Distinguished Alumni Award

Awarded annually to a Molloy alumnus who demonstrates the true spirit of the College mission, and whose professional career is characterized by a series of outstanding achievements.

Distinguished Alumni Award Eugenia Julia A. O'Keeffe '64  Julia A. O'Keeffe '64 started at Molloy in 1960 majoring in Math Education. However, after taking courses with Professor Frank Ford and Sister John Frances she changed her major to English.

After graduating Molloy College in 1964, Julia taught high school English for thirty-four years at H. Frank Carey H.S., part of the Sewanhaka C.H.S.D. During that time, she was the advisor to the Class of 1977, the Thespian Guild, the National Honor Society, Poseidon Literary Magazine, and Scholarship Committee, which she chaired.

Throughout her career at H. Frank Carey H.S., she would receive a yearbook dedication, Teacher of the Year Recognition, and New York State Educator of Excellence from the National Council of Teachers of English. Upon her retirement in 1998, she founded a program called Target Reading, which for eighteen years serviced three elementary schools in the Sewanhaka District.

As a result of much community involvement, Julia received the NYSUT Community Service Award, and Molloy College honored her with the Veritas Medal, which reflects the values and strengths of the Dominican Sisters who founded the college. As part of the Alumni Association, Julia attend the "Royal" English Department's Honor Society meetings and dinners, as well as the annual High Tea.

In 2015, she endowed a scholarship in her parents' names to a student who shares her love of learning and concern with humanity.

Following her graduation from Molloy College, she received her M.A. from St. John's University in 1968 and a certificate of attendance from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Her motto was "'64 in the door; '98 out the gate!" when she considered retiring 19 years ago.
Julia presently serves on the Board of Directors of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Academy and keeps as busy as possible. She also served on the Molloy College 50th Reunion Committee and participated in the 2014 Graduation.
Julia A. O'Keeffe '64 is a proud godmother of four, ranging in age from 18 to 59.

Personal Reminiscences:

In 1960 I followed my father's advice and attended Molloy Catholic College for Women, and it was one of the best decisions I made in my life.
I owe whatever success I have had in my life to my parents and to Molloy College, no longer a college that graduates 57 young women, but over a thousand young men and women. It no longer consists of just Kellenberg and Quealy Halls, but it has a Public Square, two theaters, Siena Hall, the Casey Building, the Barbara Hagen Nursing Building, and two dormitories.

I truly enjoy going to the productions at the Madison Theater, especially since it is difficult for me to travel to NYC, the accessibility of the Madison Theater is convenient. The History of American Rock 'n Roll in February is one of my favorites, bringing back so many of the groups and songs from my days at Molloy.

Could I have envisioned such expansion back in 1964? Molloy has also graduated its first PhD in nursing. WOW! We've come a long way, baby!! Those truly were the good old days, but these days are even better.

Father Benack and his "Take out a half a sheet of paper"; those "American Beauty Rose" beanies we had to wear during hazing, as well as our caps and gowns and white gloves we wore on First Fridays; the time the sets for Blood Wedding collapsed during the night and the poor sisters were scared out of their wits; Joan Kimmins reciting "Woodsman, spare that tree"; Althea Gonya always looking so professional and being so musically talented with "Our Side Story"; the bridge games we played in the smoker; the day JFK was assassinated and the announcement came over the PA that we were all to go home; the Rose Cotillion and 55 Nights; the graduations we attended each year before our own and the disappointment when we weren't allowed to hold our graduation outside. We were truly blessed to go to such a small college where we got to know practically everyone. Those were the days, my friends!

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Cynthia Metzger
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1000 Hempstead Avenue P.O. Box 5002 Rockville Centre, New York 11571-5002

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cmetzger@molloy.edu