Celebrating Milestones In Women's History
Published: Monday, March 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2013 00:03
There are fewer than three weeks of classes this month at Boston College, but there are many opportunities to engage in the rich past and promising future of female students in honor of Women’s History Month. At BC, however, this is the first year that the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is organizing an official celebration of Women’s History Month.
Franca Godenzi, one of the co-directors of the Month and A&S ’13, explained how this year is the 40th anniversary of the WRC, making it the perfect time to begin planning a more focused celebration. "And we also thought that since it’s the sesquicentennial of Boston College, that it was a really appropriate time to celebrate the history of women at Boston College," she said.
The WRC has partnered with the Council for Women of Boston College (CWBC) in terms of publicity for the events, and the CWBC is also celebrating a milestone in its history—this year marks the 10th anniversary of the organization. CWBC strives to reach out to BC alumnae and increase their influence and participation in the University, and to establish meaningful relationships as well as leadership roles for female graduates.
Both the WRC and the CWBC have come a long way since they were first established, taking active steps to further the progress of women during their undergraduate and graduate experiences.
"I always say that the Council started as a clean sheet," said Kathleen McGillycuddy, chair of the CWBC and the Board of Trustees. What started as a small group of about six women who wished to form a leadership organization that reaches out to alumnae and students has grown to include over 140 alumnae who are connected with the University. In addition, there are close to 800 women who have associate membership, which is open to all alumnae and is designed for women who want to participate in the Council but don’t have the ability to offer the time commitment of a full leadership member. The WRC has also grown in size and influence, beginning as a small group of volunteers and now being composed of a director, three graduate assistants, and eight undergraduate student staff members.
Encompassing the entirety of female history into one month is no easy task, so the WRC has decided to focus on the history of women at BC in order to narrow their focus and provide programs and events that are of particular interest to the students and faculty on campus.
"We really want to highlight the accomplishments of female alumni as well as female students at Boston College in order to show the contributions women have made to Boston College—academically, athletically, in terms of clubs—and then use that as an impetus to get current students to recognize their potential and to use that in order to realize their future goals and aspirations post-graduation," Godenzi said.
The kickoff event was last Tuesday, Mar. 12, which involved a keynote address by Grace Simmons, chief of staff and strategy of Chobani and BC ’05, followed by a documentary screening by the CWBC. Katie Dalton, director of the WRC, commented on the strong effectiveness of such presentations, and hopes to bring similar events to campus in the future.
"Certainly the Council [CWBC] has so many strong female alums, so we can put together some of the series where we are bringing in the council members to have an intimate conversation with our student leaders so they can continue to learn from that individual, but also have that individual learn more about what are the pertinent issues at BC now," she said.