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Loyola celebrates the life of Molly Fredette, director of the Study

Portrait of Molly Fredette

Molly Fredette, director of the Study at Loyola University Maryland, passed away on Friday, Feb. 3. Fredette, who was 46, will be remembered as a skilled teacher, enthusiastic mentor, and champion for ensuring exceptional student support.

Since arriving at Loyola in August 2008, Fredette has overseen the Study, which offers peer and professional tutoring, academic skills coaching services, and academic support services for undergraduate and graduate students. Fredette, who was bilingual in English and Spanish, provided support to students who were multilingual. She also served as a mentor in Messina, Loyola’s living and learning program for first-year students.

“Molly was a person who epitomized grace, demonstrated a profound dedication to students, and lit a room up with her smile,” said Mary Beth Mudric, Ph.D., assistant dean of undergraduate studies. “One of her greatest strengths was that she would always take the time to make sure that she connected her students to the right resources in the Study. In the midst of her very busy position, she always made the time to make sure her students and her colleagues had everything they needed, while never making people feel rushed or pressured. Molly was a gift to all who have known her—a shining light, a beautiful example, and an amazing role model.”

Fredette discovered her love for teaching while living as a new college graduate in Lima, Peru, where she taught English and North American culture to business executives at Langrow, a Peruvian language institute. 

“Molly will be remembered as a mentor and friend to many at Loyola,” said Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “She was passionate about student learning, took pride in the exceptional team of talented colleagues and students she led at the Study, provided academic support to multilanguage learners, and brought such joy to her role. She was also a much-loved Messina mentor. We will certainly miss her and her many contributions to our community.”

Fredette earned her bachelor’s in political science with an emphasis on international relations from the University of New Mexico in I998, where she also graduated with a minor in communications. After her time in Peru, she returned to the United States in 2001. She completed her Master of Education from Plymouth State University in 2004, with concentrations in adult learning and applied linguistics.

At Loyola, Fredette applied those skills to her work, constantly looking for ways to improve services for students, including those for whom English was a second language.

“Molly cared so much for her students,” said Leslie Chiles, program director for student success initiatives. “She was always looking for the best way to support them, asking how can we do this in a better way.”

Molly Fredette

Fredette loved walking and was part of a Fitbit walking group with Chiles. During her lunch break, she and Chiles would take walks around the Reservoir, just southeast of the Evergreen campus. When they were working remotely during the pandemic, Chiles and Fredette would walk together—but apart—talking by phone as they walked near their homes.

“She was just a wonderful colleague. She was so supportive of everyone, always wanting to pitch in,” Chiles said. “She was one of the most competent, organized people. If a student said they were working with Molly, you knew they would be fine.”

Before coming to Loyola in 2008, Fredette taught English as a second language classes for New Hampshire Technical Institute and Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire, serving as a professional tutor for Colby-Sawyer.

“There is no greater joy for me than to watch one of my academically at-risk students receive his degree after months of hard work, or to see a non-native English speaker’s face light up when she receives an A on a paper,” she wrote in her cover letter when applying for the role at Loyola. “These are some of the reasons I chose education as a career path and why I enjoy going to work every day.”

Fredette also loved sharing photos of her dogs, Finn and Maya, with her friends and colleagues. She is survived by her family, including her husband, Chris Esposito.

The 12:10 p.m. Mass on Tuesday, Feb. 7, in Loyola’s Alumni Memorial Chapel will be offered for Fredette and her family. Additional arrangements will be posted here when they are available.

Fredette's family will hold a memorial service at Mary's Land Farm in Ellicott City, Maryland, April 15 at 1 p.m. Loyola’s service will take place April 14 at 1 p.m. in the Alumni Memorial Chapel, followed by fellowship in the Refectory.

Caption: Molly Fredette, center, poses for a photo with colleagues Jill Eigenbrode, left, and Leslie Chiles, right, at a First-Generation Student Celebration at Loyola in Fall 2022.