In Memoriam: University Benefactor W. Keith Kellogg II

In Memoriam: University Benefactor W. Keith Kellogg II
Janet and W. Keith Kellogg II

W. Keith Kellogg II, a long-time university donor and member of the Kellogg family, died Sept. 16. He was 98 years old.

W. Keith Kellogg II is the namesake and grandson of cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg, one of the university’s primary founders. A gift of 825 acres in 1949 by W.K. Kellogg eventually led to what is now Cal Poly Pomona.

Aside from sharing a name, the younger Kellogg also became a major benefactor of the university. He and his wife, Janet, have contributed generously to Cal Poly Pomona over the years, including a key gift to support the W. Keith and Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery. The gallery was named in their honor in 1992. He served as general cochair of the university’s campaign, Partners in Progress, and also co-chaired the Hugh O. La Bounty Interdisciplinary Chair campaign with his cousin, the late Norman Williamson Jr.

“Keith was a wonderful friend to this university and a person of great generosity,” says Ron Simons, associate vice president for University Development.

The Kelloggs have also assisted the President’s Council Scholars program, which was previously funded through annual contributions to the Presidents Council. Thanks to the impetus of their gifts, these scholarships are now supported by individual or family donations and have established a significant endowment fund.

In 1994, Kellogg received an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Cal Poly Pomona and was also recognized as an honorary university alumnus. The Kelloggs have been President’s Council members since 1984.

In addition to their continuous support of Cal Poly Pomona, the Kelloggs have been longtime philanthropists in their community, having supported the Scripps Clinic & Research Foundation and most recently the CSU San Marcos Library. The facility, which opened in spring 2004, was named the Kellogg Library thanks to their  donation.

In the 1930s, W. Keith Kellogg II began his career by working for his grandfathers cereal business, the Kellogg Co. His father, John Kellogg, ran the packaging operation in Battle Creek, Mich., and asked if the younger Kellogg would go to Chicago and repair several divisions of the firm that were going bankrupt. He accepted the job and was able to turn the divisions around so they were profitable again. He soon bought his own company, General Packaging Products of Chicago. Kellogg retired from active business in 1972.

Kellogg is survived by his wife, Janet; son, Will Keith Kellogg III; and daughter, Joanne Kristine Beverlin, as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.