Mercy College Confers Honorary Degree to Joseph Kelleher, Real Estate Executive and Philanthropist

Group at ceremony

On July 19, 2022, Mercy College bestowed an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree to Joseph P. Kelleher, current president at Hutch Management LLC, a division of Simone Development Companies. Mercy awards honorary degrees to individuals, such as Kelleher, who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their fields and exceptional contributions to their communities.

Kelleher is an experienced business executive with an extensive background in real estate development and philanthropy. He was appointed president and chief operating officer of Hutch Management LLC in 2009. Kelleher previously served as the executive director of leasing and property management for the 42-acre Hutchinson Metro Center in Bronx, New York, which is home to the Mercy College Bronx Campus.

The Hutchinson Metro Center is a highly successful mixed-use complex that features 1.4 million square feet of Class A office, medical, retail and educational space including Mercy College, Montefiore, a Marriott hotel and top-notch amenities including a café, conference center, pharmacy, fitness center, car wash and more.

Kelleher first began his real estate career in the real estate division of NYNEX as property manager for the Corporate Headquarters Building in New York City. Subsequently, he served as director of property management for Catalano Kornblum Management Corp. and Winoker Realty Corp., as well as chief executive officer for Casino New York LLC.

During the ceremony in which Kelleher received an honorary degree, his colleagues from Simone Development Companies, as well as Mercy College President Tim Hall, spoke to his accomplishments and dedication to community betterment.

“It truly brings me great joy being here tonight, celebrating a very serving and special man, our friend Joe Kelleher…who has brought Hutchinson Metro Center from empty land to the iconic campus that it is today,” said Joe Simone, president of Simone Development Companies. “His loyalty, vision and passion has always inspired and gotten us through the many challenges we have had to face.”

“In an honorary degree recipient, we look for people who are renowned in their communities, people who have served others more than they served themselves, people who have been friends to the kind of organizations we respect, like the Bronx Chamber of Commerce or the Boy Scouts,” explained Hall in his remarks. “We look for that kind of a leader – a good friend to the college. It is our honor to recognize him.”

A generous supporter of Mercy for decades, Kelleher became increasingly passionate about the College’s mission when he learned that Mercy students and faculty from the School of Health and Natural Sciences traveled to the Dominican Republic in March 2018 on a humanitarian medical mission. Mercy’s global humanitarian efforts inspired Kelleher to support several Mercy College scholarships over the years, such as the Trustees’ Dinner Scholarship Fund, the Bronx Leadership Endowed Scholarship Fund and the Mercy Golf Classic Scholarship Award.  

Kelleher was instrumental in establishing the Hutchinson Metro Center Bronx Leadership Endowed Scholarship Fund, which supports students who are residents of the Bronx, attended high school in the Bronx and who attend Mercy’s Bronx Campus. Also, Kelleher was integral in the Mercy Bronx Campus relocation to the Hutchinson Metro Center. Through his involvement, Kelleher helped to ensure that Bronx Campus students, especially those enrolled in health sciences programs, were afforded a state-of the art educational facility with modern technologies and amenities that prepared them for successful careers.

Kelleher also long served as president of the Bronx Council of the Boy Scouts, and on the executive board of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce as president, treasurer and vice president. He now serves as Chairman of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, as well on the board of the Chamber’s Foundation.

“I am privileged and humbled to stand before you today. Mercy College has been a very special place for us in our expansion into the Bronx,” said Kelleher at the ceremony. “Mercy has never disappointed.”

“Simone Development Companies supports our community, we believe in the youth of our community, we want to provide the environment for educational advancement for them, so that they can get a good education in the Bronx, work in the Bronx, live in the Bronx, continue their lives in the Bronx, and make a difference in this world we live in.”

“It’s a tough world we live in,” continued Kelleher. “My question is: ‘What can we do today to make a difference? Sometimes it’s just talking to one person, one student.”

Mercy College congratulates Kelleher on receiving an honorary degree and for an illustrious career and life that has impacted the lives of many.