Recent News from the Sisters of Saint Dominic

In Memoriam - Dr. Donna McCaffrey, Associate



Dr. Donna McCaffrey, Associate, returned to her heavenly home on January 10, 2016, after a valiant battle with cancer. Her devotion to her family and her firm belief in God supported her in her struggle and ultimately gave her peace.

​Donna was born to the late Virginia Forster McCaffrey and Raymond A. McCaffrey, in New York, NY on November 29, 1949. 

She was immersed in the Roman Catholic community that would give her lifelong support from an early age. Donna attended St. John The Baptist Grammar School (class of 1963), and St. Barnabas High School (class of 1967). She earned a scholarship to Dominican College of Blauvelt and graduated in 1971 with a B.A. in History and a B.A. in Psychology. Donna’s love of education took her to Providence College where she earned the following degrees: M.A., History-1973, Ph.D, History-1983, and an M.A., Religious Studies-1987. ​ Donna’s love of Providence College kept her there for 44 years. From 1973-1985 she was the Assistant Director of Residence, Director of Residence for Women as well as a Special Lecturer. Donna was an Instructor from 1985-1986, and an Assistant Professor from 1986-2014. During that time, she was also the Assistant Academic Dean of Seniors (1994-1995), Coordinator, Liberal Arts Studies, School of Continuing Education (1999-2010), Director of the Asian Studies Program (2001), Coordinator, Faculty Mentoring, School of Continuing Education (2004-2010), member of the Faculty Senate, as well as Vice President of the Faculty Senate (2008-2009). Donna had the great honor and privilege of helping to mold the minds of over 48,000 students (undergraduate, graduate and School of Continuing Education) in her 44 years at Providence College.

Donna’s Scholarly Interests included the History of Providence College; 18th Century British political history; women’s historical roles; medieval social and church history; American History and American Catholic history. She has authored numerous books and articles on the above subjects. Some of Donna’s published works include The Origins And Early History Of Providence College Through 1947 and “Providence College: From The Beginning- A Short History Of Providence College.”

Donna was blessed with a large and loving family. She leaves behind her beloved sister Rosanne (Nancy) McCaffrey Hicks and her husband David Hicks, her niece and Goddaughter Denise T. O’Donnell, Esq. and her husband Thomas Walsh, her niece Dr. Lisa-Mary O’Donnell and her husband Jeffrey Facinelli, her nephew Michael P. O’Donnell, Jr. and his wife Dina, and her niece Nancy V. O’Donnell, Esq. and her husband Robert Rogers. Donna was blessed with twelve great-nieces and nephews: Forster & Ava Walsh, Declan, Raymond, Brogan & Liam Facinelli, Adeline & Marlena O’Donnell, and Madilyn, Emma, Dylan & Isabella Donna Rogers. Donna also leaves behind a wonderful clan of cousins, dear friends and colleagues. ​ Donna was an educator and historian. She was kind and generous with her time and knowledge and always had time to answer a question or solve a problem, and she was known as the go to woman for any European History topic. She will be dearly missed by her loved ones, who celebrate the fact that she is at peace with her Creator.


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