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Distinguished Alum Award Recipient: Margaret “Mickey” Kelly Murray

Alum Stories, News | 05.11.2019
Murray and President King holding the award
Margaret “Mickey” Murray ’70 receives 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College presented Margaret “Mickey” Kelly Murray, a 1970 graduate, with the Distinguished Alumni Award, during the 2019 commencement ceremony. The Award is the highest honor the College bestows upon a graduate in recognition of her noteworthy achievements and valuable professional and personal contributions.

Murray grew up a on tree lined street on the north side of Chicago where her love of music was evident from an early age. She hugged the trees and sang Connie Francis and Judy Garland songs.

She attended Marywood School for Girls in Evanston, Illinois where she was introduced to the Sisters of Providence. She was an active member of the drama club and starred in several student productions.

Murray followed her sisters to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College where she studied theatre arts. Here, the acting competition became tougher and she didn’t have any starring roles. However, in one production she skipped across the stage and got a laugh from Sister Mary Olive, which made it all worth it.

Before finishing her studies, she moved to New York City to work in television production. She worked at NBC, as a page, for The Johnny Carson Show and for The Dick Cavett Show, among others.

Murray married fellow Chicagoan, Bill Murray. From the very beginning of Saturday Night Live, she shared in the excitement as Bill and the cast transitioned into movies and theatre.

In 1988, married with two small children, she followed her entrepreneurial spirit by opening a rustic home goods shop, Whispering Pines, near their family weekend home in Piermont, New York. The company offered items for cabins, inspired by her fond recollections of childhood summers in Three Lakes Wisconsin where she still has a lake house. Later moving to Westport, Connecticut with her two sons, Mickey grew Whispering Pines into a nationally-recognized catalog that became a leader in the field for many years.

She moved back to New York City, where she pursued a second career as a residential real estate agent at The Corcoran Group, one of the largest and most prestigious real estate companies in New York, originally owned by Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Murray was proud to work for a company founded by a woman in a tough competitive business.

Murray served for 12 years on the board of trustees at St. Luke’s School in New Canaan, Connecticut and Lawyers for Children, a New York City based non-profit that represents children in the foster care system. Recently, she sat on the School of Arts and Science advisory board at Fairfield University.

She never tires of living in New York City. When not working with her real estate clients, she enjoys the theatre, lectures, two book groups and visiting with her children, her 98-year-old mother, five siblings and extended family.

Murray’s son, Homer, is the chef and owner of a restaurant in Brooklyn, where there is a salad named after her. Luke, her other son, is an assistant basketball coach at the University of Louisville. He and his wife Kara are the proud parents of son Luke Frances.

Murray is a member of the Cosmopolitan Club and The River Club in New York City. She is a Real Estate Board of New York member.