team sport. There was never anything he wanted to accomplish or succeed at alone. He really leaned on the discipline and work ethic he took from his time as an athlete — in many ways, it shaped who he was.”
In 2021, Kevin and his wife, Lorraine, established the Kehoe Family Fund for Stony Brook Athletics, marrying two of Kevin’s greatest passions: Stony Brook Athletics and his cherished family foundation. Created to encourage generational giving, the Foundation will sustain and enhance the priorities closest to his heart, like education, entrepreneurship, cancer research and support for veterans.
“My dad was humbly proud of his wealth and success, but in the end, it always came back to ‘what can I do to help others?’” says Julia. “He attributed his success to his time at Stony Brook, and I know that giving back was his way of showing his appreciation for that experience.”
In August 2022, the Kehoe Family Foundation’s $3 million gift became the third-largest gift in the athletic department’s history. The funds were designated to replace both the north end zone video board and the south end zone scoreboard in Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium, to launch an athletics facilities master planning project, to support the renovation of the football locker room, to provide operational support to athletics career development and leadership programming and perhaps most importantly, to support the department’s vision of positively transforming the lives of each student-athlete.
“Certainly, this gift will help our student athletes in competition, but on a larger scale, it’s meant to inspire them to become better leaders and contributing members of society — because that’s exactly who Kevin was,” says Shawn Heilbron, director of athletics for Stony Brook University.
“When you spoke with Kevin about his time at Stony Brook, it was clear how meaningful those experiences were to him. We look forward to sharing his story with future student athletes, and we know that his legacy will live on — not just in the physical spaces his generosity touched — but in sharing his story with future generations for years to come.”
In the years before his death, the Kehoe Family Foundation played a key role in connecting Kevin to causes that meant the most to him, allowing him to reconnect with his Stony Brook teammates and classmates and, ultimately, creating a permanence that those closest to him continue to feel.
“Getting involved with Stony Brook allowed my dad to reconnect and bring people back into his life who he had lost touch with, and I know that was a really special thing for him before he passed,” says Julia.
“My family, his teammates — we had the opportunity to know my dad, but a lot of people didn’t. Carrying on his legacy is about more than just giving back to the causes that meant the most to him. It’s about sharing him with those who didn’t have the chance to get to know the great man he was while he was alive.”
— Meghan Goff