1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

1780 | The Official Blog of Transylvania University

Transylvania recognizes civil rights attorney who helped integrate the university

  Lula Morton Drewes ’67 greets Patrick Molloy ’63 at Transylvania’s opening convocation in September 2013 LEXINGTON, Ky.—Patrick Molloy, Transylvania University class of 1963, has followed an instinct for justice his entire life. The Lexington-born attorney served most of his career as a federal prosecutor who championed civil rights. On May 24, Molloy will return to his alma mater to receive an honorary doctorate during Transylvania’s commencement ceremony on the lawn in front of Old Morrison. The award recognizes his efforts to integrate the campus of the historic liberal arts institution. His sense of civil justice—instilled by his parents—motivated Molloy to take an action in the racially-charged early sixties that would bring profound change to Transylvania University and to the lives of many, including fellow honorary doctorate recipient, Dr. Lula Morton Drewes. “As a student I looked around and saw no African Americans,” Molloy recalls of the Transylvania campus of his junior and senior years. “Myself and one or two others including [President’s Award honoree] Mike Mitchell decided to go see Dr. Irvin Lunger, the university president to say ‘Mr. President, we’re concerned that in this day and age there ought to be representation of minorities in the student body.’”   Lula Morton Drewes, right, with her mother Lunger agreed, instructing Molloy and Mitchell to find an individual with the courage and determination to become the first African American to pursue a degree at Transylvania.  “We got some references and