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Light The World Combines Several Worthwhile Goals

'The Heights' Commends The University For Seeking To Reconnect Alumni With Boston College

Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 23:01

In 2008, Boston College began its Light the World campaign, the biggest fundraising campaign in the history of Jesuit, Catholic education. Now, in its sesquicentennial year, the University has reached the $1 billion mark of its $1.5 billion goal. This marks a great feat, especially considering the state of the economy when the campaign was begun. It is a testament to the commitment to BC, both on the part of the University and those who donated, that BC was able to generate such substantial support during a recession. These funds have been designated for the advancement of academic excellence, undergraduate financial aid, intercollegiate and intramural athletics, annual giving, new campus buildings, Jesuit, Catholic heritage, and student formation.

These goals were the result of strategic planning based on what trustees, faculty, and deans thought would be essential to the University’s development and improvement. In addition to fundraising, Light the World seeks to increase the amount of both alumni who leave legacy gifts, and volunteers for the University. In addition, the campaign hopes to raise the number of alumni who donate yearly to 40,000. These goals, which aim to strengthen alumni involvement with BC, are just as important as reaching the campaign’s financial goals.

By emphasizing that no gift is too small, Light the World appeals to a wide range of alumni, especially to recent graduates who may not have the ability to make a large donation. Having one-on-one conversations about which specific area, such as athletics or the College of Arts and Sciences, an alumna or alumnus is interested in supporting has also been instrumental in reaching the campaign’s goals.

Over 100,000 individuals and organizations have made donations to the Light the World fund so far, and organizers project that the number of alumni donating annually will surpass 35,000. These numbers are a testament to the campaign’s success in making BC a priority in its alumni’s lives.

The campaign hopes to provide volunteers with a meaningful experience, further cementing their bond with the University and encouraging them to continue serving it. Just as in providing financial support, alumni are encouraged to find an area they are interested in supporting and donating whatever time they can.

Current students have already seen Light the World funds at work in the construction of Stokes Hall and the creation of endowed professorships. Such projects show that alumni are invested not just in improving BC as an institution, but also in the success of each of its students. Students should be aware of the far-reaching and devoted network that BC alumni constitute. Not every college and university can boast such commitment, both financial and interpersonal, from its own graduates. Whether contributions take the form of an hour spent volunteering, a check written to the University, or a conversation with an undergraduate about career opportunities, BC’s alumni keep the school strong and ensure that future graduates have their own chance to light the world.

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