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Thursday, September 22, 2005

The "New" Boston College

At this years University Convocation, Father Leahy offered a vision of a "new" Boston College. As reported by the Boston College Chronicle, the seven "strategic directions" for the new Boston College include striving to be "the best" in liberal arts education and student formation; to be "among the best" in selected research and professional programs and science endeavors; and to be the "leading Catholic university in the world."

Achieving these goals might entail, for example, creating:

  • a Center for Humanities;
  • an expanded program for student formation;
  • an Integrated Science Center;
  • a School of Theology and Ministry; and
  • more endowed chairs.
One key to future success will be the funding of capital projects by gifts and pledges rather than long-term debt.

Father Leahy, while outlining some other potential projects, even showed signs of a personality:
Fr. Leahy also said new or refurbished structures like a student center, faculty and graduate student housing, a humanities building - built on the present site of Carney Hall - and a bridge over Commonwealth Avenue connecting the Main and Brighton campuses, among other initiatives, would be another important component of BC's long-term plans. To illustrate this part of the talk, Fr. Leahy showed photos of existing campus sites including computer-generated images of the proposed structures.

"If you would like your name on this," Fr. Leahy quipped as the image of the humanities building flashed on the screen, "see me afterwards."

Father Leahy also pointed out several causes for concern:

  • While BC's endowment has risen to $1.32 billion, it is low compared to BC's competitors;
  • Despite the growth in private gift support, the percentage of alumni who give money annually - about 25 percent, putting BC in the "upper middle" of US colleges - has not changed over the past decade; and
  • Recent fundraising campaigns at many of BC's competitor and peer schools have had considerably higher dollar goals than those previously undertaken by the University.
Want to do something about these concerns? Make a gift. Even a modest gift can make a difference.
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Comments on "The "New" Boston College"


Anonymous AHL said ... (9/28/2005 02:03:00 PM) : 

I have made several "modest" gifts since I have graduated. And yes they do add up. FWIW, two of the heaviest-weighted measurements in USNews college rankings is alumni giving and endowement. We have made several strides in recent years with the Ever to Excel campaign and we need to build upon that.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/29/2005 04:43:00 PM) : 

Can someone explain why BC's alumni giving rate is only 25%?? Are 75% of BC grads really that unsatisfied with their time on the Heights ??


Blogger Mutryn's non-throwing arm said ... (10/29/2005 11:34:00 AM) : 

Bc is a private school, and an expensive one that. Alum that handed out anywhere from $100,000-140,000 for four years (or more!) seem happy with that "contribution". However, as the poster above said, small gifts actually mean a lot in the grand scheme of things. I hate to point this out, but Notre Dame, also a smallish, Catholic school, just as expensive, has an alumni giving rate of close to 45%, one of the highest in the country. It doesn't mean every donation is $500,000. But many percieve this as such. Outsiders look at it as a measure of alligence to your alma mater, and success post-graduation, something USNews & World Report factors into their rankings. USC is another excellent example. USC is a good school academically, but their donations are so high, they can easily skip schools above then come ratings time.


Blogger BC Eagle said ... (10/29/2005 11:40:00 AM) : 

I agree with everything you said. It is just strange that BC's giving rate is so low, considering most of the people I went to school with, and other alums that I have met, are so proud of the place. The explanation that I can think of is that years ago, Boston College did a very poor job of tracking alumni and that getting them to donate today is a matter of poor communication.


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