Kathleen McGillycuddy will step down as chair of the Council for Women of Boston College (CWBC) this spring after serving in the role since the organization’s inception 20 years ago.
“It’s been a labor of love,” McGillycuddy said. “It’s probably one of the things I’ve done in my life I’m most proud of, because we started with absolutely nothing. We went from [nothing] to where we are today, and it’s something I am immensely proud of.”
Current CWBC vice chairs Patricia Bonan, BC ’79, and Elizabeth Vanderslice, BC ’86, will become CWBC co-chairs effective this spring.
“[The transition] was really natural,” Vanderslice said. “We’ve been working so intimately together, and Kathleen is so diligent, so it was just all the runtime that we had working together, it just seemed like a very natural, orderly succession.”
Founded in 2002, CWBC is a community of BC alumni that provides networking resources, social events, professional advice, and more for the women of BC.
“I now capture our mission as advancing the women of Boston College both on and beyond the BC campus,” McGillycuddy said. “My role has always been to keep that vision focused … and to create a good leadership team.”
As CWBC’s incoming co-chair, Vanderslice said the organization will seek to place a larger emphasis on diversity when recruiting new members as part of its new strategic planning initiative.
“One of our [strategic priorities] this year is to attract and engage the next generation of diverse CWBC members,” Vanderslice said.
Much of CWBC’s success can be attributed to its volunteers, McGillycuddy said.
“We have always had tremendous support from the University in terms of administrative support and a budget that we can plan our events [with] that are targeted towards advancing the women of Boston College,” McGillycuddy said. “But, it has fundamentally been an army of volunteers who do the work.”
According to McGillycuddy, CWBC’s dedication to serving the BC community has produced amazing outcomes for young women in all aspects of their lives.
“The unbelievable interpersonal relationships that women have developed because of this group is just stunning,” McGillycuddy said. “The byproduct of working together in a common cause for the benefit of BC women anc BC students, and then along the way, making some wonderful friends and building some wonderful relationships has been beautiful.”
Bonan also emphasized the importance of CWBC connecting with students in any way it can.
“We have put on numerous programs for alumni and for students that deal with everything from career to spirituality,” said Bonan. “We’ve done a significant number of initiative events and have really reached out and I think connected with a lot of alumni … one of our key priorities this year is really to engage more with students.”
Beyond CWBC’s ample opportunities and resources for undergraduate students, its vast alumni network provides ongoing support for the women of BC, according to Bonan.
“What an outstanding group of alumni we have,” said Bonan. “You keep finding these women who are such leaders and so dynamic, and it’s just really a thrill to connect with them … the opportunity to tap into this phenomenal group of women is just really terrific, and the sooner you join them, the more opportunities you’ll have.”
Though she is stepping down as chair, McGillycuddy said she will continue to work closely with CWBC and is excited to see what lies ahead.
“It has been probably one of the most rewarding things I have ever done with my life, that when we ask someone to take on a role of leading a committee … we get such enthusiastic responses and women who are just eager and anxious to play a leadership role,” McGillycuddy said.