Alumnus honors parents through naming of new library endowment
What began as an unplanned pit stop on a round trip from Danville, Virginia, to Washington, D.C., ultimately led to a life-changing decision.
Sean Lynch ’95 says the moment he stepped onto Campus Walk, he knew that Mary Washington was the right place for him.
As education professionals, his parents inquired about library resources and academic expectations. Sean was impressed with the sights and the sense of campus spirit and community. He applied only to Mary Washington and was admitted through early acceptance.
At first, Sean planned to pursue degrees in international affairs and French. But, while taking some of his core general education requirements, he discovered psychology and “it just clicked.”
With a major in psychology and a concentration in English, Sean did spend quite a bit of time in the library, as predicted by his parents. He also kept busy working alongside administrators in admissions and residence life. He was a tour guide, resident assistant for two years, and head resident his senior year.
“During that time, the whole Mary Washington community was very supportive and provided a safe environment as I learned who I was,” says Sean. “I found my genuine self at Mary Washington and came out during the second semester of my junior year.”
Today, Sean works in human resources at Visa in Austin, Texas, where he recently was promoted to vice president. “My psychology degree, my intensive writing skills, and my college experience in residential life all remain relevant,” says Sean. “In my professional role, I have to understand how our employees became who they are, how to motivate them, and what roles will best use their strengths and talents to support their real passions.”
As a member of the UMW Alumni Board of Directors, Sean visits campus often for meetings and to help with Reunion Weekend activities. He says his husband, Justyn LeFebvre, has “adopted” Mary Washington, so they decided to fund an endowment for the library now and to also include a significant gift in their estate plans.
“In preparing our plans, we wanted to support organizations we are really passionate about in ways that can have maximum impact,” says Sean.
After discussing options, the couple decided to name the Donald F. Lynch Jr. and Mary Carole Lynch Library Endowment in honor of Sean’s parents.
“My dad oversaw the residency program at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and my mom was a librarian at Danville Community College and Virginia Wesleyan,” says Sean. “Reading and libraries have always been important to them, so this new endowment will honor both for their incredible support throughout my life and education.”
Sean and Justyn will complete initial funding of the endowment this year, making full use of Visa’s corporate matching gift program. Additional support will come through their bequest.
For more information about estate planning, contact Jan Clarke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-654-2064.
Article written by Donna Harter, Office of Advancement.