Joy Babb, a mother, friend and Lynn staff member for more than a decade, passed away on Aug. 5 at the age of 55 following a battle with cancer.
Babb was born in Georgetown, Guyana and moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2003, a place she would call home for the rest of her life. Working alongside Director Amy Greene, Babb had grown with the University Events team since its early days.
In her first month at Lynn, the university withstood a hurricane, the retirement of the prior President Ross and a Parents and Alumni weekend. Coincidentally, that month was the beginning of a long relationship between Babb and Greg Malfitano, senior vice president for development and administration, where she assured him that her team could handle their upcoming challenges.
“Joy’s proudest memory was the presidential debate [in 2012],” said Malfitano. “She was proud of her accomplishments, having played a part of a historic moment for the university.”
At a memorial service held on campus for Babb last month, those in attendance agreed that her heart truly was for the students. She played an integral role in the lives of students, both throughout campus and in her office.
At the service, Lynn Bialakis, event planner for the University Events team, discussed all of Babb’s accomplishments in her time at Lynn.
“Together with Joy, we grew and accomplished…36-holiday receptions, 24 commencements, 13 Founder’s Days, five groundbreakings, one 50th anniversary celebration and one kick-butt presidential debate.”
Babb worked at Lynn with a passion for the students. Aside from ensuring that all needs were met for each event, she would always take the time to walk around campus with a smile, ensuring she could interact with students on a daily basis. Whether it was supervising student workers or helping Professor Lisa Dandeo with a fashion class, having a connection with students was the reason Babb came to work each day.
“I always loved walking into the office and seeing Joy sitting at the desk,” said Reyna Wilhelm, senior and student worker for University Events. “She would always take the time to genuinely ask how I was doing.”
Babb was not only a coworker to Greene, Bialakis and Leslie Garner in the office but also a true friend. She has been described by her former associates as someone who was dependable, loyal, trustworthy and walked into every room with an incredible personality.
“She was smart and funny. There were times where I had no idea what she was talking about, but we would just laugh and keep moving,” said Greene. “While she was loyal and dependable, she really was like no one I had ever known.”
To honor Babb, the University Events department is hanging the following quote in its office in her memory: “Those we love don’t go away; they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard but always near. Still loved, still missed and very dear.”