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​Danica Lynch ’13, left, and Julie Moloy ’13

​Class of 2013: Lives of Meaning and Purpose

Lynch ’13, Moloy ’13 Solidify Deep Friar Roots as Roommates

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is part of a continuing series of profiles on members of the Class of 2013, who will graduate on May 19. To read other profiles, go to the Commencement page.

Though not pressured to join the “family ranks” and enroll at Providence College as freshmen, Danica M. Lynch ’13 (Westerly, R.I.) and Julie A. Moloy ’13 (Westwood, Mass.) immediately discovered their “home” at PC — and an abiding friendship with it.

Randomly assigned as roommates their first year, Lynch and Moloy developed many of the same interests. They held work-study positions in the Office of Institutional Advancement, joined the Student Alumni Association, and served on the Fund-Raising Committee of the Senior Giving Campaign.

They would have been roommates for all four years had not another similar passion interrupted their plans: studying abroad. As juniors, Lynch studied in Florence in the fall, and Moloy went to Rome in the spring.

They used Skype and email to keep in touch regularly, said Lynch.

Lynch and Moloy are two of 78 students in the Class of 2013 who have legacy links … that is, at least one parent attended PC. In fact, Lynch and 18 other classmates have the distinction of having both parents go to Providence.

However, the roommates’ PC lineage is much deeper than most students’.

Lynch’s family ties are on both parents’ sides and number 13 — not counting her brother, Philip, who will join the Class of 2017 this fall. The lineage comprises parents Michael P. Lynch ’83, vice president of the PC National Alumni Association (NAA) Board of Governors, and Gina M. (Gencarella) Lynch ’81; brother Andrew M. Lynch ’10; sister and undergraduate Marissa N. Lynch ’15; grandfathers Francis J. Gencarella ’55 and William J. Lynch Jr. ’57; great-uncles John P. Lynch ’61 and the late Dennis M. Lynch ’54; uncles William J. Lynch, III ’82, Charles A. Vilandre ’83, and Joseph P. Gencarella ’85; and aunts Julie A. Vilandre ’83 and Ann M. Gencarella ’86. 

Moloy’s family links are maternal and start with her mother, Kathleen Doherty Moloy ’83. Her grandfather was the late Capt. Robert  O. Doherty ’51 (U.S. Naval Reserves). Other graduates are aunts Maryanne Doherty Knott ’76, who is a former member of the NAA Board of Governors, Ellen Doherty Walsh ’78, Margaret M. Colpoys ’81, Madeline M. Doherty ’82, and Patricia E. Wade ’86; uncle Joseph P. Doherty ’80; and cousins Maura E. Ladino ’11 and Laura Walsh ’11.

A regular at club events, games

PC alumni events and men’s basketball games were part of her childhood, said Lynch, noting her father is a former president of the New London/Washington County Alumni Club and is a longtime basketball season ticket holder.

“I’ve been going to alumni events longer than I can remember,” said Lynch, who, like her parents and several other family members, is a member of the Friars Club.

Although Lynch wanted to go to college out of state, her parents wanted her to visit PC during her senior year of high school. She clearly remembers the fall day when her mother and she toured the campus with a student guide named Michael. Lynch was impressed by the energy, friendliness, and sense of community she felt on campus.

“I was really compelled by the experience, the feeling. There was no pressure (to choose PC),” she said. “I could see myself sitting in the library. I felt my mom could have left me there that day.”

The spirit she felt during her campus visit is something her parents have remarked about over the years, said Lynch, adding that the College community has a sustained and unique ability to unite amid good times and misfortune. The health policy and management major emphasized that it is the family-like atmosphere that distinguishes PC from other colleges and universities.

“There are unique bonds I’ve made here with everyone … faculty, staff, and students,” she said. “It’s a beautiful campus, but the people really make it. You notice it at times like winter break, when it’s kind of gloomy here (with fewer on campus). The people make the place.”

Lynch, who plans to work as a physical therapy aide while applying to doctoral programs for fall 2014, said her four years here have shaped her personal development.

“I’ve deepened my faith and become a more well-rounded person,” she said. “PC created the whole person. I’m happy with who I am, and it’s because of PC.”

Grandfather’s pride rubs off

Moloy’s path to PC was more direct, influenced strongly by her late grandfather, Captain Doherty. While she attended some Friar hockey and basketball games as a youngster and heard stories about PC from family members, her grandfather was a “driving force” when it came to expressing his pride for PC. His favorite song was the College’s Alma Mater, and he always watched the Friars’ basketball games on TV, she said.

“He was so adamant about his love for PC,” she said.

Moloy was most impressed by the support from the PC community when her grandfather died eight years ago. She recalled that several Dominican priests and many of her mother’s classmates attended the calling hours and/or funeral.

PC was “always on my radar” as a college choice, she said. As a high school senior, she visited campus twice and found its size and community feel appealing. It was the second visit, in spring 2009, when “it clicked with me … that it was a place I could call home.”

Her cousins also made her feel comfortable about her decision, both before she enrolled and during the early part of her freshman year. Laura Walsh would drive her around Providence, pointing out tourist attractions and helping her get familiar with the city.

Moloy said she never felt pressured by her family to attend PC and that one of the reasons she came here was that she knew she would be able to “forge my own path.”  She noted that family members who graduated from the College majored in a variety of disciplines and that she is the first marketing major in her family. Moloy, who will start a job with the Hill Holiday advertising and marketing agency this summer, also has a minor in finance.

The chance to be an individual while living in a tight-knit environment is one of the College’s biggest assets and one she values most as she prepares to graduate, said Moloy. There are attractive academic disciplines and lots of clubs and organizations, she added.

“No two PC students have the same experience. I live in a house with 10 roommates. We all have different lives, but PC has put us together,” said Moloy.

— Charles C. Joyce

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