Boston College

Boston College

Boston College, main campus at Chestnut Hill, Mass.; coeducational; Jesuit; est. and opened 1863. Actually a university, the school's Chestnut Hill campus comprises colleges of arts and sciences and business administration, the graduate school, and schools of nursing and education. The law school is at Newton and the school of social work is at Boston. Seminarians attend a liberal arts college at Lenox and schools of philosophy and theology at Weston.
For similarly-named academic institutions, see Education in Boston, MA.
Boston College (BC) is a private university located in Massachusetts, in the New England region of the United States. Its historic campus, one of the earliest examples of Collegiate Gothic architecture in North America, is set on a hilltop six miles (10 km) west of downtown Boston. Although chartered as a university by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1863, Boston College's name reflects its early history as a liberal arts college and preparatory school in Boston's South End. It was the first institution of higher education established in Boston, though it later outgrew its urban location and moved to Chestnut Hill on the city's western edge. Boston College is one of the oldest Jesuit, Catholic universities in the United States and is home to one of the largest Jesuit communities in the world.

About Boston College

Founded by the Society of Jesus, Boston College opened its doors in 1863 to 22 students whose studies were concentrated within a liberal arts curriculum. BC became the second Jesuit institution of higher learning in Massachusetts and the first located in the Boston area. Its charter was among the first documents to stipulate that the institution "from its inception shall be open to youths of any faith," a policy since expanded to include those "of no religious faith at all."

Boston College is called The Heights, a reference to both its lofty aspirations — the college motto is "Ever to Excel" — and its elevated location on Chestnut Hill, or "University Heights" as the area was initially designated. The name has lent itself to a number of campus organizations — including the principal student newspaper, The Heights — and to those affiliated with the university: BC students were universally called "Heightsmen" until 1925 when Mary C. Mellyn became the first "Heightswoman" to receive a BC degree. Today, the university's legacy includes over 143,000 alumni in over 120 countries around the world.

Boston College was added to the "25 New Ivies" list in 2006 by Kaplan/Newsweek, which includes "colleges whose first-rate academic programs, combined with a population boom in top students, have fueled their rise in stature and favor among the nation's top students, administrators and faculty -- edging them to a competitive status rivaling the Ivy League.

Boston College students have enjoyed success in winning prestigious post-graduate fellowships and awards, including recent Rhodes, Marshall, Mellon, Fulbright, Truman, Churchill, and Goldwater scholarships, among others. BC's yield rate for Fulbright awardees is the highest in the country. In 2007, the German department was awarded a record 13 Fulbright scholarships, five more than the previous number from a single department. Though formal numbers are not kept, the number of awardees from one department to study in a specific country is thought by academic scholars to be the largest in the 60-year history of the Fulbright program.

At US$1.75 billion, BC's endowment is among the largest in American higher education and the largest of any Jesuit university in the world. Its annual operating budget is approximately US$667 million.

AHANA is a term coined (and trademarked) by BC students in 1979 to refer to students of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American descent. In 2006-07, AHANA students comprised 24% of BC undergraduates. International students make up an additional 5.3% of the student population.

In September 2006, the administration of Boston College unveiled the long-awaited campus overhaul project. Details of the project were featured in the newspaper, The Heights. According to the paper, "BC's strategic vision will bring unprecedented structural development to campus."

The paper also noted that the program would involve replacing the 800 beds in Edmond's Hall with 400-person residence halls on Commander Shea Field and near Moore Hall, overlooking Commonwealth Avenue. BC hopes to relocate the McMullen Museum of Art from Devlin Hall to a newly constructed building on the north side of Commonwealth Avenue, which will include additional open space in favor of a 1,000 to 1,200-person auditorium attached to it. Taking advantage of BC's location on Commonwealth Avenue, the designs will shift the MBTA station to the median in the center of the street. The school is also considering a sky bridge linking the new residence hall and museum. Baseball fields will be moved to the recently acquired St. John Seminary property in the Brighton section of Boston to free up additional open areas on the main campus. The Brighton property will also be home to new parking structures, tennis courts, an indoor track, and a conference center.

Its most dramatic features, however, are a set of academic buildings that anchor a center for the humanities alongside the Dustbowl; a recasting of the Lower Campus as a polished center of intellectual and community life, including a new recreation complex and a University center; a set of science buildings in a quad built on the memories of Cushing and portions of Campion halls; a reef of performing arts facilities on the near edge of the Brighton Campus and an “athletics and recreation district” at the far end; and a knitting together of the Lower and Brighton campuses by means of a footbridge and several blocks of mixed-use development.

Rankings and admissions

Admission to Boston College is among the most selective in the United States. For the class of 2012, BC received a record 31,000 applications from prospective undergraduates, admitting 26%, making it the most selective class in the school's history. BC ranks fifth (after NYU, Boston University, USC, and Northeastern) among private American universities in the number of applications it receives annually, though it is less than half the size of the four schools that rank above it. The middle half of the class of 2012 had test scores that ranged from 1950-2220 on the SAT and 30-33 on the ACT.

BC placed 11th in a ranking of national universities (published in Forbes Magazine) by the Center for College Affordability & Productivity, a research group in Washington, DC.

The undergraduate school of business, the Carroll School of Management, placed 14th in an annual survey of US undergraduate business schools by BusinessWeek, which noted that "Alumni and professors love helping students find jobs, making BC's campus networking an invaluable resource. BC ranked 34th among national universities in US News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges 2009" rankings.

A study by Carnegie Communications in 2004 ranked BC 17th among national universities. The same study cited BC as the 8th "most popular" choice among U.S. high school seniors.

A Princeton Review survey of parents that asked “What ‘dream college’ would you most like to see your child attend were prospects of acceptance or cost not issues?” placed BC 6th.


Early history

The history of Boston College is traced to the founding of the Society of Jesus in 1534 and the early activity of Jesuits in New England in the 17th and 18th centuries. Jesuit founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola, imagined a distinct mission that sought to engage intellectual inquiry, faith, and cultural contributions "in conversation with the city." His Society established colleges and universities in almost every part of the known world, and its members were among the great explorers of the Age of Discovery. In 1825, Benedict Joseph Fenwick, SJ, a Jesuit from Maryland, became the second Bishop of Boston. He was the first to articulate a vision for a "College in the City of Boston" that would raise a new generation of leaders to serve both the civic and spiritual needs of his fledgling diocese.

A College in the City

In 1827, Bishop Fenwick opened a school in the basement of his cathedral and took to the personal instruction of the city's youth. His efforts to attract other Jesuits to the faculty were hampered both by Boston's distance from the center of Jesuit activity in Maryland and by suspicion on the part of the city's Protestant elite. Relations with Boston's civic leaders worsened such that, when a Jesuit faculty was finally secured in 1843, Fenwick decided to leave the Boston school and instead opened the College of the Holy Cross west of the city in Worcester, Massachusetts where he felt the Jesuits could operate with greater autonomy. Meanwhile, the vision for a college in Boston was sustained by John McElroy, SJ, who saw an even greater need for such an institution in light of Boston's growing immigrant population. With the approval of his Jesuit superiors, McElroy went about raising funds and in 1857 purchased land for "The Boston College" on Harrison Street in Boston's South End. With little fanfare, the college's two buildings — a schoolhouse and a church — welcomed their first class of scholastics in 1859. Two years later, with as little fanfare, BC closed again. Its short-lived second incarnation was plagued by the outbreak of Civil War and disagreement within the Society over the college's governance and finances. BC's inability to obtain a charter from the anti-Catholic Massachusetts legislature only compounded its troubles.

On March 31 1863, more than three decades after its initial inception, Boston College's charter was formally approved by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In it, BC was granted the right to confer all university degrees, with the exception of the M.D. (a limitation that was later amended). Johannes Bapst, SJ, a Swiss Jesuit from French-speaking Fribourg, was selected as BC's first president and immediately reopened the original college buildings on Harrison Avenue. For most of the 19th century, BC offered a singular 7-year program corresponding to both high school and college. Its entering class in the fall of 1864 included 22 students, ranging in age from 11 to 16 years. The curriculum was based on the Jesuit Ratio Studiorum, emphasizing Latin, Greek, philosophy and theology. Revolutionary for its time, BC's charter emphasized that "the profession of religion will not be a condition for admission to the College."

The move to Chestnut Hill

Boston College's enrollment reached nearly 500 by the turn of the 20th century. Expansion of the South End buildings onto James Street enabled increased separation between the high school and college divisions, though Boston College High School remained a constituent part of Boston College until 1927 when it was separately incorporated. In 1907, newly-installed President Thomas I. Gasson, SJ, determined that BC's cramped, urban quarters in Boston's South End were inadequate and unsuited for significant expansion. Inspired by John Winthrop's early vision of Boston as a "city upon a hill," he re-imagined Boston College as world-renowned university and a beacon of Jesuit scholarship. Less than a year after taking office, he purchased Amos Adams Lawrence's farm on Chestnut Hill, six miles (10 km) west of the city. He organized an international competition for the design of a campus master plan and set about raising funds for the construction of the "new" university. Proposals were solicited from distinguished architects, and Charles Donagh Maginnis' ambitious proposal for twenty buildings in English Collegiate Gothic style, called "Oxford in America," was selected.

By 1913, construction costs had surpassed available funds, and as a result Gasson Hall, "New BC's" main building, stood alone on Chestnut Hill for its first three years. Buildings of the former Lawrence farm, including a barn and gatehouse, were temporarily adapted for college use while a massive fundraising effort was underway. While Maginnis' ambitious plans were never fully realized, BC's first "capital campaign" — which included a large replica of Gasson Hall's clock tower set up on Boston Common to measure the fundraising progress — ensured that President Gasson's vision survived. By the 1920s BC began to fill out the dimensions of its university charter, establishing the Boston College Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the Boston College Law School and the Woods College of Advancing Studies, followed successively by the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, the Carroll School of Management, the Connell School of Nursing, and the Lynch School of Education. In 1926, Boston College conferred its first degrees on women (though it did not become fully coeducational until 1970). With the rising prominence of its graduates, this was also the period in which Boston College and its powerful Alumni Association began to establish themselves among the city's leading institutions. At the city, state and federal levels, BC graduates would come to dominate Massachusetts politics for much of the 20th century.

Cultural changes in American society and in the church following the Second Vatican Council forced BC to question its purpose and mission. Meanwhile, poor financial management lead to deteriorating facilities and resources and rising tuition costs. Student outrage, combined with growing protests over Vietnam and the bombings in Cambodia, culminated in student strikes, including demonstrations at Gasson Hall in April 1970.

The Monan era

By the time J. Donald Monan, SJ assumed the presidency on September 5 1972, BC was approximately US$30 million in debt, its endowment totaled just under US$6 million, and faculty and staff salaries had been frozen during the previous year. Rumors about the university's future were rampant, including speculation that BC would be acquired by Harvard University. Monan's first order of business was to reconfigure the Boston College Board of Trustees. By separating it from the Society of Jesus, Monan was able to bring in the talents of lay alumni and business leaders who helped turn around the university's fortunes. This same restructuring had been accomplished first at the University of Notre Dame in 1967 by Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, CSC with many other Catholic colleges following suit in the ensuing years. In 1974, Boston College acquired Newton College of the Sacred Heart, a 40 acre (162,000 m²) campus 1.5 miles (2 km) away that enabled it to expand the law school and provide more housing for a student population that was increasingly residential and geographically diverse. No less than the university's rescue is credited to Monan who set into motion the university's upward trajectory in finances, reputation, and global scope. In 1996, Monan's 24 year presidency, the longest in the university's history, came to an end when he was named University Chancellor and succeeded by President William P. Leahy, SJ.

Recent history

Since assuming the Boston College presidency, Leahy's tenure has been marked with an acceleration of the growth and development initiated by his predecessor. BC's endowment has grown to US$1.75 billion, it has expanded by almost 150 acres (600,000 m²), and undergraduate applications have surpassed 31,000. At the same time, BC students, faculty and athletic teams have seen unprecedented success — winning record numbers of Fulbrights, Rhodes, and other academic awards; setting new marks for research grants; and winning conference and national titles. In 2002, Leahy initiated the Church in the 21st Century program to examine issues facing the Catholic Church in light of the clergy sexual abuse scandal. His effort brought BC worldwide praise and recognition for "leading the way on Church reform.

Recent plans to merge with the Weston Jesuit School of Theology were followed by an article in The New York Times claiming "such a merger would further Boston College's quest to become the nation's Catholic intellectual powerhouse" and that, once approved by the Vatican and Jesuit authorities in Rome, BC "would become the center for the study of Roman Catholic theology in the United States. On February 16 2006, the merger was authorized by the Jesuit Conference.

In 2003, after years of student-led discussions and efforts, the University approved a Gay-Straight Alliance, the first University-funded gay support group on campus. In 2004, between 1,000 and 1,200 students rallied behind a student-led campaign to expand the school's non-discrimination statement to include equal protection for gays and lesbians. Earlier that year 84% of the student body voted in favor of a student referendum calling for a change in policy. After several months of discussion the university's policy was changed in May 2005.

On December 5, 2007, Boston College announced the Master Plan, a US$1.6 billion, 10-year plan to revamp the campus and hire new faculty. The plan includes over US$700 million for new buildings and renovations of the campus, including construction of four new academic buildings, a . recreation center to replace the outdated Flynn Recreation Complex, a . university center to replace McElroy Commons (which is slated for destruction), and the creation of 610 beds for student housing, as well as many other constructions and renovations. Father Leahy said, "We are announcing our Strategic and Master Plans with the goal of creating the finest campus facilities for our students and faculty, while also committing ourselves to becoming a national leader in liberal arts education and student formation, and the world’s leading Catholic university and theological center.

The plan has been criticized by Boston city officials. On February 21, 2008, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino warned the school to construct new dormitory building on its main campus, rather than on the former St. John's Seminary property acquired from the Archdiocese of Boston. Student misbehavior in the neighborhoods around the school has been a problem for area residents.

School songs

Alma Mater

Alma Mater was written by T. J. Hurley, who also wrote For Boston (the Boston College Fight Song) and was a member of the Class of 1885.

Hail! Alma Mater! Thy praise we sing.
Fondly thy mem'ries round our heart still cling.
Guide of our youth, thro' thee we shall prevail!
Hail! Alma Mater! Hail! All Hail!

Hail! Alma Mater! Lo, on the height,
Proudly thy tow'rs are raised for the Right
God is thy Master, His law thy sole avail!
Hail! Alma Mater! Hail! All Hail!

For Boston

"For Boston" is America's oldest college fight song. It has two verses but the most commonly sung one is the first verse. Boston-based band Dropkick Murphys covered this song on their album Sing Loud, Sing Proud!.

For Boston, for Boston,
We sing our proud refrain!
For Boston, for Boston,
'Tis Wisdom's earthly fane.
For here all are one
And their hearts are true,
And the towers on the Heights
Reach to Heav'ns own blue.
For Boston, for Boston,
Till the echoes ring again!

For Boston, for Boston,
Thy glory is our own!
For Boston, for Boston,
'Tis here that Truth is known.
And ever with the Right
Shall thy heirs be found,
Till time shall be no more
And thy work is crown'd.
For Boston, for Boston,
For Thee and Thine alone.

The campus

Landscape and architecture

Set on a hilltop overlooking the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and the distant Boston skyline (see live webcam), Boston College's 175 acre (700,000 m²) Chestnut Hill campus includes over 120 buildings in addition to athletic fields, rolling hills, wooded areas, three formal gardens, an orchard, and over 100 species of trees. The campus creates an almost rural setting, only west of downtown Boston. A "Boston College" "T"-station, located at St. Ignatius Gate, is the western terminus of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Green Line's B-branch (also known as the "Boston College" line) and provides transit to the city center. Travel time is approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Travel time to Boston can be reduced by taking a shuttle bus to the "Reservoir" station and riding the faster D line into the city.

Due largely to its location and architecture, the Boston College campus is known affectionately as the "Heights," the "Crowned Hilltop" and "Oxford in America." This last moniker was the title of the original campus master plan and was confirmed by a visiting British journalist in 1915 who famously wrote, "Even in embryo, it is Oxford and Cambridge without their grime.

The Crowned Hilltop

Designed by Charles Donagh Maginnis and his firm, Maginnis & Walsh, in 1908, the Boston College campus is a seminal example of Collegiate Gothic architecture. Publication of its design in 1909 — and praise from influential American Gothicist Ralph Adams Cram — helped establish Collegiate Gothic as the prevailing architectural style on American university campuses for much of the 20th Century. Gasson Hall, BC's signature building, is credited for the typology of dominant Gothic towers in subsequent campus designs, including those at Princeton University's Graduate College (Cleveland Tower, 1913 to 1917), at Yale University (Harkness Tower, 1917 to 1921), and at Duke University (Chapel Tower, 1930 to 1935). Combining Gothic Revival architecture with principles of Beaux-Arts planning, Maginnis proposed a vast complex of academic buildings set in a cruciform plan. The design suggested an enormous outdoor cathedral, with a long entry drive at the "nave," the main quadrangle at the "apse" and secondary quadrangles at the "transepts". At the "crossing," Maginnis placed the university's main building, which he called "Recitation Hall". Using stone quarried on the site, the building was constructed at the highest point on Chestnut Hill, commanding a view of the surrounding landscape and the city to the east. Dominated by a soaring bell tower, Recitation Hall was known simply as the "Tower Building" when it finally opened in 1913. Maginnis' design broke from the traditional Oxbridge models that had inspired it — and that had till then characterized Gothic architecture on American campuses. In its unprecedented scale, Gasson Tower was conceived not as the belfry of a singular building, but as the crowning campanile of Maginnis' new "city upon a hill".

Expansion and eclecticism

Though Maginnis' ambitious Gothic project never saw full completion, its central portion was built according to plan and forms the core of what is now BC's iconic middle campus. Among these, the Bapst Library has been called the "finest example of Collegiate Gothic architecture in America" and Devlin Hall won the Harleston Parker Medal for "most beautiful building in Boston." Subsequent campus expansions exceeded even President Gasson's vision and brought with them a new set of architectural vocabulary: Georgian, Neoclassical, Richardsonian Romanesque, and others. The 1895 Louis K. Liggett Estate was acquired in 1941 and developed into a Tudor style upper campus, while an architecturally eclectic lower campus took shape on land acquired by filling in part of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. Around this time, a Seattle newspaper ranked Boston College second in a list of "America's Most Beautiful Campuses" (the University of Washington ranked first). Notions of "beauty" meanwhile were challenged by the advent of modernism. The 1940 design for St. Ignatius Church is an important hybrid of this period and is an example of what has been called "Modern Gothic". Modernism had an enormous impact on development after the 1940s, though most modernist buildings at BC maintained decidedly un-modern rough stone facades in keeping with Maginnis' original designs. By the 1960s, BC's severe space demands and poor financial health began to leave their mark, as evidenced by the construction of prefabricated modular apartments on the lower campus. Originally intended as temporary housing, the "Mods" have survived in large part because of their popularity among upperclassmen. Other legacies of this era include the hyperbolic-roofed Flynn Recreation Complex, constructed using laminated wood beams, and the later International Style O'Neill Library, designed by The Architects Collaborative. More recent campus development signals a return to Maginnis & Walsh's Collegiate Gothic designs, as reflected in the renovations of Fulton Hall (1997) and Higgins Hall (2002), and in the construction of Campanella Hall (2003) and the St. Ignatius Gate Residence Hall (2004). Campenella houses a small bookstore, the Hillside Cafe, the Undergraduate Government of Boston College (UGBC), and the Theology, History, Philosophy, and Economics departments. The building is connected via a causeway to Middle Campus through the O'Neill Library entrance. The Hillside Cafe operates a food-service Starbucks; meaning that it is not company owned, operated, or branded but students can still enjoy Starbucks beverages.

In June 2004, Boston College acquired 43 acres of land from the Archdiocese of Boston. The new grounds, adjacent to the main campus (on the opposite side of Commonwealth Avenue), include the historic mansion that served as the Cardinal's residence until 2002. The new grounds are referred to as Brighton Campus, after Brighton, the area in Boston where it is located.

Other properties

In addition to the main campus at Chestnut Hill, BC's 40 acre (160,000 m²) Newton Campus is located 1 mile (2 km) to the west and houses the law school and residential housing for roughly one third of the freshman class. Other BC properties include a 20 acre (80,000 m²) seismology research observatory and field station in Weston, Massachusetts, an 80 acre (320,000 m²) retreat center in Dover, Massachusetts, and the Centre for Irish Programmes: Dublin on St. Stephen's Green in Dublin, Ireland.

Libraries & museums

Boston College's eight research libraries contain over twelve million printed volumes, manuscripts, journals, government documents and microform items, ranging from ancient papyrus scrolls to digital databases. Together with the university's museums, they include original manuscripts and prints by Galileo, Ignatius of Loyola, and Francis Xavier as well as world renowned collections in Jesuitana, Irish literature, sixteenth century Flemish tapestries, ancient Greek pottery, Caribbean folk art and literature, Japanese prints, US government documents, Congressional Archives, and paintings that span the history of art from Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

O'Neill Library

BC's central research library, the Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Library is named for the legendary former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, a member of the Boston College Class of 1936. Opened in 1984, it houses approximately two million volumes in the humanities, the natural sciences and the social sciences. It also contains US government documents, administrative offices of the Boston College Libraries, and a museum dedicated to "Tip" O'Neill on the second floor, whose papers are housed in the Burns Library. A glass-enclosed atrium on the library's fourth and fifth floors offers sweeping views of the Boston skyline. The CTRC, Computer Technology Research Center (formerly SLSC, the Student Learning and Support Center), the largest computer lab on campus, and the Connors Family Learning Center (formerly ADC, the Academic Development Center), the student tutoring area, are located on the second floor.

Bapst Library

Opened in 1928, Bapst Library was named for the first president of Boston College (Johannes Bapst, SJ, 1815 to 1887) and it was one of the few structures built according to Charles Donagh Maginnis' original "Oxford in America" master plan. Bapst served as the university's main library until 1984. It has been widely praised as the "finest example of Collegiate Gothic architecture in America." In 1987, it reopened after a two-year, multimillion dollar restoration and now houses the university's fine arts collection. Designed as a "cathedral to learning," it is the most elaborate of the original Collegiate Gothic buildings on campus with extensive stained glass windows, vaulted ceilings and carved wood paneling. Gargan Hall, the soaring reading room on the library's upper floor, has been named the most beautiful room in Boston. Also on the upper floor are the Chancellor's office and the Lonergan Institute. The reading room on the ground floor features a gold-leaf and wood-beamed ceiling that was carefully restored with funds from the Kresge Foundation. A guide to the building's famous stained glass windows is available online.

Burns Library

The Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections is home to more than 150,000 volumes, some 15 million manuscripts and other important works, including a world-renowned collection of Irish literature. A rare facsimile of the Book of Kells is on public display in the library's Irish Room, and each day one page of the illuminated manuscript is turned. Other significant holdings include original works by Sir Isaac Newton, Samuel Beckett, T. S. Eliot, Graham Greene, Seamus Heaney, Gerard Manley Hopkins, James Joyce, Francis Thompson, George Bernard Shaw, and William Butler Yeats, among others. It also houses the papers of prominent Boston College alumni, including House of Representatives Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Jr.; legal scholar and former US Congressman Robert F. Drinan, SJ; US Representative Edward P. Boland; and Margaret Heckler, Congresswoman, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, and US Ambassador to Ireland. The library is named after the Honorable John. J. Burns (1901 to 1957), Massachusetts Superior Court Justice and a member of the Boston College Class of 1921. The library's lofty Ford Memorial Tower is considerably more elaborate than Gasson Tower, though not as tall. Inside, the Thompson Room features a magnificent oriel window depicting epic poetry, while the Trustee Room includes stained glass depictions of 54 Jesuit armorial crests. Exhibits are held frequently on the library's main level and guided tours are available on request.

Law Library

In a new building opened in 1996, the Law Library is located on the Boston College Law School campus in Newton, Massachusetts and contains approximately 500,000 volumes covering all major areas of American law and primary legal materials from the federal government, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the European Union. The library also features a substantial treatise and periodical collection and a growing collection of international and comparative law material. The library's Coquillette Rare Book Room houses works from the 15th through 19th centuries, including works by and about Saint Thomas More.

McMullen Museum of Art

Located in Devlin Hall, the McMullen Museum of Art houses a prominent permanent collection and organizes exhibits from all periods and cultures of art history. Recent exhibits and acquisitions, including works by Edvard Munch, Amedeo Modigliani, Frank Stella, Françoise Gilot, and John LaFarge, have widened both the scope of the collection and its audience. Saints and Sinners, a 1999 exhibition on the work of Caravaggio, attracted the largest audience of any university museum up to that time. Related museum activities include musical and theatrical performances, films, gallery talks, symposia, lectures, readings, and receptions that draw students, faculty, alumni and visitors from around the world. Admission to the Museum is free and open to the general public.

Education Resource Center

Located in Campion Hall, the Education Resource Center (ERC) houses a prominent permanent collection of education materials for the next generation of teachers. The ERC is the special library devoted to the Lynch School of Education and one of the few libraries at BC to have its own cataloguing department. Recent renovations include a new technology room with state of the art equipment, such as SMARTboard and plasma television, to prepare students for their roles as teachers. Related museum activities include its own classroom, viewing areas, and computer lab with Macs and PCs. Like all BC libraries the ERC is a member of the Boston Consortium but its materials are only for the BC community.

Newton Resource Center

The Newton Resource Center (NRC) is an undergraduate resource library situated in the center of Boston College’s satellite Newton Campus accessible through Trinity Chapel. A converted theater, it is nicknamed "the morgue" both because of its absolute silence and its location in the former crypt beneath the chapel. As of the fall of 2006, the NRC is closed to student access, though the NRC continues to house a large portion of O’Neill’s overflow books, journals, and periodicals. Although there were problems with mold and water in the NRC, extensive work has been done to rectify these issues. Currently there are books being stored there, which can be requested through the O'Neill Library.

Kenny-Cottle Library

The Kenny-Cottle Library is located on south side of the Newton Campus. At present, the building is being refitted to be used as office space, but the core of the building remains a closed-to-the-public overflow archive for the O’Neill library, housing more than 200,000 volumes available for request through the main library system.

Other libraries & museums

Other BC libraries include dedicated facilities for the schools social work and education, and a geophysics library at the Weston Observatory. Additional exhibition spaces include a student art gallery on the Bapst Library's mezzanine level as well as exhibition space in the Robsham Theater and Campanella Hall. Items related to BC history and athletics are on display at the Hall of Fame in Conte Forum and the BC Football Museum in the Yawkey Athletics Center.


Saint Ignatius

The unofficial chapel for the university is the Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. The church is named after Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order. Although not technically the university's church, St. Ignatius enjoys a special relationship with Boston College through which the university provides the parish with Internet access, e-mail service, telephone and voice mail service, parking, and dormitory space for the religious education program. Each year, several Boston College students teach in the religious education program. Jesuits priests from Boston College occasionally preside at the church's liturgies. On their part, St. Ignatius provides a spiritual home for many students during their time at Boston College and for many alumni on their wedding day. The church building is also used by the college for some of their larger events.

Saint Columbkille's

St. Columbkille's is a Roman Catholic Church and elementary school in Brighton, Massachusetts which has made an alliance with BC. Under the agreement, the school (founded in 1901) is to be governed by a board of members and a board of trustees comprising representatives from the Archdiocese of Boston, Boston College, St. Columbkille Parish and the greater Boston community. The board of trustees will authorize an audit of the school's curriculum, faculty, finances, and facilities before creating a strategic plan to guide the school in the future. Lynch School of Education faculty will work directly with the school's teachers on faculty and curriculum development, presenting new approaches to education and working to establish best practices in the classroom.

The agreement, announced in March 2006 by University President William P. Leahy, SJ, and Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM, Cap., represents the first such collaboration between a Catholic university and a parochial school in the United States.

Since its inception St. Columbkille School has had a strong relationship with Boston College, with thousands of its graduates and parishioners having attended the University. Over the years, the Lynch School has been actively involved in St. Columbkille through its Extended Services Program, which offers after-school and summer programs for children and families focused on learning and healthy development, and its Carnegie Foundation-sponsored "Teachers for a New Era" program, which provides professional development and teacher training at the school.

In addition, Boston College students tutor at the school on a weekly basis and teach confirmation classes throughout the school year. BC employees also volunteer in the Read Aloud Program at St. Columbkille, reading to kindergarten, first and second grade pupils during their lunch breaks.


Boston College comprises eight schools and colleges:

In December 2004, Boston College announced plans to create a School of Theology and Ministry by merging its Institute for Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry and the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The new school would be located on the BC campus on land recently acquired from the Boston archdiocese. The merge is tentatively set to occur in the fall of 2008.

Jesuit-Catholic tradition

BC's Jesuit-Catholic identity is rooted in the distinct vision of Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, who believed in "finding God in all things." Jesuits are characterized by a dedication to both "the life of the mind and the encounter with the world," a mission distinguished by their intellectual and humanitarian activities — notably in the fields of higher education, human rights, and social justice. As explorers, scientists, artists, diplomats, and writers, Jesuits have historically been at the forefront of scientific discovery and cultural expression. As a result, they have had a sometimes tumultuous relationship with the Catholic Church — and were officially suppressed by the Vatican from 1773 to 1814 — though their work has always been dedicated Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, or "to the greater glory of God." The 112 Jesuits living on the Boston College campus make up one of the largest Jesuit communities in the world and include members of the faculty and administration, graduate students and visiting international scholars.

The synthesis between faith and reason, coupled with BC's inclusive founding mission, attracts students and faculty from diverse religious traditions and a broad range of convictions. Campus spiritual activities are open to all, though entirely optional and include Catholic liturgies as well as religious services in various Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and other traditions. The Jesuit call to justice is evident in work across religious boundaries in community service, reflection retreats, and immersion programs both on campus and abroad. Alumni also reflect this commitment to humanitarian work: BC ranks eleventh among Peace Corps volunteer-producing colleges.


The mascot for all Boston College athletic teams is the Eagle, generally referred to as a multiple, i.e., "The Eagles." The character representing the mascot at football, hockey, and basketball games is an American bald eagle named Baldwin, derived from the "bald" head of the American bald eagle and the word "win".

The school colors are maroon and gold. The fight song, For Boston, was composed by T.J. Hurley, class of 1885.

The Eagles compete in NCAA Division I-A as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference in all sports offered by the ACC. The men's and women's ice hockey teams compete in Hockey East. (Skiing, fencing, and sailing are also non-ACC.) Boston College is one of only thirteen universities in the country offering NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (Formerly, I-A) football, Division I men's and women's basketball, and Division I hockey.

In hockey and (less famously) baseball, Boston College participates in the annual Beanpot tournaments held at TD Banknorth Garden and Fenway Park, respectively. Boston College competes in the Beanpot against the three other major sports colleges in Boston: the Northeastern University Huskies, Harvard University Crimson, and Boston University Terriers. BC has reached the championship game 29 times and has won the Beanpot 14 times, including the 2008 championship. The Baseball Tournament, much less known, was first played in 1990 and out of seventeen baseball Beanpots, Boston College has won nine, last winning in 2008. The baseball team plays an exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox at City Of Palms Park in Ft. Myers, FL. during Major League Baseball's spring training.

The Men's Hockey Team won the 2008 NCAA Championship on April 12 with a 4-1 victory over the University of Notre Dame in Denver, Colorado.

Principal athletic facilities include Alumni Stadium (capacity: 44,500), Conte Forum (8,606), Kelley Rink (7,884), Shea Field, the Newton Soccer Complex and the Flynn Recreation Complex. The Yawkey Athletics Center opened in the spring of 2005. BC students compete in 31 varsity sports as well as a number of club and intramural teams. On March 18 2002, Boston College's Athletics program was named to the College Sports Honor Roll as one of the nation's top 20 athletic programs by U.S. News and World Report.

Although a founding member of the Big East Conference, the Eagles left the Big East and joined the Atlantic Coast Conference on July 1 2005.

Boston College athletes are among the most academically successful in the nation, according to the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate (APR). In 2006 Boston College received Public Recognition Awards with fourteen of its sports in the top 10% of the nation academically. The Eagles tied Notre Dame for the highest total of any Division I-A university. Other schools having ten or more sports honored included Navy (12), Stanford (11), and Duke (11). Teams honored were football, men's fencing, men's outdoor track, men's skiing, women's rowing, women's cross country, women's fencing, women's field hockey, women's indoor track, women's outdoor track, women's skiing, women's swimming, women's soccer, women's tennis, and women's volleyball. Boston College's football program was one of only five Division I-A teams that were so honored. The other four were Auburn, Navy, Stanford, and Duke.


The Boston College Eagles basketball has achieved recent success under head coach Al Skinner. The team has recently reached the sweet sixteen of the NCAA tournament (2006) and has made the transition to the Atlantic Coast Conference.


The Boston College Eagles have achieved much success in college football. On November 16 1940, BC's Frank Leahy-coached championship team took a win from two-season undefeated Georgetown in the final seconds in a game that renowned sportswriter Grantland Rice called the greatest ever played. The Eagles completed their only undefeated season with a bowl victory over Tennessee that year, and many historians argue that the Eagles deserved a share of the national championship. In 1942, the team spent three weeks ranked at #3 in the nation and one week at #1, but they were upset by a then-dominant Holy Cross, 55-12. As a result, the team canceled a party at the Cocoanut Grove, which ended up as a wise thing to do because that night the club caught fire.

Boston College's two most famous football victories came in dramatic fashion, on the final play of the game. On the day after Thanksgiving, November 23 1984, before a national audience on CBS, Doug Flutie became a legend when his Hail Mary found its way into the arms of Gerard Phelan for a 47-45 victory over Miami in the Orange Bowl. This was also the year Flutie won the Heisman; the only Eagle to date so honored. (See also Flutie effect.)

Nine years later almost to the day (November 20 1993), the Eagles went into South Bend and defeated top-ranked Notre Dame 41-39 on a field goal by David Gordon as time expired. A win would have completed Notre Dame's season at 11-0 with a berth in the national championship game.

An additional nine years later, BC again thwarted a potential Notre Dame perfect season, defeating the #2 Fighting Irish in South Bend, 14-7. Boston College ran their football winning streak over Notre Dame to five games in 2007 with a 27-14 victory, helping the Eagles rise to #3 in the BCS rankings.

One of Boston College's alumni holds a special place in the NFL record-books. Mike Woicik, a history major, holds the record for most Super Bowl rings. Having gained (as a coach) three with the New England Patriots and three with the Dallas Cowboys.

On October 21, 2007, Boston College received its highest ranking since 1942, coming in at #2 nationally in both the AP Poll and in the USA Today/Coaches' Poll.

The Eagles beat Virginia Tech on October 25, 2007, led by Matt Ryan with two touchdown passes in the final 2:11 of the game. This win solidified their spot at #2 in both the AP and Coaches' Poll as well as the BCS rankings. The team faced Virginia Tech again on December 1, 2007 in Jacksonville, Florida in the ACC Championship Game as Atlantic Division champions, but lost 30-16.

The Eagles won the Champs Sports Bowl over Michigan State University in 2007, extending their bowl winning streak to eight consecutive victories -- the longest active bowl win streak in the nation.

Ryan broke the Boston College single-season touchdown record previously held by College Hall of Famer, Doug Flutie. He was awarded the 2007 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given annually in the United States to the nation's most outstanding senior quarterback in college football and was selected third in the NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons, making him the highest-chosen BC player in NFL draft history.

Journals, publications & organizations

Campus publications & media

  • @BC, an online multimedia magazine, published monthly
  • BC Bulletin, a monthly alumni newsletter
  • The Boston College Chronicle, A campus newspaper for faculty, staff and alumni
  • Boston College Magazine, a quarterly magazine
  • The Counselor, the weekly newsletter of Boston College Law School
  • Front Row, an online video database of lectures and performances at Boston College
  • The Little Red Book, "What Are We? An Introduction to Boston College and Its Jesuit and Catholic Tradition"

Academic journals & scholarly publications

  • Boston College Environmental Affairs Review
  • Boston College Law Review
  • C21 Resources, a progressive journal of contemporary Catholic issues, published by BC's Church in the 21st Century Center. Begun in 2003, it is now the second largest Catholic publication in the United States.
  • Guide to Jesuit Education
  • International & Comparative Law Review
  • Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment
  • New Arcadia Review
  • Religion and the Arts Journal
  • Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations
  • TEACHING Exceptional Children / TEACHING Exceptional Children Plus
  • Third World Law Journal
  • Uniform Commercial Code Reporter-Digest

Student media

  • The Heights, the principal student newspaper, published twice-weekly; established in 1919
  • The BC, a widely-acclaimed parody of The OC featuring students, Jesuits and administrators
  • Al-Noor , the Undergraduate Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Journal, established in 2007.
  • Elements, the undergraduate research journal, established in 2004
  • The Stylus, the undergraduate art and literature quarterly, founded in 1883
  • Naked Singularity, a magazine dedicated to printing uncensored art, literature, and opinion
  • The Patriot, an independent progressive student newspaper
  • The Observer, a right-leaning student newspaper
  • Sub Turri, the Boston College yearbook, published since 1913
  • UGBC-TV, the student run cable television stations feature the campus' longest running TV show, Now You Know, a news-variety show, and also broadcast coverage (not live) of campus events
  • WZBC, 90.3 FM, a student-run radio station which provides independent and experimental music
  • The Birch Swingers, a humor magazine with a semesterly publication and daily online updates
  • Ethos, the student bioethics research journal, run by the BC Mendel Society
  • Dialogue, the undegraduate essay journal, founded in 2007
  • The Laughing Medusa, an undergraduate women's literature and arts journal

Notable student clubs & organizations

  • 4Boston
  • Acoustics: BC's premier co-ed a cappella group.
  • Allies - Boston College's officially recognized and University funded Gay-Straight Alliance
  • Appalachia Volunteers
  • Asian Caucus
  • Asinine! Sketch & Improv Comedy
  • BC bOp!
  • The Bostonians of Boston College, BC's oldest and most established a cappella group
  • Boston College "Screaming Eagles" Marching Band
  • Boston College Venture Competition (BCVC), a student-run business plan competition with US$15,000 cash in prizes
  • Campus School Volunteers
  • College Republicans
  • The Committee for Creative Enactments (CCE)
  • The Dramatics Society
  • Heightsmen, BC's only all-male a cappella group
  • Hello...Shovelhead!
  • InterVarsity
  • Jenks Leadership Program
  • Korean Students Association (BC KSA), known for its Annual Culture Show
  • My Mother's Fleabag
  • The O'Connell House Student Union
  • The Organization of Latin American Affairs
  • St. Thomas More Society
  • The Son's of St. Patrick: the all men Catholic group of Boston College
  • Undergraduate Government of Boston College
  • Voices of Imani

Notable Alumni

"The Heights" is a nickname given to Boston College. It recalls both BC's lofty aspirations — the college motto is "Ever to Excel" — and its hilltop location, an area initially designated as "University Heights". The name has lent itself to a number of campus organizations, most notably the principal student newspaper, The Heights. BC students were universally called "Heightsmen" until 1925 when Mary C. Mellyn became the first "Heightswoman" to receive a BC degree. "Heightsonian" was originally conceived as a way to gender neutralize the original term "Heightsmen," though "Eagles", once exclusively used for members of the University's athletics teams, is more commonly used. Contrary to its occasional usage by misinformed sportswriters and announcers, the term "Golden Eagles" refers strictly to BC graduates who have celebrated their 50th anniversary reunion.

See also


External links

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