Boston College Bestows Honorary Degree on Marblehead's Carolyn Lynch

Marblehead - Marblehead resident Carolyn A. Lynch, a philanthropic entrepreneur and president of The Lynch Foundation, was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters at Boston College’s commencement ceremony May 18.

The Lynch Foundation provides assistance to programs with an emphasis on education, culture and historic preservation, health care and medical research, and religious and educational efforts of the Catholic Church.
Boston College President William P. Leahy, SJ, and Board of Trustees chairman William J. Geary presented Lynch with the honorary degree, accompanied by a citation, which deemed her “an agent of change who works for the advancement of all.”

Lynch is a member of the board of the Boston College Campus School, which provides educational and other services to children with multiple disabilities and complex healthcare needs. She also has served on boards or committees for the Gregorian University Foundation, New England Conservatory of Music, Catholic Charities, Ralph Lowell Society, Boys and Girls Club of Boston and the Peabody Essex Museum, among others.

Lynch was named to the Order of St. Gregory the Great, a papal honor acknowledging meritorious service to the Church. Lynch’s other honors and achievements include the Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam Award from the Society of Jesus New England Province, the Pedro Arrupe Medal for Excellence in Ministry from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Boys and Girls Club of Boston Partners of Youth Award and the Massachusetts Horticulture Society President’s Choice Award.
In 2000, Boston College’s School of Education was renamed the Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch School of Education in honor of Lynch and her husband, Peter, longtime benefactors of the University.

Lynch’s honorary degree citation reads as follows:
“St. Ignatius Loyola affirmed that deeds, not words, are the measure of a person. Carolyn A. Lynch exemplifies that Ignatian principle. A diligent sower, her philanthropic harvest includes a bounty of improvements to education and health care, advancements in medical research, and preservation of history and culture. She has found 'good ground,' advancing the growth of City Year, Teach for America, AmeriCares, Mass Mentoring and Partners in Health, and is a founder to both the Lynch Foundation and the Urban Catholic Teachers Corps. Generous benefactor of Boston College and namesake of the Lynch School, she has received papal honors in recognition of her commitment to Catholic education and the Church. A believer in entrepreneurial investing, she has supported worthy causes that have helped to overcome some of society's most monumental needs. Daughter of a teacher, she has become a tireless advocate of schools, believing that 'education is the great equalizer.' She has travelled the world as a religious pilgrim and relief worker, and she continues to be an agent of change who works for the advancement of all. Hers is a name long associated with the New England Conservatory of Music, Special Olympics, the Campus School of Boston College, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and RENEW International, and she is also celebrated as devoted wife, loving mother and caring grandmother. She has been an influential trustee on countless boards, and her mastery of partnerships also applies to the game of bridge, where she recently earned world championship honors. With admiration for her profound legacy, Boston College proudly confers upon Carolyn A. Lynch the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.”

Five other distinguished individuals also were honored at BC’s commencement: award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, philanthropist and supporter of healthcare and Catholic education Margot C. Connell, real-estate developer and pioneer of mixed-income housing Joseph E. Corcoran, internationally preeminent Biblical scholar Rev. Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, and Benaree Pratt Wiley, a driving force in the advancement of leadership diversity in Boston.

This article appeared in The Marblehead Reporter and in its online edition, Wicked Local Marblehead. It has been reproduced under the terms of a Creative Commons License.

Webmaster's note: Carolyn Lynch is a Trustee Emeritus of RENEW International. She and her husband, Peter Lynch, along with the Lynch Foundation, are long-time supporters of RENEW International’s mission in the United States and around the world. The Lynches traveled to dioceses in India and Africa on behalf of RENEW and are currently participating in RENEW’s spiritual renewal effort for the Archdiocese of Boston, ARISE Together in Christ, in their parish in Marblehead, MA.

About RENEW International RENEW International is a canonically-recognized Catholic organization based in Plainfield, NJ, in the Archdiocese of Newark. RENEW International fosters spiritual renewal in the Catholic tradition by empowering individuals and communities to encounter God in everyday life, deepen and share faith, and connect faith with action. Since 1980 RENEW International has revitalized parish life in over 150 dioceses in the United States, touching the lives of 25 million people through its renewal processes. RENEW International also reaches many thousands outside the United States, having served people in 23 countries, across six continents and in 44 languages.