Dear Members of the Monmouth University Community:
It is with a heavy heart that I share the passing of our longtime friend, beloved alumnus, and Trustee Emeritus, John H. Kessler ’69.
John earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Monmouth College in 1969. As a student, John was a proud member of the Phi Delta Sigma fraternity—a brotherhood that has remain connected—and involved in the baseball, basketball, and football programs. However, John’s deepest Monmouth connection was his wife, Henni, who earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education in 1968. John and Henni wed in 1972.
Together, John and Henni remained deeply involved with the University throughout the years. John first joined the Board of Trustees in 1997, before being elected as Life Trustee in 2009, and Trustee Emeritus in 2016.
John was a staunch supporter of Monmouth Athletics, serving as a founding member of the Touchdown Club—inaugural donors to Monmouth football. The Kesslers have supported the growth of Monmouth University through their generosity, including the athletics complex that bears their name—the Henni Kantor Kessler & John H. Kessler Stadium.
John began his career in 1970 as a financial advisor for J.B. Hanauer & Co., before rising to the position of chair and principal stock holder. In 2007, J.B. Hanauer was acquired by one of the largest wealth management firms in the country, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), where John continued to specialize in fixed-income portfolio management. In recognition for his professional accomplishments, John was appointed to the RBC Chairman’s Council. Most recently, John served as Senior Vice President for the Kessler – Gisser Group at RBC.
This is indeed a loss felt by the Monmouth University community, as well as many other organizations who have benefited from John’s kindness and generosity throughout the years. As a tribute to John’s life and his lasting legacy on our university community, there will be a moment of silence during this evening’s men’s basketball game, and the Monmouth University flag will be flown at half-staff throughout the weekend.
Please join me in keeping John, Henni, and the entire Kantor-Kessler family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Dr. Patrick F. Leahy