posted on: Thursday September 19, 2019
by Max Waite ’21
Every student took their own unique road to PC, and Jack Murphy ’20 is no different. Murphy grew up and attended high school in Brunswick, Maine just north of Portland. During high school, he was involved in the school band and chorus, as well as committed to four years of cross country and indoor and outdoor track.
Upon graduating high school, Murphy applied to different colleges and universities, but overall was not too thrilled about his list—nothing stood out. So, he decided to take a gap year in Paraguay. As fascinating as that sounds, it is the place that ultimately led Murphy to PC.
As he was going over his new options, everything seemed to point toward Friartown. Murphy arrived on the PC campus for the first time when he was reporting for his new student orientation in June of 2016.
“I really loved it. The atmosphere was great, and I thought that it was a really, really good community to be a part of. That’s the main thing that I always say — I love the people here.”
Since his freshman year, Murphy has made the most out of the opportunities at PC. Murphy applied to be in the community service housing cohort as part of his freshman housing application. The cohort was rather small, but it put him in contact with different community organizations that provided him with community service opportunities around Providence.
As part of the special cohort, Murphy became involved with the English as a Second Language (ESL) program and “the walking school bus.”
While in the ESL program, Murphy was able to teach at an elementary school off campus. Meanwhile, Murphy also dedicated his time to the “walking school bus” initiative, where he volunteered to walk with local children to their nearby elementary school. The children lived too close to the school for the bus to pick them up, and their parents were already at work. Additionally, Murphy was involved in Peer Ministry during his sophomore and junior years.
During the spring semester of his junior year, Murphy was studying abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico. As a Spanish and social work double major, Murphy’s favorite class was comparative social policy.
“We’d look at the welfare, economic, and political policy of Mexico and compare it to the United States. I was getting credit for social work classes I take at PC, and it was really cool to have a dialogue between what different things Mexico values than what we value in the U.S.,” said Murphy.
While abroad, Murphy would visit Mexico City and get to see all the art museums that the city had to offer. “These museums all featured artwork from artists like Diego Rivera that I have been studying for years in my Spanish art classes, which was a really cool experience for me getting to see their work in person.”
This year, Murphy became a first-year resident assistant for DiTraglia Hall. He has a couple of weeks under his belt, and so far says he really enjoys it.
As he enters his final year at PC, Murphy looks forward to Senior Ring Weekend, as well as his social work internship. Murphy will be working at a Latin American community center in Central Falls, helping out with the food pantry and the various events held at the center.
“It’s really cool to be out in the community while being like a liaison for PC. I gotta say it’s one of my favorite things, to draw a connection between outside work and stuff with the college.”
Looking back on his time at PC, one of Murphy’s favorite memories came on a cold winter night in 2018 when the College’s Men’s Basketball Team upset the Villanova University Wildcats in the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
He was in the Phillip’s Memorial Library studying when he spontaneously decided to attend the game. He took the last student bus to the game, and was the only student on the bus. The V.I.P. treatment ended as he entered into an electric crowd of friar fanatics, and he began to watch the madness unfold. Murphy describes the experience as “absolutely unreal,” and it is something that he will remember forever.