The First Naval ROTC Graduate in the 128-Year History of Barnard College

Barnard College is a highly rated liberal arts educational institution for women in New York City. Recently, for the first time in the college’s 128-year history, a woman graduate was commissioned as a U.S. Navy Officer. Kelsey Lynch, who graduated from Barnard with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, completed the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program. This September, Lynch will begin her six-year term of naval service at the Aviation Pre-Flight Indoctrination facility in Pensacola, Florida.

The oldest of four children and the daughter of U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Lynch, Kelsey Lynch was born in Clearwater, Florida, and attended high school in Naples, Italy. As a chemistry major at Barnard, Lynch conducted biophysics research at Columbia University Medical Center. Lynch, who holds a black belt in karate, also co-founded the Barnard Multicultural International Student Club.

Avis E. Hinkson, dean of Barnard College, stated that “we at Barnard are honored to celebrate Kelsey Lynch’s historic achievement as the first Barnard woman to be commissioned through Navy ROTC to the United States Navy. Kelsey has been a leader both inside and outside of the classroom, and I’m confident that her commitment to excellence will continue to make the Barnard community and our nation proud.”

Lynch says notes that “I’m someone who flourishes when I am a part of something bigger than myself. In that regard, I see the scientific community as very similar to the military community. In both cases, everyone is working in a team toward a common goal, which is edifying for the group and for the individuals involved.”

Filed Under: MilestonesWomen's Colleges


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