Maureen O'Keefe Doran '69 and Christopher "Kip" Doran '68, P'00, '03
After three rewarding decades in the mental health field, Kip and Maureen Doran were ready for a new challenge.
"And then we got 'The Postcard,'" recounts Kip. "No one else got 'The Postcard,'" Maureen adds. "None of our neighbors, none of our friends got 'The Postcard.' We don't know why we got it, but we did."
'The Postcard' was an invitation to a Peace Corps recruiting event, featuring people who had joined the Corps after the age of 50. "We were thoroughly inspired, listening to these people tell their stories," says Maureen. "When we walked out, we said, 'we could do that.' And three weeks later we sent in our application."
So Kip, a psychologist, and Maureen, a mental health nurse, each closed their private practices and spent two years in Botswana with the Peace Corps working on HIV/AIDS prevention, teaching at the University of Botswana Medical School, and writing the book Power Parents: Children and Sex, published in Setswana and in English.
Now back home in Colorado, Maureen has reopened her practice and is also working at the Aurora Mental Health Center, where she has been responding to the community's trauma after the recent mass shooting. Kip has written a new book, Africa Lite? Boomers in Botswana, a light-hearted look at their experience. He is also the author of several acclaimed textbooks, and has recently written a new edition of his book Prescribing Mental Health Medication: The Practitioner's Guide.
In 2011, the Dorans received the Alumni Association's highest honor, the William V. McKenney Award, which recognizes Boston College graduates whose outstanding service to a chosen profession, community, or cause reflects honor on the University. The Dorans have two daughters, Alison '00 and Meghan '03, who also graduated from BC.
What has been the most satisfying moment in your professional life?
CD: The most satisfying moment in my professional life was the publication of my first book. Seeing my ideas and what had been solely inside my head down in print to help other professionals was amazing.
MD: Delivering a baby at Women's Lying In Hospital when I was a third year BC nursing student. It was a miracle.
In your personal life?
CD: Becoming a grandparent. I had heard from a number of people how wonderful grandparenthood is but when it finally happened, it was even better than I expected.
MD: Giving birth to my two daughters.
What is your next goal?
CD: I am not the retiring type, so I hope to continue mental health work and teaching in the international community. I hope to have another opportunity to work abroad.
MD: To enjoy this part of my professional and personal life while seeking new experiences and adventures.
What was your first job?
CD: I did my internship at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, N.Y. It was a model of rural health care.
MD: My first faculty experience was teaching nursing at Hartwick College.
What is the secret to success?
CD: First, it is to formulate exactly what "success" is for yourself, then, putting one foot in front of the other each day with your nose to the grindstone. If you only do one thing a day towards your goal, you are one step closer. Amazingly, sometimes you even surprise yourself at how much you've done.
MD: Hard work...and then, more hard work!
Why did you decide to attend BC?
CD: I wanted a school that was not just Catholic, but specifically Jesuit, because I knew the Jesuits would push me to be my best.
MD: It was and is the best nursing school in New England.
What is one thing everyone should do while at BC?
CD: Participate in as many extracurricular activities as you can. Every new group, new experience, and new exposure makes you a bigger, broader person.
MD: Make connections with great faculty and classmates.
What is your fondest BC memory?
CD: One we share. We'd spent three years in the University Chorale together, but we barely knew each other. I came back to campus...
MD: ...and we ran into each other on the steps of Gasson. We talked for 20 minutes, and then we said "Goodbye, have a nice life!" Little did we know we'd fall in love a few years later in graduate school!
Where is your favorite spot on the Heights?
CD: The chorale room on the top floor of Lyons. I met my wife singing in the chorale and marriage to her has been the best 41 years of my life.
MD: Have to agree with Kip on this one, the chorale room, top floor Lyons. He was then and still is a great tenor (and a great man!).
Have you changed since graduation?
CD: I am more confident in my own abilities and am much more comfortable socializing in groups as well as public speaking.
MD: I think I have become a more tolerant person; no one is perfect.
Where did you live freshman year?
CD: Xavier Hall, room 125, on Upper Campus. My mother gave me a card table when I left for BC, and I was the only person in that triple dorm that had one. Many nights, I had to get used to going to sleep to the sound of shuffling decks.
MD: At home, I was a commuter student.
What was your favorite BC class?
CD: Organic Chemistry. It was the hardest course I ever took, but it was also one that once learned, was an avenue to tutor other students, and tutoring was a great way to meet girls.
MD: Anatomy and Physiology. I was totally fascinated by the human body.
What was your favorite BC activity?
CD: The BC band. In the 60s there were four different bands—marching, concert, jazz, and pep band. You got free admission to every athletic event and often traveled to away games. Twice, we were the halftime show for the Patriots and were the lead unit in the Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade.
MD: Hard to find a favorite between student government, going to games, and the chorale.
How much can you sing of the BC fight song?
CD: Every word of every verse. It was part of being a chorale member.
MD: All of it, including the second verse.
What was the best meal at the BC dining hall?
CD: I can't remember the best meal on campus, but I very clearly remember the worst. It was breaded veal cutlet submarine sandwich that tasted like two hockey pucks in a giant white bread roll, smothered in bland tomato sauce. That meal was the start of the great McElroy food fight of 1964. When we came back from Thanksgiving, there was a new food service, and the food has been great ever since.
MD: I enjoyed my mom's cooking!
How do you relax?
CD: Daily meditation when I first get up, often early in the morning at 4:30 a.m.
MD: Being with friends.
What do you look forward to each day?
CD: Being in mental health, it is clear that counseling, therapy, and psychotropic medications work; it is a pleasure to get up each day and know that somebody's life is going to be better because of what I will do at the office.
MD: All of the work and play activities that are lined up. And I'm so thankful for my health to enjoy them all.
What is something your friends don't know about you?
CD: I paint with oils and have constructed three clocks, including one grandfather clock.
MD: I took piano lessons for 25 years and can't play a song.
Who would play you in the film version of your life?
CD: Matt Damon. I have no idea why, but it just came to me.
MD: Glenn Close. We are the exact same age.