NNENNA LYNCH FEATURE
Former NCAA Woman of the Year finds leadership roles in public, private sectors
Written by Trina Thomas, NCAA
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.--Former Villanova track & field great and current university Board of Trustees member Nnenna Lynch was among six former college athletes who were presented with NCAA Silver Anniversary Award on Wednesday night at the NCAA Honors Celebration in Indianapolis. The Silver Anniversary Award annually recognizes distinguished individuals on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their college athletics careers. Representatives of NCAA member schools and conferences, along with a panel of former student-athletes, select each year’s recipients. In addition to Lynch, the other 2018 recipients are Jason Elam, Julie Foudy, Jim Hansen, David Morrow and Lance Pilch.
Lynch became the first Rhodes Scholar in Villanova history when she earned the prestigious honor in 1992. The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and most celebrates fellowship in the world, and brings outstanding students from around the world to the University of Oxford. The scholarship recognizes outstanding scholarly achievements, character, commitment to others and to the common good, and leadership potential.
Since concluding her collegiate and professional running careers, Lynch has become well-known in the business world. She was named to the Villanova Board of Trustees in January 2015 and is currently the Director of Development at The Georgetown Company, LLC, a privately held real estate investment and development firm in New York City, N.Y. Prior to joining The Georgetown Company, Lynch served as Senior Policy Advisor to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for six years. In that role, she led inter-agency teams to create and implement economic development policies, projects and initiatives.
Lynch is a previous partner of Urban Green Builders, LLC, a real estate development firm with a focus on transportation-based, mixed-use real estate projects in distressed neighborhoods throughout the New York City metro area, emphasizing eco-friendly design. She has also worked as an analyst with Goldman Sachs and was a professional runner and spokesperson for the sporting goods corporation, Fila.
A seven-time All-American and an NCAA champion during her incredible collegiate career, Lynch is a board member of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars and the New York Road Runners. She is also a member of the Robin Hood Foundation’s Housing Advisory Board. Lynch received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1993. She earned her Master’s degree in Social Anthropology from Oxford University in 1996.
Lynch was a member of four straight national championship teams in cross country and was also an individual NCAA champion in the 3000 meters during the outdoor track & field season. She won the 3000 meter title in 1992 and was a seven-time All-American overall spanning the cross country, indoor and outdoor seasons. Lynch was also a 10-time BIG EAST champion, winning the individual conference crown in cross country in 1990 as well as the 1500 meters (1991) and the 3000 meters (1992) outdoors. She was also a member of seven relays that won BIG EAST titles, including six indoors and one outdoors.
A big part of the Wildcats track & field legacy is the program’s unrivaled success at the Penn Relays, the world’s oldest and largest track meet. Lynch ran on three Championship of America winning relays during her career, leading off the distance medley relay in 1991 and running legs on champion 4x1500 meter relay squads in 1990 and 1992. The team that won the 4x1500 title in 1990 was inducted to the Penn Relays Wall of Fame in 2000 on the 10th anniversary of their victory.
Lynch’s recognition on the national level for her collegiate career included being named the NCAA Woman of the Year and winning an NCAA Top Eight Award. She was inducted into the Villanova Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 2011.