Kelly Gillen McGrath ‘89 to Receive 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award

This year's Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to Kelly (Gillen) McGrath '89. Kelly is a dedicated longtime Brighton resident and currently serves as Executive Director of Brighton Main Streets. Kelly started at Saint Columbkille in first grade and graduated in 1989. Her father, aunt, uncle and brother all attended Saint Columbkille and Kelly’s daughter Olivia graduated from 8th grade in 2020. 

“It means a lot to receive this award,” shares Kelly. “I care so much about Brighton and there are a lot of people who have helped me get to where I am today. Saint Columbkille was the foundation that helped build my commitment to giving back whenever and wherever I was able and I am blessed to be able to continue my work. The Saint Columbkille community is just incredible and to be recognized in this way is humbling and truly appreciated.”

Following graduation, Kelly attended Salem State University. She later met her husband Barry and they lived in North Andover for a few years before moving back to Brighton. They live in the same house she grew up in since she was 10 years old. Prior to that, she lived on Mapleton Street.

Since 2018, Kelly has held a number of positions at the Brighton Elks Lodge. She served as the 2022 Grand Marshall of the Allston/Brighton Parade and has participated in a number of Impact Advisory Groups for local real estate developments. Kelly currently sits on the Allston-Brighton Board of Trade, the Brighton Allston Improvement Association, and the Allston Brighton Fund. She has been an active member of the Saint Columbkille Alumni Association for many years, including serving as Vice President. 

“We are thrilled to be able to honor Kelly with this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award,” says Kate Ward, Chief Advancement & Enrollment Officer at Saint Columbkille. “Kelly has been a foundational member of the Alumni Association and a mainstay in the community for many years. It is an honor to be able to offer the Alumni Scholarship in her name for our students.”

We look forward to welcoming Kelly and her family and friends to the annual Come Home to Columb reunion event for Saint Columbkille alumni. Nino Gilarde '89, Chair of the Board of Trustees, will be in attendance to welcome guests and we will celebrate the Class of 1973's 50th reunion. Reunion activities will include an Alumni Mass at 4 p.m. at St. Columbkille Church and from 5 to 7 p.m. a gathering on the plaza with heavy hors d'oeuvres and drinks at Saint Columbkille Partnership School. Learn more about the event and register here.