Boston College


May, 2014

Dear Members of the Boston College Community:

The 2013-2014 academic year will soon come to an end, and I write to provide an update on Boston College. I want to focus on personnel changes, facilities plans, and the most recent developments in finances, academics, and fundraising.


Dr. David Quigley, former dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, will become provost and dean of faculties on June 1, succeeding Dr. Joseph Quinn, who has served with wit and effectiveness as interim provost since last summer. Dr. Quigley has been deeply involved at Boston College since he arrived as an assistant professor of history in 1998. A dedicated teacher and scholar, he has also been director of the Institute for the Liberal Arts and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. I look forward to working with him to enhance academic quality, faculty teaching and scholarship, and student life at BC. Father Greg Kalscheur, currently senior associate dean of A&S, has been appointed interim dean. A member of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, he earned degrees from Georgetown University, the University of Michigan, Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and Columbia University, and joined the faculty of the Boston College Law School in 2003.

Leo Sullivan, longtime vice president for human resources and widely known and respected on campus, will become senior advisor to the president this summer following the arrival of his successor. I so appreciate all Leo has done for Boston College and am pleased that I will continue to have the benefit of his wisdom and experience. Dr. Patrick Keating, executive vice president, is leading the search for our next head of human resources.

In addition, Dr. Paul Chebator will be retiring as dean of students in mid-summer after 34 years of generous service. The process of selecting his replacement has been underway since earlier this year, and an appointment should be made in the next month.


To increase campus housing for undergraduates, the University will begin construction next month of a 490-bed residence hall at 2150 Commonwealth Avenue, the site of the former More Hall. This project should be completed in summer, 2016. Renovation of St. Mary’s Hall began in January, 2013, and when completed this December, St. Mary’s again will be the main residence for Jesuits at BC and also the home of the Woods College of Advancing Studies as well as the departments of Computer Science and Communication.

In addition, the University has begun planning to turn the University-owned apartment building at 2000 Commonwealth Avenue into an undergraduate residence hall, develop fields for baseball, softball and intramurals on the Brighton Campus, and remodel 2101 Commonwealth Avenue (the former residence of the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston) into the new home of the McMullen Museum of Art. Conceptual design work has also begun on a new student recreation building to be located where Edmonds Hall stands today.


In March, the Board of Trustees set tuition for the 2014-2015 academic year at $46,670, as part of an overall 3.6 percent increase in tuition, room, board and fees. The Board also approved expanding need-based financial aid for undergraduates by 6.7 percent to $103.5 million, and overall student aid to $163 million. Boston College remains one of only 21 private universities that is need-blind and also meets the full demonstrated need of all students. We want to continue making it possible for talented students from families with limited resources to enroll in and graduate from Boston College, a commitment that is a growing challenge and requires additional fundraising efforts for financial aid and related endowment.


This year, the Office of Undergraduate Admission received 23,200 applications and has been engaged for months in reviewing files and reaching decisions on students to be admitted to the Class of 2018. The quality of those applying increased again this year, and Boston College is fortunate that so many talented high school seniors want to be part of our campus community.

Once again our faculty and students have been recognized for academic achievements, and here are some notable examples:

  • History Professor and Department Chair Robin Fleming was awarded a prestigious 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, the first for a BC faculty member.
  • McIntyre Professor of Mathematics and Department Chair Solomon Friedberg was named a fellow of the American Mathematical Society, and Mathematics Assistant Professor Maksym Fedorchuk received a Sloan Research Fellowship, awarded to “rising star” early-career scientists and scholars.
  • Psychology Assistant Professor Alexa Veenema, Mathematics Assistant Professor Dawei Chen and Carroll School of Management Associate Professor Sam Ransbotham earned five-year National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Awards, NSF’s top honor for junior faculty.
  • Lynch School of Education Assistant Professor David Miele and Political Science Assistant Professor Jennifer Erickson were named Sesquicentennial Challenge chairs, endowed positions that are part of a new initiative to support junior faculty.
  • Biology Professor Peter Clote and English Professor Kevin Ohi received 2013 Guggenheim Foundation fellowships, awarded to professionals who demonstrate exceptional capacity for scholarship.
  • Chemistry Professor Udayan Mohanty was named a fellow of Britain’s Royal Society of Chemistry for outstanding career accomplishments. 
  • Vanderslice Millennium Professor of Chemistry Amir Hoveyda received the 2014 American Chemical Society Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry.
  • Sullivan Artist-in-Residence Seamus Connolly, director of BC’s Irish music programs, was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts as a National Heritage Fellow, the nation's highest honor in folk and traditional arts.
  • History Associate Professor Martin A. Summers was named a 2013-14 fellow at the National Humanities Center, joining 35 other distinguished scholars. 
  • Sophomore and Presidential Scholar Claudio Quintana was named to the highly selective .406 Ventures Student Fellows Program for successful student entrepreneurs from the nation’s top universities.
  • Junior biology major Matthew Evans won a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship for his work in the sciences, the fourth such honor for a BC student in the past five years.   
  • Senior Narintohn Luangrath won a Truman Scholarship for demonstrated leadership potential, and an undergraduate research award from the Forum on Education Abroad.
  • Senior and Presidential Scholar Joseph Manning was awarded a Udall Scholarship for his commitment to pursue a career in environmental service.  
  • Seniors Kelsey Maher and Mark Soo were awarded undergraduate research fellowships by the American Society for Microbiology, awarded to 37 US undergraduates.
  • In 2013, 19 undergraduate students received Fulbright Awards, placing Boston College 12th among American research universities.



The University’s Light the World Campaign will pass the $1.2 billion mark by the end of this fiscal year toward its goal of $1.5 billion. Commitments to this fundraising effort have been critical to the development of academic initiatives and much-needed campus facilities such as Stokes Hall, the Cadigan Alumni Center and Stayer Hall. To remain a strong, top-tier institution of higher education faithful to its intellectual and religious heritage, Boston College more than ever needs the generosity, loyalty, and commitment of its alumni, parents, and friends. Once again I ask for your engagement and support so that future generations can have the benefit of an education at “the Heights” and strive to make our world a better place.

Boston College began in 1863 as a small, all-male, liberal arts college, and in the decades since it has evolved into a complex university enrolling more than 14,000 students. But it remains animated and inspired by its Jesuit, Catholic roots, the goals of liberal arts education, and an abiding commitment to intellectual excellence. I am confident that our best days lie ahead, and I also believe that we possess the vision, commitment, and decisiveness needed to live up to the motto that our founders chose more than a century ago, “Ever to Excel.”

William P. Leahy, SJ