In the day

Published: October 2007

As Boston College approaches its 150th anniversary in 2013, it is reaching out to its extended community. Last June “The Boston College Experience”—a program established by Boston College Magazine to gather oral history and memorabilia from alumni and faculty—was inaugurated with a public panel discussion among five members of the Golden Anniversary Class of ’57, selected by the class’s leadership. “We want to draw upon the experiences and lived wisdom of various graduates of Boston College,” said President William P. Leahy, SJ, in introducing the program.

@BC presents 10 minutes of highlights from the program, which took place on June 2 in Devlin 008. The moderator is Ben Birnbaum, editor of Boston College Magazine. Panelists’ profiles are presented below. The full program may be viewed at Front Row, for which a link is provided, at right, under “Related Links.”

Class of ’57 panelists at the June 2 inauguration of The Boston College Experience:

Norma (DeFeo) Cacciamani grew up in Somerville and, having majored in elementary education, became an elementary school teacher in the Newton public schools. For 36 years she was an administrative coordinator at Mount Auburn Hospital. She has been a choral singer since her Glee Club days, has traveled the world, and was “bounced” on the final question when she was a contestant on Jeopardy! in 1964.

William Cunningham grew up in West Roxbury. After receiving his degree in business administration, he served three years in the U.S. Navy. After working in sales for Burroughs and Small Systems, he started Dataware Products, a computer sales and service company, which he led until his retirement in 1998. He is a past president of the Alumni Association and is active in a variety of University and community activities.

Edward Miller grew up in Dorchester and, after a decorated career in the U.S. Marines, came to Boston College where he was a marketing major. A victim of the polio epidemic of 1955, he was appointed as the University’s athletic business manager and assistant to the athletic director following graduation. Two years later he became director of sports publicity and in 1974 he became director of University public relations. Now retired, he earned an MBA from the Carroll School and an Ed.D. from the Lynch School, and is the father of nine children, all of whom hold degrees from Boston College.

James Turley grew up in Dorchester and majored in English. After a stint in the Naval Air Force, he became a public school teacher. He holds several advanced degrees, including an Ed.D. from Boston University. For 33 years he was on the faculty of Rhode Island College where he served as a professor, dean, and assistant academic vice president. Turley spent part of his undergraduate career preparing for the priesthood at Catholic University, prior to attending Boston College.

John Wissler grew up in Floral Park, a suburb of New York City. He majored in marketing and also holds an MBA from the Carroll School. Following graduation he was on active duty for two years in the U.S. Army. From 1967 to 1998 he was the executive director of the University’s Alumni Association, a job he learned about while attending his 10th reunion. In the course of his career Wissler represented Boston College in his travels to each of the 50 states. He currently lives in New Hampshire.

This feature was posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 and is filed under Videos.
Writer: Daniel Soyer, Producer: Miles Benson