Young Alumni Spotlight: Molly Ryan


In the two years since her graduation, alumna Molly Ryan ’08 has already established a place in Memphis’ non-profit sector. As the Program Associate for the Hyde Family Foundations, Molly works to better the Memphis community through four program areas: “Transforming Education,” “Positioning Authentic Assets,” “Strengthening Neighborhoods,” and “Greening Memphis.” Her responsibilities include working on projects in each of these program areas as well as partnering with other organizations like Ballet Memphis, KIPP Memphis, and Shelby Farms to encourage innovation and promote success throughout the city’s non-profit sector.

Molly credits her education at Rhodes, both inside and outside the classroom, with giving her the skills needed to be successful in her work at the Hyde Family Foundations. Molly built on every opportunity she was given at Rhodes to prepare for her career. While 4 years as a Rhodes Student Associate in the President’s office provided an opportunity to learn how to work in a professional office setting, an internship at True Story Pictures, a local non-profit where she still volunteers, gave Molly a chance to work in the non-profit sector firsthand. “When I look back from where I sit now—at my desk at HFF—my analytical, research, and writing skills can all be traced back to the lessons I learned through these classes and from my professors,” she recalls.

The future holds many possibilities for Molly. First and foremost she wants to continue the most important pursuit she began with her time at Rhodes: being a life-long learner. According to Ryan, this pursuit “has kept me thoroughly interested in all the new challenges that arise in my job, and keeps me focused on the goal of eventually going back to school to get my master’s.” At some point, she plans to get her master’s degree in marketing and communications or nonprofit management, or maybe both. For now, Molly is happy to continue her work at the Hyde Family Foundations, using the skills and knowledge gained during her time at Rhodes to help the greater Memphis community.

--Elizabeth Tomlinson ‘12