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Boston College

140 Commonwealth Ave 
Chestnut Hill MA 2467 

(617) 552-8000


Boston College

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Boston College (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Boston University.
Boston College
Boston College Seal.svg
Latin: Collegium Bostoniense
Motto ???? ???ste?e?? (Greek)
Motto in English
Ever to Excel
Established 1863
Type Private Nonprofit
Research Coeducational
Affiliation Roman Catholic (Jesuit)
Endowment $2.131 billion (2014)[1]
President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J.
Academic staff
Total: 1,386
(752 full-time)[2]
Administrative staff
2,418[3]
Students 14,359[4]
Undergraduates 9,110[4]
Postgraduates 4,673[4]
Location Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA
42°20'6.3?N 71°10'13.3?W? / ?42.335083°N 71.170361°W? / 42.335083; -71.170361Coordinates: 42°20'6.3?N 71°10'13.3?W? / ?42.335083°N 71.170361°W? / 42.335083; -71.170361
Campus Suburban - 332.5 acres (134.6 ha)[5]
Fight song "For Boston"
Colors Maroon      and      Gold[6]
Athletics NCAA Division I - ACC
Hockey East
Sports 29 varsity sports teams[7]
(13 men's and 16 women's)
Nickname Eagles
Mascot Baldwin the Eagle
Affiliations AJCU
NEASC
568 Group
ACCU
AICUM
NAICU
Website bc.edu
Boston College Logotype.svg

Boston College (BC) is a private Jesuit Catholic research university located in the village of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA, 6 miles (9.7 km) west of downtown Boston. It has 9,100 full-time undergraduates and almost 5,000 graduate students. The university's name reflects its early history as a liberal arts college and preparatory school (now Boston College High School) in Boston's South End. It is a member of the 568 Group and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Its main campus is a historic district and features some of the earliest examples of collegiate gothic architecture in North America.

Boston College's undergraduate program is currently ranked 31st in the National Universities ranking by U.S. News & World Report.[8] Boston College was ranked the 422nd top college in the United States by Payscale and CollegeNet's Social Mobility Index college rankings.[9] Boston College is categorized as a research university with high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.[10] Students at the university earned 21 Fulbright Awards in 2012, ranking the school eighth among American research institutions.[11] At $2.831 billion, Boston College has the 40th largest university endowment in North America,[1] and the largest endowment of all Jesuit colleges and universities.[12]

Boston College offers bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees through its nine schools and colleges: Morrissey College of Arts & Sciences, Boston College Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Carroll School of Management, Lynch School of Education, Connell School of Nursing, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, Boston College Law School, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, Woods College of Advancing Studies.

Boston College sports teams are called the Eagles, and their colors are maroon and gold; the school mascot is Baldwin the Eagle. The Eagles compete in NCAA Division I 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. Boston College's men's ice hockey team is one of the most decorated programs in the nation, having won five national championships.[13]

History

Early history

In 1825, Benedict Joseph Fenwick, S.J., 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. 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 45 miles (72 km) 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, S.J., who saw an even greater need for such an institution in light of Boston's growing Irish Catholic 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 Avenue in the Hudson neighborhood of South End, Boston, Massachusetts. 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 (1863-03-31), more than three decades after its initial inception, Boston College's charter was formally approved by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. BC became the second Jesuit institution of higher learning in Massachusetts and the first located in the Boston area. Johannes Bapst, S.J., 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.[14] The curriculum was based on the Jesuit Ratio Studiorum, emphasizing Latin, Greek, philosophy, and theology.

Move to Chestnut Hill

Gasson Tower viewed from Linden Lane

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, S.J., 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.[citation needed] Construction began in 1909.[14]

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's 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, S.J. assumed the presidency on September 5, 1972, BC was approximately $30 million in debt, its endowment totaled just under $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 (160,000 m2) campus 1.5 miles (2.4 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, S.J.

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 $1.83 billion,[15] it has expanded by almost 150 acres (610,000 m2), while dramatically reducing the greenery of its middle campus. During this period, undergraduate applications have surpassed 31,000. At the same time, BC students, faculty and athletic teams have seen indicators of 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."[16] 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."[17] On February 16, 2006, the merger was authorized by the Jesuit Conference.[18]

Collegiate Gothic buildings on Chestnut Hill.

In 2003, after years of student-led discussions and efforts, the school 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.[19] Earlier that year 84% of the student body voted in favor of a student referendum calling for a change in policy.[20] After several months of discussion the university changed its statement of nondiscrimination to make it more welcoming to gay students in May 2005, but stopped short of prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.[21]

On December 5, 2007, Boston College announced the Master Plan, a $1.6 billion, 10-year plan to revamp the campus and hire new faculty. The plan includes over $700 million for new buildings and renovations of the campus, including construction of four new academic buildings, a sharp reduction in the size of the legendary "dustbowl" campus green, a 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2) recreation center to replace the Flynn Recreation Complex, a 285,000 sq ft (26,500 m2) 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.[22][23] 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 property acquired from the Archdiocese of Boston. The school was long an institution that targeted commuter students from the Boston area, however in the school's pursuit of a national legacy, that function has been forgotten as the number of commuter students enrolled dropped from well over 50% to a mere three students, according to statistics published by the alumni magazine.

On June 10, 2009, Mayor Menino and Boston's zoning commission approved the Boston College Master Plan, signaling an end to the long approval process, while allowing the school to enter design and planning phases.[24]

Campus

Chestnut Hill

Maginnis master plan

Boston College's main campus in Chestnut Hill, 6 miles (9.7 km) west of downtown Boston, is 175-acre (710,000 m2) and includes over 120 buildings set on a hilltop overlooking the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. A "Boston College" streetcar station on metro Boston's "T", or public transit system, is located at St. Ignatius Gate; it is the western terminus of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Green Line's B-branch (also known as the "Boston College" line) and connects the school to Boston's city center and to destinations in the Boston metropolitan area. Due largely to its location and presence of buildings featuring gothic towers reaching into the sky, the Boston College campus is known generally as the "Heights" and to some as the "Crowned Hilltop".[25] The main campus is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[26]

St. John's Meadow

Designed by Charles Donagh Maginnis and his firm Maginnis & Walsh in 1908, the Boston College campus is a seminal example of Collegiate Gothic architecture. Combining Gothic Revival architecture with principles of Beaux-Arts planning, Maginnis proposed a vast complex of academic buildings set in a cruciform plan. Maginnis's 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". 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". 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. Modernism had an enormous impact on development after the 1940s, though some of the modernist buildings at BC maintained non-modern rough stone facades in keeping with Maginnis's original designs.

Chestnut Hill Reservoir

Boston College's eight research libraries contain over two million printed volumes. Including manuscripts, journals, government documents and microform items, ranging from ancient papyrus scrolls to digital databases, the collections have some twelve million items. 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, U.S. government documents, Congressional Archives, and paintings that span the history of art from Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Opened in 1928, Bapst Library was named for the first president of Boston College (Johannes Bapst, S.J., 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. A guide to the building's stained glass windows is available online.[27] 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. It also houses the papers of prominent Boston College alumni. 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.

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, John LaFarge, and Jackson Pollock. Admission to the Museum is free and open to the general public.

There are various housing buildings all over campus for students. Those located on lower campus are Walsh, Edmonds, Rubenstein, Ignacio, 90 St. Thomas More Road, 66 Commonwealth Ave, Vanderslice, Gabelli, Voute, Stayer, and 'The Mods'. Roncalli, Welch, and Williams Halls are located on middle campus on College Road. Finally, Freshman housing on Upper Campus includes Kostka, Gonzaga, Fitzpatrick, Medeiros, Cheverus, Claver, Loyola, Xavier, Fenwick, and Shaw House. Additional freshman housing is on the separated Newton Campus and includes Cushing, Duchesne (East and West), Hardey, and Keyes (North, South, and mythical West).

In the fall of 2010, Boston College began construction of Stokes Hall, a 183,000-square-foot (17,000 m2) academic building on what was formerly known as the Dustbowl. Stokes Hall is the first academic building to be constructed on the Middle Campus since 2001. It was completed in December 2012, and opened for use in January 2013. The University is currently reconstructing St. Mary's Hall, with completion expected in the December 2014, and renovating indoor pieces of Carney Hall. More Hall had been demolished to make way for a new residence hall in July 2014, slated to open sometime in 2016.

In addition to the main campus at Chestnut Hill, BC's 40-acre (160,000 m2) Newton Campus, formerly Newton College of the Sacred Heart, is located 1-mile (1.6 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 (81,000 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. In a new building opened in 1996, the Law Library is located on the Boston College Law School campus in Newton.

In June 2004, Boston College acquired 43 acres (170,000 m2) of land from the Archdiocese of Boston.[28][29] 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 in which it is located, as the municipal border sits on the street intersection where the two properties meet.

Middle Campus

  • Carney Hall

Located on middle campus, Carney Hall carries an unusual stigma among students. The building no longer hosts classes and is largely vacant. Rather, the building houses the offices of the Army ROTC program as well as the Student Program Offices. Often known as 'dark and dank,' the building is markably distinct from the aesthetically pleasing quad which it resides. Built in 1963, Carney has an unusual structure seeming to face away from the rest of campus. Contrary to popular belief, the building was not built backwards but rather styled to allow more offices to have windows, according to BC Historian, Professor Thomas O'Connor. The Beacon Street side of the building contains a fountain in the middle of the courtyard; the fountain has gone dry as a result of the continual use of powdered soap pranks by undergraduate students. The building additionally contains sets of unused lockers throughout the floors, which added to the fictitious speculation of the building being a former high school. The existing 10 year university plan slates Carney Hall for reconstruction. Currently, sections of the first floor have begun with the addition of new carpets, fresh coats of paint, and new ceiling tiles. The existing university 30–50 year plan schedules the reconstructed building to remain part of the quad.[30]

  • McElroy Commons

Located on the Southwest Corner of middle campus, McElroy is referred to by students as 'Mac.' The Commons holds a variety of offices and contains Carney's Dining Hall which serves the vast majority of students living on College Road and Upper Campus. Eagle's Nest, the highly popular lunch spot is located on the second form of the building. The first floor of the building was slightly refurbished in the summer of 2013.

  • Stokes Hall