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Patrick Downes and Tom Treacy at the Boston Marathon

Pat Downes '05 and Tom Treacy '05 to run the 2016 Boston Marathon in support of the BC Strong Scholarship


$33,600 raised to date for the Boston Marathon
134% raised of $25,000 goal
(as of April 29, 2016)


Patrick and I were good friends at BC. We shared a summer as orientation leaders. We each visited the other, in London and Galway, during our semesters abroad. And, shortly after graduating in 2005, we both ended up moving to Washington, D.C.

It was in D.C. that I met Jess. Mutual friends noticed that we lived on the same floor of the same building and introduced us. We were both outgoing and new to the city (and I was working for a beer company—with an expense account), so we became fast friends.

On January 4, 2006, Patrick came over to my apartment to watch the Rose Bowl. We were cooking burgers when there was a knock at the door. It was Jess. She was en route home from the gym and had dropped by to say hi. “Jess, this is Patrick. Patrick, this is Jess.”

What played out over the subsequent few years was a love story more captivating than anything I have seen or read, before or since. (Nicholas Sparks wishes he could have written something this good.) During those early years in D.C., then Baltimore, and (finally) Cambridge, I knew I was witness to something awesome. It was like a front-row seat to the best rom-com ever made. Except it was real.

In the aftermath of the Marathon bombings, there was an outpouring of love and support for Pat and Jess. Like many, I was shocked, devastated for my friends, and eager to help them. The funny thing, I found, was that when I would send comfort, inspiration, and love their way, Pat and Jess always seemed to send the same back to me, tenfold.

Over the past three years, nothing and no one has moved me more than Pat and Jess’s battle to overcome the physical disabilities and emotional hardships resulting from their injuries—except maybe their bond as partners. Their resilience, together, in the face of unimaginable challenges is awe-inspiring.

The BC Strong Scholarship will propagate these same characteristics. BC Strong will enable a student who has overcome physical disabilities to also meet the cost of college tuition. BC Strong will serve as a lasting testament to the strength and character of Patrick and Jess.

I am honored to be running the 2016 Boston Marathon for BC Strong. I get giddy thinking of running past the Heights. And I'm just plain psyched to be running with my buddy Patrick.

—Tom Treacy ’05

About this Scholarship

This scholarship fund was established by the Class of 2005 in honor of their friend and fellow classmate, Patrick Downes ’05 and his wife Jessica Kensky, in the spirit of love they received in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.  This gift will establish a scholarship for a student with demonstrated financial need, with first preference for a student with a physical disability; second preference for a student who exhibits qualities of compassion and service to the community; and third preference for a student who has overcome adversity. The goal of the fund is to fully endow the scholarship at $250,000; if that amount is not reached by 2019, the money raised will be used for a current use scholarship for students with the same preferences stated above.