The Jean Marie Doyle and Pamela Helen Strong Scholarship
The Jean Marie Doyle and Pamela Helen Strong Scholarship was established at UMass Boston in 1990 by alumna Lorraine A. Kelley-Alessi ’84 ’98 MA. When asked why she established this scholarship, Lorraine wrote:
“Jean Doyle, my elder sister, was a Dorchester native. Highly intelligent with an outrageous sense of humor, Jean respected education and loved children. After high school, she attended State College at Boston [a predecessor to UMass Boston] to earn her BA in Education, where she met a kindred spirit, Pamela Strong. They became fast friends. Both then taught in the Boston inner school system. On their meager salaries, raised far from wealth, they would use their own lunch money toward supplies or a meal for a hungry student.
At thirty, Jean fainted in her kitchen and was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. By then a single mother of three young children, she was given six months to live. She pressed on for eight years, desperate to raise her son and daughters for as long as possible. An only child, Pam buried her mother and then learned that the muscle weakness she was experiencing was Lou Gehrig’s disease, uncommon in females. Both women died young, Jean in her late thirties and Pam in her mid-forties.
It is my wish that The Jean Marie Doyle and Pamela Helen Strong Scholarship be awarded to a student planning to pursue a master’s in education. GPA is less important than compassion and deep commitment to students. The ideal candidate, like the women the scholarship honors, maintains a sense of humor and grace even in the most trying circumstance."