During Wednesday night’s Fish Field House alumni celebration, Boston College Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond announced a five-year, $150 million capital campaign—a financial plan designed to foster student-athlete development, strengthen competitive excellence, increase external engagement, and improve facilities around campus.
The athletics campaign is the first of its kind in BC history and the largest of any ACC school, per BC Athletics. Jarmond has officially named the project “Greater Heights: The Campaign for Boston College Athletics.
“Our time is now,” the second-year AD told BCEagles.com. “If we want to take BC Athletics to even greater heights, then we need to build on the current energy and momentum and get the buy-in of our alumni, parents, former athletes, and corporate partners to support our efforts.”
Just two years ago, Jarmond’s predecessor, Brad Bates, got the ball rolling by lobbying for a $200 million investment that would ultimately lead to the creation of the Harrington Athletics Village, the Fish Field House, and the Connell Recreation Center, as well as surrounding intramural fields.
Over the course of the past academic year, BC has expanded its alcohol sales in both Alumni Stadium and Conte Forum, developed a ridesharing partnership with Lyft, renovated the ice hockey, women’s soccer, and field hockey locker rooms, and even installed a student-athlete fueling station. Jarmond has focused on the little things too, like putting the names on the back of the football jerseys, upgrading team apparel, stitching together promotional videos, and offering original game day giveaways. Despite the progress, he doesn’t plan on pumping the brakes anytime soon.
“We can’t succeed by resting on our laurels,” Jarmond said. “We need to consistently look for ways to make BC attractive to student-athletes, coaches, and fans, so we can achieve competitive excellence.”
The 37-year-old is already halfway there. Since being hired, football has posted a 10-7 record, cracked the AP Poll for the first time in 10 years, and emerged as an ACC contender. Men’s basketball engineered its first winning season since 2010-11, reaching the quarterfinals of the conference tournament and earning an NIT berth for the first time in seven years. The major revenue sports weren’t the only ones enjoying success.
Despite failing to make the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight year, men’s hockey’s youthful self overachieved by many standards, capturing another Hockey East regular season title. And although the women’s team fell short of the Frozen Four, head coach Katie Crowley’s team still recorded a 30-win season and its second-consecutive Beanpot Championship without three Olympians. Factor in lacrosse’s National Championship run, and you have one of the most action-packed years in recent BC sports history.
The capital campaign is lined with high-ranking goals for all of BC’s 31 varsity teams, specifically targeting recruiting and player development. Whatever it takes, Jarmond wants his programs—namely football and men’s basketball—to make a home for themselves inside the polls. In his eyes, part of that process requires renovations. On the Greater Heights website, it’s mentioned that BC plans to upgrade the training and practice facilities inside Conte Forum and Power Gym. Not only that, but the school also wants to renovate the rest of its Olympic sports’ locker rooms and install indoor support facilities for baseball and softball—including batting tunnels, locker rooms, and team lounges—at the newly built Harrington Athletics Village.
Jarmond also emphasized the off-the-field component of the five-year plan. BC wishes to maintain its status as one of the ACC’s top-three finishers in NCAA academic performance metrics, all while bettering its resources. Currently, BC has the smallest academic support staff of any school in the ACC. The department’s hope is that donations to the Office of Student-Athlete Academic Support will set the stage for elevated academic standing.
“Our number one priority and focus is to develop our student-athletes holistically so they can reach their full potential as students, athletes, people, and leaders,” Jarmond said. “This is what makes us different.”
Jarmond wrapped up his announcement by stressing the importance of the gameday experience, something that he’s worked on since the minute he arrived on campus. Hinting at a larger social media presence, the energetic AD made it clear that he wants to do everything he can to make it easier for BC fans to be engaged.
The capital campaign is necessary for BC to keep up with the biggest and best schools in the ACC and, according to Vice President for Development Beth McDermott, it upholds to the institution’s Jesuit values.
“Greater Heights underscores the fact that to be a BC student-athlete, you must perform at the highest levels—athletically and academically,” she told BCEagles.com. “The campaign calls on us to support these young people fully, whenever and wherever they compete, and as they prepare for life beyond Boston College. To do anything less would not be who we are, and it would not be true to BC.”
Featured Image by Bradley Smart / Heights Editor