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Loyola celebrates the life of Caitlin McDonald, ’22

Caitlin McDonald, '22

The Loyola community is mourning the loss of Caitlin McDonald, '22, who died on Sunday, July 14, after being involved in a jet ski accident on Long Island. McDonald, who came to Loyola from Rockville Centre, N.Y., was a graduate of South Side High School and was known for her quiet and compassionate nature.

Richard Boothby, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, was McDonald’s academic advisor and taught her in Messina, Loyola’s first-year living learning program. He immediately noticed how smart and capable she was, noting that she was a joy to have in class and struck him as a promising student. 

“She had a quiet sparkle. One of the things that impressed me about her was the way you could really see behind her quiet and reserved demeaner,” Boothby said. “She was always observing what we were talking about in class with excitement.”

Boothby remembered the annual dinner he hosts for his Messina students at the end of the semester. He recalled how McDonald was ready and willing to help in the kitchen, whether setting up food or cutting the cake. Boothby said that’s who she was—very friendly and helpful.

Barbara Vann, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology, also taught McDonald in a Messina course. 

“One of the reasons I love teaching in the Messina program is watching students' transformation over the course of their undergraduate career. I often see signs in the first-year students that make me especially curious to see how they will—I hope—‘blossom’ through the coming years. Caitlin was such a student. Although she was quiet in class, when she did speak it was because she had something to contribute,” said Vann.

As an honor student in high school, McDonald played the trumpet for her school's band and orchestra. She received the prestigious Gold Award from the Girl Scouts for a project she created, “Little Maestros,” which incorporated music into the lives of children in her community, hosting educational sessions for parents and their children at her local library. At Loyola, McDonald was the recipient of a Loyola Presidential Scholarship.

An obituary for Caitlin McDonald is available on the Thomas A. Glynn and Son Funeral Home site.

Thursday, July 18, 2019
2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.
Thomas A. Glynn and Son Funeral Home
20 Lincoln Avenue
Rockville Centre, N.Y.

Funeral Mass
10 a.m.
Friday, July 19, 2019
St. Agnes Cathedral
29 Quealy Place
Rockville Centre, N.Y.

11:45 a.m.
Friday, July 19, 2019
Holy Rood Cemetery
111 Old Country Road
Westbury, N.Y.

Loyola will have a memorial mass on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019 at 6 p.m.