Agape is a Greek word for love that asks for nothing in return, according to Eileen Corkery, assistant director of programming at BC’s Church in the 21st Century (C21) Center. The spirit of agape is driving C21 and Campus Ministry’s “Spread the Love” Valentine’s campaign, she said.
“Just allowing students to spread love to other people in their lives—not just romantic partners, but also friends, roommates, professors, anyone that they just want to share love [with], send a note to, that’s kind of what we’re encouraging,” Corkery said.
Through the campaign, students can stop by a table at the Chocolate Bar to fill out valentines from now until Valentine’s Day, Corkery said.
“We have valentines all set up there, Sharpies, anyone can write out a Valentine’s Day card and then address it in the envelope,” she explained. “We have a big mailbox there, and we’ll send it to anyone on campus for you.”
According to Corkery, the “Spread the Love” campaign is sponsored by Agape Latte, a student coffeehouse series centered on faith-oriented storytelling, hosted by C21 and Campus Ministry.
“Once a month we invite a professor, University staff member, [or] alum to come share a story of faith, a time when their faith helped them make an important decision that shaped their life or changed the way they looked at something,” Corkery said.
Corkery, who is also the program director for Agape Latte, said its mission is to spread unconditional love to others and to bring God’s love to students.
“[Agape is] just a love that’s all encompassing, unconditional, and it’s essentially God’s love for us,” Corkery said.
Agape Latte sponsored campaigns similar to “Spread the Love” before the COVID-19 pandemic, Corkery said, but C21 is excited to bring the initiative back to campus.
“We really wanted to bring this back to life [on] campus, and I think it was a success so far,” Corkery said. “We’re really looking forward to just kind of bringing the agape spirit and infusing it into campus.”
Thomas Pauloz, marketing intern for C21 and CSOM ’24, said that while many students only know Agape Latte for its speaker events, it is actually an international movement to spread the love of God.
“It’s not just a speaker series—it’s a message,” Pauloz said. “It’s a movement on college campuses and high schools as well, and the ‘Spread the Love’ campaign is an embodiment of that broader message.”
Corkery said the campaign has been popular so far and that the team recently ordered an additional 500 valentines after the first 700 were filled out.
“We’ve had a huge response to it so far,” Corkery said. “We emptied out the mailbox earlier today, just to do a first wave of mailings across campus, and so many, so many, so many letters.”
According to Pauloz, this positive engagement is representative of the Agape message and what it aims to achieve.
“It’s just those kind of little sparks of joy—those moments of unexpected kindness, just that one little opportunity to smile—that Agape is all about,” Pauloz said.