Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Donald Lynch, the son of George Lynch and Helen Meagher, was born in New Britain and entered St. John at age 12. He graduated class valedictorian and entered Fairfield Prep, as a member of the school's first graduating class. He became a Jesuit on July 30, 1946 at Shadowbrook in Lenox Mass and after completing his novitiate, he studied the classics and became a professor emeritus of English literature at Fairfield Univeristy in 1961.
In 1963, he led the famed underdog “Fairfield Four” (John Horvath, John Kappenberg, Joseph Kroll and George Greller) to three consecutive wins over older, more prestigious colleges, on the nationally-televised General Electric College Bowl a popular quiz game show broadcast live nationally on the NBC television network. The wins brought national recognition to the University along with a total grant of $5,000.
September 29, 1963: Fairfield University vs. Creighton University; Fairfield – 215, Creighton – 140.
October 6, 1963: Fairfield University vs. Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; Fairfield – 220, Southern Illinois – 190.
October 13, 1963: Fairfield University vs. Clemson University; Fairfield – 254, Clemson – 200.
The four finally were defeated in their fourth match broadcast on October 20, 1963, falling to Polytechnic University, 145-160
Years later, Father Lynch created a software program called the Shakespeare Library.
Noted for his affable nature, he was a lifelong victim of diabetes. He retired to Campion Center, the Jesuit long-term care facility in Weston, Mass. “Most notable during his time at Campion was his steadiness of temper, his cheerfulness, and continued enthusiasm for his own computer work and his interest in others and their work, along with his sociability and lively reception of visitors,” wrote Rev. Paul T. McCarty, S.J., in an issue of National Jesuit News. “A visit with Don was an upbeat and energizing experience and the nursing staff would easily have voted him the Best Patient of the Year.”
Father Lynch died at age 74 on a Saturday morning, January 25, 2003, at Waltham Hospital in Waltham, MA.