Transforming Lives: Elaine ’92 and Eric Brophy ’92

Looking to the past, two alumni help change the future.

The Brophy family enjoy the summer sun together. From left: Timmy, Elaine (Mimick) ’92, Brenden and Eric ’92.
The Brophy family enjoy the summer sun together. From left: Timmy, Elaine (Mimick) ’92, Brenden and Eric ’92.

Although they would one day help change the lives of a future generation of global leaders together, Elaine (Minnick) Brophy ‘92 and Eric Brophy ‘92 were simply good friends while classmates at Scranton. They lived on the same floor, took the same criminal justice class and attended the senior formal together. Then, after graduation, life took them in different directions.

“We were not dating at that point,” Elaine explained, “but we had a lot of the same close friends. So even though we went our separate ways, we would always hear about each other.”

After graduation, Eric earned a law degree from Seton Hall University. He moved to California to work for an entertainment attorney, then returned to his native New Jersey to work for an insurance defense firm. Elaine began a successful career in human resources at Chase Manhattan Bank, working her way up to vice president at JPMorgan Chase. Along the way, Elaine met and married her first husband, Paul, but her life changed suddenly on September 11, 2001, when he died tragically during the attacks at the World Trade Center.

The former classmates later reconnected at a New Year’s Eve party in Hoboken, New Jersey. This time, though, things were different: Eric and Elaine saw each other in a new light. The couple married in 2004 and have since had two children: Brenden, 10, and Timmy, 8.

Elaine has since changed careers, working as a certified nursing assistant, while Eric became a partner at Diegnan & Brophy, LLC, a firm he founded with a former law school classmate. Twenty-five years have passed since they graduated from Scranton, but the University has never been far from their minds. Though they have served their alma mater in many ways in the intervening years, they felt the time was right to do more in 2017. In honor of their 25-year reunion, they chose to support the new Ignatian Global Citizenship Program (IGCP) at Scranton with a $25,000 gift.

“[The program] matches with our mindset,” Eric said. “All that we do in our jobs and volunteer positions goes back to the Jesuit idea of doing for others, and this initiative supports that.”

"Contributions such as the Brophys' help us deliver an education that is transformational."
- Michael Allison, Ph.D.

The IGCP focuses on preparing Scranton students for careers in public service grounded in Catholic, Jesuit values. Participants will be able to conduct research, network with alumni in the field and take advantage of on-campus lectures and educational trips to Harrisburg, Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C.

Elaine said she was attracted to the program’s global focus and was humbled when she saw that educational opportunities related to New York and 9/11 were part of the plans.

“I felt comfortable with it and felt the 9/11 pieces were very respectful,” she said.

Michael Allison, Ph.D., the associate professor and chair of the department of political science who leads the initiative, plans to welcome the first students to the program this fall.

“Contributions such as the Brophys’ help us deliver an education that is transformational,” he said. “We hope to nurture young people of faith so that they might realize that one important way through which they can lead lives as men and women for and with others is through careers in public service.”

Elaine and Eric said they are glad to be able to give back to Scranton because the school gave them so much.

“Scranton provided us with a great education,” Elaine said. “We feel very fortunate ... to be able to help current students experience what we did.”

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