Families, friends, and the University community joined some 3,000 graduates in Alumni Stadium on May 19 for Boston College’s 132nd Commencement. The College of Arts & Sciences, Carroll School of Management, Connell School of Nursing, Lynch School of Education, and Woods College of Advancing Studies conferred a total of 1,403 bachelor of arts and 774 bachelor of science degrees. Sixty-nine doctorates and 839 master’s degrees and advanced education certificates were awarded. (These figures exclude 279 degrees awarded at the May 23 Law School Commencement.)
From a stage bedecked with flags of the 59 nations that are homes to this year’s graduates, Pulitzer Prize winning historian David McCullough exhorted students to “make love of learning central to your life,” to read, to travel, to “choose work you believe in,” and to “make a difference.” President William P. Leahy, SJ, urged students to be always intellectually curious. “If we are not people who wonder, if we never entertain what is new or different, we can easily become rigid,” he cautioned. “When that happens, the wounds of society and suffering of others will seldom enter our consciousness, and we will feel little urgency to question existing structures and viewpoints.”
Leahy conferred honorary degrees on McCullough and four others: Br. Celestino Arias ’90, a teacher, social service organizer, and advocate for the poor; Jennie Chin Hansen ’70, president-elect of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP); Anne Jones ’58, JD’61, a former member of the Federal Communications Commission; and William Neenan, SJ, University vice president and special assistant to the president, and former dean of faculties.