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Scranton Legacies: Kelly '88 and Haley '19 Mulroy

Scranton Legacies: Kelly '88 and Haley '19 Mulroy
Left to right: Haley Mulroy and Kelly Mulroy

It’s often said that the more things change, the more they remain the same, but is that true at The University of Scranton? We spoke with Kelly Mulroy ‘88 and her daughter, Haley ‘19, to try to determine if, despite decades of changes, students today still feel the same love for Scranton as they did 30 years ago.

What first drew you to Scranton?

Kelly: What I loved best was the feeling you got when you walked on campus. It was so friendly. That’s probably why I liked it.

Haley: I wasn’t going to look at Scranton because my mom went there, but then her friend got me to look at Scranton. It was probably one of the last schools I looked at, and I knew as soon as I got on campus that I wanted to go there. As soon as I walked on campus, people would hold the door for me, even if I was super far away, and if I looked somewhat lost, people would stop and ask if I needed help finding a building.

Kelly: Scranton students are so friendly, helpful and nice. They seem like they really care and want you to have a good experience during your visit. That’s why I was so happy Haley decided to go to Scranton.

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From left: Jeannie Martin Petrucci ‘88, Kelly McDonnell Mulroy ‘88, Beth McDonnell Cintron ‘89, Lisa Meehan Valenzuela ‘88, Mary Haumacher ‘88 and Christine Lawless Clayton ‘88 gather together with the young Haley Mulroy ‘19 at Clayton’s home in 1997.

What major did you choose? Why?

Kelly: I started in engineering but didn’t really like the uncertainty of modern physics. I really liked math. I became a math major so I could do what I liked.

Haley: Early and primary education. Ever since I was little, I always liked working with little kids, so I knew that was the direction I wanted to take.

What was/is your favorite spot on campus?

Kelly: The cafeteria*. I liked to be able to eat while I studied. When I needed a break, I would walk around and see people.

Haley: I love to sit outside of DeNaples because it’s nice to see everybody walking by and people stopping by at your table.

What was/is your favorite professor or class?

Kelly: I liked J.J. Quinn. He was an English professor and an amazing speaker. I took Modern Irish Novel and American Short Story with him. He didn’t have written tests; you’d have to go to his office, and he’d ask you questions. It really forced you to think about what you were reading and how you could take it to heart and relate to it. You had to explain to him what you got out of it.  

And Father McKinney. I had him his first year teaching Intro to Philosophy... He would never answer your question; in a true Jesuit way, he would answer your question with another question.

Haley: Multicultural Diversity in the Environment, Social and Family Community (with) Dr. Boodwell. It was great because it showed us how to really communicate and be involved in the community.

Did/do you have a favorite Jesuit?

Kelly: It was Father Joe Simmons. He was in charge of Campus Ministries as well as Commuter Relations. His door was always open. You could go and talk to him whenever you needed guidance or someone to just listen. He wanted to help you to be the person God created you to be.

Haley: I’d probably say Father Sweeney. He does live in the dorms, so his door was always open. He actually lived right across the hall from my best friend, so I’d see him at least once a day.

What was/is your favorite on-campus eatery?

Kelly: Our food* was pretty awful. I went more for the people. The kids that were there and the people who worked in the cafeteria were so nice.

Haley: I think it’s changed every year. Freshman year I definitely liked The Fresh Food Company on DeNaples’ third floor because it was nice to go up there and get an omelet for breakfast and have different options for dinner. Sophomore year, I mainly stuck to the Mulberry POD Market across the street because they had the healthiest options. They had good chicken and the ability to create your own salad. They also had a variety of different foods to get. My junior year, I didn’t get a meal plan, but I ate some of my meals on DeNaples’ first-floor food court because it was nice to kind of have a quick grab-and-go type set up. 

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Kelly and her friends gather in front of their house in 1988. Front row: Kelly McDonnell Mulroy ‘88 and Anne Dubon Murphy ‘88. Back row: Erin Kelly Webber ‘88, Beth McDonnell Cintron ‘89, Christine Lawless Clayton ‘88, Mary Haumacher ‘88 and Jeannie Petrucci Martin ‘88.

What was/is your favorite part of being a Scranton student?

Kelly: Feeling so comfortable, like you were at home. The teachers wanted to see you succeed, and they wanted to get to know who you were as a person. You don’t see that in a lot of the bigger schools.

Haley: I think I’d have to agree with that for sure. It’s like you’re surrounded by people that care and who are there for you.

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Would you recommend Scranton to a high school student?

Kelly: I have, over and over again. I’m always recommending that people go see Scranton because you have to see it. If you see it, you’re going to be drawn to it.

Haley: I do it all the time. I recommend it to everybody, and I tell them if you come visit, I’ll definitely show you around.

*When Kelly was a student, the cafeteria in the Gunster Student Activities Center was the only dining option on campus. Gunster was replaced by The DeNaples Center in 2008.

A card from the funeral service of the Rev. Joseph F. Simmons, S.J., who was Kelly’s favorite Jesuit during her time at Scranton.

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