Kathleen Lennon ’85G

Counseling Psychology

Kathleen Lennon

In 1963, Kathleen (Hickey) Lennon became the first person in her family to earn a college degree when she graduated from Regis College. Little did she know at the time, her higher education journey was far from over. 

Lennon initially set her career ambitions aside to get married and raise a family. But by 1981, she was ready to continue her education and enrolled at Framingham State.

“I had become very interested in psychology,” Lennon says. “Framingham State was one of the few places that allowed you the flexibility to work toward your master’s degree at your own pace.”

She graduated from FSU in 1985 with her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and quickly found a job at a comprehensive drug and alcohol program operated by Norwood Hospital. Lennon provided counseling to people going through the 28-day residential facility.

“I had a very good experience there, but I learned that if you want to influence the way things are done in Massachusetts, you need to have your PhD.”

So Lennon found herself back in school, this time at Boston College, where she earned her doctoral degree in Developmental and Educational Psychology in 1994. She would go on to teach psychology courses at Boston College and co-author a book on the history of creativity theory called, Understanding Creativity.

While she enjoyed her experience at all three colleges she attended, Lennon credits Framingham State with reigniting her career.

“I felt that I received an excellent education there,” she says. “I had a lot of great professors. If it hadn’t been for the flexibility of the program, I wouldn’t have gone for a master’s degree.”

Today, Lennon is retired but stays busy by helping to take care of her grandchildren and singing in two a capella groups. She also recently endowed a scholarship to benefit first-generation students at Framingham State.

“Supporting first-generation students is important to me,” Lennon says. “I was the first in my family to go to college, and I have a lot of sympathy for those kids. They often need additional encouragement.”

If you are interested in donating to the Kathleen H. and John E. Lennon III Endowed Scholarship, contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 508-626-4012 or alumni@framingham.edu.