Column: Crowther Race Reminds Us Of BC Duty
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Last Saturday, I had the privilege of running in the eighth annual Welles Remy Crowther Red Bandana Run. The run, which is sponsored annually by the Boston College Service and Learning Center, is named in honor of Welles Crowther. For those who don’t know Crowther’s story, it is one of sacrifice and admirably exemplifies BC’s mantra of “men and women for others.” During the attacks of Sept. 11, the BC alumnus passed away in the flaming World Trade Center as he helped lead people to safety. The former Eagles lacrosse player’s heroics were realized by the symbolic red bandana he traditionally wore, as people came forward to recognize the man who saved them.
Since this Eagle’s great deed, people have come together to remember and appreciate Crowther’s life through an annual 5K. Hundreds attended the athletic event and wore red bandanas in honor of the man who gave his life for others.
Included in this group were a number of BC athletic teams. The baseball, softball, field hockey, track, women’s lacrosse, and men’s club lacrosse teams, along with some coaches, all made a consolidated effort to respect the life of Crowther and all that he stood for on the day of the attacks by either working at the race or running it themselves.
For those athletes, Crowther represents a model for how they want to act in their lives.
“BC athletes, we all share an inner Eagle that we all relate to each other,” said Maria Pandolfo of the softball team to BC Athletics. “The fact that one of us did something like that makes us proud. The fact that people went around saying this BC athlete did this kind of thing is just a sense of pride for him and our BC family.”
It is things like this that makes BC athletics great. While winning championships and setting school records is certainly a goal of all teams, building a community is the most important part. It all starts with the coaches, who assure that their players are not only working hard in practice and games but also in the classroom and out in the community.
Last week, Ohio State’s Cardale Jones, a third-string quarterback, tweeted, “Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain’t come to play SCHOOL classes are POINTLESS.” Sure, student athletes typically attend the school that they do for the sport. BC stands for something more, however. It expects its athletes to take their academics seriously. It pushes them to take an active role in the community. It gives them the tools to be men and women for others, just like Crowther did on Sept. 11. BC athletes cannot be defined simply by the sports they play.
Watching the sea of red bandanas unite on Linden Lane for the start of the race, I was reminded of BC’s expectations for its student body. Crowther has been recognized as the truest form of a modern day hero, and while his passing is tragic, we should also make sure to look at what his sacrifice says about his character. He put the lives of others ahead of his own, and acted as a model for how we should live daily. He is a testament to his parents, family, coaches, teachers, and the ideals set forth by BC. Thank you, Welles, for bringing us together in your name, and reminding us of what we are called to do as members of this University.