Parents Get A Taste Of The BC Life
Published: Sunday, September 30, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Chilly rain couldn’t dampen spirits on campus as families descended upon Chestnut Hill Friday afternoon for Boston College’s annual Parents’ Weekend.
For families, the weekend enabled them to gain a deeper understanding of their children’s education, while catching up with them after a month or more away from home. For the University, the weekend offered an opportunity to showcase its best self to those whom University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J. referred to in his parents’ address on Friday as “our most important benefactors,” not with regard to donations, but “because you entrust us with your children.”
Opportunities abounded for parents to learn more about their son or daughter’s college experience throughout the weekend. Many parents took advantage of the chance to attend classes, and the deans of each undergraduate school, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Academic Advising Center all offered open houses for parents interested in these on-campus resources.
At his annual president’s address in Robsham Theater Friday afternoon, Leahy presented a detailed examination of BC’s past and future, tracing its history from the philosophy of St. Ignatius of Loyola and offering insight into promising developments, such as Stokes Hall, to come. In addition, Leahy emphasized the seminal nature of this year for the BC community. As part of the University’s sesquicentennial year, this Parents’ Weekend was meant to be a particularly reflective one, he said.
“[Parent’s Weekend] gives us an opportunity to reflect on who are we, where do we come from, and where are we going,” Leahy said.
Parents’ Weekend celebrated another anniversary this year, with the 20th annual “Pops on the Heights” concert. The sold-out concert raised more than $3 million to benefit the Pops Scholars, an organization dedicated to financing high-achieving students’ BC education.
In addition, the annual concert was renamed the James and Barbara Cleary Scholarship Gala this year, in honor of longtime trustee and founder of the concert James F. Cleary, BC ’50, who passed away in February. Throughout his time as a trustee, Cleary served as chairman of the annual concert. In its 20 years of existence, the “Pops on the Heights” concert has raised more than $19 million in financial aid assistance.
This year, the concert featured performances by the Boston Pops and the University Chorale, as well as actor, philanthropist, and big band leader Harry Connick, Jr., who was joined on stage by noted saxophonist Branford Marsalis.
Notwithstanding the variety of activities, many families seemed most excited simply to spend time together.
“Since I am from Oklahoma, it was great getting to see my parents and siblings because they won’t be able to make it up here very often,” said Margo Borders, A&S ’16. “I loved getting to show my parents around campus!”
Saturday marked another beloved Parents’ Weekend tradition: the football game. Despite a disappointing 45-31 loss to Clemson University, the stands remained fuller than usual as both parents and students cheered the Eagles on, with many students forgoing their usual places in the student section to spend time with family across the stadium.
The weekend ended on a reflective note with the family liturgy. With all denominations welcomed, and held in Conte Forum to accommodate the crowd, the mass offered a final opportunity for BC families to gather and celebrate together.
As Leahy noted in his address, the goal of liberal arts education, as interpreted by BC, is to “help people become more free and more whole,” just as the Jesuit philosophy is to “educate the whole person.” Parents got just a taste of that education this weekend.