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Regis College Student Advocate & Vice President Lynn Tripp Coleman succumbs to cancerMay 14, 2010
Weston - Lynn Tripp Coleman, Vice President, Student Affairs, at Regis College, passed away early this afternoon after a long and valiant battle with cancer. She was 54. Under hospice care, Lynn died peacefully in her home on the Regis campus, surrounded by family, friends and close colleagues.
"For thirty-two years, Lynn Coleman has graced Student Affairs at Regis College with intelligence, sensitivity, empathy, and strategic direction-setting," said Regis College president Mary Jane England, M. D., in announcing her passing to the campus. "Whether in the management of resident life, the oversight of student activities, or the due diligence of a dedicated dean who knows each student, Lynn led a truly student-centered life. By example she taught this campus how to express Catholic teachings on the importance of the human person in the style of the Sisters of St. Joseph who were her teachers, that is, with 'excellence tempered by gentleness,'" she said.
Coleman had been especially mentored by former College president, Sister Therese Higgins, CSJ, who passed away in February of this year, and with whom she shared the values that characterize the College.
Lynn Tripp graduated from Regis College in 1977 with a degree in social work. As a resident assistant at the College when she was an undergraduate, she chose the path of student services and life for her career. Her brief marriage to Randy Coleman after graduation ended in divorce. In the early 1980s, she returned to Regis and immersed herself in her career. She quickly rose through the ranks from the role of resident director to that of the dean of students in 1986. Her special interest was student personnel and student development, and she did everything toward the benefit of Regis students and the College. She received a Master's degree in education from Suffolk University in 1988.
"Lynn taught us how to live and how to die with courage and with class," said Sister Rosemary Mulvihill, RSM, Director of Campus Ministry, and one of Lynn Coleman's closest colleagues.
Current Dean of Students Kara Kolomitz, another close working associate and friend, said, "Lynn Coleman modeled grace and dedication to the utmost, and her love for Regis inspired students to love Regis, too. Most importantly, Lynn taught students that perseverance and determination didn't mean bulldozing a situation. In her quiet and strong way, Lynn could always make her points eminently clear. Professionally she has been a wonderful mentor and friend to me, and I shall miss her terribly."
Joan Desmond Sullivan, now Director of Human Resources at the College was a student when Lynn Coleman began taking up her duties in student affairs in the early 1980s. "Lynn's passing is a great personal loss," she said. "My heart is with her loving family and friends and all who knew and loved her at Regis College." The parent of a 2003 graduate of Regis and of a current student, Sullivan noted that "Under Lynn's guidance, Regis College students experienced through Student Life programming what it means to be a 'Regis Woman' or a Regis Man.'" She continued, "As devoted as Lynn was to her 'kids,' she was equally proud of her staff and dedicated to their professional development."
As students changed from Generation X to the Millenials, Lynn moved with the times and reorganized the Student Affairs department at Regis. "When I asked her how she did it," President England observed, "how she related so well to each class, she said simply that she just loved each class for itself and that freed her to develop the avenues of relationship and connection that would best help that group realize its potential at Regis. Lynn was an educator to the fingertips."
Her deep commitment to empowering students and encouraging student initiative led to her being named the College's first Vice President, Student Affairs, in May, 2004. A few months later, she received her first troubling diagnosis. A very private person, she kept her illness to herself to the extent possible and threw herself into her work. Quiet in temperament, she became a strong, cogent and respected voice on the College's senior leadership team, the Administrative Council, and worked diligently on persistence and retention issues, always advocating for students. In 2006-2007 she and her student life team oversaw for Regis, eighty years a Catholic women's college, a seamless transition into a co-educational undergraduate college.
In the past six years, despite her illness, Vice President Coleman rose to an heroic degree of commitment as she willingly and happily continued to perform her duties on campus. She was still coming to the office as recently as last week. In so many ways, Regis was her life, and her good example on how to live it has inspired and blessed her family, friends and associates, and thousands of Regis students.
Vice President Coleman leaves her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Tripp of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and her sister, Mrs. Carol Tripp Tebo. Funeral arrangements are being made and will be announced on the Regis College website. The funeral liturgy will be held at St Julie's Parish in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
Regis College is a Catholic co-educational community that prepares undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students for engagement and service in a changing world. In the School of Liberal Arts, Education and Social Sciences and the School of Nursing, Sciences and Health Professions, approximately 1,600 students are enrolled in 20 undergraduate majors; 10 interdisciplinary pathways toward professional success; and master's degree programs in education, communication, health administration, health product regulation, nursing, public administration, and radiology, and a doctoral program in nursing practice. U.S. News and World Report ranks Regis in the top tier of universities with master's programs in the North. The College is listed by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) among benchmarking colleges for the quality of educational experience. With a strategic graduate focus on health care, Regis College was recently named a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League of Nursing. The College also provides accredited pre-school and kindergarten programs and a Life Long Learning Program (LLARC) for retired seniors. Visit Regis on the Web at www.regiscollege.edu
CONTACT: Marjorie Arons-Barron, firstname.lastname@example.org; 617-423-7770