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From the Beginnings 
to 1990 

\U iM' IL' i!;|ILimi rp 

Charles R Donovan, SJ. ;;^ 
David R. Dimiean, SJ. fe 

■^■5 Hit 



i ip Bi'K i ijmj'M I II jn 

History of 
Boston College 


A small community of Jesuits, with faith 
in God and purposefulness strengthened by 
Ignatian discipline and ideals, founded a 
college for young men of the Boston area 
in 1863. The story of that institution, 
Boston College, is one of early courage 
followed by generations of unstinting dedi- 
cation and sheer hard work. The school's 
history up through the Second World War 
was admirably recounted by David R. Dun- 
igan, S.J., in 1947. In the intervening de- 
cades, Boston College has become a major 
national university by virtue of its remark- 
able growth and diversification. 

In this volume, Charles F. Donovan, S.J., 
and Paul A. FitzGerald, S.J., continue the 
story from 1947 and offer a thoughtful and 
appreciative — but always balanced — ac- 
count of Boston College's advance to its 
present position of eminence. Dunigan's 
work, edited and richly illustrated, has 
been included in this volume. The authors 
know their subject well, and their writing 
will at once stir alumni memories and of- 
fer a considerable resource to professionals 
studying American higher education. 

The Boston College story is one of sharing. 
It manifests the generous sacrifices of 
families, the determined commitment of 
faculty, the gratitude of alumni, and the 
constant loyalty of friends. It evidences, 
too, the vital dynamics of faith, intellect, 
ethnic pride, social change, and confidence 
born of maturation. Setting this inspiring 
and instructive story against a rapidly 
changing national background, the authors 
capture not only the facts of Boston Col- 
lege's past but also the unique quality — 
the spirit— that has sustained and nurtured 
it during periods of both difficulty and op- 
portunity. This history tells two American 
success stories: the rise to national promi- 
nence and prestige of an immigrant minor- 
ity group, and the evolution of their tiny 
college into a flourishing university. 

photograph by Gary Gilbert 

Jacket Design by Carmela M. Ciampa 




History of Boston College 

From the Beginnings to 1990 

Charles F. Donovan, SJ. 
David R. Dunigan, SJ. 
Paul A. FitzGerald, SJ. 

Chestnut HilL Massachusetts 



This book was designed by Mark T. Fowler 

of Concord, Massachusetts. The text typeface 

is Sabon, with Goudy Old Style and Optima used for special 

matter. Coghill Composition Company of Richmond, 

Virginia, was the typesetter. The dust jacket 

and the four-color insert were printed by New 

England Book Components of Hingham, Massachusetts. 

The text printer and binder was Hamilton Printing 

Company of Rensselaer, New York. 

Copyright © 1990 by the Trustees of Boston College. 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication 
may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by 
any means without permission in writing from the 
Trustees of Boston College. 

Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 90-070471 

ISBN 0-9625934-0-0 

Printed in the United States of America. 

To Saint Ignatius of Loyola, 1491—1556, in 
the 450th year of the Society he founded. 

Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive 

in 2010 witin funding from 

Boston Library Consortium IVIember Libraries 



In 1947 Father David Dunigan published A History of Boston College. It 
was a well-researched volume that, regrettably, has been out of print for 
thirty years. When Father Paul FitzGerald, university archivist, and I agreed 
to cooperate in writing an updated account, we felt that there was no need 
to rewrite the history from the beginning through World War II. We did 
not decide then whether the Dunigan text should be edited, abridged, or 
kept intact; rather, we proceeded to write the history of the postwar period. 
Father FitzGerald's untimely death in 1987 left to me, with the advice of 
my editor, the decision about Father Dunigan's text. In brief, parts of it 
have been abridged and some connections with later text have been added. 
Also, extensive research at the Boston College Archives in Burns Library 
yielded a large amount of illustrative material which has been added to his 
part of the history. 

Joint authorship with Father FitzGerald was both congenial and reassur- 
ing. A historian by profession, he had just published an elegant piece of 
research on higher education. The Governance of Jesuit Colleges in the 
United States, 1920—1970, which gave him a broad perspective on the 
recent history of Boston College. Our text was well advanced when Father 
FitzGerald died. Unfortunately he did not share in its completion and final 

Writing an account of recent and current events presents both hazards 
and limitations. When American historian William Prescott, famed for 
such books as Ferdinand and Isabella and Philip II of Spain, was asked 
shortly after the conclusion of the Mexican War why he did not undertake 
a biography of General Winfield Scott, he answered, "I had rather not 
meddle with heroes who have not been underground two centuries at 
least." And in 1936 when Boston's beloved historian Samuel Eliot Morison 
reached the twentieth century in his history of Harvard, he wrote: "It will 
be best to consider the rest of this book as a personal impression, subject 
to correction in fact, and to revision as perspective lengthens." 

Happily many of the heroes and heroines of the latter part of this history 
still bestride the Boston College campus, and none is long departed. So it 
was with a lively awareness of Prescott's and Morison's reservations that 
Father FitzGerald and I — both participants in the events we undertook to 

viii Preface 

record — wrote our history, hoping that most factual matters reported are 
correct, but realizing that judgments and evaluations offered are necessarily 


On behalf of the co-authors I thank, first, Father Joseph Duffy, secretary of 
the university, who assumed responsibility for guiding this history from 
manuscript to book form. Not the least of his contributions was to gain 
for the publication project the wise counsel of a veteran publisher, John T. 
Harney ('56). Eugene Bailey has been a meticulous and perceptive editor. 
The magnitude of his contribution only the author knows. 

My secretary. Rose DeMaio, was a cheerful assistant in the research 
prior to writing and typist of all of Father FitzGerald's and my manuscripts 
as well as revisions of the entire history from Father McElroy to Father 
Monan. I am indebted to the Boston College Archives, especially to 
assistant archivist Aimee Felker for her provision of many of the images 
that enrich the text. Gary Gilbert, university photographer, provided re- 
productions of most of those images. 

Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts Charles F. Donovan, S.J. 

About the Authors 

Charles F. Donovan, S.J. (Boston College Class of 
1933), was founding dean of the School of Education. 
From 1961 to 1968 he served as academic vice president, 
then became senior vice president and dean of faculties. 
Since 1979 he has been university historian. In addition 
to co-authoring this formal history of Boston College, 
he has written a series of essays, "Occasional Papers in 
the History of Boston College." 

David R. Dunigan, S.J., was chairman of the Education 
Department at Boston College from 1939 to 1948. In 
1947 he published A History of Boston College, which 
has been substantially incorporated into the new History 
of Boston College: From the Beginnings to 1990. From 
1950 to his death in 1961 Father Dunigan was director 
of counseling and professor of education at the College 
of the Holy Cross. 

Paul A. FitzGerald, S.J., was dean of the Graduate School 
of Arts and Sciences and a member of the History 
Department from 1956 to 1961. After several assign- 
ments elsewhere and some further years with the History 
Department, he became secretary of the university. He 
was university archivist at the time of his death in 1987. 



Background for a 

Catholic College in Boston i 

Catholics in the Early Days 2 

Mr. McElroy Becomes a Jesuit 4 


The Struggle for Land 7 

The Issue Revisited 7 

The Jesuits Come to Boston 9 

Purchase of the Jail Land 10 

Intolerance Forces a Withdrawal 12 

A Site in the New South End 15 


Walls and a Roof 19 

Work Begins 20 

New Expenses 22 

Friends and Finance 24 


;hapter I 

Tlie College Is Chartered 27 

A Petition to the Legislature 28 

Meeting to Organize 29 

The First President 32 

Empty Halls 34 

The Problem of Funds 35 

The First Fair 36 

xii Contents 

Twenty-Two Pioneers 40 

The College Is Opened 42 

The Initial Exhibition 45 

Consolidating a Gain 50 

A Growing Student Body 52 

Boston College Life in the 1860s 53 

Another Fair 55 



The Letter of the Law 59 

Rules and Regulations 59 

The Appointment of a Successor 62 

Father Bapst Leaves Boston College 63 

The College as Beginners Knew It 65 


Prefect to President 68 

With Fife and Drum 69 

A Program of Enlargement 72 

Administrative Matters 73 

First Graduates 74 

The Boy from Lowell 75 

Father Fulton Leaves Office 77 

Recognition of Achievement 78 

The College in the 1880s 82 

The Stylus 82 

Athletics Come of Age 85 

Father Boursaud 86 

The Alumni Organize 88 

Changes of Command 88 

The Return of Father Fulton 89 

Contents xiii 

Further Expansion 92 

Academic Separation of the Secondary School 

and the College 92 

Father Fulton's Farewell 93 


Growing Is Done Slowly 97 

Father Brosnahan Takes Charge 99 

Gentlemen of the Opposition 100 

The Sports Field Mirage 101 



Conflict and Adjustments 105 

A Program for Improvement 105 

A Question of Accrediting 107 

Experimentation and Adjustment 109 



Brave Vision 113 

A New Site Is Considered 115 

The Chestnut Hill Location 1 1 6 

The Drive for Funds 118 

Designs and Plans 119 

The Irish Hall of Fame 123 


The Towers on the Heights 125 

Sacrifices, Delays, Disappointments 125 

An Aduh Education Program 127 

The Day Approaches 128 

Open for Class 128 

One Task Completed, Another Begun 130 



The Pre-World'War I Era 135 

Progress on the Faculty House 135 
The Philomatheia Club 136 

xiv Contents 

Maroon Goal Posts 138 
St. Mary's Hall 139 


Two Months in Khaki I4i 

First, the SATC 141 

Then, ROTC 143 


Boston College Will Be 

Big Enough ... 145 

Postwar Milestones 146 

An Appeal to the Alumni 147 

The Campaign of '21 148 



Gothic Newcomers 154 

New Quarters for the Sciences 155 

Construction of the Library 156 


The Many-Rooted Tree 


A Master's Program for Boston 


Higher Education for Religious Teachers 


Reorganization of the Graduate Division 


The Law School Inaugurated 


Intown Classes 


The School of Social Work 


The College of Business Administration 




Depression Decade 175 

Expanding St. Mary's, and the 

Cohasset Resthouse 175 

Father Gallagher Becomes Rector 176 

Alumni Field Stadium 178 

Contents xv 

The Thompson Collection 179 
Remembrances, Honors, Treasures 181 


An Expanded Campus 185 

Father McGarry's Short Tenure 185 
A New President, a New War 187 



ers with Schoolbooks 


The Draft 


The Army Proposes a Program 


Marching to Class 


Termination of the Army Program 


The War Fund and Adjustments 


Distinctions and Changes 




Postwar Adjustments 


Return of the Veterans 


The Need for Housmg 


Expansion of Classroom Space 


Accommodation with the City 


Helping the Veterans' Transition 


A Return to Normalcy 


Faculty Remuneration 


Kudos for the Faculty 


Other Mainstays 


The Feeney Case 




The College at 

Mid-Twentieth Century 217 

A Commitment to the Classics 218 

The Need for New Buildings 221 

The New School of Nursing 225 

xvi Contents 


Outline of a University 


A New Leader for New Times 


The New School of Education 


Estabhshing Graduate Programs 


The First Self-Study 


The Law School 


A Faculty Manual Evolves 


The ROTC in Action 


Reaching Out 


Extracurricular Activities 


Development of the Boston College Character 


Student Societies 




Growth and Change 

in the Fifties 247 

A Critical Mass of Faculty 247 

Construction of Dormitories 248 

Administrative Changes 253 

Professional Schools 255 

Intown College to the Heights 256 

A New Home for the School of Education 257 

The School of Nursing 259 

The Student Mood 260 


Postwar Athletics 262 

A Home for the Football Team 262 

An Expanded Stadium Plan 264 

The New Ice Hockey Rink 264 

Leaders of the Program 266 


Approaching the Centenary 270 

A Change of Name? 272 
A New Agenda 275 

Contents xvii 

A More Complex Governance 278 

An Enhanced Honors Program 280 

Women in Arts and Sciences 282 

Funding from Outside 283 

A Changing Student Body 285 

ER 28 

The University at Age 

One Hundred 289 

A Time of Buildmg 289 

The Board of Regents 295 

A Self-Appraisal by Arts and Sciences 295 

Butterfield's Recommendations 299 

Honor Societies: The Long Road to Omicron 301 

The American Association of 

University Women 304 

The Centennial Celebration 304 


Years of Accomplishment 3 1 1 

Contributions by the Academic Deans 312 

A Commitment to Academic Progress 315 

Student Protest: Civil Rights 317 

Student Protest: The Vietnam War 319 

Matching Societal Changes: New Regulations 321 

Participation in University Governance 322 

The Connection with Weston College 325 

The Downtown Club 328 

The Alumni Association 329 

Athletics in the Sixties 330 

Debating the Status of the Jesuit Community 332 

The End of the Walsh Era 332 


:hapter -_/>-/ 

A Restless Campus 337 

The National Context 337 

New Directions from a New President 338 

New Appointments 340 

The Theology Requirement: An Issue 342 

xviii Contents 

The Students' Desire for a Greater Role 343 

The Mary Daly Controversy 345 

A New Dean for Arts and Sciences 346 

The End of ROTC 347 

Extending a Hand to Blacks 350 

Other Public Issues 354 



"The Strike" and 

Other Protests 357 

The Tuition Trauma 


On to the Next Issue: Vietnam 


Coeducation and Women's Issues 


Military Recruitment 


Intrusion by The Heights 


Back to Normal 




Academic and Social 

Innovations 369 

The Committee on Liberal Education 370 

U.N.C.L.E.'s Report 372 

The New Core Curriculum 374 

Participating in Social Change: Pulse 375 

The Academic Calendar Revised 377 

Expanding the Doctoral Program 379 

Other Investments in Reputation 382 

The University Chaplain's Team 382 

Other Changes and Notes of Interest 384 


An Overview of 

the Joyce Era 388 

Renovation and Conversion 388 

Other Remedies for the Housing Crisis 389 

First Steps Toward a Recreation Complex 392 

Two Opinion Polls 393 

Administrative Changes 395 

Contents xix 

Genesis of the Priorities Committee 397 

Addressing the Fiscal Situation 398 

The Joyce Administration Draws to a Close 400 

A President Not a Rector 401 


The Man from New York 403 

changes in Governance 404 
Separate Incorporation of the 

Jesuit Community 


A Reconstituted Board 


The Commuter Center 


The Boston College Women's Center 


A Foothold for the Arts 


Military and CIA Recruitment 


The New Team 


Addressing Fiscal Matters 




Spectacular Progress 


"Jesuit Education at Boston College" 


The UAPC Report 


The Consolidation with Newton College 


The Implementation Task Force 


Decision: What to Newton? 


Interdisciplinary Programs 


Monan the Builder 


The New Library 


Renovation of Bapst 




A Mission Redefined 


A Vision of Purpose 


Financial Support of Alma Mater 


Financial Objectives 


Endowed Academic Chairs 


New Appointments 


Celebrating the Bicentennial 


A Home for the Performing Arts 


The Irish Connection 


XX Contents 

The Pope's Visit, and Anniversaries 464 

New Opportunities and More Appointments 467 

Two More Controversies 469 


Progress in Athletics 




Increasing Women's Participation in Sports 


Football in the Flutie Era 


Men's Ice Hockey 


Men's Basketball 


Other Men's Varsity Sports 


Women's Varsity Sports 


Perspectives on Athletics 


Personal Notes 




A Mature University 488 

Kudos for Monan 488 

The School of Nursing 492 
The Carroll School (and Graduate School) 

of Management 494 

The School of Education 497 

The Graduate School of Social Work 500 

The College of Arts and Sciences 502 

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 504 

The Law School 507 

The Evening College 511 

Excellence in Publications 512 

The Black Community at Boston College 513 


Pointing to the Twenty-First 

Century 517 

Three Profiles in Excellence 518 

An Encouraging Survey 520 

A Night to Remember 522 

A Presidential Appointment 522 

Continuity and Change in the Administration 522 

Contents xxi 

Library Awards and Advances 


Professor of the Year 


Father Kolvenbach Helps Celebrate 
an Anniversary 


Significant Presidential Missions 


Plans for the Future 


Computer Progress 


The Council on Catholic and Jesuit Identity, 
and the Jesuit Institute 


Core Curriculum 


The "Campaign for Boston College" 


Epilogue 541 

The Evolution of 
Father Gasson's Dream: 
An Aerial Photographic Essay 543 


Founder and Presidents of Boston College 555 
Trustees of Boston College, December 1972 

through September 1990 555 
Honorary Degrees Awarded by Boston College, 

1952 through 1990 557 

Buildings Related to Boston College Operations 563 

Index 565 

Color Photographs: Campus Scenes in the 1980s 
Section I between pages 200 and 201 
Section II between pages 456 and 457 




Background for a 
Catholic College in Boston 

An adequate understanding of the movement to provide Catholic educa- 
tional facilities in Boston during the mid-nineteenth century requires some 
recognition of the attitudes toward Catholicism which prevailed at the 
time. In exploring the origin and early development of Boston College, it is 
important to keep in mind that this institution was planned and established 
by a religious group which, until a score of years before, held an insignifi- 
cant position in the social life of the United States. Almost overnight, this 
group became a numerically powerful body which the longer-established 
elements in the population regarded as a threat to their institutions and 
traditions. It must be remembered, too, that the increase in the number of 
Catholics in the late eighteen-forties was composed largely of people 
relegated to one of the lower rungs of the social scale by persecution and 
famine in their native land, which had deprived them of means, education, 
and even health. Lastly, it should be recalled that constant intolerance and 
discrimination were exercised against these immigrants in their new home 
because they professed the "Roman" religion — a faith little understood 
and much feared on the American seaboard. 

In the light of these conditions, it is not a matter of wonder why a 
Catholic college was not founded in Boston sooner, or why it was not 
founded as a university at once. On the contrary, it is amazing that it could 
be founded as soon as it was, and that, under the circumstances, it could 
ever survive to prosper as it has done. 

History of Boston College 

Catholics in the Early Days 

In the English colonies, Catholics never constituted a factor to be reckoned 
with. During the decade before the Revolution, in a total population of 
more than 2 million inhabitants,' only some 20,000, or less than 1 percent, 
were Catholics,^ and these were settled principally in Maryland and Penn- 
sylvania. At this period, Catholics were denied domicile in Boston and, if 
discovered there, were subject to many legal penalties. This condition 
endured until the adoption of the state constitution of Massachusetts in 
1780. This act removed many restrictions from Catholics, but an oath with 
an explicitly anti-Catholic clause was still required of all officeholders until 
Massachusetts amended its state constitution in 1822.^ In the meantime, 
the Catholic population was not growing in proportion with that of the 
rest of the country. As late as 1830, Catholics represented only about 2 
percent of the nation's people." 

Immigration, however, which had increased sporadically during the late 
1830s due to political and economic change in Germany, Scotland, and 
Ireland, became a deluge after the European famines of 1845-1847, and a 
large proportion of the incoming refugees were Catholic. Although Great 
Britain and the Continent felt the effects of a severe food shortage at this 
time, Ireland — unfortunately a single-crop country — suffered widespread 
starvation and utter destitution as a result of the potato blight which 
deprived it of food. Hundreds of thousands of Irish despaired that their 
country would ever survive this calamity and thought only of flight.^ Within 
the next 20 years, some 2.5 million Irish abandoned their native land.* 
During part of this period, the decade from 1846 to 1856, almost 130,000 
Irish entered Boston alone. ^ Since, as has been said, almost all of these 
newcomers were Catholics, one can understand the effect of this influx 
upon the religious sensibilities of Protestant Boston. Where before the 
existence of a few Catholics in the city could be ignored or met with calm 
disdain, now their presence in legion seemed to constitute a threat to 
everything the old-line "natives" held in esteem. 

It was true that this new element in the population could not be 
assimilated easily. It retained its own group consciousness; it did not share 
in or sympathize with the English-flavored culture of which Boston was so 
proud; it was desperately poor; and it had been deprived by persecution of 
education and the leisure which is needed for finesse, and so could not 
erect a social structure even remotely comparable in dignity with that of 
the natives. Thus the Irish — or Catholics, since the terms had come to be 
synonymous — were destined to become the laboring class, the domestic 
class, and to await — with more or less resignation — the day when the 
situation would be rectified by the forces of nature which seemed to enjoy 
marvelous properties in this "land of promise." 

The need for Boston's new immigrants to have their own Catholic schools 
was accentuated during the threescore years prior to the opening of Boston 

Background for a Catholic College in Boston 3 

College by the growing success of Horace Mann's drive to remove denom- 
inational religion from the Massachusetts schools. Mann did not intend, as 
Lord points out, to secularize education,** much less to paganize it, but the 
ultimate outcome — unforeseen and undesired — was to remove all but the 
most diluted religious influences from the public schools. What httle 
remained was, of course, Protestant; the Catholic position, when not 
ignored, was ridiculed and misrepresented in the common textbooks. 

The mounting tension between what was often a Catholic majority in 
pubhc school classrooms and a dominant Protestant minority culminated 
in 1859 in a series of incidents known as the Eliot School Controversy.** 
This disturbance centered about the severe corporal punishment inflicted 
by a teacher upon a Catholic pupil of the Eliot School in Boston because of 
the child's refusal, upon instruction from his parents, to recite the Protes- 
tant version of the Commandments. The case was carried into the courts 
where, in disregard of the evidence, it was settled in favor of the teacher. 
The dispute gained national notoriety, and the injustices which the case 
involved forced the Catholics of Boston to conclude that the immediate 
establishment of an adequate school system of their own was imperative. 
Meanwhile, there was ever present a need for an adequate supply of 
educated leaders, both in the clergy and in the laity, and to supply this. 
Bishop John Fitzpatrick was seeking means to establish in Boston a low- 
tuition college for day scholars. He little dreamed that the fulfillment of 
this desire was finally at hand in the person of a dynamic Jesuit priest, 
Father John McElroy. The future founder of Boston College was born in 
Brookeborough, near Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Province of Ulster, 
Northern Ireland, on May 14, 1782. During his long life span, roughly 
coinciding with the establishment and development of the United States 
and with the re-estabhshment and expansion of the Society of Jesus, he 
lived several careers.^" 

At the time of his birth the penal laws which prohibited Irish schoolmas- 
ters from teaching Catholics had not yet been completely removed in 
practice, hence the formal schooling he received was only of the most 
rudimentary sort. After leaving school he was employed on his father's 
farm until he reached the age of 21, when he embarked on a flax ship. 
Serpent, which sailed from Londonderry on June 25, 1803, and arrived in 
Baltimore August 26 after a voyage of 62 days. He hved in that city about 
a year with a younger brother who kept a drugstore, then moved to 
Georgetown where he worked as a clerk in a dry-goods store. It was during 
this period that he discovered his vocation for the religious state. He sought 
the advice of his spiritual director, Bishop Leonard Neale, then coadjutor 
to Archbishop Carroll and president of Georgetown College. Bishop Neale 
encouraged the young man, and undoubtedly counseled patience, for the 
bishop was aware that the suppressed Society of Jesus was on the verge of 
being re-established in the United States and would soon be in a position 
to accept candidates. 

4 History of Boston College 

Mr. McElroy Becomes a Jesuit 

Still surviving at that time in America were a small number of former 
Jesuits, among whom were Archbishop Carroll and Bishop Neale. Encour- 
aged by the informal re-estabhshment of the order in England, they 
petitioned that a similar favor be granted to the priests on the American 
mission. This request was granted by the Jesuit General in 1804. During 
the following year, six of the missionary priests working in this country 
elected to re-enter the Society, and Father Robert Molyneaux was ap- 
pointed superior. On October 10, 1806, nine novices destined to study for 
the priesthood and two lay-brother novices were received by the order and 
began their period of probation at Georgetown College. One of these 
scholastic novices was Benedict J. Fenwick, afterward bishop of Boston; 
one of the lay-brother novices was John McElroy. 

Some ten months previously, on January 14, McElroy had entered the 
employment of Georgetown College as a bookkeeper and buyer; now in 
his new status, his duties remained much the same. Many years later he 

I entered the Society as lay-brother, employed as clerk, procurator, treasurer, 
assistant cook, gardener, prefect, teacher of writing, arithmetic, etc. In these 
duties was I occupied during the two years of Novitiate, often making my 
meditation the best I could in going to market, etc." 

He remained at Georgetown as a lay brother for nine years. During the 
war with Great Britain, he witnessed the burning of Washington from the 
college windows. In 1815 Father Grassi, the Superior of the Mission, took 
the extraordinary step of applying to the Jesuit General, Father Brzozowski, 
for permission to have Brother McElroy change his "grade" to that of 
scholastic and start studying for the priesthood. The permission was 
granted, and on July 31, 1815, John McElroy, at the age of 33, commenced 
the study of Latin grammar and other preparatory subjects under the 
tutorage of Father Grassi. He still carried out his miscellany of duties. "I 
was promised time to study, it is true, but as yet it has not arrived. . . ."^^ 
On April 5, 1816, he received tonsure and minor orders from Archbishop 
Neale, and on May 28, 30, and 31, 1817, after an interval of only 22 
months from the inception of his studies, he was raised to major orders 
and the priesthood." His ordination was the last episcopal act performed 
by his friend and guide. Archbishop Neale; a little over two weeks later it 
became the new priest's melancholy duty to prepare the aged prelate for 

In the thirty years between his ordination and his eventual historic 
assignment in Boston, Father McElroy had a career that made him an 
imposing figure in the Church of the nineteenth century: as pastor and 
builder in Virginia and Washington, D.C.; as preacher and director of 
retreats; as theologian at the Fourth Provincial Council of Baltimore; and 

Background for a Catholic College in Boston 5 

Rev. John McElroy, SJ. (1 782-1877), founder of Boston College. 

6 History of Boston College 

as chaplain named by President Polk to serve the American forces in the 
Mexican War. In May 1847 he returned from Mexico and was sent to 
Philadelphia to investigate the possibility of opening a Jesuit college there; 
but circumstances were not auspicious for a college there at that time, so 
in October he left for Boston. Here, unknown to him, the great work of his 
life awaited him. 


1. In 1775, for the purpose of taxation, Congress assumed the population to be 

2. John Gilmary Shea, The Catholic Church in Colonial Days (New York, J. G. 
Shea, 1886), p. 449. 

3. See Arthur J. Riley, Catholicism in New England in 1 788 (Washington, D.C.: 
Cathohc University of America, 1936), Chapter VII. 

4. Based on figures drawn from "United States of America: Population," Encyclo- 
pedia Brittanica, 14th ed., 22:732; and Peter Guilday, "Roman Catholic 
Church," ibid., 19:421. 

5. Marcus Lee Hansen, The Atlantic Migration, 1607-1860 (Cambridge: Harvard 
University Press, 1940), p. 249. 

6. Oscar Handlin, Boston's Immigrants, 1790-1865 (Cambridge: Harvard Univer- 
sity Press, 1941), p. 52. 

7. Ibid., p. 229. 

8. Robert H. Lord, John E. Sexton, and Edward T. Harrington, History of the 
Archdiocese of Boston (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1944), 2:311-312. 

9. Bernadine Wiget, S.J., "The Eliot School Case" (contemporary MS. account, 
with newspaper clippings, 3 vols.), Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, George- 
town University Library. Good brief account in Lord, Sexton, and Harrington, 
History of the Archdiocese, 2:585—601. 

10. This summary of Father McElroy's life is based upon letters of Father McElroy 
concerning his early life in the Society of Jesus, Woodstock Letters, 44:9—14, 
1915. Father McElroy's diary is preserved in the Maryland Provincial S.J. Ar- 
chives, Georgetown University. 

11. John McElroy, S.J., to Charles Stonestreet, S.J., July 21, 1857; Maryland Provin- 
cial S.J. Archives, Georgetown University Library. Published in Woodstock Let- 
ters, 44:9-10, 1915. 

12. Ibid. 

13. "Liber Continens Nomen, etc., Promotorum ad Ordines Majores, etc., 1633— 
1852," MSS. book No. 350B, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown 
University Library. 



The Struggle for Land 

Father McElroy's transfer to Boston in 1847 was not directly connected 
with the prospect of a CathoHc college there, although the hope for such 
an institution had been entertained by him for several years. He appears to 
have made the first overture for a college in Boston to Bishop Fenwick in 
private conversation during August of 1842. Father McElroy had come to 
Boston on that occasion to give the diocesan retreat for the clergy, and he 
lived at the bishop's house. As a personal friend and former fellow novice 
with Bishop Fenwick, he was invited to accompany the bishop on his visits 
about the city for several days before the retreat actually began on August 
12. This intimacy at least justifies one in supposing a benevolent reception 
for the idea of a college if Father McElroy actually proposed it. The only 
evidence that this topic was mentioned at this time is found in Father 
McElroy's casual assertion made several years later.' No record of such a 
conversation is found in Bishop Fenwick's diary which covers the period, 
nor in the letter which the bishop wrote to the Jesuit Provincial thanking 
him for Father McElroy's services.^ 

The Issue Revisited 

Whether or not the matter was discussed then, it was mentioned very 
explicitly less than three months later in a letter which Father McElroy 
wrote to extend his felicitations to the bishop on the New Year. After 
offering his seasonal wishes and referring to various diocesan topics of 

8 History of Boston College 

interest at the moment, he entered at some length upon the question of a 
college in Boston. An extended excerpt from the letter is given in a note at 
the end of the chapter which shows the boldness of McElroy in proposing 
a college to the bishop, as well as his complete confidence in the success of 
his proposal. The background was that the bishop planned to move his 
cathedral from its location on Franklin Street to a larger structure to be 
built elsewhere. McElroy urged that the old cathedral and adjoining prop- 
erty be given to the Jesuits, who could run a parish and start a college. ^ 

The bishop evidently reacted favorably to McElroy's suggestion, and 
news of his interest in such an undertaking was conveyed in due course to 
Rome. A year after the above letter was written, the Jesuit General, Father 
John Roothaan, wrote to the rector of Holy Cross College in Worcester: 

You are well enough aware how cordially I approve, to what an extent I am 
ready to support the Most Reverend Bishop's [Fenwick's] design of setting 
up a college in the city itself of Boston; my advice to you has ever been that 
all your concern should center on a college such as this.'' 

In 1845 Father Roothaan wrote in a similar vein to the Jesuit Provincial 
of the Maryland Province: 

You are not unaware that it would be gratifying to us were you to establish a 
college in the city of Boston. Accordingly, after examining and deliberating 
on the details with your consultors, act in nomine Domini. 

In reply, the Provincial, Father Verhaegen, wrote some months later: 

I visited the Bishop of Boston. He is seriously thinking of opening a college 
in his episcopal city, but so far has put nothing into effect. It is necessary, so 
he says, to proceed slowly, and this in order that the institution which he is 
planning may be worthy of our holy religion and of the Society. 

In April of 1846 Father Roothaan was seeking further information on 
the subject: 

The Bishop of Charlestown [Charleston] has written to me about setting up 
a college in his episcopal city. But what about the college in Boston? I doubt 
whether the resources of the Province [of Maryland] will permit you to begin 
both at almost the same time. 

In the meantime, the bishop was evidently making preparations to act 
along the lines suggested by Father McElroy in the letter mentioned above, 
because in July of that year (1846) Father Verhaegen reported to Rome that 
Bishop Fenwick was expecting to acquire a new site for his cathedral, in 
which event he would convey the existing cathedral and its site to the 

But if we have to wait until the new cathedral is built, even if we suppose it 
started this year, two entire years may pass. I think the Bishop follows too 
strictly the axiom, festina lente. 

The Struggle for Land 9 

John Bernard Fitzpatrick, third 
bishop of Boston, was a friend 
and staunch supporter of Father 
McElroy in establishing a Jesuit 
college in Boston. 

The Jesuits Come to Boston 

On August 11, 1846, Bishop Fenwick died, and John B. Fitzpatrick, who 
had been consecrated coadjutor bishop of Boston two years earUer, suc- 
ceeded to the sole responsibihty of the office. A Uttle over a year after 
taking office. Bishop Fitzpatrick decided to solve the bothersome problem 
of an insurgent congregation in Saint Mary's Church in Boston's North 
End by offering the church to the Jesuit Fathers.^ The Jesuit authorities 
accepted, and when, as has been seen, they found an experienced pastor 
available for the position in the person of Father McElroy after his Mexican 
War chaplaincy, he was sent to Boston, where the bishop installed him as 
pastor with two Jesuit assistants on October 31, 1847/ This was, as the 
bishop himself said, 

. . . only the beginning of what I intend to do for the Society. The college is 
the main object of my concern; but I must wait for means. In the interim, 
your fathers living here will become known to the citizens, win their sympa- 
thy, while the bad disposition of the men who have opposed this and other of 
my plans will disappear.' 

10 History of Boston College 

In a letter written in September of the following year (1848), Father 
McElroy mentions the bishop's intention to give the old cathedral and its 
land to the Jesuits upon completion of the new edifice, but that this 
prospect was still remote. The letter manifests a more immediate interest 
of Father McElroy's in some sort of elementary school, where the funda- 
mentals of language could be taught and some instruction given in reli- 
gion.^ In his diary, Father McElroy records the solution he arrived at in 
regard to the school: 

In a short time, I discovered the great want of schools, and more church 
accommodations for the faithful. In February 1849 the former was in part 
provided for, by the opening of a school for female children under the Sisters 
of Charity in a house belonging to the church in Stillman Street, now in 
Lancaster Street, under the Sisters of Notre Dame. Finding that a surplus 
remained after defraying the expenses of the change and Church, I resolved 
to put it aside with the intention of purchasing in time, a site for a College 
& Church, if practicable, on the same lot.' 

Bishop Fitzpatrick wrote a no-longer-extant letter on February 5, 1850, 
in which the prelate expressed satisfaction with the work the Society of 
Jesus was carrying on at Holy Cross College and in Boston.'" From the 
tone of Father Roothaan's answer of May 8, 1850, the bishop had appar- 
ently made known the hope he entertained of one day seeing a Jesuit college 
established in that city. 

It is with genuine satisfaction that I learned from your letter, Monseigneur, 
of your desire to establish a day-school in your episcopal city when Provi- 
dence shall have furnished you the means. I shall always be ready to support 
your zeal for the success of this enterprise as far as circumstances will make 
it possible for me to do so.'' 

However, when Father McElroy expressed hope that in the course of 
another year he would be able to open a school for boys, on the same plan 
as the one he had employed at Frederick, to accommodate some 300 boys, 
the General, "hitherto so sympathetic toward the project of a Jesuit school 
in Boston, seemed now to become skeptical as to its feasibility."'^ He 
inquired of the Maryland Provincial, Father Brocard, in January of 1851, 
"Is it true that a school in Boston for day-students is under consideration? 
New burdens when old ones weigh you down!"'^ 

Purchase of the Jail Land 

At this time the City of Boston announced the intention of offering at 
public auction on December 3, 1851, a portion of land compromising 31 
building lots on which the city jail had stood.'" The land was bounded by 
Leverett and Causeway streets on two sides; by property fronting on Lowell 
Street, on a third; and by other property fronting on Leverett, Wall, and 
Lowell streets, on the fourth. The sale of the land was subject to certain 

The Struggle for Land 1 1 

conditions, one of which was to the effect that the buildings erected upon 
this property could be dwellings or stores only.'^ On November 25, 1851, 
the city conveyed the entire tract to a Colonel Josiah L. C. Amee except for 
a strip of land dividing the lot in two, which the city retained and paved as 
an extension to Wall Street. On the side of this Wall Street extension 
farthest from Leverett Street, Colonel Amee built 10 dwelling houses, but 
when he found that he had difficulty selling them, he gave up his original 
plan of building others on the remaining land and instead offered it for 

Father McElroy had been looking about for land suitable for a larger 
church and a college, as has been seen, almost from the moment he came 
to St. Mary's. According to his diary, he had noticed that the jail land had 
been offered for sale, and he had even gone as far as to engage a broker to 
offer "for an unidentified client" $70,000 for the entire lot. When the city 
authorities decided to open an extension to Wall Street through the lot. 
Father McElroy felt that the remaining land would be too small for his 
purpose and consequently withdrew from the market. His search to find a 
suitable site elsewhere, however, was in vain, so that when Colonel Amee 
expressed a desire to sell part of the jail land early in the year 1853, he 
turned his attention once more to this tract as a last resort.'^ 

On investigation he discovered that in addition to the restriction limiting 
the buildings erected on the land to dwellings and stores, another condition 
obliged the buyer to erect 10 brick buildings facing the new (Wall) street. 
Colonel Amee, perceiving that these conditions were making it impossible 
for him to sell the land, petitioned the city council for a release or 
modification of the restrictions so far as they affected the vacant lots facing 
Wall Street, and the committee on public lands, acting under a vote of the 
city council, on March 9, 1853, modified the restrictions on the Wall Street 
lots so that the prohibition only ran against "buildings to be used for 
manufacturing or mechanical purposes, stables, gasometers, bowling alleys, 
etc."'"* Colonel Amee obtained a duly certified copy of the vote modifying 
the restrictions and reopened negotiations with Father McElroy. But all the 
difficulties were by no means removed. Father McElroy pointed out that 
the Wall Street lots by themselves were not deep enough for a church site 
unless he could also buy the adjoining lots which faced on Leverett Street 
and have them likewise freed from restrictions. Colonel Amee was willing 
to sell the additional land. He felt, with good reason, that the city 
authorities would agree to remove the restrictions on the Leverett Street 
lots, as they had done so readily on the adjoining land. 

Father McElroy meanwhile had the title examined by the foremost real 
estate attorney in Boston at the time, N. I. Bowditch. The latter's opinion 
was that because Father McElroy proposed to build a church upon the 
premises and because the city had already modified the restrictions on the 
Wall Street lots, there would not be the slightest difficulty in securing the 
necessary modification on the remainder of the land. He believed that it 

12 History of Boston College 

was a mere matter of formality and that Father McElroy was perfectly safe 
in paying the purchase money. So, on advice of his counsel. Father McElroy 
paid the consideration and took the title from Colonel Amee on March 23, 
1853. '' The down payment was $13,000, and Father McElroy became 
responsible to the city for the balance of the purchase money, $46,480.59. 
Father McElroy was understandably pleased with this acquisition, since it 
included the buildings on the property, one of which, a granite, four-story 
structure originally built as a courthouse, cost the city $50,000 when new.-° 

Intolerance Forces a Withdrawal 

When it became known that the jail land had been sold to a Catholic priest 
and that he proposed to build upon it a new Catholic church, a group of 
bigoted persons immediately agitated to have the committee on public 
lands first enforce the restriction limiting the use of the land to the erection 
of dwellings or stores and, second, put back in force the recently rescinded 
condition that the purchaser erect 10 brick dwelling houses on the Wall 
Street lots or forfeit the land. Their bigotry prevailed and the committee, 
exceeding its legal power, notified Colonel Amee and Father McElroy 
within a day of the purchase that the restrictions were once more in force; 
the order rescinding them, it was claimed, had been obtained by Colonel 
Amee through false representation. 

After taking legal advice on the matter, Father McElroy disregarded this 
notification and directed his attention to the task of obtaining permission 
to erect a building other than a dwelling or store on the lot. The bishop 
joined Father McElroy in his efforts and caused the petitions to be made 
jointly by himself and Father McElroy — but without avail. Mr. Bowditch 
presented the petitioners' views before the mayor and joint committee on 
pubUc lands at a hearing in the Common Council room on April 19, 1853; 
despite a most cogent and moving plea, their efforts proved fruitless.-' 

A petition signed by one Nathaniel Hammond and 924 others opposing 
the lifting of the restrictions had been presented to the committee, but on 
May 19, 1853, a counterpetition signed by 25 of the most prominent 
Protestant gentlemen in Boston was sent to the committee, urging that 
permission be given for the church to be built." Included in the group were 
Edward Everett, former governor of Massachusetts and former president of 
Harvard; Rufus Choate, Harvard professor and undisputed social leader in 
Boston; William Prescott, the historian; James Collins Warren, dean of 
Harvard medical school; and Amos A. Lawrence, the prominent merchant 
who a few years after the jail land controversy purchased farm property in 
Chestnut Hill that decades later would become the new Boston College 
campus. But even the great influence of such men was disregarded; the 
mayor and aldermen agreed to allow the construction of the church, but 
the council would not concur." 

In March of 1856 the bishop and Father McElroy judged that the 

The Struggle for Land 13 

prospects of a favorable reception of their petition had brightened with the 
election of Alexander H. Rice as mayor and with a new council in session 
in which the Know-Nothings were in the minority. A copy of the petition 
which they submitted is found in Father McElroy's diary: 

To the Honble, the Mayor, Aldermen & Common Council of the City of 

The undersigned present themselves before your Honble body, to renew 
their petition made on former occasions, for the removal of certain restric- 
tions, on four lots of land, fronting on Leverett Street, to enable them to 
erect an edifice for the purpose of Divine Worship. The subject of this 
petition has been discussed sufficiently to preclude the necessity of entering 
into details. The undersigned rest their hopes on the impartiality of the 
present councils, and of their sense of justice irrespective of any sinister bias. 
Three years have now elapsed since the purchase of the lands in question. 
This was done in good faith, not doubting for a moment, that the same 
authority which took the restrictions off ten lots would with more reason 
take the same off four lots, especially as it was for a church to accommodate 
hundreds who are deprived of the means of sanctifying the Lord's Day. 

The undersigned would also respectfully submit that independent of the 
annual installments already paid ($20,658.04) to the City Treasurer, taxes 
and interest have also been paid to the amount of 7995.77 for all of which 
no consideration has as yet been received from the land which remains 
unproductive in both a spiritual and temporal point of view. With this simple 
statement of facts, we place ourselves confidentially before your respective 
boards, that this our petition may be granted to enable us to commence this 
season, the erection of the contemplated church and your petitioners as they 
are bound will ever pray &c. 


John B. Fitzpatrick, Bsp. of Boston 
John McElroy^" 

The petition was read in the board of common council and referred to 
the land committee, composed of members from both boards. After being 
debated there for a considerable time, a majority of the committee finally 
voted to remove the restrictions. The council itself deferred action on it for 
several weeks, until finally, on November 20, 1856, it was defeated by a 
vote of 25 to 15, with some eight not voting.-^ 

Father McElroy took the defeat philosophically; he saw that although 
Catholic petitioners had not been granted what they had asked, the oppo- 
sition was diminishing, and that many, including an increasing number of 
non-Catholics, were perceiving that Catholics were being deprived of fair 
and equitable treatment in a spirit of bigotry. Several members of the 
council charged the opposition openly with this bigotry, and others under- 

14 History of Boston College 

took to defend Catholic doctrines that were mentioned in their discussions. 
All of this permitted the venerable priest to reflect that the Church, by and 
large, had really won an important victory in this matter by securing the 
sympathy and interest of a large number of fair-minded citizens.-^ 

On December 8, 1856, the annual city elections were held, and with 
respect to the issue of the jail land, almost all of Father McElroy's bitterest 
opponents were defeated. Now there were but six Know-Nothings on the 
council for the ensuing year, which encouraged the bishop and Father 
McEIroy to renew their endeavors to have the restrictions removed by a 
new petition dated January 21, 1857.-^ 

Weeks passed into months, and still no definite action was taken on the 
petition. On March 23 Bishop Fitzpatrick noted in his diary that the 
attitude of the City Council and Board of Aldermen gave little hope for the 
success of the petition to have the restrictions removed from the jail land. 
He concluded it would be best to sell that property and look elsewhere. He 
and Father McElroy found a promising site in the western part of the city 
at the corner of Spring and Milton streets.^' 

Father McElroy evidently investigated this property and found it avail- 
able, because three days later he, together with the bishop and the Jesuit 
Provincial, who had recently arrived in Boston on his annual visitation, 
decided that it would be advisable to place the new church and college in 
the southern part of the city (the "South End") rather than in the western 
section. The bishop thereupon authorized the Jesuits, in the person of 
Father Stonestreet, the Provincial, to purchase land for that purpose.-' 

My next step [wrote Father McElroy] was to ascertain the best means of 
disposing of the Jail lands. I applied to a professional gentleman, my counsel 
on former occasions, who had expressed at one time his wish to purchase the 
lands; he now declined but tendered his services very kindly, to dispose of it 
to the City, as he thought it would be rather difficult to effect so large a sale 
to private individuals. To this I gave my consent. . . .^° 

The city authorities were much relieved to have the matter ended at last, 
since "it puzzled interested politicians and made them uncertain in their 
calculations upon the Catholic vote in the municipal elections."^' The first 
offer to the city was made in the last week of March, and on April 10 the 
matter was referred by concurrence of the aldermen and common council 
to the land committee. In contrast with their lethargic performances in the 
past, these various bodies acted upon the business with dispatch, and on 
the Saturday in Easter week, April 18, 1857, completed the purchase.^- The 
sum which they paid immediately and which Father McElroy banked 
immediately, with no little satisfaction," amounted to $64,771.80, which 
represented all the money he had advanced upon the land, with interest 
simple and compound upon the installments, and an advance of about 
$4500 which, with the income from the buildings upon the estate from the 
time of its purchase, amounted to a gain of about $9000.^'' 

The Struggle for Land 15 

A Site in the New South End 

Reflecting upon the sale of the jail land, Bishop Fitzpatrick was of the 
opinion that: 

... all things considered, it is no doubt better that the petition of the Bp. and 
Fr. McElroy has been so obstinately refused by the city authorities. The funds 
have accumulated by interest in the mean [time] and increased by the advance 
which the city pays. A college in the south part of the city will be easily 
accessible to a far greater number of Cathohc children or youths. Not only 
the population of the city proper in the main part will be better accommo- 
dated, but South Boston, Roxbury and some other adjoining towns may 
enjoy all the advantages. This would not be the case had the college been 
placed in Leverett Street.^^ 

This evidently represents a changed point of view, because only a few 
weeks before, Father McElroy referred to the bishop as merely "reconciled" 
to the prospect of the college being located in the South End.'* But there 
were some, clerical and lay, who did not become reconciled to the thought 
of the change. Among the priests who would have preferred to have the 
college remain in the North End at all costs was Father Bernadine Wiget, 
S.J., assistant to Father McElroy in St. Mary's. It is not clear from his 
letters just how he planned to solve the impasse created by a hostile city 
government, but he vigorously resented the movement away from Leverett 
Street.'^ In support of his view, he cited the Irish of that section of the city, 
who, he claimed, were much incensed at news of the change. Father 
McElroy was conscious of this evidently ill-informed opposition, but 
prudently decided to say nothing and disregard it, in the hope that time 
would demonstrate the wisdom of his acts.'* 

The sale of the jail land was completed on Saturday; on Monday 
morning, April 20, Father McElroy was back again before the land com- 
missioners seeking to buy a plot of land on Harrison Avenue, between 
Concord and Newton streets, which appears to have been brought to his 
attention by the well-disposed mayor of the city, Alexander H. Rice.'' The 
lot contained 115,000 square feet and embraced an entire city block. 

As soon as the proposal was made, new opposition sprang up. Some few 
of the council took alarm and spread the word to the newspapers. The 
excitement centered on the fact that the Catholics were going to take over 
an entire square of land in the center of the city,''" with the result that the 
land commissioners voted during the last week in April to reject Father 
McElroy's offer.'*' He, however, shrewdly realizing that it was his effort to 
purchase the entire block that constituted the "audacious attempt on the 
part of ecclesiastical authorities ... to acquire undue and colossal power," 
shifted his ground and renewed his petition, this time asking for only a 
section of the land.''- The chief objection being thus removed, he was 
assured privately that permission for purchase would ultimately be given. 

Days and weeks passed in the now familiar pattern of postponements, 
delays, and promises. The sought-for solution was always just around the 

16 History of Boston College 

corner; it would be settled "the next week end." On May 27 Father 
McElroy admitted to the Provincial how tried he was. "Since the 18th of 
April, the day I disposed of the Jail Land, until this day, I have been in 
continual communication with the Mayor, Councils & Land Commission- 
ers and as yet nothing is concluded. . . ."''^ 

He faced the situation with the patience of a saint and, at the same time, 
with the astuteness of a bank executive. When, with the approach of June, 
he began to have doubts that the Harrison Avenue negotiations would ever 
be terminated favorably, he began preparations for an alternative purchase. 
The prospect, as he outlined it in his diary, was: 

... a large building lately erected for a lying-in hospital by an association of 
Gendn. It cost, including the land (40,000 square feet), $64,000 — they ask 
60,000$ and the Broker employed to purchase it, thinks it can be had for 
much less. I have authorized him to give 50,000$ — the only difficulty about 
it is that the title was given by the City, stipulating that an hospital of the 
above character be erected on it — to remove this restriction, can be done only 
by the City Councils — it is feared, that this will not be done, unless they are 
informed for what purpose the building is to be used, and if this be made 
known it is feared we cannot purchase it . . .''■' 

The trustees accepted his offer of $50,000 under his condition that they 
secure the removal of the restriction by the city authorities. The petition 
was entered on June 8, 1857, and shortly after this was rejected."*^ Father 
McElroy wrote: 

July 17. Again the enemy has triumphed in defeating the above project — the 
Citizens . . . took the alarm that Fr. McElroy was about to erect a Church for 
the Irish; that he would have a large number of families of this class in the 
neighborhood; that he was also about to build a Jesuit College; that nothing 
else would satisfy these Jesuits than the Conversion of all the Bostonians &c., 
&c. From such fear, petitions were sent in to the Aldermen, against such 
buildings, three or four newspapers came out in the same strain the past 

Finding the opposition a formidable one, and a renewal of the Jail Lands, 
I concluded to abandon the project, of the Hospital & land, and fall back on 
the first site I had selected, fronting on Harrison Avenue."" 

But victory was near. Father McElroy's efforts of four and a half years 
to secure property for a church and the future Boston College came to an 
end on the morning of July 22, 1857, when the land committee of the City 
of Boston finally agreed to sell him the tract he sought on Harrison 
Avenue.''^ The first stage of the struggle was over. 


1. McElroy to Beckx, September 27, 1854. General Archives of the Society of Jesus 
in Rome, 9-X1X-4. Quoted by Gilbert J. Garraghan, S.J., "Origins of Boston 

The Struggle for Land 17 

College, 1842-1869," Thought, 17:640-642. Hereafter the letters JGA in a 
reference will indicate that the material is preserved in these General Archives of 
the Society of Jesus in Rome. 

2. Dzierozynski ad Roothaan, September 6, 1842, JGA. The letter of Bishop Fen- 
wick given in a Latin version in this place was translated into English by 
Garraghan, "Origins," pp. 629—630. 

3. McElroy to Fenwick, January 7, 1843, Diocesan Archives, Boston, Old Letters, 
"A," No. 16. It is cited in part here: 

"You must turn your attention to your [new] Cathedral. You can, and must 
erect it. Leave the Holy Cross [Cathedral] where it is, with the vacant lot 
adjoining for a College of ours, who would also attend the Church. This would 
be laying a solid & permanent basis for Catholicity, not only in the City, but 
through the Diocese. The education of boys in Christian Piety, together with the 
usual Classical studies, would be of infinite advantage . . . for your episcopal 
seminary, as also for our Society. 

"A few members will suffice for a College of day scholars which may easily be 
supplied, but for boarders, a large number is necessary, and then of peculiar 
qualifications, for government, etc. With four scholastics &C one Brother we [i.e., 
at Frederick, Maryland] carry on our school, over a hundred boys, with the same 
course as in Geo. Town as far as Rhetorick — and the same teachers might as well 
have double the number. What an advantage to your Catholic youth in the City to 
be thus trained up — what edification to the faithful & credit to Religion. Excuse, 
my dear Bishop, the unauthorized effusions of one well known to you, who hopes 
he has nothing at heart but the well being of your important charge. In every 
respect they are crude ideas which may be improved, I am sure, and perhaps, 
something in time, with God's blessing, might grow out of them. I see nothing 
difficult in the project — when I commenced our little College, I had not a dollar 
in hand, it is now a reputable establishment without a cent of debt — the Sisters 
have begun in the same way — out of debt — The Church the same and on it is paid 
about 30,000$ having a debt of about 8000$ and all this in Frederick, where we 
have but about 1500 Caths. No doubt in my mind, but your Cathedral and a 
splendid one, can be erected, in a few years and a College also, for the accommo- 
dation of 300 boys." 

4. This and the four succeeding quotations are found in Gilbert J. Garraghan, S.J., 
"Origins," p. 632. 

5. Fitzpatrick, Memoranda of the Diocese of Boston (manuscript). Vol. Ill, p. 289, 
under date October 24, 1847, Diocesan Archives, Boston. Cf. also, Leahy, 
"Archdiocese of Boston," in Byrne (editor). History of the Catholic Church in 
the New England States, l-ATl; and Robert H. Lord, John E. Sexton, and 
Edward T. Harrington, History of the Archdiocese of Boston (New York: Sheed 
and Ward, 1944), 2:474-475. 

6. Fitzpatrick, "Memoranda," III, 289. 

7. Quoted by Garraghan, "Origins," 636. 

8. McElroy to Roothaan, September 4, 1848, JGA. (Garraghan, "Origins," 637). 

9. McElroy, Diary, "A Brief History of the preparatory steps towards the erection of 
a college for our Society: and Collegiate Church in Boston," pp. 1 and 2 (in Vol. 
4 of the MS. Diary). 

10. Garraghan, "Origins," p. 637. 

11. Roothaan to Fitzpatrick, May 8, 1850. Original in Diocesan Archives, Boston 
(Old Letters, "A," No. 49). The translation from the French is Garraghan's 
"Origms," pp. 737-738. 

12. Garraghan, "Origins," p. 638. Father McElroy's letter: McElroy to Roothaan, 
August 7, 1850, JGA. 

1 8 History of Boston College 

13. Roothaan to Brocard, January 8, 1851, JGA. 

14. "A Plan of 31 lots of the Old Jail Land to be Sold at Public Auction," a plan and 
advertisement issued by the Committee on Public Lands, City of Boston, and 
dated: "Boston, 1851." Preserved in the Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, 
Georgetown University Library. 

15. Ibid. 

16. William B. F. Whal, "Close of St. Mary's Jubilee, North End, Boston," The Pilot 
(October 16, 1897), Vol. 60, No. 41, pp. 1 and 5; same in Woodstock Letters, 
27 (1898):92-93. 

17. McElroy, Diary, "A Brief History of the Preparatory Steps, etc." MS. Vol. 4, pp. 

18. Whal, "Close of St. Mary's Jubilee," Vol. 60, No. 41, pp. 1 and 5. 

19. Ibid. 

20. McElroy, Diary, pp. 3-4. 

21. N. L Bowditch, An Argument for a Catholic Church on the Jail-Lands (a 
pamphlet, Boston: John Wilson and Son, 1853). 

22. TfeeP/7oJ, May28, 1853. 

23. McElroy, Diary, p. 5. 

24. Ibid., pp. 6-7. 

25. Ibid., p. 10; "Memoranda," November 20, 1856. 

26. McElroy, Diary, p. 11. 

27. Ibid., p. 12. 

28. Fitzpatrick, "Memoranda," March 23, 1857. 

29. /fcfo!., March 25 and 26, 1857. 

30. McElroy, Diary, Part IV, p. 14. 

31. Fitzpatrick, "Memoranda," April 20, 1857. 

32. McElroy, Diary, Part IV, p. 14. 

33. McElroy to Stonestreet, April 19, 1857, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, 
Georgetown University Library. 

34. McElroy, Diary, Part IV, p. 15; Fitzpatrick, "Memoranda," April 20, 1857. 

35. Fitzpatrick, "Memoranda," April 20, 1857. 

36. McElroy to Stonestreet, May 7, 1857, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, 
Georgetown University Library. 

37. Wiget to Stonestreet, May 7, 1857; also Wiget to Stonestreet, May 27, 1857, 
Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown University Library. 

38. McElroy to Stonestreet, May 2, 1857, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, 
Georgetown University Library. 

39. McElroy, Diary, Vol. 4, pp. 15—16. Mr. Rice's aid is claimed by Garraghan, 
"Origins," basing his assertion on a letter, McElroy to Beckx, February 1, 1859, 

40. McElroy, Diary, Vol. 4, pp. 15 and 16. 

41. Fitzpatrick, "Memoranda," May 3, 1857. 

42. McElroy, Diary, Part IV, p. 16. 

43. McElroy to Stonestreet, May 27, 1857, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, 
Georgetown University Library. 

44. McElroy, Diary, Vol. 4, p. 16. 

45. Ibid. There appears to be some confusion regarding the dates given by Father 
McElroy during this period; the most probable arrangement seems to be: July 
17, rejection of the hospital petition; July 22, agreement to sell Father McElroy 
the Harrison Avenue land. 

46. Ibid., p. 19. 

47. Ibid., p. 20. 



Walls and a Roof 

Harrison Avenue was laid out in 1844 while the South End of Boston was 
still a narrow neck of land surrounded by flats and the waters of the bay. 
In 1853 the work of widening the neck was begun by filling in the marshy 
lands on either side of it, and three years later a street railroad system was 
inaugurated, with the first line running from the Old Granary Burying 
Ground on Tremont Street to Roxbury. Overnight the South End became 
the desirable residential section of the city, and extensive building opera- 
tions began.' 

In his diary. Father McElroy recognized the advantage of this section for 
his new college, because "a better class of houses will be and are erected in 
the vicinity" and "the horse rail roads now introduced into various parts of 
the City, will afford easy access for Students from all parts of the city and 

The lot which he had purchased from the city comprised 65,100 square 
feet of land, with 250 feet of frontage on Harrison Avenue; 270 feet on 
Concord Street, and 250 feet on the new, unnamed (James) street, "running 
with the cemetery wall, and thence by a dividing line to Harrison Avenue 
250 feet."^ The cemetery is evidently the one which Towle afterward 
remembered being removed by the authorities to make room for the college 
playground in 1866."* The price the city charged, since the land was to be 
Church property, was 50 cents a foot — a reduction of 25 cents a foot on 
the residential rate. 


20 History of Boston College 

An architect, Patrick C. Keely, of Brooklyn, New York, was engaged at 
once, and plans were begun for the church. At the same time a Mr. 
Wissiben was chosen as architect for the college building.^ On August 17, 
1857, the first installment of the purchase price was paid to the city 
authorities in the amount of $3,750, leaving $28,000 to be paid in nine 
annual payments of $3,200, with interest at 6 percent.*^ 

In September Father McElroy spent four weeks in New York with the 
architects going over plans and drawings for the church and college. The 
college, he decided, was to be housed in two separate buildings, each 90 
feet by 60 feet, which would be connected by a small building 40 feet by 
23 feet and three stories in height. Although the architect at first envisioned 
the church as a brick edifice with a stone facade, it was decided to take 
advantage of an offer from a New Hampshire contractor who owned his 
own quarries to build the entire church of white granite and, from the same 
stone, to build the basement of the college and the steps and platforms of 
both buildings. The stonework was to cost $62,000 complete. The contract 
with Mr. Andrews of Nashua, New Hampshire, was signed November 25, 
and contracts were placed with Messrs. Morrell and Wigglesworth of 
Newburyport for the carpentry work connected with the roofing, window 
frames, joists, and a first floor of plank for $18,000.^ 

On November 24, 1857, Father McElroy wrote in his diary: 

This week I make application to the board of land commissioners to sell me 
twenty feet more of land, fronting on Harrison Avenue and extending back 
to the new street; this would give us 270 feet front on three streets, the fourth 
boundary would be a little short of this — in this way, our lots would be 
nearly square. I hope to get it at the same price, 50 cents a foot.* 

The new land, since it was to be used by the college exclusively, was to 
be taxed in the same manner as a private residence. Exception from 
taxation was not granted to the college until it was incorporated in 1863.* 

Father McElroy attributed the courteous treatment which he had received 
of late from the city officials to the "pacific course" he had pursued in the 
jail land episode. For this favor he thanked God, who gave him patience to 
remain silent "amidst their opposition, contrary to the importunities of my 
friends, who advised a contrary course."'" 

Work Begins 

On April 7, 1858, ground was broken on the site of the new church by 
Bishop Fitzpatrick, who took the first spadeful, followed by Father McElroy, 
who with his spade cut out "the sign of the Holy Cross, with the words In 
Nomine Patris, etc."" Stonecutters and carpenters had been on the location 
some time before this preparing blocks and window frames, so that when 
the work actually began it proceeded rapidly. 

At seven o'clock on the morning of April 27, 1858, a small group 

Walls and a Roof 21 

Boston College and the Church of the Immaculate Conception, completed in 1 860, 
photographed some time before 1 875 by Oliver Wendell Holmes. 

comprising Bishop Fitzpatrick, Very Reverend John Williams, V.G., Rever- 
end James A. Healy, chancellor, Reverend John Rodden, and Fathers Wiget, 
Janalik, and McElroy of the Society of Jesus gathered at the site of the 
church without publicity of any kind and unattended by any gathering of 
people to lay the cornerstone of the church.'- This ceremony must also be 
considered as the laying of the cornerstone of Boston College, because both 
buildings were built simultaneously as one project and, as far as can be 
ascertained, no thought was given to a separate cornerstone laying for the 

Through the month of May, despite heavy rains which repeatedly filled 
the excavations and made the use of steam pumps necessary, the work on 
the cellar walls of the college progressed surprisingly well. The concrete- 
filled trenches supported a first course of large granite blocks, and on top 
of this, three feet of rough masonry was leveled to receive granite basement 
walls 1 1 feet in height. 

Father McElroy stated in June that about forty stonecutters were at work 
in a long range of sheds erected for them, and there was "a blacksmith's 
shop with four fires."" In July he reported that "the first floor of the 
College buildings is being laid, and the granite basement of the same 
commenced. 130 men are now daily employed on the premises — all bids 

22 History of Boston College 

fair to have the buildings enclosed before the severe winter."'" In September 
the granite basement of the college was nearly finished and all the brick 
partition walls in the basement erected. In addition to this, the principal 
floors of the first story were laid and the brick commenced over them. Later 
that month, Father McElroy rejoiced that the walls of the college were 
completed to a stage where "the bricks are now carried up by steam power 
to the upper stories. . . ."'^ 

New Expenses 

The masons finished their task in October, and the carpenters commenced 
the laborious work of setting the roof. This carpentry work went on 
through November, December, and January, although all work on the 
church had to be suspended for the winter in mid-November. Father 
McElroy reflected with some heaviness of spirit that the brick partitions in 
the basement and throughout the building had added an unforeseen 
$11,855 to the original estimate, raising the masonry contract for the whole 
project to $76,855.'^ 

At this time he apphed to the superintendent of public lands in the city 
for the purchase of a strip 30 feet wide adjoining the north side of the 
college property, running from Harrison Avenue to James Street. On March 
8, 1859, the city land committee acceded to his proposal and sold him the 
land (7350 square feet in addition to his previous purchase) for the old 
price of 50 cents a square foot, although the market price for the land 
when used for residential purposes had now risen to one dollar a square 
foot. Again Father McElroy took pleasure in calculating the saving which 
this reduction made possible. The sum, $3,075, Father McElroy considered 
as reparation by the city authorities for the annoyance other city officials 
had caused him in the past.'^ 

Contracts which he let out in April for work in the interior of the college 
building were as follows: carpentry, $11,800; plastering, $2,820; plumb- 
ing, $1,775; and gas fitting, $488. In June an additional contract had to be 
made for steamfitters to lay pipes in the college before the flooring and 
walls were completed. Steam heating at the time was such an expensive 
proposition that Father McElroy pondered on it long before deciding to 
have it installed. Finally, he was persuaded that it was best "both as to 
security from fire, less expensive in the consumption of coal, free from 
dust, (and giving) an agreeable summer-like heat.""* 

In presenting an informal account of his stewardship up to this point in 
his diary. Father McElroy points out the various expenses which had 
unavoidably arisen and which had been unforeseen in the original contracts. 
The main burden of blame for his unpaid debts, however, he places on the 
failure of the Jesuits at St. Mary's to make the annual contributions he 
expected. When he started the buildings in the South End, he had on hand 
$80,000 he had collected for that purpose in a period of six years at St. 

Walls and a Roof 23 

Mary's. He felt the Provincials had expected continued support from St. 
Mary's. His diary reported: 

Now if St. Mary's had united with me the past two years, as I expected, ten 
thousand dollars a year could have been raised to aid in these buildings. This 
was one of the greatest disappointments I met since I undertook to erect a 
College and Church for our Society. Fiat voluntas Dei." 

On October 1, 1859, Father McElroy, accompanied by one Father 
(Steinbacker), left St. Mary's rectory in the North End where he had been 
living and took up residence in the college building, despite the great 
inconvenience which must have been experienced by them during that 
winter through lack of proper heating equipment. However, greater trouble 
than a cold room soon arose in the form of difficulties in finding money to 
meet current expenses. Father McElroy's attempt to raise money by a 
mortgage on the college and church in January of 1860 proved fruitless 
when the conditions attached to the loan were found to be altogether 
unsatisfactory. A temporary expedient in this crisis was arranged by a bank 
which discounted notes for Father McElroy. But this he saw as a trouble- 
some and uncertain solution, so he renewed his efforts to obtain a perma- 
nent loan. 

Through the summer of 1860 two new and unforeseen outlays added to 
his financial burden. The first of these was for an iron fence set on granite 
piers to enclose practically all the property. This fence was required — for 
reasons no longer known — by the City of Boston, and represented an 
expense of $600 for the foundation work and $3.75 a foot for the railing, 
including gates and painting. The Harrison Avenue frontage alone cost 
about $2,000, according to Father McElroy's official estimate.^" 

Second, the fear of a possible explosion of the steam boilers caused 
Father McElroy to have them placed in a separate small building behind the 
church. It was found on trial that the church chimney was not large enough 
for the new boilers, and a new smokestack had to be built. The housing for 
the boilers cost $300, and the chimney cost $470.-' 

In the beginning of the month of September 1860, Father McElroy wrote 
that he had succeeded in arranging for the loan he desired.-^ A savings bank 
in Lowell, Massachusetts, loaned him $80,000, for which he gave a 
mortgage on the church and college. How this sum was disbursed is stated 
in the diary as follows: 

$29,320.51 was paid to the City of Boston. The balance refunded Mr. 
Carney what he had advanced for me, brokerage, commission, etc., leaving 
me a balance of $4901.49. . . . Besides this funded debt of eighty thousand I 
have two notes due in two banks of $10,000 each; these will have to be 
renewed once or twice and the interest paid. In two years I hope we can pay 
one or both from the revenue of the church collections, etc., other floating 
debts to be paid in the same manner. Thus there will remain charged on the 
church the interest of $80,000, say, four thousand eight hundred dollars 

24 History of Boston College 

annually; this I think can be easily done and eight or ten thousand beside 
paid on the debt, with the assistance of St. Mary's paying $3,000 yearly." 

Friends and Finance 

Andrew Carney, a friend of the Jesuit Fathers of long standing, helped the 
situation at this time by taking upon himself the cost of laying the sidewalks 
in front of the church and college. In the meantime, work had commenced 
on grading and sodding the grounds about the church and college. In 
September 1860 a drive to pay off the church debt was organized by Father 
McElroy, who asked 25 cents a month from persons willing to aid. Some 
eighty collectors turned in $400 from this source the first month. In 
December Father Barrister of St. Mary's in the North End loaned Father 
McElroy $4000. This helped ease the financial strain of the moment, and 
further assistance was received from two concerts held in the church prior 
to its formal opening, which apparently netted in the vicinity of $500 each. 
At the time of the opening of the church, the auction of pews, pew rent, 
concerts, and a one-dollar offering at the door on opening day realized 
another $3000.-'' After the church was dedicated on March 10, 1861, a 
small steady revenue was realized from collections and offerings, but 
church and college could not yet be regarded as financially secure. 

In March of 1861 Father McElroy recorded that he was able to make a 

Andrew Carney, generous 
friend of Father McElroy and 
benefactor of Boston College. 

Walls and a Roof 25 

further purchase of land from the city at his previous price of 50 cents a 
foot. The latest purchase was 13,657 square feet adjoining the property he 
already owned. Since the market price of this land had now risen to $1.25 
a foot, he estimated his "savings" on the whole transaction as amounting 
to $15,152.^-^ 

In his diary, Father McElroy writes of a special indebtedness: 

. . . there is one whose name I will not mention who has on all occasions 
aided me by his prudent counsel, and also by advancing means in every 
emergency that I called upon him, and when I applied to others it was 
without his knowledge — for he told me never to be embarrassed as long as 
he had means to relieve me. Still I felt a delicacy to call on him so often and 
tried to procure means elsewhere. Had it not been for this Gentn. I would 
not have been able to continue the work on the church but must have 
postponed it for an indefinite period. Our Lord, I hope, will reward him 
abundantly for his zeal and devotedness to His own House. He is one of the 
largest benefactors to the buildings.-'' 

In March of 1862 Andrew Carney, the benefactor referred to above, 
instructed Father McElroy to have contractors come at his expense and 
remove the old brick wall on the former boundary of the college property, 
and to grade and fence the recently acquired strip so that it would form 
one parcel with the rest of the property. This work was commenced in 
April and completed in May at a cost of about $2300.-^ On this occasion 
trees, chiefly linden, were planted about the church and college, twelve on 
each side of the principal walk between the two buildings and some at the 
base of the terrace on Harrison Avenue. These were provided by members 
of the congregation who paid for the purchase and planting of individual 
trees at two dollars each as personal memorials.-* Of interest in this 
connection is a photograph in the Georgetown University archives taken 
about 1880, showing the front of the church and some of these trees still 
standing. On the reverse of the picture is penciled in a contemporary hand: 
"Various members of the congregation donated the trees around the 
church, and the names of the donors clung to the trees. The two trees in 
front of the church were called Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Carney. That on the 
corner or side wall was Mrs. McEvoy. I do not remember the rest of the 

The college buildings were completed by 1860, but, since the province 
did not at that time have Jesuits available to staff a new school, the buildings 
were used during the trying Civil War years of 1860-1863 as a seminary 
for Jesuits in training for the priesthood. Two men who would become 
legendary figures in Boston College history were assigned to the seminary: 
Father John Bapst and Father Robert Fulton. Fulton, who would later be 
the first dean and serve twice as president of the college, was a professor of 

26 History of Boston College 

theology in the seminary. John Bapst, who would be the college's first 
president, had the office of rector of the seminary. 


1. Cf. Illustrated Boston, 2nd ed. (New York: American Publishing and Engraving 
Co., c. 1889), pp. 54-55. 

2. McElroy, Diary, Vol. 2, pp. 13 and 15. 

3. Ibid., p. 16. 

4. Henry C. Towle, "The Pioneer Days at Boston College," The Stylus (June 1897), 

5. James S. Sullivan, A Graphic, Historical and Pictorial Account of the Catholic 
Church of New England, Archdiocese of Boston (Boston: Illustrated Publishing 
Co., 1895), p. 204. 

6. McElroy, Diary. 

7. Ibid. 

8. Ibid., Vol. 2, p. 24. 

9. Ibid., last page. 

10. Ibid., p. 25. 

11. Ibid., p. 16. 

12. Ibid., p. 27. 

13. lbid.,p.l%. 

14. Ibid., p. 29. 

15. Ibid., p. 30. 

16. Ibid., p. 31. Also McElroy to Villiger, March 14, 1859, Maryland Provincial S.J. 
Archives, Georgetown University Library. 

17. McElroy, Diary, p. 32. 

18. Ibid., p. 34. 

19. Ibid., pp. 36-37. 

20. Ibid., pp. 29 and 41. 

21. Jfoii., pp. 41 and 46. 

22. Ibid., pp. 42-43. 

23. Ibid. 

24. Ibid., 44 et ff., and 56. 

25. Ibid., p. 52. 

26. The benefactor mentioned in this passage is identified in another place (Vol. 2, p. 
60) as Andrew Carney. This excerpt from Vol. 2, pp. 53—55. 

27. McElroy, Diary, Vol. 2, p. 56. 

28. Ibid., p. 60. 


The College Is Chartered 

In the spring of 1863, although the Jesuit seminary still occupied the 
College buildings and although Jesuit authorities knew they could not 
muster a staff to open for classes in the fall, financial and legal reasons 
prompted incorporation. One financial reason for the early incorporation 
was to facilitate the arrangement of loans, which, it was found, would be 
extended to a corporation (the College in this instance) when they would 
be refused to an individual — even a priest. In May of 1863 Father McElroy 
was elected president of Boston College. This election, although perfectly 
legal, was for some reason never listed in the ordinary accounts of the 
presidents of Boston College, and in August 1863, three months after 
Father McElroy's investiture. Father Bapst was elected "first" president 
without any mention of the other election.' 

Another financial reason for incorporating the College as soon as possi- 
ble was to free it from the taxes (amounting at the time to some $700 a 
year) from which chartered educational institutions were exempt but which 
had been collected on the Harrison Avenue property (except the church) at 
a residential rate since the buildings had been built.- 

The legal considerations which urged prompt incorporation centered 
about the title to the properties, which had been held until then in the name 
of Father McElroy. All the land and buildings on Harrison Avenue, as well 
as St. Mary's Church and residence in the North End of Boston, were 


28 History of Boston College 

legally the private property of Father McElroy,^ and his sudden death — 
which was a distinct possibility for a man approaching his eighty-first 
birthday — would precipitate embarrassing complications. When it had been 
definitely decided to give up the scholasticate at Boston, nothing longer 
prevented the Fathers from seeking the advantages which incorporation 
would bring. 

A Petition to the Legislature 

Father McElroy had evidently been instructed by the Provincial in January 
of 1863 to commence the legal formalities connected with a petition for 
incorporation, because Father Paresce (the Provincial) inquired on February 
20 what the prospects were for obtaining the charter.'* On March 4 Father 
McElroy optimistically replied, "Our petition for the charter of our College 
was presented in the Legislature yesterday; there will be, I presume, very 
little opposition in the Legislature. "' Less than three weeks later he was 
able to report: 

Our Bill for Chartering the College had its first reading in the Senate on 
Saturday last, and was ordered to be engrossed. On Tuesday last I was 
requested by letter to appear before the Committee on Education; I went 
with Fr. Welch, and told the C. what we wanted; I took with me Genl. 
Gushing who was very useful in suggesting and removing conditions I did 
not want &c. The Comme., about ten members, were extremely polite, even 
kind, and voted unanimously that a bill should be drafted in accordance with 
our understanding, &c., Genl. C. drew up the bill immediately before leaving 
the State House, I had it copied and the next day left it myself with the 
Chairman in the Senate Chamber. There is no doubt, I think, of its passage; 
when passed I shall send you a copy of it. 

In one section we are allowed to possess property not exceeding $30,000 
annual income!!! This is generous. Another, to confer all the Degrees that 
are given in any college of the State; this includes Divinity, Medicine, M.A., 
and A.B. — so far it is all we could wish.<^ 

To this announcement, the Provincial responded: 

I offer you my congratulations upon . . . the passage of the act for chartering 
Boston College. Please to get two authenticated copies of the Charter, one 
for yourself, the other to be kept in the archives of the Province. If however 
an authenticated copy should be too expensive, any copy of it, made by one 
of the scholastics will answer my purposes. As soon as the act will be signed 
by the Governor, it will be well to take measures at once for the transfer to 
the corporation of the property which you hold in your name, including St. 
Mary's Church. . . . You may draft some by-laws for the regulation of the 
corporation which I will examine when I come to Boston.^ 

An examination of the charter shows that although the act passed the 
House of Representatives and the State Senate of Massachusetts on March 

The College Is Chartered 29 

31 and was approved by Governor John A. Andrews on April 1, an 
authenticated copy of the act was not obtained until May 28. On June 9 
the following advertisement appeared in the Boston Courier: 

Notice is hereby given that the first meeting of the Proprietors of the charter, 
entitled "An Act to Incorporate the Trustees of the Boston College," will be 
holden on the sixth day of July next, at four o'clock in the afternoon, at the 
College Building, on Harrison Avenue, in the City of Boston, for the purpose 
of considering whether they will accept the act of incorporation granted to 
them by the Legislature, of electing officers, making by-laws, and otherwise 
organizing the Corporation, and transacting such business as may be requi- 

Boston, June 19th, 1863. John McElroy. 

Edward H. Welch. 

John Bapst. 

James Clark. 

Charles H. Stonestreet. 
Persons named in the 
Act of Incorporation.' 

Meeting to Organize 

According to the minutes of the meeting held on July 6, Fathers McElroy, 
Welch, and Bapst were present, and only two items of business were acted 
upon: the election of a secretary (Father Welch) and the voting to accept 
the act of incorporation. The second meeting of the Board of Trustees took 
place on July 10, at which the bylaws were adopted and: 

It was voted unanimously to elect the proper officers for the college for three 
years, which election resulted in the choice of the following: (Rev. J. McElroy 
having declined) Rev. J. Bapst was elected President, Rev. John McElroy, 
Vice-President; Rev. Robert Brady, Treasurer; Rev. E. H. Welch, Secretary. 
The following directors were also elected for three years: Rev. John Bapst, 
Rev. John McElroy, Rev. Robert Brady, Rev. E. H. Welch, and Rev. John 

It was also voted to request Rev. John McElroy to convey all the property 
now vested in his name in the City of Boston, viz: the Church of the 
Immaculate Conception and Boston College in due legal form, also the 
Church and Parochial residence on Endicott Street also vested in the same 
Rev. John McElroy.' 

Nine days later Father McElroy could write: 

On last Thursday [July] (16th) was finally concluded the conveyance of all 
property in my name, Boston College, Ch. of Im: Concep: St. Mary's Ch: 
and residence, to the Trustees of Boston College. Deo Gratias! I am indeed 
now a poor man, as a religious ought to be. The Deed is made out on 

30 History of Boston College 


In the year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty-three. 
AN ACT to incorporate the Trustees of Boston College. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in 
General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows: 
Section 1. F John McElroy, Edward H. Welch, John Bapst, James Clark 
and Charles H. Stonestreet, their associates and successors, are hereby 
constituted a body corporate by the name of the Trustees of the Boston 
College, in Boston, and they and their successors and such as shall be 
duly elected members of such corporation, shall be and remain a body 
corporate by that name forever: and for the orderly conducting the 
business of said corporation, the said trustees shall have power and 
authority , from time to time, as occasion may require, to elect a President, 
Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and such other officers of said 
corporation as may be found necessary, and to declare the duties and 
tenures of their respective offices, and also to remove any Trustee from 
the same corporation, when in their judgment he shall be rendered 
incapable, by age or otherwise, of discharging the duties of his office, or 
shall neglect or refuse to perform the same, and also from time to time to 
elect new members of the said corporation: provided nevertheless that the 
number of members shall never be greater than ten. Section 2. The said 
corporation shall have full power and authority to determine at what times 
and places their meetings shall be holden and the manner of notifying the 
trustees to convene at such meetings, and also from time to time to elect 
a president of said college, and such professors, tutors, instructors and 
other officers of the said college as they shall judge most for the interest 
thereof, and to determine the Duties, salaries, emoluments, responsibili- 
ties and tenures of their several offices: and the said corporation are 
further empowered to purchase or erect and keep in repair, such houses 
and other buildings as they shall judge necessary for the said college; and 
also to make and ordain, as occasion may require, reasonable rides, 
orders and by-laws not repugnant to the constitution and laws of this 
Commonwealth, with reasonable penalties for the good government of 
the said college, and for the regulation of their own body; and also, to 
determine and regulate the course of instruction in said college, and to 
confer such degrees as are usually conferred by colleges in this Common- 
wealth, except medical degrees: provided nevertheless that no corporate 
business shall be transacted at any meeting unless one half at least of all 
the trustees are present. Section 3. Said corporation may have a common 
seal, which they may alter or renew at their pleasure, and all deeds sealed 
with the seal of said corporation, and signed by their order, shall when 
made in their corporate name, be considered in law as the deeds of said 
corporation: and said corporation may sue and be sued in all actions, 
real, personal or mixed, and may prosecute the same to final judgment 
and execution by the name of the Trustees of Boston College; and said 

The College Is Chartered 3 1 

corporation shall be capable of taking and holding in fee simple or any 
less estate by gift, grant, bequest, devise or otherwise, and lands, tene- 
ments or other estate, real or personal: provided, that the clear annual 
income of the same shall not exceed thirty thousand dollars. Section 4. 
The clear rents and profits of all the estate, real and personal, of which 
the said corporation shall be seized and possessed, shall be appropriated 
to the endowments of said college in such manner as shall most effectually 
promote virtue and piety and learning in such of the languages and of the 
liberal and useful arts and sciences, as shall be recommended from time 
to time by the said corporation, they conforming to the will of any donor 
or donors in the application of any estate which may be given, devised or 
bequeathed for any particular object connected with the college. Section 
5. No student in said college shall be refused admission to or denied any 
of the privileges, honors or degrees of said college on account of the 
religious opinions he may entertain. Section 6. The legislature of this 
Commonwealth may grant any further powers to, or alter, limit, annul, or 
restrain any of the powers vested by this act in the said corporation, as 
shall be found necessary to promote the best interests of the said college 
and more especially may appoint overseers or visitors of the said college, 
with all necessary powers for the better aid, preservation and government 
thereof. Section 7. The granting of this charter shall never be considered 
as any pledge on the part of the Commonwealth that pecuniary aid shall 
hereafter be granted to the college. 

House of Representatives, March 31, 1863 
Paper to be enacted, Alex. H. Bullock, Speaker. 

In Senate, Mar. 31, 1863, 
Paper to be enacted, J. E. Field, President 
April 1st 1863 


John A. Andrew. 

Secretary's Department, Boston, 
May 28, th 1863. 
I hereby certify the foregoing to be a true copy 
of the original Act. 

Oliver Warner 

Secretary of the 

The legislature has twice approved amendments to the charter. In 1907 the name of the 
corporation was changed to the Trustees of Boston College (instead of the Boston College), 
authorization was given to grant medical degrees, and the corporation was authorized to 
hold additional real and personal estate. In 1971 the original limitation of 10 members of the 
Board of Trustees was removed. 

32 History of Boston College 

parchment, handsomely executed, and left at the Register's Office to be 
placed on Record; the stamps cost $294.60. 

Father Bapst was elected by the Trustees, as Prest., of the College, myself 
Vice Prest., Father Brady Treasurer & Fr. Welch Secy, pro forma, that the 
requirements of the Charter and By Laws might be complied with. 

I would take leave to suggest your Revce. to continue to supply Fr. Bapst 
with what may be necessary to support the house until the College is opened 
for boys; the Revenue of the Church this year will not meet all the demands 
upon it, on acct., of the completion of the basement &c., &c., &c., — you 
will perhaps find it convenient to leave one or more scholastics to study 
Moral &c., which can be easily done. . . .'" 

The latter suggestion must not be construed as a desire to reopen the 
College as a scholasticate. It was evidently Father McElroy's intention to 
solicit financial assistance from the Province in return for the board and 
room to be given some of the young Jesuits making certain parts of their 
course of studies in private or in preparation for examination. The idea 
was apparently not acted upon, for the Province catalog carried no names 
of such students until 1882, when a scholastic was listed as studying 
theology privately." 

The First President 

When he came to Boston, Father Bapst was something of a national hero 
because of a harsh experience he had as a missionary in Maine. Born at La 
Roche, Canton of Fribourg in Switzerland on December 7, 1816,'- he 
attended the Jesuit College at Fribourg. Upon completion of his course he 
entered the Society of Jesus on September 30, 1835. Shortly after his 
ordination on December 13, 1846, the Jesuits were expelled from Switzer- 
land. Father Bapst, in company with a number of his fellow exiles, came to 
the United States, where he was assigned to missionary work among the 
Indians at Old Town, Maine. 

To the difficulties which centered in a natural distaste for this type of 
work was added Father Bapst's inability to speak English or the Penobscot 
tongue. He overcame these handicaps gradually, however, and when the 
mission was moved to Eastport, Maine, in 1850, Father Bapst was ap- 
pointed superior. In this new situation, his "parochial" responsibilities 
extended not only to the Indians but to large numbers of Irish and 
Canadian settlers in the section, and this led him to seek a more central 
base for the mission. Bangor was decided on in 1852, and from this town 
Father Bapst and his three assistants served as much as they could of the 
state of Maine. 

Know-nothingism was rampant at the period, and the Jesuits' presence 
and ministry to their fellow Catholics was resented by many bigoted non- 
Catholics. At Ellsworth, a small town some 30 miles southeast of Bangor, 

The College Is Chartered 33 

Rev. John Bapst, S.]., first president of Boston College. 

34 History of Boston College 

Father Bapst was threatened with physical violence if he continued attend- 
ing the local Catholics, but he disregarded the warning and went about his 
religious duties there as usual. On one of these visits (Saturday evening, 
October 14, 1854), he was seized by a mob, ridden on a rail to a distant 
point, stripped of his clothes, tarred and feathered, and some effort was 
even made to burn him alive. Exhausted and almost maimed by the 
inhuman treatment, he was left to return to his quarters as well as he could. 
When he arrived there, he was attended by friends, but many months 
passed before he recovered his health completely. The respectable citizens 
of the state, Protestant and Catholic, were shocked at this outrage, but 
their efforts to bring the guilty persons to justice proved fruitless. The deed 
had one happy result, however, for, like the blood of martyrs, it brought 
the faith to the respectful and sympathetic attention of many and undoubt- 
edly contributed to the spread of Catholicism, not only in Maine, but 
throughout the nation. 

In September 1859 the Jesuits withdrew from Maine, and Father Bapst 
was assigned to Holy Cross College in Worcester as spiritual father, where 
he remained until he was appointed rector of the new scholasticate at 
Boston the following July 2. 

Empty Halls 

To the new president, the College buildings, emptied of their scholastic 
inhabitants, took on a deserted look. On August 31 Father Bapst wrote, 
"Today the personal [sic] of the house will be reduced to its simplest 
expressing [sic] ; there will be left here four priests, including Father Major 
[the minister], and five Brothers only."" And in another letter he wistfully 
complained of "feeling lost in the house."" 

In the Catalogue of the Province of Maryland, ineunte anno 1864, the 
title Seminarium Bostoniense was replaced by Residentia; Father Bapst's 
rank was changed from rector to the lower rank of superior (to accommo- 
date the rank of the house), and with him were left only Fathers Welch, 
McElroy, Fulton, and Power acting as assistant priests in the work con- 
nected with the Immaculate Conception Church. Father McElroy, weighed 
down by the infirmities of age, had been permitted to turn over his account 
books and the care of the financial management of the church and College 
to Father Bapst early in August,'^ and on November 10, he left Boston for 
good.^* Of this period. Father Fulton later wrote, "We had a hard time. All 
the Scholastics going. Father McElroy, the Italians [i.e., the Italian priests 
who had been on the seminary faculty]; it was thought the people would 
desert us — it did not so result!"^^ 

In addition to numerous tasks of the ministry, a serious worry occupied 
the attention of the superior and his assistants and served to keep their 
minds off the emptiness of the house. Both church and College rested under 
an overwhelming debt, which Father Fulton claimed was $156,666 in 

The College Is Chartered 35 

]ohn A. Andrews, the governor 
of the Commonwealth of Mas- 
sachusetts who signed the Bos- 
ton College charter. 

November of 1863.''* Devitt described the state of mind of the Jesuit 
community as "consternation" when the members discovered that the debt 
was over $150,000. According to the same authority, some of the more 
excitable members had even proposed giving the entire estabhshment — 
church and College — over to the bishop. '' 

The Problem of Funds 

Father Bapst had written to the Provincial that after a careful examination 
of the accounts, he felt that in the ordinary course of events there would be 
an enormous deficit incurred during the coming year.^° Whereupon he 
decided that waiting for something to happen would never save the situa- 
tion, and he set out to make something happen. After Mass on Sunday, 
November 22, 1863,-' Father Bapst called a meeting in the basement of the 
church of the prominent men in the congregation and made a clear 
exposition of the state of affairs. He also proposed a plan to raise the 
amount of $5000, which he felt was immediately needed. Among the men 
present was Andrew Carney, the wealthy clothing merchant of Boston, who 
had made numerous gifts to Catholic charities in the city and who had 
founded Carney Hospital in Boston some five months before." He had 
been a loyal and generous friend to Boston College and the church of the 
Immaculate Conception since they had been first begun; he had given Father 
McElroy sums of money and had loaned him other large sums on conven- 
ient terms," so he knew rather well the financial status of the church and 
the College. He at once saw that the $5000 for which Father Bapst had 
asked would barely meet the interest on outstanding loans and the most 

36 History of Boston College 

necessary expenses and that the position of the Fathers would not be 
permanently bettered by it. While the meeting was still in progress, Carney 
handed Father Bapst a card on which was written: 

I propose to pay to the Church of the Immaculate Conception the sum of 
$20,000, if the congregation will raise the same amount within six months.-'' 

Father Bapst reported: 

The proposition was received with a tremendous applause; & to show they 
were in earnest $4,000 were subscribed on the spot by 64 men only, the 
meeting being very small. Now the impetus is given, the excitement is 
produced; it is in our power to have $40,000 within six months if the 
movement is skillfully directed. The cry is: we shall not lose the chance given 
by A. Carney!! If we are successful, the church is forever free from embar- 
rassments and from any danger of falling into other hands. . . . Fr. Williams 
[the Vicar-general of the diocese of Boston during the prolonged absence of 
Bishop Fitzpatrick] sometime ago gave me permission to collect in any church 
in the city & in the country where I would be permitted by the pastors to do 

The First Fair 

The $7000 mark was reached by the end of the first week,-* and a group 
was organized to wait at the door of the church on Sundays to solicit 
further subscriptions." Joseph A. Laforme of Boston, who was chairman 
of the committee of six^* which nobly cooperated with Father Bapst in his 
great task, wrote: 

... in the course of a few weeks, Fr. Bapst, with the assistance of a few 
members of the congregation, succeeded in obtaining subscriptions to the 
amount of ten thousand dollars. Meanwhile it was found that other means 
must be resorted to for the purpose of obtaining the sum required under the 
proposition of Mr. Carney, and it was decided to hold a fair in the Music 
Hall of Boston." 

This decision was evidently reached early in January, because on January 
26, Father Bapst wrote to the Provincial discussing a possible date. He 
favored some time in April, because as he explained: 

It is in the evening that money comes in; if the evenings are short, all is 
spoiled. The day to begin it will probably be appointed after tomorrow, and 
as soon as it is decided, I shall inform your Reverence. 

. . . We will announce the fair in the church and in the papers next week. 
The fair will be in aid to Boston College. That will make the object common 
to all the churches & even to the protestants, the college being chartered.^" 

In the same letter. Father Bapst asks the Provincial for information regard- 
ing the possibility of opening the College for externs the following Septem- 

The College Is Chartered 37 

ber. He felt that some definite word regarding the opening would prove a 
valuable "sales point" in conducting the fair. 

On February 8 he wrote again to advise the Provincial that the dates for 
the fair were from the fourth to the sixteenth of April.^' According to 
Laforme, the fair opened on April 5/- but an unfortunate event occurred 
to dampen the spirit of all the workers: Andrew Carney died suddenly at 
half-past ten on Sunday evening, April 4. "He had a new attack," wrote 
Father Bapst, "of apoplexy, although the Dr. called it congestion of the 
lungs."" Arrangements were made to bury him from the Immaculate 
Conception Church at ten o'clock Wednesday morning, April 7, and he 
was laid to rest in the Carney Hospital, South Boston, which he had 

In spite of this handicap, the fair proved to be, in Laforme's words, "up 
to that time ... the most successful church fair ever held in Boston. "'^ 
While the fair was still in progress. Father Bapst voiced some misgivings: 

The fair is the most splendid thing that ever was done here in that line; & yet 
it will not reach $20,000. The weather yesterday & today is far from being 
favorable, & other causes too long to be explained work strongly against it. 
It will probably realize $15,000 clear. We have one consolation; nothing has 
been wanted of what human ingenuity can do, in the part of the committee, 
of the ladies, & of the Pastors, to make it a grand fair. We resign ourselves to 
the will of Divine Providence for the result.^*^ 

Rev. Edward Holker Welch, S.J., one 
of the five Jesuit incorporators of 
Boston College. 

38 History of Boston College 

Laforme, however, estimated that the fair reahzed $27,000. The same 
authority stated that some $25,000 worth of securities were bequeathed to 
the Immaculate Conception Church and the College by Andrew Carney. 
"Thus," observed Laforme, "within a few months from the beginning of 
his pastorship, Fr. Bapst had collected sixty-two thousand dollars towards 
the liquidation of the debt."^^ 

In the spring of 1864 it was 17 years since Father McElroy had arrived in 
Boston with plans for a college. It was seven years since he purchased the 
property in the South End. It was five years since the church and the College 
buildings were completed. It was one year since the College's charter had 
been granted. At long last the dream was about to become reality. 


1. The statement of Father McElroy's election is based on two letters of Very 
Reverend Angelo M. Paresce, S.J., Provincial of Maryland Province of the Soci- 
ety, to Father McElroy, dated April 10 and April 19, 1863; and on letters of 
Father McElroy to Father Paresce, dated April 16 and April 21, 1863. These 
letters are preserved in the Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown Uni- 
versity Library. 

2. McElroy, Diary, Vol. 1, MS. p. 68, under date December 1863. Maryland 
Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown University Library. 

3. Ibid. 

4. Paresce to McElroy, February 20, 1863, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, 
Georgetown University Library. 

5. McElroy to Paresce, March 4, 1863, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, George- 
town University Library. 

6. McElroy to Paresce, March 23, 1863, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, 
Georgetown University Library. 

7. Paresce to McElroy, April 6, 1863, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, George- 
town University Library. 

8. Transcribed from "Records of the Trustees of Boston College," manuscript 
volume of the minutes of the trustees' meetings, p. 1, BCA. Note: Devitt, in his 
short account of the history of Boston College printed in Woodstock Letters, was 
evidently led by this Courier advertisement into the error of dating the first 
meeting of the trustees as June 19 — the date of the advertisement. The correct 
date obviously is July 6 (Devitt, "The History of the Maryland— New York 
Province; XVI, Boston College," Woodstock Letters, 64:403, 1935). 

9. Records of the Trustees of Boston College, under date of July 10, 1863. 

10. McElroy to Paresce, July 19, 1863, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, George- 
town University Library. 

11. Catalogus Provinciae Marylandiae-Neo-Eboracensis, ineunte anno 1882, under 
"Boston College." 

12. This synopsis of Father Bapst's life is based on the Catalogus Provinciae Mary- 
landiae for the pertinent years and on the full account of Father Bapst's life, with 
transcripts of many of his letters, pubhshed in Woodstock Letters, 16:324—325 
(1887); 17:218-229, 361-372 (1888); 18:83-93, 129-142, 304-319 (1889); 
20:61-68; 241-249, 406-418 (1891). 

The College Is Chartered 39 

13. Bapst to Paresce, August 31, 1863, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, George- 
town University Library. 

14. Bapst to Paresce, August 28, 1863, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, George- 
town University Library. 

15. McElroy to Paresce, August 4, 1863, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, George- 
town University Library. 

16. McElroy to Paresce, November 25, 1863, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, 
Georgetown University Library. 

17. Fulton, Diary, under date 1863. 

18. Ibid. 

19. Devitt, manuscript notes on history of Boston College, pp. 9—10, preserved in 
Georgetown University Archives. 

20. Bapst to Paresce, December 1, 1863. Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, George- 
town University Library. 

21. Date fixed by McElroy reference to the incident as occurring two Sundays after 
he had just left Boston; since he left Boston on the tenth, this meeting must have 
taken place on the twenty-second. Cf. McElroy, Diary, November 1863, p. 67. 

22. The Pilot (April 16, 1864). 

23. See Chapter 3 for Father McElroy 's indebtedness to and his estimation of Mr. 

24. For an account of this entire incident in detail, cf. letter of Father Bapst to Father 
Paresce, December 1, 1863, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown 
University Library. 

25. Ibid. 

26. McElroy, Diary, November 1863, p. 67. 

27. Fulton, Diary, under date 1863. 

28. "The names of those who formed this committee were: Hon. Hugh O'Brien, 
Joseph A. Laforme, Francis McLaughlin, William S. Pelletier, Patrick Powers, 
and Hugh Carey." From McAvoy, manuscript for "Father Bapst, a Sketch," p. 90 
(omitted in published form); preserved in Woodstock College Archives, George- 
town University Library. 

29. A. J. McAvoy, S.J. "Father Bapst; a Sketch," Woodstock Letters, 18 (1889):317. 

30. Bapst to Paresce, January 26, 1864, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, George- 
town University Library. 

31. Bapst to Paresce, February 8, 1864, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, George- 
town University Library. 

32. McAvoy, Father Bapst, 18 (1889):317. 

33. Bapst to Paresce, April 5, 1864, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown 
University Library. 

34. Ibid. 

35. McAvoy, Father Bapst, 18 (1989):317. 

36. Bapst to Paresce, April 12, 1864, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown 
University Library. 

37. McAvoy, Father Bapst, 18 (1889):317. 



Twenty-Two Pioneers 

Simultaneously with these efforts to secure financial support, plans were 
being made to open the College in September of 1864 to lay students. As 
early as the previous November, Father McElroy had mentioned the open- 
ing as already decided on by the Provincial.' And on February 22, 1864, 
the Provincial, Father Paresce, reported to the Jesuit General in Rome: 

Next September it will be necessary to open a school for lay students in 
Boston. I have already put off the affair for three years, notwithstanding 
complaints from the public. It cannot be delayed any longer in justice to the 
persons who have contributed liberally to the building of the college in the 
hope of having their children educated by Ours or on grounds of prudence 
as our honor and reputation would be compromised thereby. I have, there- 
fore, with my provincial consultors, come to the conclusion to open the 
college next September, beginning with two elementary classes of grammar, 
and then, each year, as the students advance in Latin and Greek, adding a 
class so as to build up step by step a complete college. I will shortly send 
your Paternity a terna [list of three nominees] for the Rector or Vice-Rector 
of this new college as you will think best.- 

This prospect of opening the College within a few months was held out as 
an inducement to liberality at the fair,' and, as we have seen, it had its 


Twenty-Two Pioneers 41 

In August the Boston papers carried the definite announcement that the 
College would open its doors for the youth of the city: 


The Benefactors and Friends of this Institution are respectfully informed that 
it will be opened September next. For further particulars, please apply at the 
College, Harrison Avenue.'' 

In The Pilot for August 27, 1864, the following advertisement appeared 
and was reprinted without change every week for the entire year, 1864— 

SOCIETY OF JESUS will open, for the reception of Scholars the lower classes 
of Collegiate Instruction, the building adjoining THE CHURCH OF THE 
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, Harrison Avenue, between Concord and 
Newton Streets. It is their intention to add a higher class each successive year, 
until the course of studies is complete. 

The course of studies as in other Catholic Colleges, will last seven years, 
and embrace the English, Latin, and Greek languages. Arithmetic, Mathe- 
matics, Logic, Metaphysics, Ethics, Natural Philosophy and Chemistry, with 
the usual accessories. 

The chief aim of the College is to educate the pupils in the principles & 
practice of the Catholic Faith; but the profession of that Religion will not be 
a necessary condition for admission. 

It will be required of the Candidate for admission that he should be able 
to read & write, that he should understand the primary principles of 
Grammar and Arithmetic, and be of reputable character. 

The Instructors have been selected from those who have already taught in 
other Colleges with success. 

Terms: $30 for each session of about five months, to be paid in advance. 

Should any student leave school in the course of a session, no deduction of 
price will be made in his favor, except in the case of expulsion.^ 

The above advertisement constitutes, as far as is known, the only 
prospectus issued by the College that year. It evoked the following editorial 
comment in The Pilot, after a paragraph calling attention to the opening: 

Felix Faustumque sit! 

Let us look at some of the advantages to be anticipated from this event. 
We need not argue the necessity of combining religious training with secular 
instruction. That point is decided. . . . But with what security shall we not 
confide our children to the Jesuit Fathers ! 

From the experience of a like Institution in a neighboring city, we anticipate 
that Boston College will be a fruitful seminary whence will issue in crowds 
youthful Levites to replenish the ranks of the secular clergy and the various 
religious orders. 

42 History of Boston College 

But we need not only priests, but thoroughly educated lawyers, doctors, 
merchants — men of every profession. When our lads shall have thus been 
educated in common, we may expect that they will be welded together by 
common recollections, sympathies and life long friendships. They will be the 
better able to support each other in good, and advance the interests of the 
whole Catholic body. 

Nor will it be an insignificant benefit that a larger number of priests will 
be resident among us, who will assist our clergy, at present so much 
overtaxed in the duties of the confessional and in instructing the people and 
will add by their very number to the splendor of rehgious ceremonies. 

We invoke, therefore, for the nascent college, the zealous patronage of 
those who are interested in the advancement of religion and learning.*^ 

The College Is Opened 

Father Robert Fulton, who had been assisting in the work of the church, 
was assigned by the Provincial as the first prefect of studies for the new 
college. Father Fulton was born in Alexandria, Virginia, June 28, 1826.^ 
His forebears on his father's side were Irish Presbyterians; on his mother's 
side they were Catholic O'Briens from County Clare. Robert served for 
four years as a page in the United States Senate, where he heard the orations 
of Webster, Clay, and Calhoun. Hoping to win an appointment to West 
Point, he enrolled in Georgetown College for preparatory studies, and 
while there felt the call to be a Jesuit. He became a novice in the Society of 
Jesus on August 31, 1843. As a scholastic (seminarian) he taught at 
Georgetown, Holy Cross, and several other Jesuit institutions. He was 
ordained a priest on July 25, 1857." 

The teachers designated to aid him in Boston were two scholastics, Mr. 
Peter P. Fitzpatrick, S.J., with five years' classroom experience, and Mr. 
James Doonan, S.J., with four years' experience, who were appointed to 
teach second and third grammar, respectively.' All was in readiness on 
Monday morning, September 5, 1864, when the College officially opened 
its doors,'" but the expected rush of students never materialized: 

Father Fulton was dismayed to find that instead of an army of students that 
he had expected to see thronging through the gates of the new college . . . 
there were only 22 boys whose parents were eager to bestow upon them the 
advantages of a Jesuit education. This, however, was not due to any unfriend- 
hness; but, in those days, the Catholics of Boston were mostly poor, and 
were not overanxious to pay for what could be had for nothing in the schools 
and academies of the city. Moreover, they shared in the common superstition 
that nothing superior to the education of the public schools of New England 
had as yet been discovered." 

Of the number that did come, Father Fulton dourly observed in his diary, 
"Many came gratuitously, and only one or two had talent."'^ Yet a reporter 

Twenty-Two Pioneers 43 

Rev. Robert Fulton, S.]., first dean and twice president of Boston College. For over 1 8 
years, between 1864 and 1891, he shaped the academic standards and style of the 

44 History of Boston College 

for The Pilot who visited the school after it had been in operation a few 
weeks saw a brighter picture: 

Father Bapst has the gratification of seeing at length the College which he has 
labored so hard to complete in progress. We visited the Institution last week, 
and were pleased to see the advancement already made. Classes have been 
organized, and the various members are becoming familiarized with the daily 
routine. Second Humanities is the highest department this year, and from it 
the other classes descend in order to Rudiments, where the little beginner is 
introduced with proud anxiety to the mysterious pages of the Viri Romae, 
and views the long highway of classics. . . . Thirty-two students comprise 
their total number at present but the good Fathers expect this little body will 
be augmented before long. Catholics &C our fellow-citizens of other denomi- 
nations should take the opportunity afforded to giving their children a 
classical education. The Jesuit Fathers are world-renowned instructors of 
youth, and many of our most intellectual men have owed their successes to 
the early training of the Society." 

Applicants continued to appear singly throughout the fall months, and 
by January 1 an additional 24 students were entered on the College 
register." And 16 more had signed up before the close of classes in June. 
Unfortunately, about 25 percent of this number did not persevere after 
entering, so a notation in Father Fulton's handwriting in the College 
register, evidently written in June 1865, states: "Closed the First Year with 
Forty-eight (48) students. Sixty-two entered."^^ 

Daniel M. C. McAvoy, the first student to 
register when the College opened in Sep- 
tember 1864. 

Twenty-Two Pioneers 45 

The time order for this first year is also found in this register, written in 
Father Fulton's hand: 

8:30 a.m. 


9- ^ 


11:00 j 










End of classes 

(On Saturdays classes terminated at 1:30 p.m.) 

A weekly report was read on Mondays at 11:45, evidently to each class by 
its own teacher, with a formal reading of marks before the whole school on 
the first day of every month. 

Some of the textbooks used in the class of second rudiments in the 
opening year are preserved in the Boston College Library. The Latin 
composition book is Andrews,'* written somewhat on the lines of the 
Bradley-Arnold Latin exercise text which was known to generations of 
English schoolboys. There does not appear to be very much gradation in 
the exercises, and httle or no effort was made to emphasize the more 
important points or to minimize or exclude the less important ones. It 
would unquestionably be a difficult book for eighth-grade or first-year high 
school pupils and would make heavy demands on the teacher's skill. An 
examination of it raises one's esteem for the early scholars who used it. 
Judging by the inscription written by the owner on the flyleaf, the text was 
also used through third humanities (equivalent to third-year high). 

The Initial Exhibition 

As the termination of the first school year approached, Fathers Bapst and 
Fulton found themselves confronted with many problems, foremost among 
which was the task of arranging a creditable "exhibition," as the com- 
mencement exercises were then called. In May Father Bapst wrote the 
Provincial in tones reflecting his desperation at the difficulties which 
surrounded him: 

Fr. Fulton has just been with me in reference to the Exhibition to be given at 
the Commencement. It is necessary that it should be something creditable, as 
it is the only efficient recommendation we can offer to the public, in favor of 
our schools. There is hardly a secular priest who will say a good word on our 
behalf, but great many will be disposed to say a bad word against us; & yet 

46 History of Boston College 

"\V:i ,\i!iui,il (!-viiibilion ol' kloilOH ^i'ollcgf, 

Invitation to the "exhibition" of 
student accomplishments at the end 
of Boston College's first academic 
year, 1864-1865. 

the parents are generally influenced by their pastors as to what college they 
should send their boys. Therefore a great deal depends on that first exhibition 
at Boston College; by it we shall be judged. 

This year, instead of diminishing the debt, we have added to it; & as the 
Bishop is going to begin his buildings at once & will not stop raising money 
for four or five years (a great damper on all fairs and collections for our 
church), our prospects for collecting money are very slim. The only way left 
us, is to increase the number of our Scholars, which cannot be done except 
by making the college popular and attractive. And besides strong studies & 
a good government, I don't see anything calculated to popularize our schools 
but some brilliant exhibition, & for the present nothing else seems available 
but a drama such as I have proposed. If it cannot be permitted now, it can 
never be permitted. In the present circumstances, I hope your Rev'ce will 
oppose no objection to it. We are discouraged enough already, it would be 
dangerous to increase our discouragement, although certainly we shall sub- 
mit to your decision, no matter what the consequences may be.'^ 

Twenty-Two Pioneers 47 

Such an appeal could hardly be refused, and so, when the following 
invitation was sent out in June, it was to attend a two-part exhibition as 
Father Fulton had wished: 


The company of yourself and family is respectfully requested at the FIRST 
the College Hall, on the evenings of the 29th and 30th of June, beginning at 
half-past seven o'clock. 

Boston College, Harrison Av. 
June 27, 1865i« 




XIlXrRS3DA.Tr, JTJ3SrE S9, 186S- 

K X A JJ I N A T I N . 

llii' matler a»,-<if,'i)cii li,r Uiu various classes, is as IbUows: 

l-..r tl..tlur,l class „tlI«,„anitius,X,.,„,s, l>l.a-,ln,s, (Jra.a .Minora, l.ali., 

and Greek (iraniinars. 
l'-"r li,. Urst .livisi.M, ,.r l!,„li„u.,.ls, Vin Ilonue, Uuiu an,l (irrck Cramn.ars. 
!or tlie sccianl ilivisimi of limlitueiils./Joograpliy, l.alin (irauiniar. 
lor tl„. third .livision .,1 lindiuients, Ueograi.!.}-, .Siwlliiifc'. 


b K C L A JI A T I O N . 


.MCsic, -; 
mriKs <>i I'ATiiioiisM, 

Tii.w. J. l-oi:i.. 

Fli.\X( IS XolCKIs. 


Ckd. \V. I.K.NNo.N. 

Kit.\.\K M( Aviiv. 

M U S 1 C . 

Program of the first day of the 
exhibition at the end of the 
school year in 1 865. The tests 
for the participants were of a 
sotnewhat elementary nature 
because few were of college 

48 History of Boston College 

The exhibition consisted in a pubHc examination of the pupils on the 
first day and a sacred drama, "Joseph and His Brethren," on the second. A 
reporter from The Pilot commented that the unostentatious opening of the 
College the preceding autumn had not prepared the public for the impres- 
sive manner in which the institution closed its first school year. According 
to this account, Father Fulton opened his remarks on the evening of the 
exhibition with an apology for the exercises which were to be presented. 
He enumerated the handicaps under which the school operated, among 
which were the small number of students and the fact that these boys were 
enrolled in the very lowest grades. Because of these considerations, he asked 
the audience's indulgence in judging the quality of the exhibition. But The 
Pilot critic recorded that the ensuing exercises were so excellently done that 
the audience considered the prefatory apology unnecessary. 

On the second night, in addition to the play, there were selections by the 
Germania Band and the College choir and the award of premiums, with 
the venerable Father McElroy, as guest of the evening, presenting the silver 
crosses and books to the successful students. In passing, it might be noted 
that the list of prizes that night must have proved encouraging even to the 
lowliest pupil, since a count of the awards reveals that 64 were distributed 
among a student body of 48! In the summarizing judgment of the newspa- 
perman, these first commencement exercises had "proved [the College's] 
claims on the patronage of a discriminating public."^' 

Father Bapst sent copies of the program to the Provincial on July 7, with 
the report that "our Examination and Exhibition . . . were certainly a 
success."^" He continued: 

How many boys will we have next September, time will tell, [sic] We ought 
to have at least one hundred paying boys, & then all will be right. But I have 
been so often deceived in my prophecies, that I prefer to wait until the schools 
open again to tell how many boys we shall have. 

Our Professors have well merited of Boston College. They have more than 
fulfilled their duties, they have done [a] great many works of supererogation, 
& they have been successful in all. But above all my thanks & gratitude are 
due to the Prefect of Schools, who has taken the great interest in them & 
made extraordinary exertions to put the college on such a footing as to 
insure its successful working. Without him Boston College would not get 
along. He is the man for Boston College.^' 

Thus the first year ended successfully despite very limited resources and 
a very limited response from the Catholics of Boston. The new school 
figured so little in the Catholic life of the city that not a single mention of 
the institution occurred in the pages of the quasi-diocesan paper from the 
reports on October 1 of its opening until the notice of its closing for the 
term in the July 8 issue. Three teachers and 48 pupils! But it was a 
beginning with credit, and the stouthearted little staff could now draw 

Twenty-Two Pioneers 49 

deep breaths of satisfaction and relief and look forward with renewed 
courage to the first Monday in September. 


1. McElroy to Beckx, November 30, 1863, quoted in Gilbert J. Garraghan, S.J., 
"Origins of Boston College, 1842-1869," Thought, 17:651, December 1942. In 
this letter Father McElroy expressed the optimistic opinion that the College 
would "add considerable to the revenue of the house." 

2. Paresce to Beckx, February 22, 1864, Jesuit General Archives in Rome, Mary- 
land, 10-1-2, translated from the Latin and quoted by Garraghan, "Origins," 
p. 653. 

3. Fulton, Diary, under date 1864. 

4. Advertisement appearing in the Boston Evening Transcript, August 18, 1864, 
p. 1; and in The Pilot (August 20, 1864), p. 5. 

5. The Pilot (August 27, 1864). The Pilot is preserved in the hbrary of St. John's 
Seminary, Brighton. The Transcript mentioned above is preserved in the Boston 
College Library. 

6. The Pilot (August 27, 1864). 

7. This brief sketch of Father Fulton's life is based upon the autobiography con- 
tained in the first pages of his diary, a manuscript volume preserved in the 
Georgetown University Archives, Washington, D.C. 

8. I bid. 

9. Catalogus Provinciae Marylandiae, S.J., ineunte anno 1865. 

10. A valedictory delivered by Stephen J. Hart, June 28, 1877, transcribed in Cal- 
lanan, "Reminiscences," The Stylus, 13 (March 1899):167. 

11. Devitt, "History of the Maryland-New York Province," Woodstock Letters, 
64:405 (1935). 

12. Fulton, Diary, under date 1864. 

13. The Pilot (October 1, 1864). 

14. Register of Students, MS., BCA. 

15. Ibid. 

16. E. A. Andrews, Latin Exercises; Adapted to Andrews and Stoddard's Latin 
Grammar, 20th ed., revised and corrected (Boston: Crocker and Brewster, 

17. Bapst to Paresce, May 10, 1865, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown 
University Library. 

18. The invitation is preserved in the Georgetown University Archives, Washington, 

19. T^(?P27oi(July 8, 1865). 

20. Bapst to Paresce, July 7, 1865, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown 
University Library. 

21. Ibid. 


Consolidating a Gain 

During the summer of 1865, the College issued a "Circular to the Parents 
and Guardians of Youth in Boston and the Vicinity"' which presented the 
advantages of attendance at a Jesuit school. It drew attention to the interest 
instructors had in the spiritual welfare of their charges and dwelt on the 
value of a classical course. Yet, lest anyone think that Latin, Greek, and 
religion were the only subjects offered at the new institution, the circular 
indicated the time which had been devoted to other subjects during the 
scholastic year just ended. Mathematics, penmanship, music, and coordi- 
nated courses in geography and history extending over several years were 
mentioned. The study of English was described as of primary importance: 

. . . Lessons in English Grammar were frequent, compositions ordinarily 
exacted every week. [Moreover] two hours a week were given to French under 
the direction of Mr. De Frondat, whose merit as a teacher the Directors hold 
in high estimation. By a weekly and minute report, parents were kept 
apprised of the conduct and progress of the pupils. 

In September next, as was promised, a more advanced class in Latin, 
Greek, English, French, and Mathematics, and a class of book-keeping will 
be added to the course. . . . The Sciences will be taught in the graduating 
class. - 

Toward the close of this circular the offer was made to sell scholarships 
in perpetuity at $1000 each. The proposition was not developed beyond 


Consolidating a Gain 5 1 

the statement of the fact, which the writer sought to bring to the attention 
of "parishes, rehgious societies, or weahhy individuals, [who] may be 
desirous of educating, in this manner, candidates for the priesthood: or 
parents [who] may find it for their interest to provide thus for the instruc- 
tion of a numerous family of children."^ 

The Pilot for September 9, 1865, described the plan as follows: 

On sending a son to college, instead of paying the regular pension each 
session, the parent will pay the above sum once for all. The son having been 
educated, another may succeed, or the scholarship may be sold forever, or 
for a term of years. If retained, it may descend to the heirs of the original 
purchaser, subject to conditions he may prescribe.'' 

Continuing in an editorial vein, the paper remarked: 

Parishes, or parish priests, have regarded it almost as a duty to contribute to 
the education of candidates for the ministry. It will be evident that according 
to the plan we are discussing, they would be able, at much less cost, to make 
permanent provision for the education of their own youth who aspire to 
Holy Orders.^ 

The editor goes on to urge generosity on the part of the wealthy, but as 
far as can be determined, the offer met with very little response. The Pilot 
two weeks later reported a Joseph Sinnott as "the first to exhibit his 
generosity and zeal for Catholic education in founding a scholarship, to 
which he has nominated Henry Towle, a lad who has distinguished himself 

Boston College Hall, the audi- 
torium of the original college 

52 History of Boston College 

in the Dwight School."'^ Twenty-two years later, the College treasurer's 
books showed that only six paid scholarships had been established up to 
that time; one by a Mrs. Kramer; one by the above-mentioned Mr. Sinnott 
of Philadelphia; three by Mrs. Anna H. Ward, of 2 Washington Place, New 
York; and one by a Father Orr.^ 

A Growing Student Body 

There was, however, a marked increase in the regular student registration 
on the opening day, September 4. Father Bapst found time at eleven o'clock 
that morning, in the midst of the excitement, to pen a short and enthusiastic 
"bulletin" to the Provincial: 

We have entered thus far the names of 70 students, which is considered a 
success; three only of our old pupils having failed to make their appearance. 
The teachers & Fr. Fulton are in good spirits.' 

The Pilot reported that the College had reopened with the number of 
pupils nearly doubled.' Any effort to estimate the total enrollment for that 
year is frustrated by the system of registration in force at the time, which 
showed only the new pupils enrolled. Thus, it is clear that at the end of the 
first term 48 new boys had enrolled, and by June the number had risen to 
59. ^° But what the total enrollment was, one can only guess, working with 
this number of new students and Father Bapst's remark quoted above, that 
all but three of last year's pupils had returned (viz., 45 had returned). This 
figure of 104 should certainly be corrected for numerous withdrawals, yet 
how many withdrawals there were can no longer be ascertained. Since this 
is the only year for which this information is not available, an estimate 
could be made based on the regularity of increment observed in the other 
years. Thus:" 

48 ? 81 100 114 130 140 

The average gain for the latter five years is approximately 15 pupils a year; 
subtracting this number from the 81 (in 1866), we would have an estimated 
enrollment for 1865 of 66. As deflating and as contradictory as this figure 
seems, it receives at least some support from an ambiguous statement 
penciled under the final entry for this year in the College register: "Closed 
with upwards of sixty."'- 

The teaching staff, in anticipation of an enlarged student body, had 
meanwhile been increased to eight. This included four scholastics who 
were full-time teachers (Messrs. Peter P. Fitzpatrick, S.J., Michael Byrnes, 
S.J., James Doonan, S.J., and William Carroll, S.J.), all of whom taught 
Latin, Greek, English, and arithmetic; one priest (Fr. John Sumner, S.J., 
the College treasurer), who taught a part-time course in bookkeeping; and 

Consolidating a Gain 53 

The College gymnasium of the 
19th century. 

two part-time lay teachers, Mr. De Frondat, for French, and Dr. Willcox, 
for music; and the prefect of studies. Father Fuhon, S.J.'^ 

Boston College Life in the 1 860s 

A ghmpse into the school life of that second year of Boston College is 
permitted us in the recollections of Dr. Henry Towle, mentioned above as 
holder of the first scholarship granted at the College: 

In 1865 I entered Boston College as a pupil. It was the second year of its 
existence as a school. . . . Fifty scholars, ranging in years from twenty-six to 
eleven made up the entire membership. . . . Most of us were in the Second 
and Third Rudiments, under Mr. Doonan, and a few in Third Humanities, 
under Mr. Fitzpatrick. . . . The first pupils were of all shades of industry and 
idleness. In that crowd of fifty there were men and boys of varying degrees of 
scholarship. Some of the elder came for reformation of character; some were 
belated aspirants for Holy Orders, who had acquired a vocation late in life; 
and with these were mingled boys just removed from the lowest grammar 
classes. ... So thorough was the weeding of pupils of 1865, that only two of 
our number reached the class of Rhetoric in 1871, where our college course 

It was in '66 that the true school life which characterized Boston College 
began. We had a large influx of boys from St. Mary's school and from other 
sections of the city, and the classes assumed definite shape and form. . . . 
Having no traditions we soon adopted those of our teachers, and our College 
heroes were old graduates of Georgetown and Loyola. I wonder whether we 
sympathized with the dead Confederacy so much, merely because so many 
of our scholastics came from Maryland and that vicinity. We had an impres- 
sion that "Maryland, my Maryland," was written by a Georgetown boy, and 

54 History of Boston College 

therefore infinitely preferred its sentiments to those of "Marching Through 
Georgia." As far as I can recall the aims and ideals of the boys around me, 
we wished to be like some southern worthy, whose wit and mirth we read in 
some old college class book, or to learn from some teacher who was his 
fellow student in youth." 

Once the new year began, the school settled into a smooth and efficient 
routine. Father Bapst wrote in October that, with the exception of financial 
affairs, "The college is going on pretty well. Fr. Fulton wishes me to say 
that the teachers are very docile with him and give satisfaction."'^ The poor 
state of the school's financial condition was due, in part at least, to the 
withdrawal of the annual contribution hitherto made by St. Mary's Church 
in the North End. Father Bapst protested this loss repeatedly and vigor- 
ously. In February he had outlined his position to the Provincial: 

I saw Fr. Brady [the Superior at St. Mary's], in relation to the $3,000 [which 
had been given annually for the support of the college] ; although he has just 
realized $8,000 by his last fair, which closed last week, yet he does not seem 
to be inclined to do much more for Boston College. Until our schools bring 
in some revenues, above the expenses, it will be impossible for us to get along 
without the $3,000. The Bishop insists that St. Mary's was given to the 
Society for the sole purpose of enabling us to build a College, &C that all the 
revenues should go to that object. A congregation of 20,000 souls ought to 
be able to yield at least a surplus of $3,000, with proper management, 
without interfering at all with its own requirements. I hope your Rev'ce will 
see to it."^ 

The precursor of Bapst and 

Consolidating a Gain 55 

Another Fair 

Evidently no action was taken, since eight months later he reported that he 
would need another fair or some other extraordinary means of raising 
funds. '^ The idea of a second fair as a solution to the College's financial 
difficulties was acted on the following spring, and in May The Pilot carried 
the preliminary announcement: 

For Boston College and the Church of the Immaculate Conception 

A Free Scholarship in perpetuity in Boston College is offered to every Table 
that returns one thousand dollars. Churches, Societies, and others, willing to 
take the responsibility of a Table, thereby securing to themselves and succes- 
sors for all time, the great privilege of educating, free from all expense, some 
deserving Catholic boy, are requested to make immediate application to 
Father Bapst. 

The fair commences in October next. Full particulars at an early day.'' 

Toward the close of June, the date of the opening and the place of the fair 
were published as October 15 in the famous Boston Music Hall. 

Meanwhile, the academic officers of the College had inaugurated a 
custom which was destined to live for many decades: the awarding of 
monthly certificates (or, as they were then called, "tickets") for proficiency 
in studies. The first pubhcation of these awards appeared in The Pilot for 
May 12, 1866,^' and thereafter this monthly listing in the "public press" 
became one of the great inducements to academic effort.-" 

On the evenings of July 2 and 3, 1866, the second annual examination 
and exhibition (commencement) were held m the College hall. The program 
on the first evening consisted of examinations of the second and third 
classes of humanities, the first and second divisions of rudiments; decla- 
mation; and music by the Germania Band. The declamation exercises were 
two: "Peace," recited by John Lane, and a satire written by Theobald 
Murphy and delivered by John McLaughlin and Terence Quinn, which was 
described by a reviewer for The Pilot as "full of point and fun."-' The 
ceremonies of the second night were featured by a sacred drama entitled 
"Sedecias," with George W. Lennon in the title role, H. R. O'Donnell as 
Nebuchodonosor, and Daniel McAvoy (the college's proto-student) as 
Jeremias.^^ In the awarding of premiums which followed, 87 medals and 
"accesserunt" distinctions were announced and the 20 other pupils were 
named for "honorable mention." The Pilot representative commented: 

The exhibition during the two evenings has added not a little to the good 
reputation of the College. The College at this present time has about seventy- 
five pupils, and is in a flourishing and progressive condition. ^^ 

When the College opened for the fall term, an extension of its facilities 
was made to provide in a rudimentary way for adult education. A library 

56 History of Boston College 

The students' gaslit recreation 

of 1000 books was established in the basement of the adjoining Immaculate 
Conception Church, and the room was equipped to serve as a quasi club 
for the Catholic young men of the city.-"* The membership fee was one 
dollar a year. In the course of time, lectures were given before the group 
and various activities sponsored by it, all of which prepared the ground for 
the later founding of the Young Men's Catholic Association by Father 

But the main concern of all associated with the College at this time was 
the second fair. This great event was opened to the public on Monday 
evening, October 15, 1866, at the Boston Music Hall, and continued daily 
thereafter from eleven in the morning until ten at night for three weeks. -^ 
The management had promised that this fair would be the most attractive 
and successful ever held in the city,-^ and if one can believe the enthusiastic 
notices which the affair received in the newspapers, it really lived up to its 
advance publicity. The Pilot pronounced it "a great success . . . elegant 
decorations . . . this one surpasses them all."^^ 

When Gilmore's Band, one of the most popular musical organizations in 
the United States during the sixties, and the other features of the fair kept 
drawing crowds to the Music Hall without any appreciable falling off in 
attendance for the full length of the original engagement, it was decided to 
continue the fair for an additional week at the College hall after the closing 
of the Music Hall on November 23. -^ This was evidently done with 
satisfactory results, because Father Fulton records in his diary that the net 
proceeds rose to $30,728 and that his own table brought in some $4,600,-'' 
all of which constituted a new record for Catholic fairs. 

On November 28 a complimentary dinner for the fair committee was 
given in the College,^" and it was perhaps on that occasion that the founding 
of 1 8 scholarships in honor of those table sponsors who reahzed sums over 

Consolidating a Gain 57 

$1,000 at the fair was announced. The ledger in which the names of these 
patrons were recorded in the treasurer's office contains the following 
annotation evidently written at the time: 

Though the Patrons of the Fair Scholarships have a right to appoint to the 
places, Fr. Fulton, who directed the appointment of scholarships to them, for 
services rendered at the Fair, desired that the President of the College should 
see that they were given judiciously, i.e., to such as are brilliant, etc.^' 

In Father Fulton's opinion, "the free scholarships instituted after the Fair 
gave the first impulse and first ability to the College. "^- 

Father Bapst and Father Fulton, president and prefect, constituted a 
remarkably able administration for the infant college. Fortunately they 
remained a team for the duration of Father Bapst's presidency. 


1. Woodstock College Archives, Georgetown University Library. 

2. Ibtd. 

3. Ibtd. 

4. The Pilot (September 9, 1865). 

5. Ibid. 

6. Ibid. (September 23, 1865). 

7. BCA. 

8. Bapst to Paresce, September 4, 1865, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, George- 
town University Library. 

9. The Pilot (September 23, 1865). 

10. Manuscript volume: "Register of Students," BCA. 

11. Based upon a chart giving a summary of statistics concerning Boston College 
drawn up for the Provincial, apparently about 1882, Maryland Provincial S.J. 
Archives, Georgetown University Library. 

12. Manuscript volume: "Register of Students," BCA. 

13. Catalogus Provinciae Marylandiae S.J., ineunte anno 1886, s.v. "Collegium 
Bostoniense Inchoatum," and The Pilot (October 7, 1865). 

14. Henry C. Towle, "The Pioneer Days at Boston College," The Stylus, 11 (June 

15. Bapst to Paresce, October 11, 1865, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, George- 
town University Library. 

16. Bapst to Paresce, February 8, 1865, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, George- 
town University Library. 

17. Bapst to Paresce, October 11, 1865, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, George- 
town University Library. 

18. The Pilot (May 26 and June 2, 1866). 

19. Ibid. (May 12, 1866). 

20. Cf. "Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Boston College for the Academic 
Year 1868-9" (first catalogue issued), p. 10: ". . . those who ... are marked 
above a fixed number (usually about ninety or ninety-five), are rewarded with 
tickets, and the award is published in the Boston Pilot." 

21. The Pilot (July 14, 1U6). 

58 History of Boston College 





Ibid. Other parts in the play were: T. G. Devenny as Elmero; T. J. Ford as Josias; 
J. Kennedy as Manassas; J. Baron as Rapsaris; A. Maher as Araxhes; John 
Eichorn and Joseph Finotti as youngest sons of Sedecias. 

Ibid. (October 13, 1866). 

Ibid. (October 20, 1866). 

Ibid. (October 27, 1866); cf. also issue of November 3, 1866. 
From a manuscript diary of the Immaculate Conception Church Sunday School, 
preserved in the Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown University Li- 

Manuscript diary of Fr. Robert Fulton, S.J., under date "1866," preserved in 
Georgetown University Archives. 
Immaculate Conception Sunday School Diary. 
"Boston College Students' Accounts . . . 1879-1887." 
Fulton, Diary, under date "1886." 



The Letter of the Law 

In the summer of 1869 the first Catalogue of the Officers and Students of 
Boston College appeared, with a report on the academic year 1868-1869.' 
In this pubHcation the tuition is announced as $30 a semester, payable in 
advance. The catalog states, however, that "provision is made for the 
instruction of indigent, but meritorious candidates, who should present 
their claims for admission before the commencement of the session." 

The requirements for admission were "a good moral character, and a 
knowledge of the fundamental principles of Arithmetic and Grammar." In 
stating that the academic year contained two sessions, beginning on the 
first Monday in September and on the first Monday in February respec- 
tively, the catalog added, "but students are not precluded from entering at 
any time during the year." 

Rules and Regulations 

The hours of attendance were from half-past eight in the morning until 
half-past two in the afternoon, "with recesses at convenient intervals." 
Classes on Saturdays terminated at one o'clock. One hour a day was 
devoted to arithmetic and two hours a week to modern language, with the 
balance of the day given to Latin, Greek, and English. 

In contrast to Holy Cross College, the charter of which made it an 
exclusively Catholic college, Boston College had an act of incorporation 


60 History of Boston College 

which provided that "no student in said college shall be refused admission 
to, or denied any of the privileges, honors or degrees of said college on 
account of the religious opinions he may entertain." This passage was 
quoted in the catalog with the comment, "Students that are not Catholics 
will not be required to participate in any exercise distinctively Catholic; 
nor will any undue influence be used to induce a change of religious 
belief."- However, Catholic students were required: 

... to hear Mass every day, unless distance of residence should furnish reason 
for exemption; to recite the daily catechetical lesson; to attend the weekly 
lecture on the doctrines of the Church, and the annual retreat; to present 
themselves to their confessor every month; and, if they have never received 
the Sacraments of Penance, Confirmation or Holy Eucharist, to prepare for 
their reception.^ 

The educational background of new students varied so much that special 
arrangements frequently had to be made to accommodate them. On admis- 
sion, the student was examined to determine the classes to which he should 
be assigned, and he was told that the rate of subsequent progress depended 
upon his own ability and diligence. The catalog warned that a pupil's 
general deficiency in preparation might cause him to be detained more 
than one year with the lowest class, and that a pupil's weakness in a specific 
subject might result in his pursuing that study in a lower grade than his 
regular classes.'* The method of marking employed at that period was 
explained in the catalog: 

At the end of each recitation, its quality is recorded. Six is the highest number 
of marks given for a written exercise; four, for a translation or analysis; two, 
for any other exercise, and the same number for punctuahty and good- 
conduct; the number being diminished by one for every fault. A copy of this 
record ... is furnished the parents every week. 

At the end of each session an examination is held for all that was studied 
during the session. A separate examiner is assigned to each class. The 
examination is conducted in writing and lasts for about two weeks. ^ 

At the annual exhibitions, according to this announcement, distinctions 
of three degrees were conferred. In addition, annual prizes were instituted 
of $50 in gold for the best English composition, $25 in gold for excellence 
in reading, and the same amount for excellence in declamation. 

The detention period after school for minor infractions of rules, known 
to generations of Jesuit school pupils as "jug," was a regular institution at 
Boston College at this time. The catalog stated: 

For faults of ordinary occurrence — such as tardy arrival, failure in recita- 
tions, or minor instances of misconduct — a task, consisting of lines from 
some classical author, is committed to memory during the hour after the 
close of school.' 

The advantages of the College library are briefly mentioned. It appears 

The Letter of the Law 61 

that a "trifling expense" was connected with the use of books by the pupils; 
this, in a very elementary way, corresponded to the "library fee" charged 
by most modern colleges. 

Expansion in other directions was indicated summarily: "The liberality 
of a friend has already furnished a collection of minerals. A gymnasium 
has been begun, and an ample cabinet of philosophical instruments will be 
in readiness for the graduating class. "^ 

Among the "activities" listed in the back of the catalog one finds first 
place accorded to the Sodality of the Immaculate Conception. Forty-one 
pupils were named as attending the sodality meetings, at which the Office 
of the Blessed Mother was recited in Latin and exhortations were delivered. 

The Society of St. Cecilia, which boasted 39 members, supplied the 
music at the daily Mass and gave "its aid, when needed, at celebrations, 
either of the College, or the Church of the Immaculate Conception." 

There were 22 members of "The Debating Society of Boston College," 
who exercised themselves in dramatic reading, declamation, and extempo- 

The first page of the first cata- 
log issued by Boston College. 

c ATA \A)i\ i; !•: 



^^O.A.3DEIlWtIC! "S'EJ.A.Ft ISeS-Q: 



18 0!). 

62 History of Boston College 

raneous debate. Father Fulton was founder, director, and president of this 
organization, which today is proud to bear his name. 

The catalog then listed the officers and teachers on the staff and gave a 
directory of the pupils and the classes to which they belonged. An official 
record of the Fifth Annual Exhibition, which was held on June 30, 1869, 
was given in full, together with a program for "Richard III," the closing 
play of that year. The last item in the catalog was a reproduction of a 
sample report card. 

This very creditable catalog appears to be the exclusive work of Father 
Fulton. One gathers this from the remark which Father Fulton made in his 
diary to the effect that neither Father Bapst nor anyone else was permitted 
by the Provincial to have a voice in what pertained directly to the academic 
side of the school.^ Father Fulton set high standards for the infant school 
and would not hear of the granting of the bachelor's degree until a certain 
maturity had been established. This was attested to by a Jesuit who taught 
under Fulton's leadership as dean. Father John Buckley wrote: 

About this time, in the year 1869, the question of a graduating class was 
mooted. Father Fulton would not hear of it, giving as his reason that the 
body was too weak yet to sustain the head. There could be no thought of 
such a thing until all the lower classes were strong and numerous enough to 
secure an unbroken succession. Eight more years [were to pass] by before the 
college attained her majority.' 

It was not until 1877, when Fulton was president, that the College 
produced its first graduates. 

The Appointment of a Successor 

Because Father Fulton was so intimately a part of Boston College, one can 
understand the surprise felt by many that he was not selected as rector 
when Father Bapst announced his retirement from that office to become 
Superior of the New York-Canada Mission in August of 1869. Even Father 
Bapst was surprised, and on the night before he left for New York (that is, 
August 23), he wrote to the General of the Society in Rome to report that 
he himself, who could be presumed best acquainted with the situation in 
Boston, had not been consulted on the question of a successor. If he had 
been, he wrote, he would have suggested Father Fulton, to whom in a large 
measure the success of the College up to that time had been due.^" He 

Boston College, despite serious obstacles in the way, seems now to enjoy a 
success beyond all expectations and to hold out great hopes for the future. 
Moreover, our church, as all admit, has dissipated many prejudices among 
non-Catholics, raised the religious spirit to a higher level and already brought 
not a few into the bosom of the Church. To whom are these things due? In 
great measure to Father Fulton. None of Ours is gifted with talents of a 

Second President 

Father Brady was born on October 6, 1825, 
in Hancock, Maryland. He attended St. 
John's College in Frederick City, Maryland, 
at a time when Father John McElroy headed 
it. He entered the Society of Jesus on Au- 
gust 31, 1844, and, before ordination, 
taught at Holy Cross College. After ordina- 
tion he was assigned to St. Mary's Church 

in the North End of Boston and became superior there. In February 1867 he was 
named president of Holy Cross College, where he remained until he was ap- 
pointed president of Boston College on August 27, 1869." 

higher order. None enjoys so much authority among the leading citizens of 
the town. Our most outstanding friends desire to have him for rector of 
Boston College, and, in truth, all things considered, he appears to be the 
worthiest, the fittest for the post.'^ 

From this it should not be concluded that the priest selected to be second 
president of Boston College, Father Robert Wasson Brady, S.J., was not 
eminently suited to the position. He was a man of outstanding ability and 
winning personality," who already had broad executive experience and 
who was destined to fill very high positions in the government of the Society 
of Jesus. 

Father Bapst Leaves Boston College 

During Father Bapst's farewell address to the congregation of the Immacu- 
late Conception Church on Sunday, August 15, 1869, he took occasion to 
review his long connection with the church and the College, i"* The church, 
he recalled, was burdened with a debt of $156,000 when he assumed the 
duties of pastor some six years before, but he was able gradually to reduce 
this to $58,000. He thanked the congregation and friends of the College 
for making this possible and expressed the hope that their efforts would 
continue to be as effective as they had hitherto been, because a debt of 

64 History of Boston College 

$18,000 had to be met during the coming year. He then announced that an 
offer of a gift had been made to reduce this debt by $10,000 on the 
condition that the congregation raise a Uke amount. The offer was made 
by the family of one of his fellow Jesuits, Father Edward Holker Welch, 
who was an assistant parish priest at the Immaculate Conception Church. 
Father Welch was a Harvard graduate and a scion of a wealthy Boston 
family; he had been converted to the Catholic faith with his classmate and 
dearest friend, Joseph Coolidge Shaw, who also became a priest and 
Jesuit. ''" The social prominence of the donor and the nature of the appeal 
for the balance, which The Pilot urged "as the last call he [Father Bapst] 
shall ever make on their generosity,"!'^ sufficed to interest Catholic Boston 
in the cause. 

The Pilot, two weeks later, made public a proposal to raise the money 
before Christmas by popular subscription and to present the check to 
Father Bapst, together with a testimonial letter and a list of the donors, on 
Christmas, so that he might have the honor and consolation of personally 
paying off the debt.'' This tribute was to take the place of a parting gift, 
which Father Bapst had steadfastly refused. Upon Father Fulton fell the 
onerous duties of treasurer and promoter of the drive, and he undertook 
them with a zest which showed the great affection in which he held his 
former rector. In his diary. Father Fulton recorded that he was able to 
collect upwards of $11,000.^8 

Father Bapst's gratitude for this heart-touching "Christmas present" was 
expressed in the letter to the president and trustees of Boston College 
which accompanied the check for $20,000. After formally remitting the 

View of the College from James Street. 

The Letter of the Law 65 

money and offering his thanks to Fathers Welch and Fuhon and to all who 
had assisted, he observed that the sum would: 

. . . enable you to meet the two notes which become due this year. Moreover, 
the enormous debt, which six years ago threatened the very existence of 
Boston College, is now reduced to thirty-eight thousand dollars; which leaves 
before you prospects so bright as to exceed all expectations. 

He closed by saying that he was particularly consoled to find the names 
of many non-Catholics on the Hst of contributors, and expressed himself 
as deeply pleased that the act which terminated his long and happy 
association with the congregation of the Immaculate Conception should be 
connected with the reduction of the church debt." 

The opening of school for the term which saw Father Brady as president 
brought 59 new students to the college on Harrison Avenue, making a total 
of 130.^« 

The College as Beginners Knew It 

Some impressions of Boston College as it appeared in 1869-' are preserved 
in the "Reminiscences" of Patrick H. Callanan, who wrote: 

I remember well the old college building, with its brick-paved court-yard, its 
wooden fences to shut out all view of the church on the one side, and the 
greensward towards Newton Street on the other. I remember the high brick 
wall and the stone steps, and the iron gate that shut us in or out, as the case 
might be, from Concord Street. We old fellows remember the gymnasium, 
consisting of two upright posts with a crosspiece between, from which hung 
one pair of swinging rings and a trapeze. In addition to the swinging rings 
and trapeze, we had a set of parallel bars, and these three contrivances 
constituted the whole college gymnasium. ... It is a pity that no photographs 
of the original college buildings were ever taken or preserved. ... on the 
morning ... I entered college I was escorted ... to Father Fulton's door, to 
be assigned to . . . classes. I came direct from New York State and from a 
very small town, where I had no chance for schooling, and I now confess that 
I did not know a verb from a noun. Well, Father Fulton took our names and 
put some questions to us, . . . and after telling me that I was to go into some 
kind of a grade that was not yet established, as I did not know anything, we 
marched back through the old instruction hall, connecting both old college 
buildings, and we were finally landed in a room on the extreme northeast 
corner. I was distinctly told that I could not begin to study Latin that year, 
and perhaps not for two years, for which I was not sorry.-- 

It is interesting to learn from the official College register for September 
13, 1869, that the Callanan boy was placed in the lowest form, second 
rudiments and second arithmetic, where he, at 15, would share benches 
with lads of 10 and ll.-^ And it is more interesting still to find that this 
boy from then on took almost every prize for which he was eligible and led 

66 History of Boston College 

in all extracurricular activities, despite his initial handicap. In afterlife he 
became the first Boston College graduate to be named a pastor in any 

Time was running out, meanwhile, on Father Brady's brief term in office. 
It seems probable, as Devitt thought,-^ that the appointment was, in its 
original concept, temporary — a view supported by an enumeration of the 
subsequent posts held by Father Brady. In any case, he left Boston College 
on August 2, 1870, and returned to St. Mary's Church, Boston, where, as 
superior, he built an impressive edifice and rectory. In 1877 he was 
appointed Provincial of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus and 
in 1886 selected for the high honor of representing his province at an 
important Jesuit conference in Rome.-*" He was succeeded in the presidency 
of Boston College by a man who was destined to hold that office for a total 
of some twelve years. 


1. "Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Boston College for the Academic Year 
1868-9" (Boston: Alfred Mudge and Son, 1869), 22 pp. The excerpts which 
follow in the text were taken passim from this publication. 

2. Ibid., p. 4. 

3. Ibid. 

4. Ibid. 

5. Ibid., p. 10. 

6. Ibid., p. n. 

7. Ibid. 

8. Fulton, Diary, under date 1869. 

9. J. Buckley, S.J., "Father Robert Fulton; a Sketch," Woodstock Letters, 

10. Fulton, Diary, under date 1869. 

11. J. Morgan, S.J., "Father Robert Wasson Brady, S.J.; a Sketch," Woodstock 
Letters, 20(1891):250-255. 

12. Bapst to Beckx, August 23, 1869, Jesuit General Archives in Rome, Maryland, 
10(?)-I-48, translated from the Latin and quoted by Garraghan, "Origins of 
Boston College," Thought, 17{1942):655. 

13. Callanan, "Reminiscences," The Stylus, 12(1898):78, describing Father Brady as 
"much beloved" by the students. 

14. The Pilot (August 28, 1869). 

15. Woodstock Letters, 26(1897):446. 

16. The Pilot (August 28, 1869). 

17. /fc;W. (September 11, 1869). 

18. Fulton, Diary, under date 1869. At one meeting alone (November 17, 1869), 
$3,200 was subscribed (Sunday School Diary, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, 
s.v. "Boston," Georgetown University Library). 

19. The letter dated New York, January 4, 1870, was published in The Pilot (January 
22, 1870). 

The Letter of the Law 67 

20. Statistical chart on faculty and students at Boston College prepared for the 
Provincial in 1885, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown University 

21. Callanan gives the date of his entrance into the College as October 1870, but an 
examination of the official "College Register" shows that he entered September 
13, 1869. 

22. Patrick H. Callanan, "Reminiscences," The Stylus, 12(1898):9-10; 19-21. 

23. Official College Register, under date 1869. BCA. 

24. Callanan, op. cit., p. 1. 

25. Devitt, "The History of the Province, XVI, Boston College," Woodstock Letters, 

26. Morgan, op. cit., pp. 254-255. 



Prefect to President 

During the summer of 1870, Father Fulton visited St. Louis. After his 
return, on August 2, he was notified of his appointment as vice rector and 
president of Boston College.^ The title "vice rector," the same as that held 
by both Father Bapst and Father Brady, was employed instead of "rector" 
because the College was still technically "in the process of formation." The 
heading "Collegium Bostoniense Inchoatum" occurred in the official Jesuit 
catalog until the following year (1871-1872), when, for the first time, the 
simple title "Collegium Bostoniense" was employed and Father Fulton was 
listed as "rector. "- 

The elevation of Father Fulton to this post of distinction did not occasion 
any direct mention in the Catholic press, although a few weeks later an 
editorial urging support of the College took cognizance of the change. The 
editor of The Pilot wrote: 

The proximate opening of schools prompts us to say something of the 
institution which will soon be the only Catholic college in our diocese.^ 

. . . That the College has done well is proved by the excellence of the public 
exhibitions, by the high places its students have gained on going to other 
institutions, and by the constant — though too slow — increase of numbers. 

... It is lawful to be taught by the enemy. Only see what exertions all the 
sects expend upon their institutions of learning. Let us imitate them, and aid 
in making our College a famous establishment.'' 

Prefect to President 69 

Father Fulton's part in making "our college a famous establishment" 
was an enormous amount of prosaic hard work. Four days after his 
appointment to the presidency, he wrote to a Jesuit official, in connection 
with a plea for additional help, an outline of his own duties: 

Father Fulton's duties during the coming year: All the ordinary duties of 
Rector, Procurator and Prefect of Schools; to supply for sick teachers and for 
Father Tuffer until he comes; to teach Rudiments till a teacher is provided. 
Besides confessions, sick-calls, and ordinary work of the congregation — to 
preach once a week in the lower chapel and to say that Mass; to preach at 10 
once a month upstairs; once a week for the boys; once a week for each of 
two sodalities; and the Sunday School, &C manage all, and the library, which 
takes much time; besides extraordinary preaching in the month of May, Lent, 
funeral sermons, & other business not to be enumerated. That is, more than 
the work which Fathers Brady & Fulton did last year. . . .^ 

A duty not mentioned above, but which took much of his time, was that 
of securing money to meet the debts of the College. When he became 
president the debt was $35,000, which he reduced by $11,000 his first year 
and by $10,000 in 1871." He refers facetiously to his ability in this 
direction in a letter to the Province Procurator, written in May 1871, "I 
think you people who brag so much about being business men, must 
confess I have done well; for every copper has been of my own procuring, 
in 9 months, with extensive improvements going on."^ The "extensive 
improvements" he explains elsewhere as "finishing the house and buying 
furniture for house and college."' 

During Father Fulton's first term in office as president (August 2, 1870 
to January 11, 1880), many innovations were introduced which directly or 
indirectly helped the young institution to assume a position of influence in 
the Catholic life of the city. Two of these deserve mention in some detail: 
the introduction of the Foster Cadets and the enlargement of the buildings 
and opening of the new College hall. 

With Fife and Drum 

The idea of having military drill at Boston College was evidently enter- 
tained by the authorities at least as early as Father Brady's administration 
(1869—1870), because in the catalog of that year the following notice 

The State authorities having granted a supply of arms, a drill master will be 
appointed, and due notice will be given as to the style of the uniform, and 
the time by which it must be procured.' 

But it was not until October 1870 that the formation of a military company 
was announced by Father Fulton. Instrumental in bringing about the 
introduction of this training was Major General John Gray Foster, U.S.A., 

70 History of Boston College 

A Foster Cadet. Note the B.C. on 
the cap. 

a popular hero of the Mexican and Civil wars who had recendy been 
converted to Catholicism and at the time was engaged in engineering work 
in Boston. ^° In honor of this distinguished soldier, the group in the process 
of formation was called "The Foster Cadets." 

The project was taken up enthusiastically by the students under the 
direction of the military instructor, Sergeant Louis E. Duval, a regular in 
the United States Army stationed at Fort Warren in Boston Harbor." 

In the beginning all of the boys seemed to be enthusiastic at the innovation. 
We had no gymnasium, no playground, no foot-ball team, no opportunity, 
in fact, for anything in the line of athletics except an occasional base-ball 


Drill was compulsory for all except those who could produce a request for 
exemption signed by a physician. As time went by, the boys began to 
discover that drill was both an exacting and an exhausting exercise." After 
considerable discussion among the students, a simple and inexpensive Civil 
War style uniform was settled upon, and the school catalog of 1870—1871 
announced that "henceforth it will be of obligation to procure the College 

Prefect to President 71 

uniform."''' Father Fulton immediately found serious trouble in enforcing 
the rule, and it soon became known that a number of the boys in the higher 
classes refused to comply. 

The reasons were understandable. First of all, the students were almost 
without exception from families that were not financially well off; in 
addition to this, there were no philosophy classes in prospect; consequently, 
they would have to terminate their course or transfer to another college at 
the end of the school year (in rhetoric). This latter situation was a bitter 
disappointment to many who had thought — with or without encourage- 
ment from the College authorities— that when sufficient numbers finally 
arrived in the class of rhetoric, philosophy would be added to the course 
the following year in order that they might obtain their degrees from Boston 
College. '' 

When an issue was made of uniforms, large numbers simply dropped 
out of school. September 1871 presented a school opening that was a sad 
spectacle. The entire rhetoric and poetry classes failed to come back to the 
College; with them went almost all the members of the class of first 
humanities. The movement away from Boston College in the lower classes 
was described as "a regular stampede.""" 

Nonetheless, Father Fulton persevered in his determination to have a 
uniformed mihtary company. The last hour of the school session on 
Tuesdays and Fridays was devoted, as usual, to drill, but this season saw a 
new drillmaster. The new faculty director of the military program, Mr. 
John J. Murphy, S.J., to whom the future growth and excellence of the 
Foster Cadets was due, arranged to have one of the most famous drillmas- 
ters in the United States, Captain George Mullins of the Montgomery Light 
Guard (Company "I," 9th Regiment), take charge of the Boston College 
cadets. This rekindled the enthusiasm of the student body, and the boys' 
interest was further heightened by the receipt of a full supply of guns, belts, 
knapsacks, and bayonet scabbards which had been sent down from Spring- 
field through the kind offices of the governor of the commonwealth.'^ 

The young lads who were forced by circumstances to take over the 
various official posts in the organization did their part so well and the rank 
and file became so skillful in the role of soldiers that they were emboldened 
to challenge the champion school of the City of Boston to a prize drill in 
the old Boston Theater. The challenge was refused by the school committee, 
but the interest of the city in these Catholic cadets had been aroused, and 
the boys' own self-confidence had been established. The result was a well- 
attended and brilliantly executed prize drill between two companies form- 
ing the Foster Cadets battalion. This took place in the College hall on June 
15, 1872, before a board of judges consisting of General P. R. Guiney and 
Colonel B. F. Finan.'** 

For several years the streets in the vicinity of the College echoed to the 
music of fife and drum as the cadets marched here and there through the 
section, and on March 17, 1875, the Foster Cadets had a place of honor 

72 History of Boston College 

among some 900 parish cadets marching in the St. Patrick's Day parade. In 
the year 1876 Patrick H. Callanan, a student, was appointed drillmaster — 
a position which he held until his graduation in 1877. In the meantime, 
other interests occupied the attention of Father Fulton, with the result that 
he allowed the military program to receive less and less emphasis, until it 
was finally discontinued, i' 

A Program of Enlargement 

During the period which witnessed the peace jubilee in the summer of 
1872, the great Boston fire the following November, and the huge loss of 
hfe in the wreck of the Atlantic in the spring of 1873, the routine events at 
Boston College rarely made the newspapers. Nevertheless, the institution 
was growing slowly and sturdily, and the need was already felt for more 
room. As early as the summer of 1873, a proposal was voiced to extend 
the buildings and provide better facilities for the higher studies.-" The 
following year the annual exhibition had to be canceled and the distribution 
of premiums made privately, because the program of alterations — already 
under way — prevented the use of the hall.-' 

The College authorities were able to announce in September that "the 
improvements of Boston College have advanced so prosperously that there 
will be no impediment to the opening of school at the usual time."-- And 
when the registration opened that fall, 150 boys reported, a gain of 25 over 
the year before, as if to demonstrate the need for the expansion.^^ A writer 
on The Pilot estimated that "when the great building on St. [sic] James 
Street is finished, twice the number can be accommodated."-" 

The spectacular part of the alterations consisted in moving the rear 
building (the college proper) back to the sidewalk on James Street. To the 
delight of onlookers in the neighborhood, the large brick structure was 
shored up, placed on rollers, then painstakingly propelled backward by 
microscopic degrees, as a legion of workmen twisted a legion of jacks a 
quarter of a turn at a time to the beat of a drum.^^ Since the lower chapel 
in the church occupied only one-half the length of that building at the time, 
the balance of the area was employed for classrooms during the moving of 
the building. 

In February 1875 the task was completed, and an addition on the church 
end of the building was ready for the painters. Commenting on the 
alterations. The Pilot noted that in addition to two assembly halls. Father 
Fulton had made provision for a gymnasium in the basement of the College 
and for two rooms nearby as quarters for a society which he had long 
intended to form. This club would provide worthy leisure-time occupation 
and recreation for the young Catholic workingmen of the city, who would 
not ordinarily come under the influence of the College.^'' As will be seen 
shortly, the organization known as the "Young Men's Catholic Associa- 
tion" was to be initiated within a few months. 

Prefect to President 73 

The official opening of the renovated building took place on March 30, 
1875, and the new College hall — reconstructed and enlarged to become 
"one of the most commodious as well as the most tasteful in the city"^^ — 
was inaugurated with a presentation of the play "Richeheu" on the same 

Administrative Matters 

A printed handbill containing the following "Rules for the Students of 
Boston College" was issued about this time: 

The College door will be opened by the Prefect at 8 A.M. On entering the 
Students will repair immediately to the cloakroom, where they will leave their 
books, overcoats, etc. in the charge of the Janitor; thence directly to the 
gymnasium where they are to remain til time for Mass. 

After Mass, each Teacher will accompany his class from the gymnasium to 
the classroom, and if any teacher should delay, his class is to await his coming 
in the gymnasium. 

The places for recreation are the gymnasium and the court formed by the 
three College buildings. All the rest of the premises will be "out of bounds," 
except when the Prefect gives permission to walk by the Church. Members of 
the Debating Society may be allowed by the Prefect to recreate in their own 
room, where no other Students shall be admitted. 

Playing ball, snow-balling, pitching, and all games which would endanger 
the windows, are altogether forbidden. 

No boisterous conduct is allowed in the corridors or classrooms at any 
time. Even in the gymnasium and during recreation, the behavior should be 

Robert Fulton, President 
Boston College, Feb. 1, 1875^' 

The school was now completing its tenth year and was well organized. 
In his diary, Father Fulton looked back on these years and reflected how 
difficult they had been, but he had the consolation of being able to write: 

I count 40 of my boys who have entered the Novitiate preparatory to entrance 
into the Jesuit Order, become priests or gone to theological seminaries. Every 
year the number of scholars has increased a little. I have at this moment 

The administrative work of the teachers had been lightened by the 
discontinuance of the weekly report card in 1872,^" and now plans were 
under way to broaden the scope of the College's work by the introduction 
of an English major course in addition to the classics course already 
established. This movement was at the insistence of the archbishop, but it 
did not reach fruition until September 1878." 

74 History of Boston College 

A project dear to Father Fulton, though peripheral to Boston College, 
was the organization he established for Catholic young men of Boston for 
purposes of culture, religious development, and sociability. It was named 
the Young Men's Catholic Association. The College was generous to it over 
the years in giving it space and equipment. In time it took on the role of 
adult education, and for some years before its demise at about the time of 
the First World War, it had become an influential center of preparation for 
civil service examinations. For nearly half a century. Father Fulton's YMCA, 
always associated in the public's mind with Boston College, was a lively 
force in the Catholic life of Boston. 

First Graduates 

In 1876 Father Fulton considered the College finally ready for a senior 
class. The scholastic year 1876-1877 was the first to offer the final year of 
philosophy and, consequently, direct preparation for a degree. To the 
newly created professorship of logic, metaphysics, and ethics listed in the 
catalog of that year was appointed one whose name was familiar as being 

t^im fuiki^e 


TliiTcL JUveitiiig. Juilk .-Jti. 
"Wifclunf 6 \hibiiian 



Ihr hi-sl fnriil of go 






One of the programs for the 
first graduation, in 1877. 

Prefect to President 75 

on the original staff which opened the college: Peter Paul Fitzpatrick, S.J., 
returning now as a priest to the scene of his labors as a scholastic.^^ 

By June of 1877, nine young men were ready for graduation: John F. 
Broderick, Patrick H. Callanan, Daniel J. Collins, John M. Donovan, John 
W. Galligan, Michael Glennon, Stephen J. Hart, William G. McDonald, 
and William J. Millerick. Of this group, Hart, the valedictorian of his class, 
died within a few months of graduation. McDonald and Glennon became 
physicians, and all the rest became priests of the Archdiocese of Boston. 
On the occasion of the exhibition of the year before, Archbishop Williams 
commenced a custom of having the archbishop present the premiums. 
Commencement day, June 28, 1877, was to have still another distinction: 
the presence of the governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 
Alexander H. Rice, whose friendly interest in Boston College dated back 
to Father McElroy's purchase of the Harrison Avenue land in 1857. 

Commencement week began auspiciously on June 26 with an exhibition 
in science by students of the graduating class, culminating in a demonstra- 
tion of "the transmission of speech and music by Bell's telephone."" The 
audience on this evening was disappointing in size, but the performance of 
the boys elicited from one distinguished guest. Father Robert Brady, S.J., 
Provincial of the Jesuits and former president of Boston College, the 
comment that they were "better than any he had seen" in his visits to the 
various Jesuit colleges on the Atlantic coast.^'' On the following night, a 
much larger audience witnessed a Latin Play, "Philedonus," and acclaimed 
it "a prodigious success. "^^ Father Fulton's dry commentary was: "The 
boys were quite intelligible — no mistake in prosody."^*" 

Next morning. Father Fulton set out for Worcester to attend the Holy 
Cross exhibition and to meet Governor Rice with whom he arranged final 
details for that evening in Boston. With the governor's assurance that he 
would definitely be present for the graduation ceremonies. Father Fulton 
hurried back to Boston to make sure that everything was in readiness for 
the great occasion. He found the stage and hall beautifully decorated with 
plants, festoons of flowers, and alabaster vases filled with roses. 

As the guests began to arrive, he was pleased to observe that at least one 
third of the priests of the diocese were present. The hall filled rapidly and 
the governor arrived toward the close of the "Literary Exhibition" which 
preceded the graduation ceremonies. His Excellency made a speech, which 
was followed by a formal reading of the College charter, then the valedic- 
tory,^^ and finally the awarding of degrees and awards. That night Father 
Fulton could write in his private journal after a description of the first 
graduation, "Three glorious days!"^* 

The Boy from Lowell 

Toward the close of Father Fulton's first term of office, he was visited one 
day by a delicate-looking lad from Lowell who wished to enter Boston 

76 History of Boston College 

College as a transfer student from St. Charles' College in Maryland. The 
lad's ambition was to enter poetry, second from the highest class in the 
college at the time and approximating what is now freshman year. Father 
Fulton brought the newcomer into an inner room where, in the boy's 
words, he: 

. . . took down some Latin books from a shelf — Ovid, Virgil, and Cicero. 
One after the other he handed them to me. He asked me to open anywhere 
and read. I did so from each of them and then translated and then construed. 

He asked me various questions, not to embarrass me, but to try my 
intelligence, I think, more than my memory. ... we came to Greek. I read 
some Anabasis and some Homer. . . . After that, more as a conversation than 
critically, he took me over a fairly large field of history, and physics. . . . 

After a full forty minutes of this, he stood up and putting on his biretta 
turned to me and said, "I will show you to the class-room. The school is in 
session and I will present you to your professor." I followed him through the 
long corridors, and presently he halted before one of the doors marked with 
the name of the class. 

He knocked and instantly entered. I followed. At the desk was a chubby- 
faced little man with glasses, who impressed me at once as learned and 
gentle. He was my new professor — Father Boursaud. 

The large room was filled with a splendid lot of young fellows, who all 
rose as the Rector entered. "I have come to bring you a new student," he 
said. ". . . What is your name again?" he said to me. I told him. "William, 
let me introduce you to the class of Poetry, and boys," he continued, looking 
over the room, "if you don't work hard he will take all the honors."^' 

That day was February 3, 1879, and William Henry O'Connell, a future 
archbishop and cardinal, was to equal and better the prophecy Father 
Fulton made concerning him. 

A glimpse of the class routine at the time is given in one of William 
O'Connell's letters, written in 1880, during his last year at the College: 

I am happy to tell you that I am going on with my study of philosophy at 
Boston College with considerable success. The professor is Father Russo. It 
seems that he and Father Mazzella, now in Rome, were both great admirers 
and students of Aquinas, and now that Leo XIII has commanded that the 
principles of Saint Thomas must be the text in all colleges. Father Russo has 
become something of a celebrity here. . . . 

Certainly Father Russo is a stern teacher. He never speaks a word to a soul 
except as he speaks to all in class. He sits at the rostrum looking like some 
great medieval scholar — great black eyes, a lean sallow face, and a look 
which turns you into stone if you don't happen to know your lesson. 

The lectures are in Latin. We follow him well enough, but when we are 
asked to recite, it is funny if it were not so tragic. As until now we have read 
plenty of Latin and spoken none, it is a fearful thing to hear the way cases 
and tenses are jumbled. But he is very patient about it. He never, never deigns 
to smile, but somehow I catch in his great liquid eyes a look of amusement 
which he strives hard to conceal. 

Prefect to President 77 

r|a^t« €oll«fle pull. 


'^xliiHtian of ^etaiiljpits ami %\\\m 


Sescr.d Evening, June 26th, 1879. 


A display of seniors' philosophi- 
cal prowess was part of the com- 
mencement week exercises. 

... I wish he would give us a short talk every day in English on the general 
bearing of the matter in hand, and then go on in Latin. I can see that the 
Latin terminology is more exact, but as yet it does not reach me intimately 
enough. After all, we are only beginning.'"' 

The following June, William O'Connell closed a brilliant college career 
by receiving from the hands of Governor Long the first gold medal in 
philosophy, the first silver medal in physics, and the second medal in 
chemistry. That summer he was selected by Archbishop Williams to study 
for the priesthood in Rome."^ 

Father Fulton Leaves Office 

Father Fulton's term in office should, according to Jesuit custom, have been 
three years in duration, renewable for an additional three years at the 
discretion of the General of the Order in Rome. The fact that the year 1879 
saw him still in office was at once very extraordinary and very complimen- 
tary. According to entries in his diary,"^ Father Fulton himself had peti- 
tioned his superiors in this country and in Rome on several occasions to be 
reheved of his duties, but without results. The school year 1879-1880 

78 History of Boston College 

opened with the largest enrollment in the school's history, 24 8, "^ a consid- 
eration which Father Fulton found gratifying. But the uncertainty with 
which he was obliged to regard the coming year because he was "overdue" 
in office diminished his enthusiasm considerably. The fall of 1879 witnessed 
more appeals directed to the Provincial from his pen, but the only reply he 
received was that the Provincial could not afford to move him just then; 
when a change could be made, he (Father Fulton) would receive a few 
weeks advance notice. With this he had to be content, and he carried on 
until Friday afternoon, January 9, 1880, when he received a letter from the 
Provincial announcing that he was being succeeded by Father Jeremiah 
O'Connor, S.J., an assistant parish priest connected with the Immaculate 
Conception Church. The change would be effective in two days time 
(January 11), and for the present (here Father Fulton must have gasped) 
Father Fulton would remain at Boston College as prefect of schools and 
"general assistant" to Father O'Connor. His astonishment at this directive 
may be understood when one reflects that the Jesuit custom, almost 
invariably, has always been to transfer an individual when his superiorship 
is terminated to another house of the Society. The wisdom and charity of 
such a practice is obvious, but if it needed demonstration, it would be 
found abundantly in this case. As it happened. Father Fulton liked and 
admired Father O'Connor very much, and he was able to write frankly, "I 
think Fr. O'Connor is doing first rate . . .""■* and ". . . he has made a 
splendid beginning. . . ."'•^ Nonetheless, he was soon obliged to confess that 
it was hard to see his pet projects abandoned and his decisions reversed. 

Recognition of Achievement 

On May 13, 1880, Father Fulton was reheved of his duties at Boston and 
assigned to St. Lawrence's Church (now St. Ignatius Loyola) in New York 
City. Before he left, several banquets and gatherings of the citizens of 
Boston gave testimony of the high regard in which he was held by Catholics 
and non-Catholics alike. The Young Men's Catholic Association tendered 
him a reception in the College hall on February 5, 1880, in anticipation of 
his impending change, at which John Boyle O'Reilly read an original poem 
dedicated as a farewell to Father Fulton entitled, "The Empty Niche." 
Governor John D. Long, Mayor Frederick O. Prince, and other distin- 
guished speakers added their tributes.'** On this occasion the Young Men's 
Cathohc Association presented $500 to Boston College with which to 
found the Fulton Medal,"*^ and a bust of Father Fulton by Martin Millmore 
was exhibited. 

John Boyle O'Reilly, a close personal friend of Father Fulton, wrote 
editorially in The Pilot: 

The removal of the Rev. Robert Fulton, S.J., President of Boston College, 
and Rector of the Immaculate Conception Church, creates no common 
feeling of sorrow among Boston Catholics. Father Fulton has grown to be a 

Prefect to President 79 


The first Boston College catalog appeared for the 1 868-1 869 
academic year. The title page carried an emblem representing 
the apostolic mission of the Church and of the Society of 
Jesus: a hand presettting a cross. It was a generic emblem, not 
a seal of the College. 

The 1882—1883 catalog had an early version of a Boston 
College seal: the traditional badge of the Society of Jesus 
encircled with the name of the College and the date of found- 
ing. The letters IHS surmounted by a cross, with three nails 
below and surrounded by flames, is a familiar shield of the 
Society of Jesus. This seal was used for 32 years. 

In 1914 (the first year at Chestnut Hill) a more distinctive 
seal appeared. The arms of old Boston, England (St. Bo- 
tolph's Town) contained three crowns. Two similar crowns 
adorn the new shield, but the third is replaced by the badge of 
the Society of Jesus. Below is the "trimount" (from Tremont, 
the early name of Boston), which is also on the arms of the 
archdiocese. On an open book in the center are the Greek 
words aisv dpiCTTSUEiv (ever to excel). This seal appeared in 
each annual catalog until 1 934. 

The seal in the 1 934 catalog (still used) was identical with 
that since 1914 except for the addition at the base of the 
shield of a scroll with the words Religioni et Bonis Artibus. 
Bonis Artibus has been interpreted by some to mean fine arts, 
but that is a poor translation and a too narrow statement of 
the University's mission. Others interpret Bonis Artibus as 
liberal arts because that was the original curriculum of the 
College. Still others, among them Father Francis Sweeney, 
argue suasively from the basic meaning of the Latin word 
bonis and from the commission of the University's charter to 
promote virtue, piety, and learning that Bonis Artibus means 
those studies and activities that promote the good (ethical) 

80 History of Boston College 

feature of Boston Catholicity. His name and his person were everywhere 
respected and beloved. The remarkable influence he possessed, as a spiritual 
guide and as a friend, is rarely equalled. Under his wise and temperate 
direction, Boston College has grown into splendid promise, and the influence 
of his Order has become respected throughout the city and state. He is 
necessarily a large figure, socially and intellectually. It seems strange that 
such a man should ever be removed from a position so well controlled. But 
the system of his great Order is greater than the personality of its members. 
. . . Wherever he may go, Father Fulton carries with him the love and respect 
of Boston; and whatever may be his future, we say that he has built himself 
into our wall, we shall claim our share of his honors; and in his own heart 
we believe he must ever feel that he belongs particularly to Boston."** 

During his 10 years as president, Father Fulton continued to function as 
prefect of studies (dean), an office he held for 16 years. Thus he was the 
most influential figure in shaping the academic character of the early 
College. Fortunately he was to return as president in the next decade, the 
only Jesuit to hold that office twice. 






(His visit to St. Louis:) Fulton, Diary, under date 1870. (His appointment was 
vice rector:) Catalogus Provinciae Marylandiae, S.J., ineunte anno 1871. 
Catalogus Provinciae Marylandiae, S.}., ineunte anno 1871; and ibid., ineunte 
anno 1872. 

". . . soon the only Catholic college in the diocese" referred to the creation of the 
new diocese of Springfield (Mass.), effected by a decree dated June 7, 1870, 
which removed Worcester and consequently Holy Cross College from the juris- 
diction of the bishop of Boston. Cf. Sadlier's Catholic Almanac, 1871. 
The Pilot (August 27, 1870). 

Fulton to Lancaster (August 6, 1870), Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, under 
"Boston," Georgetown University Library. 
Fulton, Diary, under date 1870 and 1871. 

Fulton to Lancaster, May 8, 1871, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, under 
"Boston," Georgetown University Library. 
Fulton, Diary, under date 1870—71. 

Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Boston College for the Academic Year 
1869-70, p. 11. 

Cf. articles on Foster by William A. Robinson in The Dictionary of American 
Biography, 6:549-550; and by Thomas F. Meehan in The Catholic Encyclope- 
dia, 6:155-156. 

Callanan, "Reminiscences," The Stylus ll(October 1897):387. 

Ibid., p. 389. 

Catalogue . . . of Boston College, 1870-1871, p. 10. 

This feeling of resentment is noticeable in several of the letters published in the 
Callanan reminiscences — e.g., Pazolt, Pfau, etc. 
Callanan, "Reminiscences," The Stylus, 11(1897):520. 
Boston Daily Globe (May 17, 1872); Callanan, "Reminiscences." p. 522. 

Prefect to President 8 1 

18. Another exhibition drill was held on June 25, 1873, in the College hall before 
Generals Burrill and Guiney and Major Murphy of the Ninth Regiment, who 
acted as judges. Cf. Callanan, "Reminiscences," The Stylus, 12(1898):274. 

19. Callanan, "Reminiscences," 12 (1898):278-279. 

20. "Catholic Education in Boston," The Pilot (August 30, 1873). 

21. Ibid. {]une 27, 1S74). 

22. Ibid. (September 5, 1874). 

23. Ibid. (September 19, 1874). 

24. Ibid. (November 14, 1874). 

25. Calendar, Immaculate Conception Church, February 1943, p. 17. 

26. The Pilot (February 13, 1875). 

27. Ibid. (April 10, 1875). 

28. Handbill in the Callanan collection, BCA. Some rules omitted. 

29. Fulton, Diary, under date 1875. 

30. Noted in a fragmentary "Diary of the College" (1866-1885), Maryland Provin- 
cial S.J. Archives, under "Boston," Georgetown University Library. 

31. Catalogue . . . of Boston College . . . 1877-78, p. 3. 

32. Catalogue 1876-77, p. 12. 

33. Ibid., p. 27. 

34. Fulton, Diary, under date June 26, 1877. Georgetown University Archives. 

35. Ibid., June 27, 1877. 

36. Ibid. 

37. This first valedictory address is transcribed completely in Callanan, "Reminis- 
cences," The Stylus, 13(March 1899):166-171. 

38. Fulton, Diary, under date June 28, 1877. 

39. Letter of W. H. O'Connell to "Carl," dated Boston, March 3, 1879, from The 
Letters of His Eminence William Cardinal O'Connell, Archbishop of Boston 
(Cambridge: The Riverside Press, 1915), Vol. 1, pp. 34-35. 

40. O'Connell, Letters, Vol. 1, pp. 37-40. Letter to "Oliver," dated Lowell, Mass., 
November 20, 1880. 

41. Cf. letter of W. H. O'Connell to "Henry," dated Lowell, Mass., August 15, 
1881, in O'Connell, Letters, pp. 41-46. 

42. The material which follows was drawn from the manuscript "Diary of Father 
Yukon," passim, 1879-1880. 

43. "Faculty and Students at Boston College," a manuscript chart of statistics 
evidently compiled in 1885. Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, under "Boston," 
Georgetown University Library. 

44. Fulton, Diary, March 22, 1880. 

45. Ibid., March 25, 1880. 

46. Joseph H. Farren, "The Young Men's Catholic Association of Boston," The Pilot 
(March 8, 1930), in which the entire poem is printed. 

47. Fulton, Diary, February 5, 1880. 

48. The Pilot (January 24, 1880). 


The College in the 1880s 

Father O'Connor's term in the presidency of Boston College passed 
smoothly, efficiently, and almost uneventfully. It was not a period of 
growth in the number of students, which remained just under 250, but two 
institutions very prominent now in the students' life trace their origins to 
Father O'Connor's regime: The Stylus and the Athletic Association. 

The Stylus 

The Boston College magazine, The Stylus, was founded in January 1883 in 
response to a student petition,' chiefly by members of the class of 1884. 
Father Thomas J. Stack, S.J., was the first faculty moderator of the paper.^ 
The format of the magazine during its first decade differed considerably 
from that adopted later. The original page size was 10 by 12 inches, and 
there were about twelve pages to an issue, exclusive of the tan coated paper 
cover. The reading matter was presented in two columns to a page, and 
evidently financial considerations prevented the use of any illustrations. 
The usual offerings in fiction and poetry occupied the first five pages, 
followed by editorials, news items ("Domi" column), exchanges, alumni, 
and notices concerning the various school societies. Advertising, generally 
in the form of "business cards," occupied the final three pages. 


Fourth President 

Father O'Connor was born in Dublin, Ire- 
land, on April 10, 1841, and was brought to 
America as a young boy. He attended pub- 
lic grammar and high schools in Philadel- 
phia and was a student at St. Joseph's Col- 
lege in the same city. He entered the 
Society of Jesus on July 30, 1860. Ordained 
in 1874, he was assigned to Boston College 

as a teacher of rhetoric in 1876. Two years later he took up parochial duties at the 
College's Church of the Immaculate Conception and became a distinguished 
pulpit figure. In his autobiography, George Santayana recalled his visits to the 
Jesuit church and commented on Father O'Connor's pulpit eloquence. As men- 
tioned in the previous chapter, Father O'Connor assumed the presidency in 1880. 

The first number of the new magazine was distinguished by the appear- 
ance of a "christening song" written especially for The Stylus by Father 
Abram J. Ryan, the priest-poet of the South. Incidentally, in what is now 
the O'Neill room of Bapst Library, Father Ryan is commemorated in a 
stained glass window along with such other American poets as Bryant, 
Whittier, and Longfellow. 

Less than two years after its inception, The Stylus could boast of a 
circulation of 600 copies,^ which appears remarkably good in view of the 
fact that the student enrollment for that year was only 263. Nevertheless, 
the editor, erroneously estimating the alumni and former students at 1500 
in number, felt that these friends could easily double that circulation if they 

As it was, the paper enjoyed popularity with the students, and was 
termed by the professional press "unquestionably one of the best college 
papers published."^ Moreover, it succeeded, through the ability of its 
managing editors, in establishing itself on a firm financial footing. When 
the alterations on the building in which it had offices were begun in the 
spring of 1889, however. The Stylus found itself without quarters, and it 
was forced temporarily to suspend publication. For over four and a half 

84 History of Boston College 

years, nothing was done to restore it, until in December 1893 the class of 
1894, under the faculty directorship of Father Timothy Brosnahan, S.J., 
finally brought it once more into being.'' Since that time, although it has 
come on thin days more than once, it has never suffered another interrup- 
tion in publication. 




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( come — l>i>t » towly flud h«mbl« ihlnjt. 

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ro »f 7/0.1/ /r ,i/,j r coxcerx. 

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ImtiUiHuitK <>f Icmritini; in the laixl arc lUditng un cditoria) 
efl'ott ; tbtit !& L)uri>. Wc are Mi^ttiiiir uf Micceak. Our« U the 
motto of the Alpiiic lad. "EkvImwI" Yet we arc ibcx- 
ptTtciKWtJ Klitors, niwl sliou'd " ftomclxMly liluntk-r." in tt not 
"• liiimati tw err, dh'mo to (bt^ive? "* 

To a csKuul tilHflmcr of Iiuman nature* {t t. 
pvdr •ttaxy^ that ihc man whoM; laborK air cmtftned to tbr 
di>in»tii oftlKKightniKl itAt'xptVMi'Kl, ahottldbc lorq^tr retncm- 
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rnttit-r than him w>h> <)oeft wcH ; that often tht- tittle ^ttxv^-arah 
ciiu ti.'H v<iu Hk- HUtht>r of " Diivi<1 CoppcrlicM.*' while the 
immt- of" iIh" iiivciHur of the cottuu-Hin, H ac uokuo^vo to him 
iM thf f..umk-( uf the Ctiati dyoaktv; that even- word-weuvcr 
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mKtU uoiker ;tl the i., v» [k.^.- weavinj. <(,-<■> .rnw <:— 1. ix-r- 
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F;Vs? page of the first issue o/'The Stylus. 


<2]a,'),) * tj 4 )Pc<>tyji 

The College in the 1 880s 85 


WEDMESDAY, JUKE 21, 1882. 


The "reunion" announced on the 
cover of the program is not a get-to- 
gether of graduates. It was an aca- 
demic exhibition by undergraduates, 
in this case the equivalent of freshmen 
with two years to go before graduat- 
ing in the class of 1 884. 

Athletics Come of Age 

The second institution established during Father O'Connor's presidency 
was the Athletic Association.^ Until this time, athletics had not enjoyed any 
official notice, nor were teams organized in any sport except on a game-to- 
game basis. ^ This situation was explained by the lack of facilities in the 
early days of the College, by the fact that Boston College was for day 

86 History of Boston College 

scholars, and — until the mid-1 870s — by the fact that the upper academic 
years of college, from which the boys old enough for intercollegiate 
competition would be drawn, had not been established. In his "Reminis- 
cences," Father Callanan recounts some of the attempts at forming baseball 
teams in the period from 1870 to 1877.' The problem of a playing field 
was solved at various times by the "fair grounds" (a field opposite the 
buildings on Harrison Avenue) and by various fields in the suburbs at 
"picnic distance" from the College. But there was never an organized effort 
to train teams and to provide facilities for games until shortly after the 
opening of school in the fall of 1883. The Stylus reported: 

The enthusiasm of some of the students on the subject of athletics has at last 
found practical expression in the formation of the Boston College Athletic 
Club. Towards the end of October, a committee consisting of Messrs. T. W. 
Coakley, '84, J. P. McGuigan and T. J. Hurley, '85, and one or two others, 
waited upon the President, and obtained his sanction to the organization of 
an athletic club. The first step being thus successful, the same committee 
called a meeting of those interested in the question; and, after the usual and 
necessary preliminaries, the association was formed. The membership is 
already very large; and the energy shown at the meetings thus far, augurs 
well for the future. So that, with proper management on the part of the 
officers, we think great things may now be expected. i° 

Mr. D. Leo Brand, S.J., was appointed the first faculty moderator, and 
at the "semiannual meeting" of the association, evidently held sometime in 
February 1884, officers were elected." In announcing the formation of the 
Athletic Association, the catalog for 1883-1884 stated, "Its object is to 
encourage the practice of manly sports, and to promote by these the esprit 
de corps of the College Students, who are its members. "^- The first contests 
played under the auspices of the new association were baseball games, 
which were reported by The Stylus: 

The baseball team has been reinforced by many efficient players. Under 
Manager Hopwood, it is prepared to do some good work in the field. Already 
it has defeated the South Boston Athletic Club 14—3, the Roxbury's 15—5, 
the Adams Academy nine 21—12, and though defeated by the Lynns, it owes 
its defeat not to the superior playing of its adversaries, but to the superior 
friendship of the Umpire to that nine. Our greatest victory has been the 
defeat of the X.Q.Z. Club of Lowell, by a score of 8 to 0. This club is one of 
the strongest in the state, and the vanquisher of the Lynns." 

"The First Annual Spring Games," a field day of track events, was also 
scheduled by the association for late in May 1884." 

Father Boursaud 

Father O'Connor's term in office came to a close on July 31, 1884. He was 
succeeded by a former professor of poetry and rhetoric at the College, the 
Reverend Edward Victor Boursaud, S.J. When classes reconvened in Sep- 

Fifth President 

Father Boursaud was born in New York of 
French parents on September 1, 1840. Dur- 
ing his youth his family returned to France, 
and there he received part of his education. 
On his return to America he attended 
Mount Saint Mary's College, Emmetsburg, 
Maryland, from which he graduated in 
1863. He entered the Society of Jesus on 
August 14, 1863. After ordination he was sent to Boston College for two years as 
a teacher of poetry and rhetoric. He served in Rome as secretary to the assistant 
from England on the Jesuit General's staff for four years, and then was recalled 
to Boston to become president of Boston College on July 31, 1884." 

tember, the new president was greeted warmly by the students. The man 
they saw before them was a mild-mannered, kindly scholar, an accom- 
plished linguist, and one who, although only 44 years old at the time, had 
already been entrusted with a post of great confidence in the government 
of the Society of Jesus. 

One of the first tasks he set for himself on assuming office was to 
remodel the basement of the Immaculate Conception Church, much used 
by the students of the College as the chapel. The area was deepened three 
feet, lengthened, and completely redecorated with most pleasing results."^ 

He was remembered by those who knew him in Boston as devoted to the 
poor and to workers. A strike of streetcar employees occurred during his 
term as president of Boston College, and Father Boursaud manifested his 
sympathy with the cause of labor by avoiding the streetcars and riding in 
the strikers' barges.'^ He was extremely popular with the students," but his 
influence beyond the College walls was not as wide as that of Father 

During the years of Father Boursaud's administration, attendance rose 
slowly but steadily. The year before he took office there were 250 students 
registered; two years later he had brought the number to 297, an increase 
just under 19 percent.-" 

88 History of Boston College 

In the catalog issued at the end of Father Boursaud's first year as 
president, mention is made for the first time of the master of arts degree 
and of the conditions under which it was to be granted: "For the . . . degree 
of A.M., it will be required that the applicant shall have continued his 
studies in College for one year, or studied, or practiced a learned profession 
for two years. "^' The degree was not, however, conferred on anyone by 
Father Boursaud, and later was granted only seven times in the history of 
the College prior to 1913.^^ 

The Alumni Organize 

In the meantime, a need was felt among the alumni for an organization to 
bring their numbers together. An editorial writer in The Stylus as early as 
March of 1884 had written: 

We feel that if these Alumni would organize, it would materially aid us by 
making the college more widely known and esteemed, and by infusing a 
lively and kindlier interest among the older students for us of the present. It 
would also be the means of bringing about those pleasant annual reunions 
which do so much to cement friendships begun in early life, and reflect lustre 
upon the college which was their other home. Such a step, we believe, would 
not be at this moment premature, and certainly is not impracticable.^^ 

The appeal brought some response, but due to the unwillingness of any 
individual to come forward at this time as organizer, the project was 
postponed indefinitely.-"* Doctor Eugene A. McCarthy ('84) recalled that 
when he and some other graduates at a later period approached Father 
Boursaud to obtain his approval of an alumni association, they found the 
rector rather skeptical that enough alumni would be interested in organiz- 
ing such a body to make it worthwhile. Young McCarthy and his friends 
withdrew undiscouraged and proceeded to sound out alumni opinion by 
mail. When, some months later, indisputable proof of the graduates' 
willingness to support such a venture was gathered, it was brought to 
Father Boursaud, and he at once gave the undertaking his approval.^^ 

There were only 136 living alumni of Boston College,-* but a large 
number of these met in the spring of 1886 and agreed to form an 
association. It was arranged to have the first reunion and banquet at 
Young's Hotel on June 28, 1886. The success of this initial gathering 
encouraged the new organization to make the function an annual affair.'^ 
The first president of the alumni association was Edward A. McLaughlin, 
and the first "first vice president" was the Reverend Thomas I. Coghlan 

Changes of Command 

On August 5, 1887, Father Boursaud terminated his period in office and 
was succeeded in the presidency of Boston College by the Reverend Thomas 

Sixth President 

Father Stack was born on July 3, 1845, near 
Union, Virginia (now West Virginia). He 
attended the Virginia Military Institute at 
Lexington, but his classes were interrupted 
by the outbreak of the Civil War. He en- 
listed in the army of the Confederacy and 
served for four years. After the war he at- 
tended Georgetown College and on Sep- 
tember 1, 1868, he entered the Society of Jesus. He was ordained in 1881. He 
taught physics at Holy Cross and Georgetown and during three separate assign- 
ments at Boston College. 

H. Stack, S.J., remembered as the founder of The Stylus and, at this time, 
a popular professor of physics and chemistry. 

The news of his appointment as president of the College in the summer 
of 1887 was greeted with joy by the students who knew him, but their 
pleasure was short-lived. Father Stack was stricken with a fatal fever on 
August 22, only 17 days after his appointment, and on August 30 he died.^' 

Because of the suddenness of this loss, there was not time before the 
beginning of school to go through the lengthy formalities usually connected 
with the selection of a new president; therefore, a vice rector was appointed 
to carry on temporarily the administration of the College. Father Nicholas 
Russo, S.J., a professor of philosophy at the College of whom mention has 
been made previously, thus became vice rector and seventh president of 
Boston College.^" 

The Return of Father Fulton 

Father Russo's term of office was brief and uneventful. On July 4, 1888, 
less than a year after taking over the presidency, he was relieved by Father 
Fulton, who returned after an interim spent in filling positions of great 
trust in the government of the Society of Jesus. Since leaving Boston, Father 




Seventh President 


Father Russo was born on April 24, 1845, at 


Ascoli in Italy. His father, a physician, envi- 


sioned a medical career for his son, but 


young Nicholas hoped to become a Jesuit. 

'^^H^^^^^^^HHH^^'' ' 

Fearing his parents would block his plans. 


in August 1862 he ran away from home and 

in France applied for admission to the So- 

ciety of Jesus. The Fathers of the Society 
could not receive him under these conditions, but parental consent was finally 
obtained and he became a Jesuit novice. His early Jesuit studies were made in 
France, but in 1875 he was sent to the United States for theological training. 
Ordained in 1877, he became a teacher of philosophy at Boston College. He was 
the first faculty member to publish a book; three scholarly works on philosophy 
and religion were published during the years 1885 to 1890. ^^ 

Fulton had been successively rector of St. Lawrence's Church (now St. 
Ignatius Loyola Church) in New York, rector of Gonzaga College in 
Washington, D.C., and then Provincial of the New York— Maryland Prov- 
ince of the Society of Jesus. While in this latter post, he was summoned to 
Europe to participate in a general congregation of his order, and in 1886 
he was sent by the Jesuit General to Ireland as Visitor (Inspector General) 
to the Irish Province of the Society.^- 

For several years prior to Father Fulton's second sojurn in Boston, the 
question of adequate room for the growing College had been much 
discussed. There were two considerations which now urged immediate 
action upon Father Fulton. First was the insistent demand of the archbishop 
of Boston that an independent "high school" be formed to take the place 
of part of the seven-year European plan which was then in force, in order 
to cope with the rising popularity of the public high schools and to provide 
a terminal course for those students who did not wish to continue beyond 
the first four years. The second reason, also put forward by the archbishop, 
was the need for a well-designed and independent four-year commercial 

The College in the 1880s 91 

Neither of the suggested changes was entirely new to the College. The 
four years of high school, or a close equivalent, had been offered under 
another name for years; the fact, however, that they were not administra- 
tionally distinct from the college years was now considered a disadvantage. 
A commercial course of a kind had been offered previously, but it had been 
an insignificant branch of the regular school— perhaps considered a refuge 
for the less capable in the standard arts course. The numbers following the 
commercial subjects certainly were never very large. The reasons given to 
the archbishop for not acceding to his request at once centered on lack of 
classroom and office space. ^'' 

To these arguments for a new building, which were drawn from the 
needs of the school itself, may be added another extrinsic reason very close 
to the heart of Father Fulton: the pressing need for enlarged quarters for 
the Young Men's Cathohc Association. 

In the light of all these considerations, therefore. Father Fulton placed 
the enlargement of the school building first on his agenda upon taking 
office. Fortunately for this cause, he had a large number of friends who 
were willing to undertake the management of a drive to obtain funds; in 


^. M. E). Gr. 

-H'gtudents' -t- Qpand -t- Goncert,^-^ 



Or-anist, WALTER J. Kl'GLER, 

Accompanist, JOHN RANDOLPH. 

Music had a prominent role in 
student life. 

92 History of Boston College 

addition to this, he made appeals to the congregation of the Immaculate 
Conception Church and enlisted the enthusiastic aid of the Young Men's 
Cathohc Association. When ordinary means threatened to be inadequate, 
he had resort, against the advice of some, to a "fair," to bring the amount 
up to the desired $125,000.^^ 

Further Expansion 

The fund-raising was successful, and work began on the James Street 
building in the spring of 1889. ^^ The plan was to extend the building in the 
direction of Newton Street at one end and in the direction of Concord 
Street at the other. Roughly, this would increase the frontage on James 
Street from about 150 feet to some 250 feet. 

The work was held up considerably by strikes among the workmen in 
May 1889, and the alterations were consequently not completed until the 
spring of the following year.'^ In addition to the changes made in the main 
school building, the opportunity was taken to enlarge the connecting 
passageway from the priests' house on Harrison Avenue to the College 
building on James Street. This part was enlarged to twice its width^* to 
provide additional living quarters for the faculty, more library room, and a 
faculty dining room. 

Not everyone was enthusiastic in appraising these alterations. Father 
Devitt, who succeeded Father Fulton in the presidency of the College, 

The result [of the alterations] in the connecting building at least, was a 
combination of structural mistakes: dark corridors; extravagantly large and 
inconvenient dwelling-rooms; a library in separate sections; and a dining hall 
in the cellar.^' 

According to Father Devitt, the basic cause of all these defects was the 
decision to place the designing and construction of the new additions in the 
hands of one of the lay brothers of the community rather than in the care 
of a professional architect.''° 

Academic Separation of the Secondary School 
and the College 

The enlarged building facilities, however, were but one contribution which 
Father Fulton made to a growing Boston College during his second term in 
office. Another change, no less important, was the introduction of an 
English "high school," which has already been mentioned in passing and 
which was begun in September 1889 at the request of the archbishop. This 
is the first mention of the term "high school" used officially in connection 
with this institution, and in the beginning it was employed exclusively to 
designate the four-year English or commercial course, as distinct from the 
seven-year classical course which led to the A.B. degree. 

The College in the 1 880s 93 

The English course Archbishop WilUams had requested was begun in 
September 1879/^ This was a four-year course at high school level, 
emphasizing English, bookkeeping, and various branches of mathematics. 
Father Fulton backed the new course, but one may conclude that the school 
administration was somewhat ill at ease in placing the English course in the 
catalog next to the favored classical program, since every catalog from 
1879 to 1900 made the point that the English course was the archbishop's 
idea. The 1879 catalog spoke of the "earnest solicitation" of the archbishop 
for the course, and the next 20 annual catalogs said the new course was 
established at the "special instance" of the archbishop. The high hopes of 
the archbishop, who spoke of a possible enrollment of over 600 in the 
English course"*- were never realized. The highest enrollment in the course 
was 31 in 1891''^ and five years later the course had become a branch of 
the preparatory division."'' 

In the meantime, the terminology describing the classes of the classical 
course had gone through an evolution. Until the publication of the 1894- 
1895 catalog, the description of courses and textbooks was simply headed, 
"Course of Studies in the Classical Department." In 1894-1895 a division 
was made in hsting the classes for the coming year (1895—1896) and the 
following were termed "Preparatory Classes": rudiments (second division 
and first division), third class of grammar, and second class of grammar."^ 

Another step in the direction of separating the secondary school and the 
college classes was taken in the catalog for 1896—1897, when the phrase 
"preparatory school" was used in describing the lower classes for the school 
year 1897-1898.'''' In September 1898 the distinction between the College 
and the preparatory school was further emphasized by the introduction of 
separate entrances to the building for the two divisions."^ In this connec- 
tion, it must be noted that both classical and English classes were embraced 
in the category of "preparatory school." This point is important in answer- 
ing the question: "When was Boston College High School begun?" As may 
now be seen, some distinctions are necessary in making a reply to that 

If by "high school" is meant the early classes in the course, then the high 
school existed from September 1864 on. If the question is intended to ask 
when the term "high school" was first used in connection with the lower 
classes at Boston College, another distinction must be made: The term 
"high school" was used off and on in a vague sense in connection with the 
English course from September 1889 on; in the strict sense of indicating 
all the preparatory classes, classical and English, it was not employed until 

Father Fulton's Farewell 

In the meantime, the task of gathering the money necessary for the new 
building operations and the worries and criticism attending the construc- 
tion itself were taking their toll on the already fragile health of Father 

94 History of Boston College 

Fulton. He had the gratification of witnessing a marked increase of students 
entering the College in September 1890, which brought the enrollment to 
a new high of Sli/' He mapped out plans for the current year and set 
them in motion, but found the severe rheumatic complaint from which he 
suffered growing worse as time went on. Samples of his handwriting during 
this period give eloquent testimony of the heroic efforts he was obliged to 
make even to write the briefest note. Despite this handicap, he had 
composed and preached the eulogy at the funeral of John Boyle O'Reilly in 
August^" and had been celebrant at a Solemn Mass of Requiem for the poet 
attended by all the students of the College in the latter part of September.^ ' 

On the evening of October 15, 1890, a date which marked the fifteenth 
anniversary of the founding of the Young Men's Catholic Association of 
Boston College, the new wing of the building to be devoted to the 
association was formally opened. Archbishop Williams, former Mayor 
P. A. Collins, and Father Fulton were the speakers on the occasion.^^ This 
function, which was the crowning of his long labors in behalf of that 
organization, was to be the last he ever attended in Boston. The following 
morning he left the city for Hot Springs, Arkansas, in quest of his health.^^ 

When no improvement in Father Fulton's condition was evident by mid- 
winter, the Provincial decided to appoint a vice rector to assume manage- 
ment of the College. He chose for the post a professor of philosophy at 
Holy Cross College in Worcester, Father Edward J. Devitt, S.J. This priest 
recorded in his diary under date of January 8, 1891, that the Provincial 
(Father Campbell), while making his yearly visitation at Holy Cross, had 
spoken to him of going to Boston as vice rector. He respectfully protested 
against the idea, but on the following day he learned that his objections had 
been overruled and that he was to go to Boston that very afternoon. The 
appointment came as a complete surprise to his fellow Jesuits, "no one 
having any inkling of it either at Worcester or Boston."^'' 

It is a commentary on the College's position and influence in the eyes of 
non-Catholic Boston that the change of presidents received no mention at 
all in the columns of the Boston Daily Advertiser and merited only 41 
words at the bottom of page 6 in the Boston Evening Transcript three days 
after the appointment." Father Devitt's temporary status of vice rector was 
changed to that of full rector and president of the College by the Jesuit 
General, Father Anderledy, on September 3, 1891." 

Not only because of his long service as leader of Boston College, but 
because of his personality and intellectual force. Father Fulton was the 
most influential Jesuit in Boston cultural circles in the 19th century. His 
passing from the Boston scene definitely marked the end of an era. 


1. The Boston Globe (?) (April 1895). Clipping in Georgetown University Archives 
(Lamson Collection). 

The College in the 1 880s 95 

2. The Stylus, 6(October 1887):11. 

3. Ibid., 3 (November 18 84): 6. 

4. Ibid. Actually, there were about 125 living alumni at the time. Cf. Boston 
College Catalogue, 1884-1885. 

5. The Pilot (February 16, 1884). 

6. The Boston Globe (?) (April 1895). Clipping in Georgetown University Archives 
(Lamson Collection). 

7. A history of athletics at Boston College written by Nathaniel J. Hasenfus of the 
class of 1922 was pubhshed by the author in 1943. 

8. Cf. The Stylus, 2(September 1883):5. Letter referring to Holy Cross game, spring 

9. Callanan, "Reminiscences," The Stylus, 13(March 1899):155-157; and Henry 
C. Towle, "Pioneer Days," The Stylus, ll(June 1897):333. 

10. The Stylus, 2(December 1883):18. 

11. Ibid., 2(March 1884):43; and Boston College Catalogue for 1883-1884, p. 30. 

12. Boston College Catalogue for 1883-1884, p. 30. 

13. The Stylus, 2(May 1884):53. 

14. Ibid., 2(May 1884):55. 

15. The Messenger (New York), 37(May 1902):577-579; and Woodstock Letters, 

16. The Stylus, 4(December 1885):14-15. 

17. The Pilot (?) (c. March 18, 1902); clipping in Georgetown University Archives, 
Lamson Collection. 

18. Ibid. 

19. Devitt, "History of the Province; XVI. Boston College," Woodstock Letters, 

20. "Number of Students in Our Colleges in the United States and Canada," Wood- 
stock Letters, 13(1884):425; and 15(1886):352. 

21. Catalogue of Boston College for 1884-1885, p. 6. 

22. According to the Boston College Alumni Directory for June 1924, the following 
seven persons received the M.A. degree prior to 1913: 1877, Edward A. Mc- 
LaughUn; 1878, James Herrmann; 1879, John F. Cummins; 1890, Michael A. 
Carroll; 1892, Henry V. Cunningham; 1904, Manuel de Moreira; and 1910, 
William F. Kenney. 

23. The Stylus 2(March 1884):37. 

24. Ibid., 2(May 1884):56. 

25. From a verbal statement of Doctor McCarthy to Father John W. Ryan, S.J., July 
9, 1944. 

26. The Boston College Catalogue, 1885-1886, Appendix. 

27. The Stylus, 4(July 1886):75. 

28. The Boston Daily Globe Qune 29, 1886). 

29. Halloran, op. cit., pp. 1-3; Woodstock Letters, 16(1887):317-319; Catalogus 
Provinciae Marylandiae S.J., passim; Catalogus Provinciae Marylandiae—Neo 
Eboracensis, 1881, et ff., passim. 

30. Anon., "Father Nicholas Russo," Woodstock Letters, 31(1902):281-285. 

31. Father Russo's works were: 

(1) Summa Philosophica juxta Scholasticorum Principia, complectens Logi- 
cam et Metaphysicam (Bostoniae: Apud Thomas B. Noonan et Socium, 

(2) The True Religion and Its Dogmas (Boston: Thomas B. Noonan &: Co., 

(3) De Philosophia Morale Praelectiones (Neo-Eborace: Benziger Fratres, 

96 History of Boston College 

32. Catalogus Provinciae Marylandiae—Neo Eboracensis, passim. Also, "Father Rob- 
ert Fulton; a Sketch," Woodstock Letters 25, (1896):109-110. 

33. "Historia Collegii Bostoniensis, pro anno 1889." Manuscript report in Latin 
written for the Jesuit General and Provincial, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, 
under "Litterae Annuae — Collegium Bostoniense." Georgetown University Li- 

34. Ibid. 

35. Ibid, and Woodstock Letters, 18(1889):114. 

36. Anon., "Boston College, Its History and Influence," Donahoe's Magazine, 
29(January 1893):68. 

37. Ibid. 

38. Woodstock Letters, 18(1889):256. 

39. Edward I. Devitt, S.J., "History of the Maryland— New York Province; XVI. 
Boston College," Woodstock Letters, 64(1935):410. 

40. Devitt, "History of the Maryland— New York Province . . . ," manuscript, with 
material omitted in the published version, Georgetown University Archives. MS., 
p. 21. 

41. E.g., The Boston College Catalogue, 1881-82, pp. 3 and 12. 

42. The Pilot (October 25, 1890). 

43. English enrollment. Catalogue, 1891-1892, pp. 15-24. 

44. Catalogue, 1896-1897. 

45. Ibid., 1894-1895, pp. 21-25. 

46. Ibid., 1S96-1897, p. 31. 

47. The Stylus, 12{1898):441. 

48. First official use of the term "high school" in describing the entire preparatory 
division occurred in the Catalogue, 1903-1904, p. 34, in a statement outhning 
admission requirements in the college department. Up to that time, the phrase 
"preparatory school" had been used. 

49. "Number of Students in our Colleges in the United States and Canada, October 
1, 1890," Woodstock Letters, 19{1890):441. 

50. The Pilot (August 16, 1890). 

51. Ibid. (September 27, 1890). 

52. Ibid. {Oaoher 25, IS90). 

53. Ibid. 

54. Manuscript Diary of Fr. Edward I. Devitt, S.J., preserved at Georgetown Univer- 
sity Archives. 

55. Boston Evening Transcript (January 12, 1891). 

56. Anderledy to Devitt, September 3, 1891, Georgetown University Archives, Devitt 



Growing Is Done Slowly 

Father Devitt is remembered as the nineteenth century president who made 
the hbrary his special priority. Up to that time, since the hbrary was the 
least urgent demand made on a very limited budget, it had suffered from 
neglect. How this book collection was begun and the changes of fortune 
visited upon it are described in a short history of the library written by 
Father Devitt himself for the 1893-1894 issue of the College catalog.' In 
this history, he explains that financial conditions at the inception of the 
College did not permit the establishment of an adequate library. The first 
gift of books was made over a decade before the College opened by the 
Reverend Joseph Coolidge Shaw, S.J., who after his conversion went abroad 
and, with the money supplied by a well-to-do father, bought many volumes 
in Paris and Rome. 

A second patron of the library was Colonel Daniel S. Lamson of Weston, 
Massachusetts, who gave more than a third of his own personal hbrary to 
Boston College and in 1865 transferred to the trustees a proprietor's share 
of the Boston Athenaeum, which he had inherited from his father. - 

A priest of the Boston Archdiocese, Father Manasses P. Dougherty, left a 
collection strong in Irish history and biography to the College. In 1882 the 
library acquired the books of the recently deceased Robert Morris, Esq., 
which aided immeasurably in the departments of English and American 


Ninth President 

Father Devitt was born in St. John, New 
Brunswick, on November 26, 1840. His fam- 
ily moved to Boston and settled in the 
North End, where he attended public 
schools. He graduated from Boston English 
High School and attended Holy Cross Col- 
lege for two years. On July 28, 1859, he 
entered the Society of Jesus. He taught at 
Gonzaga College in Washington, D.C. during the Civil War and walked with a 
group of Gonzaga students in Lincoln's funeral procession. After ordination he 
taught philosophy at Woodstock College and at Holy Cross before assuming the 
presidency at Boston College in 1891 . 

literature. Other donations were made, and accessions by purchase — on a 
modest scale — were finally authorized. 

In 1875 a secular priest, the Reverend Stanislas Buteux, bequeathed his 
collection of 5000 volumes to Boston College. The gift assumed a new value 
when one learned that the donor was an invalid through much of his life 
and in straitened financial circumstances, and that he had gathered this 
library with discrimination and at great personal sacrifice with the intention 
of presenting it one day to the Jesuit Fathers. Thanks to Father Buteux, the 
College library was enriched with full lines on slavery, the Civil War, and 
education, as well as with long files of periodical literature. 

Until 1876 the library had rather restricted quarters in the small connect- 
ing building, but when this section was enlarged by Father Fulton that year, 
provision was made for adequate housing of the books on hand at the time. 
In the years that immediately followed. Father Russo (who acted as librar- 
ian) and Father Francis Barnum (later a missionary in Alaska) did much to 
make the library's holdings available by instituting an accurate card index. 

When the alterations of the years 1889—1890 took place, the library. 

Growing Is Done Slowly 99 

strangely enough, was forgotten, and the collection had to be divided and 
housed in various rooms. On becoming rector, Father Devitt succeeded in 
enlarging the number of books by some 25 percent, and he did what he 
could to provide accessible space for them. In May 1894 the College was in 
possession of 28,319 volumes "arranged in 137 cases, distributed over 
three rooms. "^ 

Among other improvements made during Father Devitt's term in office 
was the enlargement of the science department, an improvement that was 
found worthy of mention in the Woodstock Letters.'^ 

In 1890 the debating society, under Mr. A. J. Mullen, S.J., as moderator, 
took the name, "The Fulton Debating Society." An orchestra was organized 
among the students by Father Buckley during the school year 1890-1891, 
and a dramatic society, which called itself the "Boston College Athen- 
aeum," was organized the same year under Mullen to take over the thespian 
chores until then performed by members of the debating society.^ A natural 
history club called the "Agassiz Association" was formed in October of 
1892 under the direction of Father FuUerton. The Stylus, which had 
suspended pubhcation in 1889, resumed publication as a monthly with the 
December 1893 issue, under the faculty directorship of Father Timothy 

Father Brosnahan Takes Charge 

On July 16, 1894, Father Timothy Brosnahan succeeded Father Devitt as 
president of Boston College. During his four years in office he won the 
reputation of being an energetic, thorough, and progressive executive. His 
concomitant duties as prefect of studies required him to attend to the 
marks of the boys, to be present at the class "specimens," to counsel 
individuals and follow their school careers, and to maintain general direc- 
tion over the extracurricular activities of the students. According to one 
who knew him, he apphed himself rather "strenuously" to these tasks, but 
the results were welcomed by pupils and teachers alike. ^ 

A singular contribution of Father Brosnahan was the extended exposition 
of the Jesuit philosophy of education that he introduced into the College 
catalog. The statement was so forceful that it was embodied in whole or in 
part in the catalogs of a number of other Jesuit colleges from coast to 
coast, and it appeared annually in the Boston College catalog until the 
early 1950s. It remains an important document in the history of Jesuit 
higher education. 

Father Brosnahan was no narrow traditionalist. He introduced a course 
in physiological psychology, which was taught by a medical doctor who 
was a Boston College alumnus. He offered geology as an elective and added 
90 hours of laboratory work to the chemistry course. Besides being an 
outstanding educator, Father Brosnahan was also a skilled manager. Dur- 

in 1887 

Father Brosnahan was born in Alexandria, 
Virginia, January 8, 1856." His early educa- 
tion was in private and parochial schools, 
and he attended the preparatory school of 
Gonzaga College in Washington, D.C. He 
entered the Society of Jesus on August 21, 
1872. During his training he taught at Bos- 
ton College for four years. After ordination 
he taught at Woodstock College, and in 1892 he returned to Boston 
as a professor of philosophy. Two years later he became president of the 

ing his term, enrollment rose to 450. Finances were in good order, and in 
his last year he was able to make arrangements for the purchase of a large 
piece of property on both sides of Massachusetts Avenue not far from the 

Following his rectorship at Boston College, Father Brosnahan was a 
professor and later a prefect of studies at Woodstock College until 1909. 
In that year he was sent as professor of ethics to Loyola College, Baltimore, 
where he remained until his death on June 4, 1915. 

Gentlemen of the Opposition 

In looking back from the vantage point of the present, it is difficult to 
understand the excitement which attended the announcement in 1894 that 
Boston College would meet Georgetown in the first intercollegiate debate 
ever held between Jesuit institutions. But excitement there was, and the 
respective presidents negotiated for months on such details as the choice of 
judges and the necessary permissions that would have to be procured from 
the Provincial. '° Father Brosnahan wrote to Father Richards, the rector of 

I asked that three boys be allowed to come and promised that they should be 
given quarters at the College & consequently all appearance of undue liberty 

Growing Is Done Slowly 101 

to be taken away. They are to come direct from Georgetown to Boston and 
to return in like manner. This is important, because if anything should 
happen ... to give grounds for complaint, the scheme would end with its 

The much-heralded event took place — after two postponements — on 
May 1, 1895. Among the distinguished guests in a capacity audience in 
Boston College Hall that night were Bishop Brady, Vicar-General Byrne, 
Father Devitt (the former rector of Boston College), who had accompanied 
the debaters from Georgetown, and Father Richards, the president of 
Georgetown, who had come from an engagement in Buffalo for the 
occasion. It is recorded that the Boston debaters, Michael J. Scanlan ('95), 
Michael J. Splaine ('97), and John J. Kirby ('95), brought credit to their 
alma mater by their able defense of "The Equity of the Income Tax Law as 
Passed by the Last Congress," but in a close decision, decided finally by 
the vote of the chairman, they lost to the young men from the shores of the 
Potomac.'^ The philosophic Bostonians found consolation in the thought 
"that victory still remained in the Society [of Jesus]. "'^ 

Other innovations at this period took the form of improving and 
extending the school plant. On May 6, 1895, the Board of Trustees 
authorized Father Brosnahan to buy a small brick apartment house on 39 
Newton Street, and the following March authorized the purchase of the 
adjoining building. No. 41.'"* This acquisition permitted the authorities to 
transfer the quarters of the Young Men's Cathohc Association from the 
College building to 41 Newton Street, thus obtaining imperatively needed 
classroom space. The vacated YMCA wing of the building was occupied by 
the College for the opening of school in September 1898,'^ but the 
association did not have a formal dedication of their new quarters until 
January 24, 1899.i« 

The Sports Field Mirage 

In June of 1898 the trustees had authorized another long-desired acquisi- 
tion, grounds for an athletic field.'^ This land, purchased from the Oakes 
A. Ames Estate, consisted of some 402,000 square feet situated on both 
sides of Massachusetts Avenue beyond the then New England Railroad 
tracks. It had a frontage of about 500 feet on Massachusetts Avenue and 
ran back to Norfolk Avenue on one side, a distance of about 850 feet, with 
a mean width of 425 feet. It had about the same frontage on the other side 
of the avenue, with a depth of about 200 feet. On the easterly side of the 
property there was a row of tenement houses fronting on Willow Street."* 
This site, now occupied in large part by the Boston Edison Company's 
plant and employees' club, enjoyed the advantage of being within easy 
walking distance of the College. Moreover, there were rumors that the city 
would drain the adjacent marshes and put through a boulevard connecting 
Boston proper with South Boston and Dorchester. ^^ Because of these 

102 History of Boston College 

projected improvements, it was regarded as probable that some of the 
departments of the College would be moved to this new site.-° 

The announcement that the immediate purpose of the acquisition was to 
provide a large athletic field for the students was greeted with enthusiasm. 
The Stylus exulted, "There is nothing that brings greater joy to all than the 
final crowning of the efforts for an athletic field. "^' The students were given 
to understand that by the following spring, a portion of the land would 
have been cleared, enclosed, and laid out for baseball and track. There was 
even thought given to opening the field with a joint meet of some kind.'^ 
But these hopes were doomed to disappointment. Time went on, and 
nothing was done with the land, either by way of building on it for the 
school or of preparing it for athletics. In June 1900 the then president, 
Father MuUan, reported to the Alumni Association that it would cost 
$15,000 to prepare the new athletic field for use, and that this sum was 
not forthcoming.^^ 

No competitive games ever were played on the tract, but some use was 
made of it as a practice field in the years that followed. The purchase, 
nevertheless, reflects credit on Father Brosnahan, despite the fact that the 
original plans for the land were never carried out, for — as he had sur- 
mised — the land gained so much in value (though for a reason different 
from that which he had foreseen) that one might say its original intention 
was achieved when the proceeds from its sale, which took place in 1912— 
1914, helped to finance the first part of the new Boston College.^'* 

Toward the close of Father Brosnahan's period in office, he instituted 
some far-reaching changes which were destined to be brought to comple- 

Growing Is Done Slowly 103 

In the 1 9th century, inscribed sterling silver medals were 
awarded for excellence in each academic discipline. In 
1876 Stephen J. Hart was medalist in rhetoric. Twenty 
years later John C. Sweeney, for excellence in analytical 
chemistry, received a medal depicting a laboratory flask 
over a flame. 

tion by his successor. The College had gone through periods of alteration 
in 1876 and 1899 under Father Fulton, and was now, for the third time, to 
undergo extensive physical modification. One of these changes, the transfer 
of the Young Men's Catholic Association to 41 East Newton Street, has 
already been mentioned. Other adjustments affected the school itself, 
particularly with respect to the physical separation of college and high 
school studies. 

From the College's inception in 1864, there was no separation of it from 
the preparatory classes. But in the Brosnahan years there were separate 
entries for the two student bodies and their classes were held in separate 
wings. With the moving of the Young Men's Catholic Association, their 
former gymnasium was upgraded and given to the College students, leaving 
the original gymnasium to the preparatory division. Thus a firm distinction 
between the College and the high school was established.'^ 


Authorship of this article appears indicated by a passage in Father Devitt's 
manuscript history of the College, omitted in the printed version. He wrote, "It is 
characteristic of the Rector of that time [e.g., Father Devitt himself] that there 
appeared in the College Catalogue of 1893-94 a monograph of the college 
history. . . ." (the manuscript version of the history of Boston College is 
preserved in the Georgetown University Archives, Washington, D.C.). 
Share No. 393 was first purchased by John Lamson in 1845 and bequeathed to 
Daniel Sanderson Lamson in 1859, who made a gift of the share to Boston 
College in 1865. This transaction is noted under the number of the share in an 
appendix to The Influence and History of the Boston Athenaeum from 1807 to 
1907 (Boston: The Boston Athenaeum, 1907). 
The Boston College Catalogue, 1893-1894, pp. 18-21. 

104 History of Boston College 

4. "Varia: Boston College," Woodstock Letters, 20(1891):295. 

5. The Boston College Catalogue for the years 1890-1891; 1891-1892; 1893- 

6. /fc/J., 1893-1894, p. 73. 

7. "Father Timothy Brosnahan," Woodstock Letters, 45(1916):105. 

8. Ibid., p. 99-117. The following account is based on this source. 

9. Ibid., p. 106. 

10. Brosnahan to Richards, October 12, 1894, Georgetown University Archives. 

11. Ibid. 

12. "Boston College — The Intercollegiate Debate," Woodstock Letters, 

13. Ibid., p. 323. 

14. "Records of the Trustees of Boston College," under dates May 6, 1895, and 
March 26, 1896. Manuscript volume in the Archives of Boston College. 

15. T/7e5f>'/«5, 12(1898):440-441. 

16. Farren, "The Young Men's Catholic Association," The Pilot (March 8, 1930). 

17. "Records of the Trustees of Boston College," under date June 25, 1898. 

18. The Pilot (July 9, 1H98). 

19. "Father Timothy Brosnahan," Woodstock Letters, 45(1916):106-107. 

20. TAePr/of yuly9, 1898). 

21. The Stylus, 12{1S9S):453. 

22. Ibid. 

23. The Boston Globe (June 29, 1900). 

24. "Father Timothy Brosnahan," Woodstock Letters, 45(1916):106-107. 

25. The Pilot, September 1S9S. 



Conflict and Adjustments 

On June 30, 1898, the Reverend W. G. Read Mullan, S.J., succeeded Father 
Brosnahan as president of Boston College. Father Mullan is remembered 
as a poised, soft-spoken man whose unaffected pleasure in being among 
students made him one of the most personally popular executives the 
College had known up to that time. 

A Program for Improvement 

Father Mullan was a courageous leader interested in improving Catholic 
education, and to that end he spoke his mind in unmistakable terms. At a 
meeting of representatives of Catholic colleges in the United States in 
Chicago less than a year after his inauguration, he delivered a paper on 
"The Drift Toward Non-Catholic Colleges and Universities" in which he 
pleaded vigorously for a modification of the then current Catholic board- 
ing-school hfe and discipline, "so as to make both many times more 
attractive to young men."> He urged the separation of an institution's 
college department from the preparatory department, both in place and in 
administration, although not necessarily in the type of studies or the 
methods of instruction. He held that Catholic colleges: 

. . . should make some of the present courses of study optional, and enlarge 
and strengthen courses in History, History of Philosophy, Philosophy of 


Eleventh President 

Father Mullan was born in Baltimore on 
January 28, 1860. He entered the Society of 
Jesus on February 8, 1877, and was ordained 
after 14 years of classical and theological 
training and teaching experience at several 
Jesuit colleges. His promise of future lead- 
ership was acknowledged by his appoint- 
ment shortly after ordination as dean at 

Fordham College. He was serving as a professor of rhetoric at Holy Cross College 

when he was called to the presidency of Boston College. 

History, Political Economy, Constitutional History, advanced courses in 
English and the other modern literatures. They should raise, in many cases, 
the value of the A.B. degree, by stricter requirements for entrance and 
graduation, by a more thorough grading of classes, and by more masterly 
instruction. - 

For the improvement of his own college, he carried out with enthusiasm 
the program of changes begun by Father Brosnahan. At the opening of 
classes in the fall of 1898, he effected the establishment of three completely 
distinct departments within the institution: the college proper, consisting 
of four regular classes leading to the degree of A.B.; the academic depart- 
ment, consisting of three classes preparatory for the college course; and the 
EngUsh department, consisting of graded classes in which English, modern 
languages, and the sciences were studied. In addition there was also a class 
for young students not old enough or well enough prepared to enter the 
academic department.^ 

In May 1899 he announced to the Catholics of Boston the plans he had 
for a better college, while admitting candidly the limitations under which 
the institution labored at the time."* He pointed out the advantages of 
developing the English department into a full-fledged English high school 
and of making the academic department a separate Latin high school. If 
endowments could be secured, he said, it was his ambition to establish 
professorships to which men of eminence outside the clergy could be 

Conflict and Adjustments 107 

elected — an accomplishment which, under existing conditions, was impos- 
sible at Boston College, since — apart from a few scholarships — no funds 
were available for professors' salaries. 

Another point which deserved the attention of Boston CathoUcs was the 
lack of adequate room in the College. Growth, he informed them, was no 
longer possible within the existing building; classroom space for more than 
the present 460 students simply did not exist. He added a promise that if 
circumstances permitted, no tuition would be asked: "At the present time 
[he claimed], no student, however poor, is refused admission because he is 
unable to pay tuition, and of the four hundred young men registered in the 
college, scarcely more than half do so."^ 

A Question of Accrediting 

Because Father Mullan constantly and sincerely endeavored to insure high 
scholastic standards, his indignation was understandable when Harvard 
University withdrew the name of Boston College from the list of institutions 
whose graduates would be admitted as regular students to the Harvard Law 
School. The new president of Boston College became engaged in a contro- 
versy with Charles W. Eliot, at that time approaching his thirtieth year as 
president of Harvard. The occasion was the decision of the Harvard Law 


Saint €ecilia Society 


Cbc 6iee, mandolin mi mm e,m 

SSoBton CoUcfle... 
JSoeton, Aase. 

December 29th, 1898. 

Voices and strings after dinner. 

108 History of Boston College 

School in 1896 to admit only students with a bachelor's degree from an 
approved college. In drawing up the first list of approved colleges, the 
Harvard authorities included only one Jesuit college, Georgetown, where- 
upon representatives of Boston College and Holy Cross pointed out that 
their curricula were the same as that of Georgetown. On a revised list, these 
two colleges did appear, but when subsequently St. John's College, Ford- 
ham, made a similar claim, instead of granting the petition, the Harvard 
faculty committee reconsidered its former action and not only did not 
grant the Fordham request but on March 11, 1898, dropped Boston 
College and Holy Cross from the Ust.*" 

There followed a somewhat heated exchange of letters between Father 
Mullan and President Ehot in which the Harvard president made some 
rather disparaging generalizations about Jesuit colleges and Father Mullan 
repeatedly, but futilely, pressed Dr. Eliot to give the evidence that underlay 
his generalizations.^ 

Thus the dispute stood by the summer of 1900; but another incident had 
occurred in the meantime which had the effect of arousing partisan feeling 
still more. In an article in the Atlantic Monthly for October 1899 proposing 
the adoption of the elective system by the nation's high schools. President 
Eliot turned his guns on Jesuit education. Eliot, of course, had shocked the 
collegiate world a quarter of a century earlier by introducing the elective 
system at Harvard and had spent considerable energy defending it against 
the criticism of some of the most distinguished scholars and educators in 
the country. So, in attacking the fixed Jesuit curriculum in the waning hours 
of the nineteenth century, Eliot was firing one more defiant salvo at his 
critics of many years. 

In his Atlantic article Eliot ridiculed two examples of prescribed curric- 
ula: that found in Moslem countries, where the Koran dictated a uniform 
education for all; and the curriculum of Jesuit colleges. That both examples 
were ecclesiastical, said Eliot, was significant, because only direct revelation 
from on high could justify a uniform curriculum.* Such public aspersion 
from a person of President EHot's stature in a respected national journal 
called, the Jesuits felt, for a pubhc response. The man chosen to speak for 
all the Jesuit colleges was a man of sharp mind and elegant pen, Father 
Timothy Brosnahan, recently retired as president of Boston College. 

Brosnahan's rejoinder to the Eliot article was submitted to the Atlantic 
Monthly, but was rejected on the grounds that the magazine did not 
encourage controversy — even though an article by Professor Andrew West 
of Princeton University attacking Eliot's educational principles appeared in 
the Atlantic a month later.' (The editor of the Atlantic, Bliss Perry, himself 
a distinguished man of letters, years later acknowledged that his rejection 
of the Brosnahan article was a mistake.'") 

Father Brosnahan had his article published in the Sacred Heart Review. 
Because this publication hardly reached the audience that had read Eliot's 
remarks, the reply to Eliot was also printed in pamphlet form and distrib- 

Conflict and Adjustments 109 

uted to educators and editors in all parts of the country." It was well 
received. The editor of the Bookman, Professor T. H. Peck of Columbia 
University, praised it as containing "so much dialectical skill, so much 
crisp and convincing argument, and so much educational good sense."" 
And, indeed, one of Boston College's vice presidents was visited in the late 
1960s by a senior who had taken a student-style "sabbatical" after his 
junior year to sample academic offerings elsewhere and who had sat in on 
a writing course at Harvard where the class was studying Brosnahan's reply 
to Eliot as a model of rhetorical excellence! 

Father Brosnahan might have taken wry satisfaction had he lived to read 
in the history of Harvard written by Samuel Ehot Morison (who was 
awarded an honorary degree at Boston College in 1960) this judgment: "It 
is a hard saying, but Mr. Eliot, more than any other man, is responsible for 
the greatest educational crime of the century against American youth — 
depriving him of his classical heritage."" 

The cause of the original disagreement between administrators at Boston 
College and Harvard — namely, the Law School's privileged list — appeared 
in the Harvard University catalog each year until the 1905—1906 issue 
when, in place of the list, applicants for admission were advised to make 
inquiries concerning the status of their particular college to the secretary of 
the law faculty.'"* 

Experimentation and Adjustment 

Meanwhile, by the year 1902 a program of unification of studies had been 
successfully put into practice by the colleges of the Jesuit province of 
Maryland after some three years of experimentation and adjustment. The 
authorities at Boston College reported to the Provincial at the close of that 
year that their part in the change had been carried out satisfactorily.'^ 

As early as 1900 Father MuUan had announced that more rigorous 
entrance requirements were in force and that the preparatory school would 
thereafter comprise a full four-year course which, among other results, 
would render more time available for modern languages, mathematics, and 
history.'* A history program providing for two lectures a week on the 
Reformation during freshman year and on the Middle Ages during sopho- 
more was instituted. To strengthen the distinctively Catholic features of the 
curriculum, in addition to the ordinary catechism recitations, four distinct 
sets of weekly lectures on Christian doctrine were laid out for the various 
student levels. Written examinations at the end of the school year on the 
matter covered by the lectures were required of those following the courses, 
with special cash prizes offered for the most proficient.'^ 

Among the laymen engaged at this time for a series of special lectures 
were Herbert S. Carruth, who lectured on the constitutional history of the 
United States; Doctor James Field Spalding, on modern English literature; 
and Manuel de Moreira, on French literature. The latter also conducted a 

110 History of Boston College 

French academy among the more advanced French students in the College 
and directed the annual French play. 

On July 30, 1903, Father Mullan was succeeded in office by the Reverend 
William F. Gannon, S.J., who continued without interruption the program 
of improvements begun by his predecessor. At the first high school gradua- 
tion during his term in office. Father Gannon inaugurated the presentation 
of diplomas to the high school graduates.'"* In the same year (1904) he 
contributed to the increasing dignity of the annual commencement by 
securing an orator of national importance, the Honorable W. Bourke 
Cockran, to deliver the principal address.*' 

In a speech to the Alumni Association at that organization's banquet on 
June 23, 1904, he voiced his hope that athletics might be built up at the 
College, and he reviewed with satisfaction the success of the preparatory 
school sports during the past year.-" The baseball nine had been re- 
established, he reported, but the students training for the various teams 
were confronted by serious difficulties which apparently would hinder 
indefinitely the development of strong teams in the major sports. One may 
presume that he had in mind the lack of a gymnasium and a suitable 
playing field as prime requisites for an athletic program. 

In May of 1905 a writer from The Stylus reported that the rector was 
persevering in his efforts to provide physical training for the students 
through athletics. Efforts were made to have the athletic field ready for 
baseball that spring, and the rector even encouraged by his presence the 
various intramural teams that had been organized. At the time, intercolle- 
giate competition in baseball was impractical because of existing handicaps, 
but, The Stylus reported, "Our various class teams afford no end of interest 
and exercise to all the students. Witness the fields on Massachusetts Avenue 
on almost every afternoon and say not that true college athletics are dead 
at the college."^' 

Although in 1900 Boston College had had the largest college department 
and the largest high school department of any Jesuit institution in the 

Eighth Annual Prize Debstc 

The Pulton Debating 5ociety.^T&o^t©n College 

" Should the Lmited^1^eA|fflerven6 to terminate tl\e 

COLWS£.ffM.L, TUESDAY, APRIL 27, 1897, 

Rt B^t (ydodi P. M. 


The Boston College Debating Society 
ivas started in 1 868. It took the name 
of Fulton in 1890. 

Twelfth President 

Father Gannon was born on March 31, 1859, 
and entered the Society of Jesus on August 
5, 1876. His academic preparation for ordi- 
nation was interrupted by six years of teach- 
ing mathematics and French at Holy Cross 
College and Fordham College. He was or- 
dained in June 1891. Later he taught French 
at Holy Cross and St. Francis Xavier College 
in New York, and he served as assistant dean of discipline at Georgetown and as 
dean at St. Peter's College in New Jersey. During the years before his elevation to 
the presidency. Father Gannon became a well-known preacher and member of 
the Jesuit Mission Band. 

United States,-- both branches began to experience a discouraging falling 
off in attendance during the first years of the new century. The official 
figures for the entire student body beginning with the year 1898 were: 477, 
475, 412, 370, 375, 350, 335 (the low point, in 1904), 350, and 457." No 
reason was ever discovered for this fluctuation. 

In 1905 St. Thomas Aquinas College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 
closed its doors, and some of the students who were attending the two-year 
course there transferred to Boston College.-'' The increment at James Street 
was not large, but it did constitute part of a definite trend toward recovery 
which became noticeable by 1906. The movement upward was made 
permanent shortly afterward when the College received an impetus, the 
effects of which have been felt up to the present day. That impetus was the 
elevation to the presidency on January 6, 1907, of Father Thomas I. 
Gasson, S.J. 


1. The Pilot {April 12, IS9 

2. Ibid. 

3. Ibid. {August 20, U98). 

4. Ibid. (May 13, 1899). 

5. Ibtd. 

112 History of Boston College 

6. Letter of Doctor Eliot to Rev. John F. Lehy, S.J., president of Holy Cross 
College, October 24, 1898. Copy preserved in Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, 
Georgetown University Library. This letter is evidently substantially the same as 
the one which Father Mullan mentions as having received from President Eliot 
under the same date, cf. Father Mullan's covering letter for the published corre- 
spondence, The Boston Globe (June 25, 1900). 

7. The Boston Globe Qune 25, 1900). 

8. Charles W. Eliot, "Recent Changes in Secondary Education," The Atlantic 
Monthly, 84(October 1899):443. 

9. The Editors to Rev. Timothy Brosnahan, December 9, 1899, Woodstock Letters, 

10. Bliss Perry, And Gladly Teach (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1935), pp. 170- 

11. Sacred Heart Review, January 13, 1900. The pamphlet: President Eliot and 
Jesuit Colleges, by Timothy Brosnahan, S.J. (no publisher; no date), 36 pp. 

12. The Bookman (New York), 11:111-112, April 1900. Cf. also Woodstock Let- 
ters, 29{1900):143. 

13. Samuel Ehot Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard (Cambridge: Harvard Uni- 
versity Press, 1936), pp. 389-390. 

14. The Harvard University Catalogue for 1904—1905, under law school admission 

15. "Historia Domus, 1899—1902," official triennial report to the Provincial from 
Boston College. Manuscript preserved in the Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, 
Georgetown University Library. 

16. The Boston Globe (June 29, 1900). 

17. Anonymous letter entitled "Boston College and Church of the Immaculate Con- 
ception," dated June 29, 1903, in Woodstock Letters, 32(1903):112-113. 

18. The Stylus, HQune 1904):113. 

19. Ibid. 

20. Ibid., 17(July 1904):205. 

21. The Stylus, 18(May 1905):20. 

22. The Boston Globe (June 29, 1900); Woodstock Letters, 29(1900):354. 

23. Official figures from supplement entitled: "Students in Our Colleges in the 
United States and Canada," occurring each year in Woodstock Letters, 1898 to 

24. Seventy-Five Years: St. Mary's of the Annunciation, 1867-1942 (Cambridge, 
Mass., n.n., 1942), pp. 19 and 23. St. Thomas Aquinas College had developed 
from the high school of St. Mary of the Annunciation parish in 1881. 



Brave Vision 

Thomas Ignatius Gasson was born September 23, 1859, at Seven Oaks, a 
small town in Kent, England, 25 miles southeast of London.' His father 
came from a French Huguenot family and his mother was descended from 
an old Kent family by the name of Curtis, several of whose members had 
held the rectorship of the parish church of St. Nicholas at Seven Oaks. 
Thomas did preparatory studies in St. Stephen's School in London. At age 
11 he was placed under the tutelage of the Reverend Allen Edwards, a 
clergyman of the Church of England. Two years later in 1872 he left 
England for the United States. 

Thomas' plans to settle with an older brother in Philadelphia did not 
come to pass. As he set about to support himself, he was befriended by two 
Catholic women, Catherine Doyle and Anne McGarvey, who in time 
arranged for his instruction in the Catholic faith. He was received into the 
Church in October 1874 in the Chapel of The Holy Family, now the Jesuit 
Church of the Gesu in Philadelphia. He joined the Society of Jesus on 
November 17, 1875. During his preparation for ordination he taught at 
Loyola College, Baltimore, and St. Francis Xavier College, New York City, 
before being sent for his theological studies to the University of Innsbruck 
in Austria. 

On July 26, 1891, Father Gasson was ordained to the priesthood by the 
Prince-Bishop of Brixen in the University Church in Innsbruck. He re- 


114 History of Boston College 

Rev. Thomas Ignatius Gasson, S.J., the "second founder.' 

Brave Vision 115 

mained at the university for an additional year of theology and performed 
the duties of chaplain in one of the charitable institutions of the city. 

His first appointment upon his return to the United States in the summer 
of 1892 was to teach poetry for two years to juniors at Frederick, Mary- 
land, before devoting a year to the required study of ascetical theology at 
the same institution. In August 1895 he was assigned to Boston College to 
teach the junior class, and two years later was made professor of ethics and 
economics, continuing to teach these subjects until his appointment as 
president of the College on January 6, 1907. 

A New Site Is Considered 

On March 13, a little over two months after his inauguration. Father 
Gasson suggested to the Jesuit Provincial that the College purchase the 
"magnificent site on Commonwealth Avenue towards Brighton."- One of 
the earliest references to this location had been made seven years before on 
July 21, 1900, in a letter from Henry Witmore, of the realty firm of 
Meredith and Grew in Boston, to Father W. G. Read MuUan, S.J., then 
president of the College.^ Among the parcels of land which he described to 
Father Mullan was the following: 

. . . known as the old Lawrence farm, and I think [it] may safely be called 
one of the very finest pieces of land in the vicinity of Boston. It lies to the 
west of Chestnut Hill Reservoir, bordered on the east by the Park around the 
reservoir, and commands a superb view across the water over Brighton and 
Brookline toward Boston. . . . It . . . seems almost intended by nature for the 
site of a large institution. It divides naturally into three parts. In the centre is 
a nearly level plateau . . . ; buildings placed thereon would command the 
magnificent view before referred to, and themselves would be the central 
objects in the charming landscape to the west of the reservoir. South of this 
plateau, between it and Beacon Street, is a nearly level field . . . admirably 
suited to an athletic field. North of the plateau ... is a tract . . . sloping from 
the higher land toward the Avenue and Reservoir Park. 

It is interesting to note that the two other parcels of land proposed in this 
letter as alternative sites for Boston College have since been occupied by 
Catholic institutions: Mount Alvernia Academy on Waban Hill and St. 
Elizabeth's Hospital on the old Nevins estate at Washington, Cambridge, 
and Warren streets in Brighton. 

Whether or not Father Mullan was already aware of the availability of 
the Lawrence land is not known, nor is there any record of his reaction to 
this offer. No further mention of it is found until 1907, when, with all 
authorities in agreement that the Harrison Avenue location was no longer 
suitable for Boston College, the Commonwealth Avenue site was brought 
into discussion again. 

Father Gasson pointed out that the cost might, on investigation, prove 
too great, but on the credit side was the fact that Archbishop Williams had 

116 History of Boston College 

already given his approval to the proposed change and appeared disposed 
to grant parish rights to a church at the new location. What to do with the 
existing buildings — particularly, the Immaculate Conception Church — was 
a problem; the Fathers had reason to believe that the archbishop would be 
unwilling to change the church's status from collegiate to parish. Evidently, 
Father Gasson seemed to doubt that a new college and the old institution 
could be maintained simultaneously. In any case, the project was destined 
to remain in the realm of wishful thinking for several months more. 

In May of 1907 Father Gasson aroused the enthusiastic interest of the 
alumni in the project by announcing at the annual alumni dinner that new 
buildings and a new location for the College were imperative and that a 
fund of $10 million would be needed." He eloquently described the role of 
higher education in maintaining the dignity and welfare of the Church, and 
he pointed out that Boston College could not do its part in achieving this 
high purpose in its present location and without being separated from the 
high school. He concluded by saying that funds should also be made 
available for the hiring of distinguished lay professors and for the establish- 
ment of an expanded program in the natural sciences. 

One immediate result of this appeal was the creation of a board of 
advisers for Father Gasson, selected by him from among the prominent 
businessmen in the group. The function of this board was to suggest ways 
and means of securing the financial assistance needed. 

On July 24, 1907, the question of securing property was again brought 
up by Father Gasson. He reported to the Provincial that priests and 
prominent citizens of the city were urging the College authorities to buy at 
once, warning that soon it would be too late. Father Gasson seemed to 
think that this action should be taken at this time, even if it meant yielding 
the hopes of having a parish connected with the new institution.^ 

Meanwhile, the energetic rector had caused the entire school to be 
renovated. Classrooms and corridors had been painted during the summer 
months and a broad stairway had been constructed to provide easier access 
from the street floor to the gymnasium."^ When school opened that Septem- 
ber, there were 140 young men registered at the college level and 360 in 
the high school — the largest entering classes in the history of the institution 
up to that time.^ 

The Chestnut Hill Location 

On August 30, 1907, Archbishop Williams died and Archbishop William 
H. O'Connell succeeded to the See of Boston. This change meant, of 
course, renewing all permissions and approvals granted by Archbishop 
Williams in connection with the proposed new Boston College. So, on 
October 24, the Jesuit Provincial, his Socius, and Father Gasson visited 
Archbishop O'Connell to lay their plans before him. The prelate showed 
the keen interest of an alumnus, as well as that of head of the diocese, in 
the proposals, and gave them his full approval, including permission to buy 

Brqve Vision 117 



9 i 'i 


£ar/y m J 934 Father Gallagher was 
pleased to receive this letter of his- 
toric interest from William Law- 
rence, the Episcopal Bishop of Bos- 
ton, accompanying two photographs 
of the old Lawrence farm upon 
which the College buildings are now 

118 History of Boston College 

property and build.^ It was still undecided which of three available sites 
would be more desirable,' although the archbishop evidently was strongly 
in favor of the Chestnut Hill location.'" As it turned out, the Chestnut Hill 
land was selected, and on November 11, 1907, a special meeting of the 
Trustees of Boston College was called. It was voted to purchase two parcels 
of land: one owned by E. S. Eldridge on Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, 
and the other, an adjoining parcel, owned by the Provident Institution for 
Savings." At the same meeting, the president of the College was authorized 
to petition the legislature for amendments to the charter of the corporation 
(1) changing its name to the Trustees of Boston College (instead of ''the 
Boston College"), (2) for authority to grant medical degrees, and (3) for 
authority to hold additional real and personal estate.'^ 

Two weeks later, on November 25, another special meeting of the 
trustees was held to authorize the corporation (of the College) to purchase 
a tract of land owned by Henry S. Shaw and the Mt. Auburn Cemetery 
Association adjoining the parcels of land voted on previously and fronting 
on Beacon Street and the driveway. The purchase of the fourth and last 
section, situated on Beacon, Hammond, and South streets (the latter now 
College Road) and owned by the Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance 
Company, was also approved at this meeting.'^ 

Papers were passed on the new property on December 12, bringing to 
the College a total area of some thirty-one acres'"* with an assessed 
evaluation of $187,500. '' Pubhc announcement of the purchase was made 
in the newspapers of December 18.'^ 

The Drive for Funds 

Immediately there was enthusiastic talk of erecting buildings — a group that 
would include dormitories and that would eventually house "the greatest 
Catholic College in America."'^ A mass meeting was called for Monday 
night, January 20, 1908, at the College hall,"* to which the most distin- 
guished alumnus. Archbishop O'Connell, was invited." Eight hundred 
former students and friends of the College answered the call and heard 

In a^ltiiL-wlcdamcol of 11k kminess 

in prchcnMnq cue fe^uorc feet of lun^ to the new 
f^cston College, «c hereby tvjcrd cur ohldinq 



with the fe'atultij 

In the fund drive for the new 
campus, donors were asked to 
buy one square foot of the for- 
mer Lawrence property for the 

Brave Vision 119 

Father Gasson read the archbishop's address, when the latter was prevented 
by illness from attending. Fifty thousand dollars were pledged by the 
audience in response to the pleas of the speakers, and thus a beginning was 
made for the establishment of a new Boston College.-" 

Under the direction of Doctor John F. O'Brien of Charlestown, who had 
been chairman of the first meeting, a second mass meeting was held on 
February 17, at which an additional $137,000 was pledged.-' A week later 
another impetus was given the drive by the formation of a "Boston College 
Club," with membership open to those "interested in the extension of 
Boston College."-- 

On June 20, 1908, the first of the well-remembered lawn parties was held 
at Chestnut Hill for the benefit of the new institution. The grounds for the 
campus were dedicated by Father Gasson and named by him "University 
Heights" upon this occasion. Throughout the day, some 25,000 persons 
witnessed the exhibits and patronized the many booths, with some 12,000 
gathering to hear the Honorable Bourke Cockran deliver the principal 

Designs and Plans 

During the late fall of 1908, Father Gasson devoted some weeks to an 
inspection of several of the larger colleges and universities east of the 
Mississippi in order to obtain ideas that might be utilized in the design and 
equipment. Of the institutions visited, Chicago University impressed Father 
Gasson most favorably. He felt that this group of buildings showed a unity 
of idea that was admirable and a flexibility of design that would permit 
symmetrical growth in the years to come." 

On January 25, 1909, a competition to determine the best general plans 
for the new buildings was announced, and 14 architects were invited to 
compete.^^ The contest was held in accordance with the regulations govern- 
ing general professional practice laid down by the American Institute of 
Architects. The first of the three prizes offered was an award of $1000 for 
the best general plan of the grounds and positioning of the buildings; the 
second, $500 for the next best general plan; and the third, a commission 
to design and supervise the construction of the recitation building, for the 
best plan of this building. All entries were prepared in a uniform manner, 
with the only indication of the architect's identity being a code mark placed 
on each set of plans by a neutral referee to correspond with the marking of 
a sealed envelope containing the architect's name. The contest closed on 
March 15, 1909, and the decisions were to be announced on or before 
April 12. 

The committee of judges consisted of the president, Father Gasson; a 
member of the faculty. Father David W. Hearn, S.J., vice president of 
Boston College and formerly president of St. Francis Xavier College, New 
York City; two members of the Board of Trustees, Father J. Havens 
Richards, S.J., formerly president of Georgetown University, and Father 

120 History of Boston College 


Several fairs, drawing as many as 25,000 people, were held on the new Chestnut Hill 
property to raise funds for the new buildings. 

Joseph T. Keating, S.J., treasurer of Boston College; an architect, William 
D. Austin; a builder, Charles W. Logue; and a landscape architect, Arthur 
A. Shurtleff. 

On Saturday, April 10, 1909, after meeting several times to discuss the 
entries, the judges finally agreed on the plans to be given first prize, but the 
name of the winning architect was not made known until the following 
Monday, when it was announced that the Boston firm of Maginnis and 
Walsh had won first and third prizes and that Edward T. P. Graham of 
Cambridge, Massachusetts, had won second prize.-*^ 

According to the prize-winning general plan, provisions were made for a 
group of about 15 buildings, with large sports fields and a landscaped 
campus. The architectural style adopted for the group was English Colle- 
giate Gothic, which appealed to the architects as most suitable because of 
the natural characteristics of the site — uneven topography and lack of 
parallelism in bounding streets — and because of the appropriate sentiment 
of this architectural tradition in relation to collegiate life.-^ 

According to the architects, the plan was intended roughly to suggest 
that of a cathedral, the buildings being disposed "... so as to form 
longitudinal and transverse courts, at the junction of which is placed the 
recitation building. . . . This building, surmounted by a massive Gothic 
tower, will be the dominating centre of the group."-* The plan envisioned 
separate buildings for faculty, library, chapel, philosophy, biology, physics, 
chemistry, a gymnasium, and a dining hall, and it provided a great 
quadrangle framed with trees. Friends of Boston College who regret the 
loss of open space and greenery as building has followed building in the 

Brave Vision 111 

latter twentieth century would have had little space or meadows to mourn 
had the College been in a position financially to carry out the ambitious 
Maginnis and Walsh plans, all sited on the present central campus. 

At the time these plans were drawn up, it was expected that work would 
commence on the recitation building during the summer of 1909 and be 
ready for the first influx of students by September 1910, permitting the 
class of 1911 to have the honor of being the first to graduate from the new 
College. ^^ As will be seen, these hopes proved too optimistic. 

Meanwhile, steps were being taken to raise funds for the building 
program. The Young Men's Catholic Association omitted its annual "Col- 
lege Ball," a tradition of 30 years, to sponsor a gigantic musical festival at 

The architects' conception of the 
entire campus (the present central 
campus). Note that their large 
central building, now Gasson 
Hall, dominates the design, as it 
still does. 

122 History of Boston College 

Mechanics Building in Boston on April 19, 1909, featuring a chorus of 400 
voices. For this function, the association achieved the almost unbelievable 
advance sale of 10,000 tickets at one dollar each.^" 

By the beginning of June 1909, the plans for the recitation building had 
been submitted to and approved by the Jesuit Provincial and General.^* At 
the same time, it was tentatively decided to rebuild the stone barn which 
was located on the Chestnut Hill property as a temporary faculty residence, 
pending the erection of the faculty building, in preference to repairing the 
lodge house on the property or renting a dwelling house in the vicinity. As 
it turned out, none of these plans was put into effect; the faculty, as will be 
seen, was obliged to commute each day from Harrison Avenue throughout 
the College's first three years at Chestnut Hill. 

On June 19 a second garden party was held on the grounds at University 
Heights under the direction of the alumni association president, Dr. Eugene 
A. McCarthy, of Cambridge. This function was even more successful than 
the party of the previous year had been, drawing an attendance of over 
30,000 persons. The feature of the afternoon was the turning of the first 
sod for the recitation building, which took place in the presence of a 
distinguished gathering. Father Gasson spoke the words: 

In the name of the August Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, in the 
name of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world, and who has given us the only 
civilization by which a nation can endure, in the name of all that is high and 
noble, we perform the first act of this series of tremendous acts which are to 
result in this great blessing for the people of the Commonwealth of Massa- 

Then, with a silver spade, he formally turned the first sod. 

Father Gasson breaking 
ground for the first building. 

Brave Vision 123 

Cast of Macbeth, 1913. 

The Irish Hall of Fame 

The very month of the ground-breaking for the first building on the 
Chestnut Hill campus, another project was announced in the Boston 
papers: the "Daniel O'Connell Memorial Building and Irish Hall of Fame." 
Had the project succeeded, it might have been America's first hall of fame!^^ 
An energetic Jesuit attached to the Immaculate Conception Church, Father 
James Maguire, S.J., secured the support of all the Irish-American clubs in 
Boston for the plan. The scheme called for a gigantic building with a large 
circular hall with high Gothic arches and massive stone piers surrounded 
by 32 alcoves, each serving as a museum for one of the counties of Ireland. 
It was proposed to locate the building on the site where Bapst now stands. 
One cannot beheve Father Gasson welcomed this competitive fund- 
raising effort at a time when his own drive for funds was faltering. When 
the sponsors of the O'Connell Memorial project realized that financial 
considerations would postpone their scheme indefinitely, they turned over 
to Father Gasson the money they had collected; it later funded the stately 
Irish assembly hall in the building later appropriately named Gasson Hall.^" 

Father Gasson had an incredibly bold dream for a new Boston College. 
Credit must be given to his Jesuit colleagues, especially his superiors, who 
backed his dream. But on Father Gasson himself fell the burden of translat- 
ing the dream to reality. 

124 History of Boston College 


1. These paragraphs on the hfe of Father Gasson are based on Wilham J. Conway, 
S.J., "Father Thomas I. Gasson, S.J.," Woodstock Letters, 60{1931):76— 86, and 
The Pilot (January 12, 1907). 

2. Thomas I. Gasson, S.J., to Joseph Hanselman, S.J., March 13, 1907, Maryland 
Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown University Library. 

3. Letter preserved in the Boston College Archives. 

4. T^eP/7of (June 1,1907). 

5. Thomas I. Gasson, S.J., to Joseph Hanselman, S.J., July 24, 1907, Maryland 
Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown University Library. 

6. The Pilot (September 14, 1907). 

7. Ibid. (September 21, 1907). 

8. Thomas I. Gasson, S.J., to Joseph Hanselman, S.J., October 26, 1907, Maryland 
Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown University Library. 

9. Ibid. 

10. Monsignor Jeremiah F. Minihan to Rev. Robert H. Lord, June 14, 1941, Dioce- 
san Archives, Boston. After consulting with His Eminence, Cardinal O'Connell, 
in answer to Father Lord's inquiry, Monsignor Minihan reported, "Father Gas- 
son inspected and bought the Lawrence Estate on the advice and suggestion of 
His Eminence." 

11. "Records of the Trustees of Boston College," under date November 11, 1907, 
Boston College Archives. 

12. Ibid. 

13. Ibid., under date November 25, 1907. 

14. Thomas I. Gasson, S.J., to Joseph Hanselman, S.J., December 9, 1907, Maryland 
Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown University Library. 

15. The Pilot (December 28, 1907). 

16. The Boston Herald (December 18, 1907). 

17. The Pilot (December 28, 1907). 

18. 7fcz^. (January 11, 1908). 

19. The Boston Herald (January 12, 1908). 

20. The Boston Globe (January 21, 1908). 

21. The Boston Herald (February 15, 1908); and The Pilot (February 22, 1908). 

22. The Boston Herald (February 25, 1908); and The Pilot (February 29, 1908). 

23. The Pilot Qune 27, 1908). 

24. The Boston Post (December 24, 1908). 

25. This account of the competition is based on the official announcement and 
statement of conditions of the contest, and correspondence concerning it, pre- 
served in the Boston College Archives. Charles D. Maginnis of Boston, a member 
of the firm which won the competition, supplied additional details. 

26. The Boston Herald (April 13, 1909). 

27. Ibid. 

28. Ibid.; also The Boston Evening Transcript (May 4, 1909). 

29. The Boston Herald (April 13, 1909). 

30. The Pilot (April 24, 1909), and The Boston American Qanuary 31, 1909). 

31. Thomas I. Gasson, S.J., to Joseph Hanselman, S.J., June 5, 1909, Maryland 
Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown University Library. 

32. The Pilot {]unt 16, \9Q9]. 

33. The Boston Globe (June 27, 1909). 

34. Father Dunigan was indebted to Father James I. Maguire, S.J., of St. Joseph's 
Church in Philadelphia for his kindness and to Charles D. Maginnis of Boston 
for details concerning the Irish Hall of Fame movement. 



The Towers on the Heights 

Excavation of the foundation area for the Tower Building began in the fall 
of 1909.' Since the foundations had to be blasted out of solid rock, the 
work was necessarily slow, but the stone which was removed provided 
material for the walls, thereby reducing expenses. The laying of masonry 
began in the spring of 1910,- after the Board of Trustees authorized Father 
Gasson to contract for the building operations.^ By the following October, 
a roof was already over two wings of the structure." 

That month the grounds were visited by Cardinal Vannutelli, the Papal 
Legate, who was passing through Boston on his way to attend the Eucharis- 
tic Congress in Canada. The cardinal expressed his enthusiastic admiration 
for the plans of the College and seemed most impressed by the fact that 
such admirable style was achieved without resort to elaborate and expen- 
sive ornamentation.^ 

Sacrifices, Delays, Disappointments 

No large donations to the building fund were received, and the many 
parties and functions held during these years to benefit the College did not 
realize enough to meet even a sizable fraction of the building costs. The 
income from the Immaculate Conception Church at this period was devoted 


126 History of Boston College 

almost exclusively to the College fund. Whatever the Jesuit Community 
could realize through stipends offered for religious retreats, sermons, 
lectures, and other activities was put aside for the new building.* The self- 
denial and hardships undergone by the Community in their efforts to save 
every available penny for the fund has never been sufficiently appreciated. 
But despite these gallant attempts on the part of so many friends of Boston 
College, both lay and religious, to meet the expenses of the new undertak- 
ing, the burden of debt mounted so swiftly that it soon threatened to put 
an end to the whole project. Father William J. Conway, S.J., administrative 
assistant to Father Gasson at the time, afterward wrote, "Father Gasson 
saw all too clearly that unless the unforeseen happened, the building would 
never reach completion. The winter of 1910 saw him face-to-face with 
failure."^ The same authority claims that at one point in the construction 
of the building, the delay due to shortage of funds threatened to be so 
lengthy that some kind of temporary covering was rigged over the work 
which had already been completed.'* 

To meet this financial crisis. Father Gasson obtained permission from 
the Jesuit authorities in Rome in 1910 to sell the tract of land on Massachu- 
setts Avenue in Boston purchased by the College as an athletic field 12 
years before. On March 6, 1911, the trustees authorized the sale of the 
land to a public utilities company at a favorable price, thereby enabling the 
rector to continue the construction.' 

In May 1911, when work was resumed, the tower part of the building 
had been built up to the level of the roof, and some of the roof tiling had 
been done.'" During the summer, the tower was completed, and by October 
practically all the heavy masonry work had been finished and the heating 
and ventilating systems, as well as the steel stairways, had been installed. It 
had even been thought that the laying of the cornerstone might take place 
during the fall, but the date was postponed until the following May or 
June, with no one foreseeing that further delays would push the date back 
for another full year." 

One consolation in this period of trial was the phenomenal growth of 
the high school and college enrollments at James Street. The combined 
registration in September 1911 exceeded the thousand mark — a growth of 
100 per cent in five years! The Boston College enrollment was the largest, 
next to that of Holy Cross College, of any purely prescribed and classical 
college in America. Boston College High School, at the same time, had the 
distinction of being the country's largest classical high school for boys.^- 
To provide for this growth, two rooms in the faculty residence on Harrison 
Avenue had to be converted into classrooms." 

Father Gasson found comfort, also, in the reflection that during the year 
he had had the opportunity of refusing "an enormous and magnificent 
sum — a sum which would erect a number of our proposed buildings — if I 
would part with a portion of our grounds. But I concluded that if our site 
was so good and fitting for other institutions, it was worthy of Boston 

The Towers on the Heights 127 

College."" Oral tradition has it that this offer was made by the authorities 
of a local university. 

Throughout the following winter (1911-1912) work on the new building 
was pushed forward. From the exterior, the building presented an almost- 
finished appearance. The windows were in place except those in the 
assembly hall and in the tower, where it was hoped that stained glass might 
be used. Electrical wiring and the last of the heating apparatus were being 
installed, but the task of proper grading and landscaping of the grounds 
remained.'^ Nevertheless, it was still felt that the building might be dedi- 
cated in the spring and classes held on the Heights in September."^ But 
again, the unforeseen delays, which were now becoming so familiar, and 
the length of time required to put the grounds in proper order'^ operated 
against the scheduled opening. By October (1912) it was hoped that, if all 
went well, classes would be transferred to University Heights the following 

An Adult Education Program 

The winter of 1912-1913 witnessed an attempt to initiate a night school 
of graduate caHber for adults." In response to a request from a group of 
prominent Catholic laymen. Father Gasson had dehvered a series of lectures 
on the philosophy of history during 1912. At the close of the course, when 
another series was demanded. Father Matthew L. Fortier, S.J., of the 
College staff, was appointed to conduct further series in Catholic philoso- 
phy. Father Fortier felt that something more could be achieved than mere 
casual attendance at these talks, if several courses of lectures were offered 
simultaneously and if academic credit were granted in connection with 

Father Gasson approved of the plan, and by December 1912 a postgrad- 
uate department was in operation, with the modest schedule of two series 
of lectures on the philosophy of literature, by Father Gasson, and on 
professional ethics, by Father Fortier. The postgraduate course was open 
only to those already having an A.B. degree and whose applications were 
acted on favorably by the faculty board of admissions. To obtain a degree, 
candidates were obliged to attend at least two of the prescribed courses 
and to pass satisfactory examinations in the matter of the courses. Also, 
they had to have a thesis accepted, said thesis to be an original study of 
some subject related to the matter of the course and equivalent in length to 
100 pages of print. A familiarity with Catholic philosophy was assumed, 
and for those not acquainted with the subject sufficiently there were 
prerequisite courses offered by the Young Men's Catholic Association. 
Twenty-five students enrolled the first year. 

This new department granted the master's degree to 19 candidates in 
1913, to 42 in 1914, and to 22 in 1915. In addition, several A.B. degrees 
were granted to adults who had never had the opportunity to finish their 

128 History of Boston College 

college course in the day division.-" The difficulties involved in providing 
adequate faculty and library facilities for this postgraduate work and the 
possible conflict with the regular College department in the matter of 
degrees led several members of the College staff to petition Father Lyons, 
shortly after his accession to the presidency, to discontinue the courses. In 
May 1914 it was decided that new students would not be admitted to 
postgraduate courses in the night school when classes reconvened in 
September.-' The question of graduate classes was not taken up again until 
after World War I. 

The Day Approaches 

Through the winter and spring of 1913, construction on the new building 
consisted largely of finishing work. The plasterers had completed their 
work by December, and four months were allowed for drying of the plaster 
before the work of mural decoration was to commence. Father Gasson had 
secured for this latter task the services of Brother Francis C. Schroen, S.J., 
who had been a professional decorator before entering the Society of Jesus 
and who had recently won wide praise for his artistic decoration of Gaston 
Flail and the Philodemic Debating Society room at Georgetown University. 
Jesuit churches and other institutions throughout the country bore on their 
walls paintings that were a glorious testimony to this famous lay brother's 
skill and genius, so it was with pleasurable excitement that his coming was 
awaited.-- In March Father Gasson announced the painter's arrival, and the 
work was begun which would take until late that year to finish. 

The newspapers early in March carried the long-awaited news that the 
recitation building at Boston College would open for classes later that 
month. -3 It was decided at this time that the entire student body would not 
be transferred to the new quarters because of limited laboratory facilities 
and lack of suitable living accommodations for the faculty, but the seniors, 
forming the golden anniversary class of the College, would have the honor 
of finishing the scholastic year at the Heights. Speculation arose as to which 
professors would be assigned to the new building, but it was soon an- 
nounced that one, at least, had been settled upon. This was to be the 
Reverend William P. Brett, S.J., professor of ethics, who was a member of 
the first class ever graduated from Boston College and who now was to 
have the distinction of being the first Jesuit to teach a class in the new 
surroundings. Father Fortier also taught seniors, but since he also had a 
junior class which was scheduled to remain at James Street, it was thought 
better to have Father Gasson take over the lectures in psychology at 
Chestnut Hill.^" 

Open for Class 

On Friday morning, March 28, 1913, groups of young men wearing derby 
hats and carrying "Boston bags" crowded streetcars for the long trip to 

The Towers on the Heights 129 

The class of 1913 entering the campus for the dedication of the Tower 
building on March 28, 1913. 

Lake Street. Those who had been foresighted enough to purchase newspa- 
pers read the tragic news of the Dayton flood and perhaps skimmed the 
advertisements of the now-defunct Henry Seigal and Company and the 
Shephard-Norwell Stores. On the amusement page, they read that Maclyn 
Arbuckle was still playing in "The Round-up" at the Boston and Otis 
Skinner in "Kismet" at the Holhs. Somewhere on the inside pages they 
would come upon a brief notice that the new Boston College was opening 
that day. These lads, 71 in number, left the cars at the end of the line and, 
with the enthusiasm of a new adventure, began the long trudge up Com- 
monwealth Avenue to the campus. 

At about half-past nine, the students assembled at the South Street 
(College Road) entrance to the grounds, where they were met by Father 
Gasson and some members of the faculty, in the presence of a number of 
newspaper photographers who recorded the scene for posterity.-^ The group 
formed a procession and entered the building through the west porch, 
coming to a halt in the rotunda. There the students gathered informally 
about Father Gasson, who turned to them and spoke these simple words of 

Gentlemen of the Class of 1913; this is an historic moment. We now, in an 
informal manner, take possession of this noble building, which has been 
erected for the greater glory of God, for the spread of the true faith, for the 
cultivation of solid knowledge, for the development of genuine science, and 
for the constant study of those ideals which make for the loftiest civic probity 
and for the most exalted personal integrity. May this edifice ever have upon 
it the special blessing of the Most High, may it ever be a source of strength 
to the Church and her rulers, a source of joy to the Catholics of Boston and 
its vicinity, a strong bulwark of strength for our Country and a stout defence 
for the illustrious State of which we are justly proud." 

130 History of Boston College 

Following the dedication, the group left the rotunda and began a tour of 
inspection throughout the building from the basement to the turrets. The 
seniors were permitted to select their own classroom, and they chose a 
large, sunny room in the southeast wing.^^ The mural decorations in the 
president's office (now the office of the dean of Arts and Sciences), in the 
office of the prefect of studies, and in the senior assembly hall, which were 
in the process of being painted at the time by Brother Schroen, drew the 
appreciative attention of the visitors.^* The building's main art piece, the 
statue of St. Michael, had not yet been moved from James Street to its 
destined position in the rotunda.-' 

The building was opened for inspection by the public on the occasion of 
a party to aid the building fund, on May 17.^° At this time it was 
understood that the graduation exercises in June would be held in the hall 
on James Street, since the new building would not as yet be formally 
opened,^' but the date for the dedication of the building was later advanced, 
permitting the graduation to be held at University Heights.^^ 

The ceremony of laying the cornerstone took place on the afternoon of 
Sunday, June 15, 1913, before a crowd of 15,000 people. In the absence of 
Cardinal O'Connell, who was in Rome, the Right Reverend Joseph G. 
Anderson, Auxihary Bishop of Boston and member of the class of 1887, 
performed the ceremony, assisted by Father Gasson and by the Very 
Reverend Anthony J. Maas, S.J., Provincial of the Maryland-New York 
Province of the Society of Jesus. Six Monsignori, 100 priests. Mayor John 
F. Fitzgerald of Boston, and state and civic leaders were among the 
audience which heard the Reverend Walter Drum, S.J., deliver the dedica- 
tory sermon and E. A. McLaughlin give the principal address. That after- 
noon the friends of Boston College applauded the news that the Golden 
Jubilee Fund had passed the $30,000 mark." 

Three days later, at the commencement exercises celebrating the golden 
anniversary of the founding of the College, degrees were conferred in the 
presence of Bishop Anderson upon 79 candidates, including students in the 
evening division. The Honorable Joseph C. Pelletier, of the class of 1891, 
was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree on this occasion, and he 
delivered the address to the graduates.^'* 

On September 17, 1913, the first complete collegiate year in the new 
building began with a record enrollment of almost 400 freshman students 
alone.^^ At the same time, the high school, with 430 freshmen, making a 
total of 1100 students, outgrew in one registration the additional room 
made available in the James Street building by the departure of the college 

One Task Completed, Another Begun 

During the fall, the interior of the new building was graced by the erection 
of five marble statues in the hall beneath the rotunda.'^ The smaller of these 

The Towers on the Heights 131 

The inspiring rotunda of Gasson Hall. 

132 History of Boston College 

statues represented Saints Aloysius, Stanislaus, John Berchmans, and 
Thomas Aquinas; the group in the center of the rotunda depicted St. 
Michael overthrowing Lucifer. The latter was completed in 1868 at Rome 
by M. le Chevaher Scipione Tadolini, on the commission of Gardner Brewer 
of Boston. It took three years to model the allegorical figure and the 
elaborate pedestal and to reproduce them in marble. On the completion of 
the work, the statue was placed on exhibition for a period in Rome, where 
it was received with praise by the critics. Among the many distinguished 
persons who viewed the figure was Pope Pius IX, who smilingly com- 
mented, "The devil is not as black as he has been painted!"^^ 

On February 11, 1913, Father Gasson contracted to have the Tower bells, 
which have since become so closely associated with Boston College by 
thousands of students and visitors, manufactured and installed in May by 
Meneely and Company of Watervliet, New York. The four bells are do (F), 
the largest, christened Ignatius of Loyola; fa (B''), Franciscus Xavierius; sol 
(C), Aloysius Gonzaga; and la (D), Joannes Berchmans. When this clock 
chime was ordered. Father Gasson evidently considered enlarging it ulti- 
mately to a tune-playing chime, for the frame was made of sufficient 



Official Score Card 

Bo^on College 


Holy Cross 

Dedication of Athletic Field 
University Heights 


Saturday, Odl. 30, 1915 


At long last, an athletic field of their 

The Towers on the Heights 133 

strength and size to carry the six or seven additional bells required. As late 
as 1936 the possibility of such a change was contemplated by the then- 
president, Father Louis J. Gallagher.^" 

The Fulton Room, a small amphitheater equipped and decorated for the 
use of the Fulton Debating Society as a gift of the Boston College Club of 
Cambridge, was formally opened on November 19/° The seating arrange- 
ments of the room were changed years later to make it a conventional 
lecture hall, but in the renovation of Gasson Hall in the 1970s, the original 
amphitheater arrangement of the room was restored and the mural deco- 
rations of Brother Schroen retouched. 

In the latter part of November 1913, Boston College alumni were 
reminded, on the occasion of a bazaar held at the high school under the 
direction of St. Catherine's Guild for the benefit of the Faculty Building 
Fund, that the need for accommodations for the Jesuit staff at the Heights 
was acute.'" As early as August of 1912, Father Gasson had recognized the 
great inconvenience that would be caused the professors by their daily 
journeys to and from the city, and he had petitioned the Jesuit provincial 
authorities for permission to have preliminary plans drawn for a faculty 
residence. The permission was granted and the slow work of consultation 
and drawing up trial sketches was begun.''^ But he himself was not to see 
the completion of this work, for on January 11, 1914, his term of office as 
president of the College came to an end and he was succeeded by the 
Reverend Charles W. Lyons, S.J. 

During his six-year term as president. Father Gasson was able to com- 
plete only one of the projected buildings, the centerpiece, Gasson Hall. But 
he left a plan to which his successors were faithful through two wars and a 


L William J. Conway, S.J., "Obituary: Father Thomas I. Gasson, S.J." Woodstock 
Letters, 60{193l):84. 

2. Woodstock Letters, 39(1910):109. 

3. Records of the Trustees of Boston College, under date January 5, 1910. 

4. The Stylus, 24(October 1910):1:28. 

5. /ferW., 24(Novemberl910):2:25. 

6. James T. McCormick, S.J., to James M. Kilroy, S.J., "A Proposal for Financial 
Adjustment" (date uncertain: 1926[?]), BCA. 

7. William J. Conway, S.J., "Obituary: Father Thomas I. Gasson, S.J.," Woodstock 
Letters, 60(1931):84. 

8. Ibid., p. 85. 

9. Records of the Trustees of Boston College, under date March 6, 1911, BCA. 

10. T/;e%/«s, 24(January 1911):29;and24(May 1911):33. 

11. ifczcf., 25(October 1911):24. 

12. Ibid., and The Boston Sunday Post (December 8, 1912), p. "A." 

13. The Stylus, 25(November 1911):2, p. 34. 

134 History of Boston College 

14. Ibid., 24{Junel9n):9, p. 27. 

15. The Boston Sunday Globe (November 5, 1911); also The Stylus, 25Qanuary 
1912):4, p. 36. 

16. The Stylus, 25(November 1911):2, p. 34. 

17. Ibid., 26(October 1912) :1, p. 24. 

18. Ibid. 

19. The Stylus, 26(December 1912):3, pp. 43-44; and Woodstock Letters, 

20. From records preserved in the office of the Boston College Graduate School. Cf. 
also The Boston Post (June 19, 1913). 

21. Charles Lyons, S.J., to Anthony Maas, S.J., Provincial, May 28, 1914, Maryland 
Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown University Library. 

22. The Stylus, 26(December 1912):3, pp. 44-45; and 26(March 1913):6, p. 225. 

23. The Boston Sunday Post (March 9, 1913). 

24. Ibid. (March 23, 1913), p. "C." 

25. Woodstock Letters, 42(1913):246-247; The Boston Post (March 29, 1913), p. 
6. The Post article carries a photograph showing Fathers Gasson, Goeghan, Brett, 
and Conway with a group of students. 

26. Woodstock Letters, 42(1913):246-247; The Stylus, 26(April 1913):7, pp. 274- 
275; Sub Turri, l(1913):28-29. 

27. The Stylus, 42(1913):246-247. 

28. Ibid., 26(May 1913):8, p. 335; The Boston Sunday Post (March 23, 1913), p. 

29. The Stylus, 26(April 1913):7, pp. 274-275. 

30. The Boston Sunday Post, loc. cit. 

31. The Stylus, 26Qune 1913):9, p. 388. 

32. The Boston Post (June 19, 1913). 

33. Ibid., June 16, 1913, pp. 1 and 4; The Pilot (June 13 and 21, 1913); (New York) 
World (June 29, 1913). "In the box placed within the stone were a yearbook 
(Sub Turri) of 1913; envelope containing pious articles; envelope containing 
coins of the United States; history of the building; list of names of ecclesiastical 
and civic authorities; copies of the Boston Sunday Globe, Sunday Post, Sunday 
Herald, Sunday American, and a Boston Transcript of March 26, 1913; cata- 
logue of Boston College High School; catalogue of Boston College; book of 
spiritual exercises, Roman breviary, Roman missal; list of officers of the Boston 
College Alumni Association; programme of the exercises of the day, and pro- 
gramme of music by the Young Men's Catholic Association" (Boston Post, June 
16, 1913). 

34. The Boston Post (June 19, 1913). 

35. The Stylus, 27(October 1913): 1, p. 42. 

36. Ibid., p. 60. 

37. Ibid., 27(November 1913):2, p. 116. 

38. Prose e Poesie Intorno al Celerre Gruppo Rappresentante San Michele (Roma: 
Tipografia di G. Aurelj, 1869), p. 10. Preserved in the Boston College Archives. 
Cf. also article by F. Franzoni in Osservatore Romano, March, 1869, the main 
portion of which was translated and published by Joseph E. Kelly, "A Great Art 
Gift to Boston College," The Stylus, 23(April 1909):27-30. 

39. F. P. Latz to Rev. Thomas L Gasson, S.J., February 11, 1913; and Andrew E. 
Meneely to Rev. Louis J. Gallagher, S.J., August 12, 1936. (Letters preserved in 
the Boston College Archives.) 

40. The Stylus, 27(December 1913):169. 

41. Ibid. 

42. Thomas L Gasson, S.J., to Joseph Hanselman, S.J., Provincial, August 2, 1912, 
Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown University Library. 



The Pre-World'War I Era 

It was agreed by all that Father Charles W. Lyons was a fortunate choice to 
succeed Father Gasson at this critical period in the history of Boston 
College. He was already experienced both as an administrator and as a 
builder. His most recent concern before coming to Boston had been the 
erection of a faculty residence for St. Joseph's College, along much the 
same lines as the one planned for Boston. He was familiar with the 
problems connected with such an enterprise, and he brought to his new 
task a wealth of ideas and suggestions and a sound knowledge of what was 
practical for such an edifice. 

Progress on the Faculty House 

Father Lyons devoted himself at once to the business of pushing forward 
the preparations for the new residence. Maginnis and Walsh, the architects 
of the first building, had been selected to design the new hall, and they were 
able in March 1914 to provide Father Lyons with complete plans to show 
to Jesuit provincial authorities in New York.^ As envisioned by Father 
Gasson, the building would rise no more than three stories above the 
ground, and the community chapel in the building would be no larger than 


Fourteenth President 

Father Lyons was born in Boston on January 

31, 1869. He attended the public schools ot 

Boston and graduated from the English 

High School. He entered the Society of 

Jesus August 14, 1890, and was ordained a 

priest in 1904. He taught metaphysics at St. 

Francis Xavier College in New York and at 

Boston College. When he assumed the 

presidency of Boston College, he was already a seasoned administrator, having 

previously been president of Gonzaga College in Washington, D.C., and of St. 

Joseph's College in Philadelphia. 

necessary to accommodate the Jesuit Community at common prayers. 
Father Lyons, however, was of the opinion that the building should provide 
more rooms to accommodate the future growth of the faculty; conse- 
quently, he had the architects add another entire floor to its height. 
Moreover, he caused the plans for the chapel to be altered to accommodate 
250 people. 

In June 1914 the Alumni Association presented Father Lyons with a 
check for almost $40,000 to be added to the building fund,- and in the fall 
faculty and alumni had the pleasure of seeing ground broken for the new 
residence hall. On September 8, exactly as the College chimes were sound- 
ing the noon hour. Father Lyons, surrounded by several members of the 
faculty, blessed the ground where the new building would be erected. 

Each fall had witnessed an increased enrollment in the College, and 1914 
was no exception. Registration at the opening of classes reached a new 
high of 432.3 

The Philomatheia Club 

The year 1915 witnessed the formation of an auxiliary organization which 
was to enjoy extraordinary social prestige, while at the same time providing 
unfailing assistance to numberless College projects. The new group was the 

The Pre-World-War I Era 137 

Philomatheia Club, which united a number of prominent Cathohc women 
from Greater Boston for the purpose of forwarding the general interests of 
the College. 

The idea of such an organization was conceived by James Carney, 
chairman of the Boston College Athletic Board. In March 1915 he arranged 
the attendance of 16 representative Catholic women at a meeting sponsored 
by the Boston College Athletic Board at the Boston Art Club to discuss the 
feasibility of such a project. Charles D. Maginnis, the architect, was host 
on this occasion. As originally outUned, the purpose of the proposed club 
was to provide moral and financial support for the athletic program at 
Boston College. Although the idea was well received, nothing further was 
done to carry it into action until the early fall of 1915, when a larger group 
of women and the Athletic Board met with Father Lyons and reopened the 

At this meeting, James Carney achieved wider interest for the proposed 
society by broadening its purpose to include not only the promotion and 
fostering of the athletic affairs of the College but its scholastic and social 
interests as well. It was thereupon agreed to organize such a club, and at 
the election which ensued Mrs. Edwin A. Shuman was named president. 
Mr. George McFadden, S.J., faculty director of athletics, acted as the 
College representative during the club's formative period, and upon its 
final approval. Father Michael Jessup, S.J., became the organization's first 
spiritual director. The name "Philomatheia," or "Devotion to Learning," 
was chosen for the club. 

Elected third president of the Philomatheia Club in 1919 was one of the 
great friends and benefactors of Boston College, Mrs. Vincent P. Roberts. 
For over half a century she retained that office and led the club in a rich 

Mrs. Vincent P. Roberts, for over a half century 
president of the Philomatheia Club. 

138 History of Boston College 

m m fi 

The first library at Chestnut 
Hill, on the south side of the 

array of benefactions to the College. These included gifts such as the 
flagstaff and flag for the original Alumni Field, equipment for science 
laboratories, and gold prizes for various student achievements, as well as 
such major contributions as promoting the building fund drive of 1921 
and purchasing the gracious Norwegian chalet on Commonwealth Avenue. 
(This building was razed in 1988 for a new residence hall.) The club 
donated one of the stained glass windows in Bapst library as well as one of 
the library's prizes, a letter of St. Francis Xavier. In addition many a needy 
Boston College student received partial tuition support from the Philoma- 
theia Club. 

A Junior Philomatheia Club was begun in 1931. The two organizations 
gave significant moral and material support to the College in the decades 
when an institutional development program was nonexistent or in embryo 

Maroon Goal Posts 

In the fall of 1915, the hopes of 25 years were realized with the formal 
opening of the College's own athletic field.'' The gridiron, track, and 
surrounding campus had been laid out by the Boston landscape architects 
Pray, Hubbard, and White, and in its setting, the new field won the 
enthusiastic admiration of all. One of the students writing in The Stylus 
found particular delight in the vision of "maroon goal-posts ... on a field 
of green."^ Before the formal dedication of this portion of the campus, the 
alumni — at the instance of Messrs. Francis R. Mullin ('00) and Thomas D. 
Lavelle ('01) — raised $1600 in the space of four days for the erection of a 
semipermanent grandstand to accommodate 2200 persons.* 

Shortly after one o'clock on the afternoon of October 30, 1915, a 
procession including distinguished civic guests, members of the faculty, and 
alumni formed in the rotunda of the recitation building and marched down 

The Pre-World-War I Era 139 

to the field to the strains of a military band. There were speeches for the 
occasion, and in one of them Father Lyons bestowed upon the new facility 
the title "Alumni Field," as a memorial to "the boys that were."^ The new 
grandstand was filled that day and the sidelines were crowded. The weather 
was fine, too. Only one detail marred the almost-perfect dedication cere- 
mony: Holy Cross won the afternoon's football game in the last six minutes 
of play, 9 to 0.^ 

That evening, the Boston Saturday Evening Transcript appeared with 
one of the most sympathetic and appreciative articles on the new institution 
that had yet appeared in the secular press. It described Boston College as 
"Chestnut Hill's Touch of Oxford" and "one of the sights of Boston," and 
it sought to correct the misapprehension that the institution was a theolog- 
ical seminary. The tone as well as the content of this article, occurring in 
what many considered the "official organ" of Yankee Boston, attracted 
favorable attention from Catholics and non-Catholics alike.' 

St. Mary's Hall 

Shortly before New Year's Day 1917, it was announced that St. Mary's 
Hall would be opened after the holidays. On the evening of January 4, the 
last day before the cloister restriction was put on St. Mary's Hall, a small 
gathering of friends, including Mayor Curley, Mr. Maginnis, the architect, 
Mr. Logue, the builder, J. B. Fitzpatrick, and others interested in the 

A bucolic scene: the view from 
the road circling the smaller 


140 History of Boston College 

College, sat down to a supper served in the assembly hall of the recitation 
building by members of the Philomatheia Club under the direction of Mrs. 
Edwin A. Shuman. In the course of the evening, Father Lyons was pleasantly 
surprised to receive from the Philomatheia president a purse of $2500 
toward the furnishing of the new building. Later, the guests made a tour of 
inspection of the new edifice, with Mr. Maginnis acting as guide. '° 

The new building, he explained, was modified Gothic, in conformity 
with the organic architectural scheme of the assemblage. Its massive gray 
walls were relieved by elaborate Gothic traceries, carved plaques, and the 
graceful arches of the Gothic windows which encircled the lower floor. At 
that time the building contained 64 rooms, of which 50 were living 
quarters, including a bishop's suite on the second floor. A unique feature 
of the structure was the large, tiled recreation area on the roof, extending 
almost the entire length and breadth of the building and completely 
concealed from the ground below. From this vantage point, guests enjoyed 
a magnificent panorama of Arlington, Watertown, Cambridge, Boston, 
and Brookline. 

The Jesuit faculty took informal possession of the new building on the 
following evening, January 5, 1917, by a simple ceremony of filing into the 
long oak-paneled refectory for their evening meal. All stood in their places 
silently as Father Lyons offered a special prayer of thanksgiving and a plea 
for God's blessing on the new residence. The following morning, the Feast 
of the Epiphany, Father Lyons celebrated the first Mass in St. Mary's Chapel 
at six -thirty, and a short time later other priests of the faculty began their 
Masses at the eight side altars." Their new home was open. 

As the year 1917 began, there was a mood of joy at Boston College as 
the Jesuits occupied their majestic residence. That mood was short-hved. 
Four months later international events cast a pall of gloom over the world. 


1. Charles W. Lyons, S.J., to Anthony Maas, S.J., Provincial, March 11, 1914, 
Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown University Library. 

2. The Stylus, 28(October 1914):1, p. 53. 

3. Ibid., p. 53. 

4. Boston Sunday Post (October 17, 1915), p. "A." 

5. The Stylus, 29(October 1915):1, p. 38. 

6. Ibid., p. 39. 

7. Ibid., 29(November 1915):2, pp. 82-83. 

8. Ibid., p. 96. 

9. RoUin Lynde Hartt, "Chestnut Hill's Touch of Oxford," Boston Saturday Eve- 
ning Transcript (October 30, 1915). The article was reprinted in Woodstock 
Letters, 45(1916):131-134; and in The Stylus, 29(November 1915):2, pp. 88-90. 

10. The Stylus, 30(January 1917):4, p. 201. 

11. The Boston Journal (January 6, 1917); The Evening Record (Boston) (January 5, 
1917); The Stylus, 30(January 1917), p. 201. 



Two Months in Khaki 

On April 16, 1917, the United States entered World War I against Ger- 
many. One of the early government programs to prepare American troops 
for the war effort was the establishment of an officer training camp at 
Plattsburg, New York, which was destined to draw heavily upon the 
colleges in New England and New York. There was no lack of patriotic 
response among the students at Boston College: As soon as the first camp 
at Plattsburg was announced in May, a hundred students volunteered. To 
their dismay, however, only one was accepted. A vigorous protest by the 
Boston College men eventually found its way to Washington, and a better 
representation of volunteers from the Heights were enrolled in the August 

Because of conscription and voluntary enlistment, the enrollment at 
Boston College, which had stood at 671 in October 1916, dropped to 125 
in October 1918 — a loss of 81 percent.- 

First, the SATC 

In August 1918, under an amendment to the Selective Service Act, the 
Students' Army Training Corps (SATC) was authorized,^ and Boston Col- 
lege was one of the 565 institutions selected to provide training for men 
needed as officers, engineers, scientists, and administrators. A quota of 750 


142 History of Boston College 

Students' Army Training Corps parade on Alumni field. Barracks may 
be seen, east of Gasson Hall. 

soldiers were assigned to Boston College. Toward the end of the summer 
four sleeping barracks and a large mess hall were erected at a cost of 
$90,000 in the areas now occupied by Devlin and Campion halls. The 
regular arts curriculum was suspended and a new curriculum drawn up 
stressing scientific and military subjects." Fifteen hundred young men 
apphed for admission to the Boston College SATC program, but only half 
could be accepted. The devastating influenza epidemic that swept the 
country forced the postponement of the start of the program until October 
15, 1918, less than a month before the armistice was signed.^ 

The Boston College SATC enrollment, comprised entirely of local youths, 
was divided into four companies. They were reviewed on November 27 by 
Major General Clarence R. Edwards and Governor Samuel McCall.* The 
following day the College authorities were notified that all units of the 
SATC had been directed to demobilize the men, commencing the week of 
December IJ By December 12 the last elements of the Boston College unit 
had been disbanded. 

To assist colleges adjust to the dislocations encountered with the cessa- 
tion of SATC programs, the government re-established the Reserve Officers' 

Two Months in Khaki 143 

Training Corps, which had been suspended during the war. Boston College 
was one of over 300 institutions applying for the establishment of ROTC 

Early in January 1919, Father Lyons wrote the Provincial of his satisfac- 
tion at learning that Colonel J. S. Parke, the former commandant, and 
Captain Andrew B. Kelly, the former adjutant of the Boston College SATC, 
were available to organize and direct a ROTC unit at the college.' 

Then, ROTC 

The inception of the program was announced in "General Orders, Number 
1," published from the headquarters of the ROTC at Boston College on 
February 27, 1919,'° and the actual training began in the first week of 
March. It was decided after some discussion that the membership was to 
be voluntary for all those who, upon examination, could qualify as officer 
material, and some 137 students enrolled." 

The ROTC demanded only two hours weekly of drill, and only one hour 
a week of class in military science, yet the program apparently became 
irksome to many of the student soldiers after it was started. Perhaps the 
students shared the widespread reaction of distaste in the postwar period 
for everything connected with the military; in any case, disturbing numbers 
applied for release from the corps during the spring months of 1919, and 
this undoubtedly motivated the College authorities to discontinue the 
program the following September.'^ 

During World War I, Boston College sent more than 540 students and 
alumni to the armed forces, of whom 263 were commissioned officers; it 
also trained 761 SATC soldiers. Her honor roll includes the names of 15 
dead, 17 wounded, and 23 cited or decorated by the United States or 
foreign governments." 

If these numbers seem small in contrast to the College's service figures 
for World War II, it must be recalled that the United States' armed forces 
in 1918 were less than half the size of the American forces in World War II 
and that Boston College at the outset of World War I had only 761 students 
compared with a student body of some 1800 in 1941. Moreover, because 
the College had but recently increased its enrollment from that of a little 
over one hundred, her alumni were not relatively numerous. 

The history of Boston College in World War I is a proud record of 
service, "not only for the men whose names are written therein, but also 
for those who in future ages will bear their names."'"* 

With the war over, the Boston College construction program was re- 
sumed. In the 1920s two presidents would surmount daunting obstacles to 
add to the campus the third and fourth Gothic buildings. 

144 History of Boston College 


1. The Stylus, 30{May 1917), p. 370; 31(October 1917), p. 23. 

2. Woodstock Letters, 45(1916):467; 47(1918): Supplement, "Students in Our 
Colleges in the United States. . . ." 

3. War Department, Committee on Education and Special Training, Circular Aa— 1, 

4. Records of the SATC at Boston College, Boston College Archives. A transcript of 
the more important War Department circulars concerning the SATC and a listing 
of authorized units will be found in Parke Rexford Kolbe, The Colleges in War 
Time and After (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1919), Appendix III. 

5. Boston College in the World War, 1917-1 91 8, p. 304. 

6. Ibid., p. 305. 

7. School and Society, 8:206(December 7, 1918):675-676. 

8. School and Society, 8:209(December 28, 1918):765-766. 

9. Charles W. Lyons, S.J., to Joseph Rockwell, S.J., Provincial, January 7, 1919, 
New York Province Archives, S.J. 

10. The Stylus, 32(March 1919), 359-360. 

11. Records of the ROTC at Boston College, Boston College Archives. A complete 
roster of officers and men in the B.C. ROTC will be found in The Stylus, 
32(April 1919), 425-426. 

12. Applications for dismissal on file in ROTC records, Boston College Archives; 
and discontinuance noted in letter of William Devhn, S.J., to Joseph Rockwell, 
S.J., Provincial, September 3, 1919, New York Province Archives, S.J. 

13. Boston College in the World War, 191 7-1918, pp. 351-352. 

14. Ibid., p. 12. 



Boston College 
Will Be Big Enough . . . 

As we have seen, a physical separation of college and high school faculties 
took place early in 1917 with the removal of the professors to the new 
faculty building at the Heights. The separation was not perfect, however, 
for Father Lyons, the rector of Boston College, was also rector of Boston 
College High School; the treasurer of the College, Father James F. Mellyn, 
S.J., was also treasurer of the high school; and both lived on Harrison 
Avenue. The prefect of studies at the College, Father Michael Jessup, S.J., 
was acting superior at the new building, and the prefect of discipline at the 
College, Mr. William V. Corliss, S.J., was acting treasurer. This was 
understood, of course, to be only a temporary arrangement to last until 
such time as the College was thought sufficiently well organized to be 
administered as an independent unit. That time was judged to have come 
in July 1919, and the change was announced in advance to Cardinal 
O'Connell by the Provincial in a letter dated July 16.^ "It is difficult," he 
wrote, "for one superior to bear the responsibility of two houses as widely 
separated as the College at Chestnut Hill and the High School on Harrison 
Avenue." Hence, Father John J. Geoghan was appointed rector of the 
Immaculate Conception Church and Boston College High School, and 
Father William J. Devlin succeeded Father Lyons as rector of Boston 
College, the appointments taking place on July 20, 1919.' 


Fifteenth President 

Father Devlin was born in New York City 
December 15, 1875, but spent most of his 
youth abroad, attending schools in England 
or traveling in Europe and spending the 
summer vacations with his family in Ireland. 
While he was a student at Stonyhurst, the 
distinguished Jesuit school in England, he 
was accepted into the English province of 
the Society of Jesus. Before he entered, however, his father died in New York and 
young Devlin returned to America. Shortly thereafter he decided to seek admis- 
sion to the Maryland province, where he was accepted on September 24, 1893. 
Before his ordination he taught at Boston College for four years. After his 
ordination in 1908, Father Devlin was on the faculty of Boston College from 1910 
to 1913. in 1914 he became dean, the position he held when named to the 

Postwar Milestones 

One of Father Devlin's first tasks in office, shortly after the opening of 
school in 1919, was arranging a reception at Boston College for Cardinal 
Mercier, the heroic prelate of Belgium who was visiting America at the 
time. An enthusiastic assembly of faculty, students, and alumni greeted the 
Belgian patriot and Cardinal O'Connell in the College hall on October 6.'* 

A few weeks later a Boston College football team came into national 
prominence for the first time by defeating a favored Yale team 5 to 3 on an 
historic 47-yard field goal made by "Jimmie" Fitzpatrick. The team, the 
first coached by the now-legendary "Iron Major," Frank Cavanaugh, was 
hailed upon its return from New Haven with a welcome which verged on 
hysteria.^ The following year, the victory was repeated, 21 to 13.* 

The first issue of The Alumni Bulletin, published in October 1919, 
announced the creation of a new office, that of alumni secretary, to which 
Frank Cronin was appointed by action of the executive committee of the 
association on September 11, 1919 J The Bulletin unfortunately experi- 
enced a rather hectic career during its first years, with change of title and 
suspended publication of frequent occurrence. 

Boston College Will Be Big Enough 


Within a month, another pubHcation was inaugurated, an undergraduate 
weekly called The Heights, which printed Volume I, Number 1, on Novem- 
ber 19, 1919, under the editorship of John D. Ring ('20). The first issues 
of the paper were only six by nine inches in size, giving it the distinction of 
being the smallest college newspaper in the country, but on April 16, 1920, 
the format was changed to approximately what it is at present. The twenty- 
fifth and final edition issued that season was an ambitious 12-page pictorial 
presenting a review of the persons and incidents that had made Boston 
College news during the year. 

Incidentally, it was in an early issue of The Heights that the eagle was 
suggested as mascot and symbol of the Boston College athletic teams.' The 
sponsor concealed his identity under a pseudonym, but tradition identifies 
him as the Reverend Edward J. McLaughlin ('14). 

An Appeal to the Alumni 

Shortly after the turn of the year in 1920, Father Devlin devoted his 
attention to finding ways and means to erect another building. The need 
for room was pressing, particularly in the form of laboratory space for the 

Pledge card used in Father Devlin's building fund drive. The drawing on the certificate 
is from the Maginnis and Walsh projection of the campus. It shows that the architects 
meant the east entrance of the first building to be the main entrance. A plaza such as 
they envisioned is now in place. 

148 History of Boston College 

rapidly growing science courses. Two science classes had to be transferred 
to St. Mary's Hall to secure room, and there was no hall on the campus 
large enough to accommodate even a representative portion of the student 
body at one time.' Two sections of the third corridor had been cut off to 
make temporary laboratories for the physics department. Equipment, too, 
was in demand. The proceeds from the Philomatheia Ball that year had 
been spent on much needed apparatus for the physics laboratory, and an 
additional thousand dollars was expended for microscopes and other 
instruments for biology.'" 

In February 1920, with the Provincial's approval. Father Devlin sent a 
letter to all Boston College graduates outlining the need for a science 
building and asking for financial support." Once again the firm of Magin- 
nis and Walsh was engaged to draw up plans for the proposed building. 
This initial appeal to the alumni had disappointing results, with less than 
$100,000 realized in cash and pledges.'^ It was decided that an appeal had 
to be made to a wider public. 

The Campaign of '21 

Father Devlin courageously determined that this new effort should be a 
large-scale drive, not only to finance construction of a science building, but 
to meet the needs of a rapidly growing student body by providing three 
additional new buildings — a chapel, a gymnasium, and a library — at one 
bold stroke." His first step was to engage professional direction for the 
proposed drive, and by the first week in October a rough plan of action 
had already been blocked out.'" The campaign, which would have as its 
objective the raising of $2 million, would begin October 8 in its organiza- 
tional aspects and run for 30 weeks, ending May 31, 1921. The actual 
public "drive," as such, was to occupy 10 days, from May 3 to May 12. 

Father Devlin met the editors and publishers of the Boston newspapers 
at a dinner at the City Club on November 10. He outlined the purposes of 
the campaign and appealed for the friendly cooperation of the Boston 
press. The following morning the newspapers of the city featured an- 
nouncements of the new drive and descriptions of the pressing needs 
experienced at the Heights. 

As the time for the intensive collection period approached, the press 
devoted more and more space to accounts of the campaign and to feature 
stories concerning the College. A slogan contest during the spring contrib- 
uted a motto: "Boston College will be big enough if your heart is!" and it 
soon appeared on numberless billboards, telephone posts, streetcar ads, 
shop windows, and doorstep flyers. 

On the eve of the drive, a large reproduction of the Gothic Tower on the 
Heights was unveiled on Boston Common near the corner of Tremont and 
Park Streets, and smaller replicas were placed at South Station, Upham's 
Corner (Dorchester), Lynn, Lowell, Waltham, and Brockton. On these 

A 1 922 invitation to a Philomatheia Ball. 

Campaign flag at downtown head- 








3oe-30» c- 



150 History of Boston College 

The crane beside the Tower Building 
shows the science building under 

Work has begun on the library site at 
the right and young lindens line the 
road in 1924. 

The football teams were in the na- 
tional spotlight in 1919 and 1 920 
with victories over Yale. 

Boston College Will Be Big Enough ... 151 



Villanov.T at Vilknova. Pa 




Ne>, ^ork Uii 

Rhode Isia 


lA) Thu 




Seton Hall 

^'.ii(- University at New Ha^ 

Providence at Rhode IsLind 

Crescent A, C. at Brooklyn 

J J Crescent A. C. at Brooklyn 

toi5' '"'"'''• " Norwich 
York o"'3 Wed. 16 Tufts 

ty at N. Y, V/^fA': Tluir. !7 Lafav-ttt- 

(-• C^ \ ,-v ' •''■"■ '^ '^""'V 

Pa. /3 <^ i W,d. 2? Lowell Textile 

/ •"*"' ';:d. J"' Unis'evr^ity of Peotisylvanij •// 

^li. yj) lJni\t-r.';ity of Vermont I U\ 

Iston W * • ^* Buriington. Vermont 

' Mon. 28 St. MichaeU /^' 

Wed. 30 Holy Cros.s at Worcester : i, 


Frid. 1 G™.:tieIown |^1 

Sat. 2 Spring field j/^l 

Wed. 6 Springfield at Springfield |.^ 

Thur. 7 Princeton University 

at Princeton, N. J. [jj 
Tiid. S l.ibigh at South Bethlehem. Pa. ijf 
Sat. >5 Ti.fts at Tuft's Oval, Medford"^ 
W,'d. 1 i Unued States Submarine Baseift|, 






^ity of Vermon 



Providence ,' <' 


ser Polytcchni 





se University 


ti 1 

MAY 1 



16 Pending AlOA^//! 
1 8 Holy Cros.s 


X I- 

152 History of Boston College 

"towers" were conspicuous campaign clocks to indicate the daily progress 
of the drive. 

When May 3 finally arrived, Cardinal O'Connell opened the drive with 
a gift of $10,000 (which he doubled a few days later), and a legion of 
volunteer workers set out on the heroic task of approaching every person 
in Greater Boston to solicit from each a donation for the new Boston 
College. Meanwhile, the volume of newspaper publicity multiplied until 
the drive became the topic of greatest interest in the city. A gigantic benefit 
concert, starring the great Victor Herbert and including Fritzi Scheff and 
many other artists, was staged in the Boston Arena to signal the drive's 
halfway mark on Sunday, May 8. 

The collectors and their leaders who had labored untiringly for 10 days 
were cheered at the close of the campaign by the headlined news that the 
drive had gone over the top. A careful check completed several days later, 
however, revealed that of the $2 million sought, only $1,746,069 had been 
paid or pledged, and of this amount only $710,756 had been realized in 
cash. Later, complete records show that of the outstanding pledges amount- 
ing to $1,035,313, only $575,000 was ever redeemed. Expenses connected 
with the 1920-1921 campaign ran to $158,070. When it was decided in 
1929 that no further redemptions would be made, the net cash return from 
the drive was calculated at $1,127,712. 

Hopes for four new buildings thus vanished, for the cost of the science 
building and library alone would exceed by several hundred thousands the 
total receipts of the drive. But a beginning had been made, and the great 
amount of favorable publicity received by the College during the drive was 
to prove of incalculable value. Boston College was now definitely knoivn, 
and within two decades its student body was to double and treble. 


1. Joseph H. Rockwell, S.J., to Most Rev. William H. O'Connell, July 16, 1919, 
Boston Diocesan Archives. 

2. Catalogus Provinciae Marylandiae-Neo Eboracensis S.J., ineunte anno 1920. 

3. Woodstock Letters, 67(1938):293-298. 

4. W. Devlin, S.J., to the Alumni of Boston College (circular letter), October 4, 
1919, Boston Diocesan Archives. Also, The Stylus, 33(October 1919):40-41. 

5. The Stylus, 33(November 1919):106-107 and 118-122. 

6. Ibid., 34(October 1920):51-62. 

7. A copy of the first issue of the Alumni Bulletin is preserved in the Boston 
Diocesan Archives. In May 1924 a fresh attempt to publish the Alumni Bulletin 
was made under the editorship of John R. Taylor, to appear "from time to time" 
(p. 2). The introductory editorial gives the impression that Taylor considered this 
to be the initial effort at a Bulletin (pp. 1-2). In 1933 the Bulletin was begun 
once more as a "new publication" under the title, Boston College Alumnus. 

8. The Heights (May 14, 1920). 

Boston College Will Be Big Enough . 


9. William Devlin, S.J., to Joseph Rockwell, S.J., January 27, 1920, New York S.J. 
Provincial Archives; and William Devlin, S.J., to the Boston College Alumni 
(circular letter), February 6, 1920, Boston Diocesan Archives. 

10. William Devlin, S.J., to His Eminence, William Cardinal O'Connell, February 9, 
1920, Boston Diocesan Archives. 

11. William Devlin, S.J., to the Alumni (circular letter), February 6, 1920, Boston 
Diocesan Archives. 

12. The Official Report of the Treasurer, the Reverend Michael J. Doody, preserved 
in the Treasurer's Office files, Boston College. 

13. William Devlin, S.J., and William D. Nugent to the Alumni of Boston College 
(circular letter), December 8, 1920, Boston College Archives. 

14. The following account is based on the official records of the drive which have 
been bound and preserved in the Boston College Archives. 



Gothic Newcomers 

At the commencement exercises on June 22, 1921, Cardinal O'Connell 
broke ground for the science building, the first of the structures to be 
erected with the funds realized in the recent drive.' The excavation for the 
basement required blasting of rock, so concrete could not be poured for 
the first section of the foundation until March 16 of the following year.^ The 
cornerstone for the science building was laid in the presence of Cardinal 
O'Connell at the graduation in June 1922,^ and ground was broken for the 
library by Mayor Childs of Newton in the following October.'' 

The prospect of increased library facilities encouraged Father Stinson, 
the librarian, to appeal to friends of the College to donate books for the 
new library during a drive which opened November 10, 1922, and contin- 
ued for several months. The Carnegie Foundation in Washington, D.C., 
congratulated the College on its efforts to secure a representative library 
and offered to send all the yearbooks and other sets of publications issued 
by the foundation. Harvard University likewise responded with a generous 
offer of books and duplicate sets.^ 

In the fall of 1923 the status of the College chapel, which had hitherto 
been private, was changed by Cardinal O'Connell to permit the faithful of 
the locality to fulfill their obligation to hear Mass on Sundays and holy 


Gothic Newcomers 155 

The science building won for 
its architects the J. Harleston 
Parker medal as the most 
beautiful new structure in the 
Greater Boston area during a 
three-year period. 

After the conferring of degrees on commencement day, June 19, 1924, 
Cardinal O'Connell, accompanied by the faculty and student body, pro- 
ceeded to the site of the new library building opposite St. Mary's Hall. 
There with simple ceremony he laid the cornerstone, after placing within it 
a copper box containing records, coins, and newspapers of the day.^ 

New Quarters for the Sciences 

When classes reconvened in September of 1924, the new science building, 
although not entirely ready, was used for the first time. The workmen who 
were engaged in finishing the interior of the building did not complete their 
task until almost Christmas, but in the meantime the science departments, 
which had occupied the basement of the Tower Building, were able to 
transfer their equipment to the new structure. This change freed the former 
chemistry lecture hall for history classes and permitted the former labora- 
tories to be converted into much-needed dressing rooms for the athletic 
teams. The road near the science building was finished that fall and a 
beginning made on the extensive landscaping required in the vicinity. The 
new edifice itself had become the pride of the campus. 

The original plan of the architects and College authorities had called for 
separate buildings for chemistry, physics, and biology, but restricted re- 
sources obliged them, at least for the time being, to house all of these 
sciences within one building. The location of the science building on the 
campus had also undergone change; as late as the drive of 1921 it was 
spoken of as occupying the position now held by Bapst, opposite St. Mary's 

The arrangement of laboratories and lecture halls was drawn up after an 

156 History of Boston College 

inspection of the facilities at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Har- 
vard, Yale, and other leading institutions and after conferences with science 
instructors from several Jesuit colleges and other universities. The result 
was the erection of a science building which represented the highest 
efficiency in design at the time it was built and which won for the architects 
the J. Harleston Parker Medal, awarded triennially by the Boston Society 
of Architects for the most beautiful new structure in Greater Boston.^ 

The basement was divided into storage rooms, locker rooms to serve 
1000 students, an electric generator room, and machine shops. When the 
building was planned it was hoped that a seismograph station might be 
located in the basement.' By October 1925, however, it had been deter- 
mined that the ledge upon which the building rested extended under 
Commonwealth Avenue and that recording by the instruments would be 
affected by the traffic.'" Hence, the seismograph apparatus was installed in 
Weston on property owned by the New England Province of the Society of 

Construction of the Library 

The Ubrary foundations were completely laid by September 1924," and 
work on the walls of the superstructure was begun on October 20 in the 
hope of continuing until the basement and first floor were completed.'- By 
the following March, the cutstone border of the first floor and the base of 
the main stairway had been laid," and in May Father Devhn could report 
to the alumni that the structure was "nearing the second floor."''' He found 

The library under construction 
in 1925. Note that there is no 
wing on St. Mary's Hall to- 
ward the reservoir. The wing 
was added in 1931. 

Sixteenth President 

Father Dolan was born in Roxbury on June 
4, 1885. After attending St. Josepii's school 
and Boston College High School, he be- 
came a student at Boston College, but after 
his freshman year he entered the Society of 
Jesus on August 14, 1905. During his studies 
preparatory for the priesthood, he spent a 
five-year period teaching at Georgetown 

University. He was ordained in 1920 by the great James Cardinal Gibbons shortly 
before the prelate's death. Father Dolan was a professor of psychology at Holy 
Cross at the time he was summoned to the presidency of Boston College." 

it necessary, however, to plead for financial assistance from them in order 
that the first floor might be finished, thereby supplying at least an assembly 
hall, which was much needed on the campus. 

A newspaper account in the summer of 1925 stated that the assembly 
hall and some library facilities in the new building would be ready for the 
opening of school, but further work on the structure was halted and a 
temporary roofing erected at the second-floor level due to shortage of 
funds. '^ This was the situation when Father James H. Dolan, S.J., was 
announced to succeed Father Devlin as president of Boston College on 
August 23, 1925. 

During Father Dolan's first few months in office, the roofed-over library 
auditorium was placed in use,'^ and the stacks and circulation desk of the 
library were put in operation in the library basement. The latter arrange- 
ment was effected by screening off a portion of what is now the stack space 
for book storage and by placing at the entrance of this "cage" a desk where 
books might be charged out. A large open area in front of the desk was 
used by the students as a supplement to the regular library reading room 
in the Tower Building. 

As early as October 1925 the auditorium was sufficiently finished to 
warrant the cardinal's permission to have Sunday Masses said there for the 

158 History of Boston College 

faithful who had been attending Masses in the small domestic chapel in St. 
Mary's HalL^^ 

During the next month, the first of a series of benefactions was made 
which permitted Father Dolan to make plans for the finishing of the library. 
This first gift was made by Mrs. Helen Gargan of Washington, who 
donated the main reading hall of the library in memory of her husband, the 
late Thomas J. Gargan, prominent Boston lawyer, philanthropist, and 
member of the Boston Transit Commission.'' 

In September 1926 Father Dolan was in a position not only to resume 
building but to contract for the entire remaining work.-" By Christmas of 
that year, steel shelves were ready in the stack rooms to accommodate 
100,000 books. ^' The rest of the structural work went forward so rapidly 
that within two years the entire building was completed except for some 
furnishings and the stained-glass windows. The long-awaited dedication 
was announced for commencement day in 1928.^^ 

The ceremonies which took place on June 13 opened with Benediction 
of the Blessed Sacrament in the domestic chapel in St. Mary's Hall, after 
which the faculty and guests proceeded to the new library where they were 
welcomed in the assembly hall by Father Dolan in the name of Boston 
College. Charles D. Maginnis, of the architectural firm which had designed 
the building, gave an interesting explanation of the various features of the 
building, then made a symboUc transfer of the library to Boston College by 
a formal presentation of the keys to Father Dolan. The blessing of the 

For lack of funds, the new li- 
brary structure was roofed 
over in 1 925 above the audito- 
rium, but the building was 
used for library and parish li- 
turgical purposes. The build- 
ing was completed in 1 928. 

— __.A - A _ 

Gothic Newcomers 159 

building was performed by the rector. Following this, the dedicatory 
address was delivered by His Excellency, the Honorable Alvan T. Fuller, 
Governor of Massachusetts, whose personal generosity had aided in bring- 
ing the library to successful completion. ^^ 

The auditorium, on the level below Gargan Hall, originally had a seating 
capacity of 1200. But the demand for classrooms soon forced an alteration 
whereby the length of the hall was reduced in order to provide space for 
two additional classrooms facing Commonwealth Avenue. The seating 
capacity of the auditorium was thereby reduced to 720. When St. Ignatius 
Church opened in 1951, the auditorium was no longer used for parish 
Masses. It nonetheless remained the principal place for academic and 
religious assemblies until 1970, when stacks for books were installed which 
remained on that level until the grand renovation of Bapst Library after the 
opening of O'Neill Library. 

When the library was opened, only a section of the steel stack shelving 
was in position. Later, in the presidency of Father William J. McGarry, 
S.J., the entire steel stack structure — comprising two basement levels — was 
completed, making room for 300,000 books. 

With the completion of adequate quarters, the library service, the intel- 
lectual heart of the institution, could function unimpeded, and the estab- 
lishment of university departments could now be looked forward to as the 
next step in the achievement of Father McElroy's dream. 


1. The Boston Post (June 23, 1921). 

2. William Devlin, S.J., to the Alumni of Boston College (undated circular letter), 
Boston College Alumni Bulletin, 1:2—3, May 1924. 

3. The Boston Post (June 22, 1922); The Pilot Qune 24, 1922). 

4. The Boston Post (November 1, 1922); The Boston Traveler (November 1, 1922); 
The Heights (November 9, 1922); The Boston Sunday Post (November 12, 

5. The Boston Globe (November 13, 1922); The Pilot (December 2, 1922). 

6. Litterae Annuae Collegii Bostoniensis, November 1923. 

7. The Boston Post (June 20, 1924). 

8. The Heights (May 4, 1926). 

9. The Boston Herald (July 23, 1925). 

10. The Heights (October 6, 1925). 

11. The Heights (September 30, 1924). 

12. Ibid. (October 14, 1924). 

13. Ibid. (March 3, 1925). 

14. William Devlin, S.J., to members of the Alumni (circular letter), May 1925, 
Boston College Archives. 

15. The Boston Globe (August 24, 1925, and August 30, 1925). 

16. The Boston American (July 18, 1925). 

17. The Heights (March 16, 1926). 

160 History of Boston College 

18. Litterae Annuae Collegii Bostoniensis, October 1925. The auditorium and the 
college chapel in St. Mary's Hall were together designated as the temporary 
"church" of a newly created St. Ignatius Parish by the cardinal in October 1926. 
The parish was to be served by Fathers connected with the college, and when 
circumstances permitted, it would have a church of its own (Litterae Annuae 
Collegii Bostoniensis, October 1926; The Boston Globe, November 11, 1926). 

19. Litterae Annuae Collegii Bostoniensis, November 1925; The Pilot (August 8, 
1908; October 24, 1908; October 31, 1908); T/7e Boston Evening Transcript 
(June 13, 1928). 

20. Litterae Annuae Collegii Bostoniensis, September 1926. 

21. Ibid. (December 1926). 

22. The Boston Post (November 19, 1927, and June 14, 1928); The Boston Herald 
Qune 14, 1928); The Boston Globe (June 14, 1928); The Boston Evening 
Transcript (June 13, 1928); and invitations preserved in the Boston College 

23. The Boston Evening Transcript (June 13, 1928); The Boston Herald (June 14, 
1928); and programs preserved in the Boston College Archives. 



The Many-Rooted Tree 

Although the charter granted to Boston College is a university charter, the 
privileges conferred by it were not fully utilized until the institution was in 
its sixth decade. The problems connected with organizing and operating 
the preparatory and undergraduate branches during the College's early 
years so occupied the attention of the staff that little if any heed was paid 
to the still more venturesome task of commencing classes for graduate 

A Master's Program for Boston 

At the close of World War I, however, circumstances arose which changed 
this situation and led Father DevUn to announce the inauguration of the 
School of Education in the fall of 1919. This project had grown out of 
negotiations begun during the previous year by the former president. Father 
Lyons, and Jeremiah E. Burke, superintendent of schools for the City of 
Boston.' The purpose of the new school was to alleviate Boston's postwar 
dearth of male teachers, especially in the high schools, because at the time, 
the city's normal school was not yet qualified to grant degrees. 

By a plan mutually agreed on, candidacy for the master's degree with a 
major in education would be offered young men who had previously 
completed a full undergraduate course of four years at a recognized college 


162 History of Boston College 

Margaret Ursula Magrath was the 
first woman to earn a degree at Bos- 
ton College. She was awarded a mas- 
ter of arts degree on June 16, 1926. 

and who had successfully taken the entrance examinations conducted by 
the Boston Normal School. A one-year course for the degree was outlined, 
in which the first semester was to be devoted to practical training in the 
elementary, intermediate, and high schools of Boston under the direction 
of the Department of Practice and Training of the City of Boston Public 
Schools. Those students satisfactorily completing the assignments of this 
period would enter upon a second semester of related academic work at 
either the new School of Education at Boston College or at Boston 
University. When the first examination conducted by the board of superin- 
tendents was held on September 12, 1919, eight young men qualified for 
the period of training, and all elected to attend Boston College.^ 

Soon after the school year began, Father Mellyn asked the City of Boston 
School Committee to accept the master's degree in education earned at 
Boston College as equivalent to two years' experience in teaching for 
candidates for the high school certificate and for the intermediate certifi- 
cate. Early in October 1919 the board examined the outline of the course 
as given at the College and granted the request.^ This act was not only a 
gratifying commendation for the quality of work planned at Boston College 
but offered an advantage which attracted many aspiring teachers to the 
new school on the Heights. 

At the opening of the fall term in 1922, Father Mellyn received the 
approval of the trustees of Boston College for the following requirements 

The Many-Rooted Tree 163 

for the degree of master of education, which was being offered for the first 

1. The degree of A.B. or B.S. from an approved college. 

2. Ten half-courses (i.e., 30-hour courses), with appropriate examinations. 

3. A master's thesis of 5000 words on some pedagogical subject originally 
treated, the thesis to count as one of the ten required half-courses. 

In January 1923 the Boston School Committee gave formal approval to the 
new program and voted to give Boston College's degree of master of 
education full credit on the committee's rating plan.^ 

During the first few years, the tuition for the academic semester under 
the School Committee's plan was paid by the City of Boston. In May 1922, 
however. Father Mellyn was notified that commencing with the next 
entering class, the plan would be modified to require each student to pay 
his own tuition.^ 

Meanwhile, the Normal School of the City of Boston had been undergo- 
ing a metamorphosis. For the academic year 1924-1925 the title was 
changed to "The Teachers' College of the City of Boston,"^ and this new 
institution conferred the bachelor's degree for the first time upon members 
of the class of 1925.* The next step, presentation of courses leading to the 
master's degree, soon followed; consequently, the city-sponsored training 
course for college graduates at Boston College and Boston University was 
considered no longer necessary, and in April 1926 the School Committee 
gave notice to Father Mellyn that the plan would be discontinued at the 
close of the current school year.' 

The Number of Advanced Degrees Awarded by Boston College 

During the Years 1920-1927'" 


M.A. M.S. 


June 1920 

9 1 

June 1921 

24 — 


June 1922 

21 3 


June 1923 

1 1 


June 1924 

9 — 

June 1925 

27 1 

June 1926 

39 1 


June 1927 

25 — 



Higher Education for Religious Teachers 

When the plan for the School of Education at Boston College was first 
announced in the fall of 1919, Father Augustine F. Hickey, the diocesan 
supervisor of schools, immediately saw in it a means for improving the 


Jesuit poet Leonard Feeney wrote the 
words for a dramatic song on the 
University's colors. It appeared in 
Songs of Boston College, published 
in 1938 and dedicated "to the Ladies 
of the Philomatheia Club." 




Compiled and Arranged 


Director Boston College Music Clubs 

PabllBhed for The Boston College Music CIubB 

training of the teaching Sisters of the archdiocese. On October 9 he wrote 
to the cardinal to present certain propositions for the betterment of the 
parish school system, among which was the following: 

To arrange a course of twenty lectures to be given on Saturday mornings 
after January 1st, 1920, in the Cathedral School Hall by Reverend James F. 
Mellyn, S.J., Dean of the new School of Education at Boston College. In 
January 1920 Boston College is to offer courses in Education to college 
graduates training for positions in the Boston Public School system. These 
courses are to be accredited by the Boston School Committee. Father Mellyn 
is very willing to give to our teaching Sisters a share in the work done at the 
new School of Education. This could be done most effectively in the form of 
an extension course on Saturday mornings in Cathedral School Hall." 

His Eminence replied at once, giving permission to carry out the plan as 
outlined. Thereupon, Father Hickey called a conference of all the superiors 
of the parish schools for October 18, at which he announced the course, 
with the opening date as the second Saturday in January 1920.'" The 
response exceeded all expectations, with some 700 Sisters following the 
courses,^' despite their already heavy schedules and, as Father Hickey 

To the Colors 

Worrts t,v 

*—^^ r 'p p p ji'ji I p [ I I |i I ' h ii I 

th« f*Bl, Wh*ii ihf 

-f^^rrTT p p' -^M J' 

gold la for the glo - py 

* Ji J> > JiJi i> 'j' J> l *P I' II ' | i I 'li |i I 

iD-rlse meets tbe noon-tide, «ee your 

'Ii* i-r -r f T U r r 

?M J J Ji 3 ^^ 

^ffr*ff f f^ 

m_j I u 

;* ji J, J) JL.p j> p p I n |i |) p !•• ^ 

Id the fliuh of niEbt-fftU, wfaen on; 

yBuiton College MdiIcC 

observed, the unusual inclemency of the weather during the latter part of 
that winter.'" 

During the following years, the educational courses were extended 
throughout the entire school year, and special courses were given at the 
cathedral hall during the summer. '^ Other extension schools were set up 
under the joint direction of Fathers Hickey and Mellyn for the Sisters at 
centers on the North Shore and elsewhere.'*" In addition to Father Mellyn 
and Fathers of the Boston College faculty, lay professors were engaged for 
several of these series of lectures,'^ and in 1923 college credit was given in 
connection with the courses to quahfying Sisters. (Heretofore, only a 
certificate of attendance at the classes had been issued to them.'*) 

Father Mellyn's desire to have the School of Education classes on the 
Heights open to women students as well as men required a change of Jesuit 
regulations for the conduct of their colleges. When he sought permission 
for this innovation in 1920, however, provincial superiors felt that the 
situation at the time did not justify the change." 

But at the Teachers' Institute in August 1922, Cardinal O'Connell voiced 
the hope that a formal summer school for religious teachers would soon be 

166 History of Boston College 

organized,^° and the following February he instructed Father Hickey to 
ascertain if Boston College would be in a position to provide such training 
leading to advanced degrees.'^ In the light of this expressed interest of His 
Eminence in the summer school, the case was reopened, and permission for 
the attendance of women at these classes at the Heights was granted by the 
Jesuit authorities in Rome on April 7, 1923.-^ Difficulties connected with 
assembling a teaching staff prevented the inauguration of the school that 
summer,^^ but on June 30, 1924, the first classes on the Boston College 
campus admitting women were opened with the Mass of the Holy Ghost 
offered by the president, Father Devlin. An enrollment of 230 religious was 
recorded, and the cardinal told the new students during the dedicatory 
address that the occasion marked an epoch in Catholic education."'' 

The school was in session for five weeks, with six school days each week. 
Courses of college grade in English, foreign languages, sciences, mathemat- 
ics, history, philosophy, and education were conducted by regular members 
of the Boston College faculty under Father Mellyn as director of the school. 
That fall and winter (1923-1924) a 30-hour extension course was offered 
as usual at the cathedral center by the Boston College School of Education; 
it was attended by 600 of the teaching Sisters. During this period, 145 
theses prepared in connection with the course were accepted as worthy of 
college credit." 

In the school year 1923-1924, lay women were admitted for the first 
time to the series of lectures offered in the evening school of the Young 
Men's Catholic Association and were given credit toward degrees by the 
Boston College School of Education. Classes were held in the Boston 
College High School building on James Street, and the low fee of $5 was 
charged for an entire course. Five hundred students registered for Father 
Charles Lyons' course in the history of philosophy, and other classes 
similarly well attended were the psychology of thought, given by Father 
F. W. Boehm, and the history of education, given by Father Mellyn.^' 

Reorganization of the Graduate Division 

At the opening of the school year 1925-1926, the term "Graduate School" 
was employed for the first time on an official basis.^^ According to the 
announcement, this school was situated on the campus and was restricted 
to male students, and it was under the direction of Father Mellyn as dean. 
In other words, it was a continuation of the previous School of Education 
arrangement as far as that pertained to the public school teachers' courses 
at Chestnut Hill. 

On September 15, 1926, however, an important reorganization of all 
graduate and extension classes was announced, to take place on October 
1 . Under the new system, the Graduate School would be open to men and 
women, and would hold classes in the afternoon and evening at Boston 
College High School on James Street rather than at the Heights. The new 

The Many-Rooted Tree 167 

dean in charge of the program was Father John B. Creeden, S.J., formerly 
president of Georgetown University.^* 

The reorganized Graduate School would supersede the School of Educa- 
tion on the campus for male public school teachers, the cathedral center for 
religious teachers of the archdiocese, and the advanced courses at the 
evening classes of the Young Men's Catholic Association for the general 
public. But the new project was broader in scope than all of these combined. 
Now, not only education but many of the fields of concentration usually 
available to graduate students at a university were provided for. In addition, 
approved undergraduates were admitted to certain classes for credit toward 
the bachelor's degree. 

The establishment of this school was to prove of service to the religious 
teachers in the vicinity, who now had the opportunity of pursuing a full 
schedule of higher studies during the school year. The enrollment of such 
students during the first scholastic year (1926—1927) numbered 157 Sisters 
and 5 Brothers. The following commencement day at Boston College on 
June 16, 1927, was a memorable one in the history of Catholic education 
in the archdiocese, for on that occasion 14 master's degrees and one 
bachelor's degree were conferred upon Sisters by Cardinal O'Connell.^' 
The interest of the teaching religious in the new Graduate School was 
further reflected in the summer session by an enrollment of 321 Sisters and 
20 Brothers, an increase of 75 over the previous year.^" 

The year 1927 witnessed further growth in the university organization 
by the affiliation of the novitiate and house of studies of the New England 
Province of the Society of Jesus at Lenox, Massachusetts, and the large 

Philomatheia Club. 

168 History of Boston College 

Jesuit seminary at Weston, Massachusetts, with Boston College under the 
titles of the Normal School, the School of Philosophy and Sciences, and the 
School of Divinity. Thus, with the permission and approval of the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts, the courses in these institutions were recog- 
nized as accreditable for degrees, and the Jesuit seminarians received their 
degrees from Boston College. (This arrangement ceased in 1974.) 

The Law School Inaugurated 

On April 29, 1929, Father Dolan published his plans for the opening of a 
school of law connected with Boston College the following September.^* 
The staff of the new school would be headed by Father Creeden, hitherto 
director of the graduate school, as regent, and Dennis A. Dooley as dean. 

The announcement of the new venture at once received praise from the 
public press for the high standards which had been established for it.^^ 
Only those students who had completed at least two years of collegiate 
academic work at an approved institution were to be admitted, and 
undergraduates were advised to complete their collegiate training before 
matriculating in the Law School, because preference would be given to 
apphcants with degrees.-*^ 

Both day and evening courses were instituted, the first leading to the 
degree of bachelor of laws in three years and the second requiring four 
years. Day students were required to attend lectures and conferences for 
14 hours a week, while the evening students were obliged to schedule 10 
hours. Members of one section were not permitted to take courses in the 
other section for credit.^'' Only first-year students were received during the 
opening year, but the very gratifying enrollment of 102 students in both 
day and evening divisions was recorded. This figure rose to 122 the 
following year, to 202 the third year, to 230 in 1933, and to 258 in 1934.^' 

Formal instruction was begun September 26, 1929, and the first class 
graduated on June 15, 1932. With the graduation of this first class, the 
school was officially approved by the American Bar Association through 
its section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, and in 1937 the 
school became a member of the Association of American Law Schools. 

In 1939 the Law School moved from its original Boston site in the 
Lawyers' Building at 11 Beacon Street to the New England Power Building 
at 441 Stuart Street, where it remained until it was transferred to the 
Kimball Building at 18 Tremont Street in the summer of 1945. 

Intown Classes 

At the same time the Law School was established and at the same location, 
an undergraduate center was begun which was the joint undertaking of the 
Law School and the Graduate School. It was directly under the supervision 
of the Law School regent, Father Creeden, and it was designed to provide 

The Many-Rooted Tree 169 

The Lawyers Building at 11 
Beacon Street, Boston, first lo- 
cation of the Boston College 
Law School. 

an opportunity for those who had only a high school diploma or one year 
at college to obtain an equivalent of the two years of college work necessary 
to enter the Law School. Classes were scheduled for the late afternoon and 
evening, and they covered in three years' time a special program of studies 
embracing English, logic, accounting, economics, Latin for lawryers, public 
speaking, modern languages, apologetics, psychology, ethics, government, 
and sociology. The response to this plan was immediate, and 60 students 
enrolled the opening year.^i^ 

In 1929, when this "Downtown Center" was opened at the Law School, 
the classes for undergraduates which had been offered afternoons and 
evenings at James Street in affiliation with the Graduate School were united 
in a semi-independent organization called "The Extension School," under 
the direction of the new dean of the Graduate School, Father John F. 
Doherty, S.J. This school differed from the other extension branch at the 
Law School by offering the equivalent of a complete four-year college 
course leading to an A.B. degree and by presenting a variety of major fields 
of concentration. These extension classes continued to be held at the high 
school building on James Street. 

The Downtown Center, embracing the prelegal extension classes, was 
accorded a section of the combined Graduate School— Extension School 
catalog until the 1933-1934 issue, when it became "The Junior College" 
and issued a separate catalog. Father Patrick J. McHugh, S.J., the dean, 
was also dean of the Arts College at Chestnut Hill. 

The following year, the Graduate School and the Extension School were 
moved to Chestnut Hill, and the first steps were taken in January 1935 to 
make them entirely distinct and independent. September 1935 saw the 

170 History of Boston College 

Extension School separated from the Graduate School and merged with the 
Junior College in new quarters at 126 Newbury Street under the name 
"Boston College Intown." Father George A. O'Donnell, S.J., became dean 
of the reorganized Graduate School at Chestnut Hill, and Father Walter F. 
Friary, S.J., became dean of the new Boston College Intown. 

The Intown College published separate catalogs for the extension courses 
and for the junior college courses until the entire curriculum was revised 
and consolidated into progressive divisions, or "stadia," by Father Michael 
J. Harding, S.J., the new dean, in September 1938. At that time, the terms 
"extension school" and "junior college" were discontinued, and a single 
catalog was issued henceforth by the Intown College. 

The School of Social Work 

Growth was meanwhile noticeable in another direction. Soon after Father 
Louis J. Gallagher's inauguration as president of Boston College in 1932, 
he began to encourage Father Walter McGuinn in his investigation of the 
possibihty of starting a school of social work in connection with the 
College. In preparation for such an undertaking. Father McGuinn engaged 
in graduate studies in social work at Fordham University in New York, 
where in 1935 he achieved the unusual distinction of being granted a Ph.D. 
degree with a major in social work. 

Turning his attention to Boston, Father McGuinn was convinced that 
there was a need for professionally trained social workers taught to view 
their problems in the hght of Catholic social principles. He saw that in this 
comparatively young field of formal education, there was often lacking a 
satisfactory synthesis of the principles of Christian philosophy — especially 
of ethics and psychology — with the various methods and techniques that 
had been developed in social work. Aid in the solution of these problems, 
he felt, would be achieved by the institution of social work schools in 
Cathohc universities, from which proper leadership would emanate. 

Local and higher Jesuit superiors shared Father McGuinn's view, and in 
May 1936 permission was granted by the General of the Society of Jesus in 
Rome to open such a school. On the eighth of the same month, Father 
McGuinn outlined his plans to Cardinal O'Connell, who at once gave his 
generous and enthusiastic approval to the project and graciously became 
honorary patron of the school. 

The program of training and studies was drawn up in accordance with 
the specifications of the American Association of Schools of Social Work. 
For this task. Father McGuinn engaged the assistance of Dorothy L. Book, 
who had wide professional training and experience in social work and who 
became director of field work for the new school. The syllabus was 
organized to meet all professional requirements, and it provided experience 
in recognized social agencies under competent supervision. The training 
period from the beginning required two years to complete, the first devoted 

The Many-Rooted Tree 171 

126 Newbury Street, original loca- 
tion of the Graduate School of Social 
Work, the School of Business Admin- 
istration, the School of Nursing, and 
the Intown College (precursor of the 
Evening School). 

to a general foundation in the study of fundamental principles and methods 
common to all forms of social work, while the second afforded the student 
opportunities to specialize in some particular phase of social work. The 
training was of graduate cahber, open only to holders of a baccalaureate 
degree from an accredited college, and led to the degree of master of 
science in social work.^^ 

A distinguished faculty was recruited from the professional field, and the 
first classes were held in September 1936 at the school's quarters at 126 
Newbury Street. The initial enrollment was 40 students. Two years later 
the first class, numbering 34, graduated, and the school received its accred- 
itation by the American Association of Schools of Social Work on June 28, 

When war broke out. Father McGuinn was called to serve on the New 
England regional branch of the War Labor Board, where the exacting 
nature of his new duties, in addition to the administrative work at the 
school, gradually took a toll on his health. He developed a serious heart 
condition in the spring of 1944 and died suddenly on April 1. Upon his 
death, Miss Book acted as dean until the following September, when she 

172 History of Boston College 

was appointed permanently to that office, with Father James D. Sullivan, 
S.J., as regent. 

The College of Business Administration 

The next development at Boston College was the College of Business 
Administration.^^ For several years previous to the introduction of this 
school, four courses in accounting had been offered yearly as electives for 
juniors and seniors in the art course. The classes proved so popular that the 
question arose in 1938 of providing a fuller curriculum in business subjects. 
Father William J. McGarry, S.J., president of the college, decided that the 
situation demanded not additional courses but the institution of a separate 
school designed to furnish basic training in business at the same time that 
the necessary cultural subjects were studied. Consequently, early in March 
1938 he appointed Father James J. Kelley, S.J., of the College staff, director 
of the new undertaking and gave him full authority to assemble a faculty 
and to draw up a four-year undergraduate program leading to the degree 
of bachelor of science in business administration. 

The curriculum embraced the full philosophy course, with much of the 
literary training and — for Catholic students — the regular religion course 
(taken in the arts division) in addition to the standard business subjects. In 
outlining this syllabus, the recommendations of the American Association 
of Collegiate Business Schools were followed, requiring a distribution of 
subjects in the following proportions: at least 40 percent business subjects; 
40 percent cultural subjects; and up to 20 percent, "border" subjects, 
which might be common to both business and arts. 

At the invitation of Father McGarry, over 30 prominent businessmen 
and bankers from the Boston and New York areas consented to become 
members of an advisory committee for the Business School and to assist 
with their counsel and experience in the efficient direction of the school. 
The main committee operated through four smaller subcommittees which 
devoted their attention, respectively, to curriculum, publicity, lectures, and 
resources. The early success of the school was in no small part due to the 
generous interest of these business leaders. 

At the time the original plans were made, it appeared that the museum 
building on Hammond Street would serve as quarters for the school, but 
further investigation showed the structure not suitable for this purpose 
without extensive alterations. Hence, space was taken in the building on 
Newbury Street which housed the Intown College and the School of Social 
Work, and the opening of classes was announced for September 16, 1938. 

Over 100 applications arrived at the school offices throughout the spring 
and summer, and from this number 72 candidates were accepted for the 
first class. The following year, 75 entered the new freshman class, and this 
number taxed the available space to the point of serious inconvenience. The 
third year (1940—1941), the school had to move to the main buildings at 

The Many-Rooted Tree 173 

Chestnut Hill to accommodate the incoming class of 100 students, but this 
location also proved inadequate. In September 1941, the College of Busi- 
ness Administration was finally granted spacious quarters of its own in the 
newly acquired Cardinal O'Connell Hall, formerly the Liggett Estate, on 
Hammond Street in Chestnut Hill. 

The new school now had a full four-year program in operation for the 
first time, and it enjoyed a total enrollment of some 330 students. The first 
graduating class numbered 52 in June 1942; the following February, on a 
wartime accelerated program, another 54 graduated; and in November of 
1943, 40 more took their degrees. The College of Business Administration 
had come of age, but the demands of war upon the student personnel 
caused a postponement of further development and made it advisable in 
the summer of 1943 for the school to transfer its quarters temporarily from 
O'Connell Hall to the Tower Building on the main campus. 

Within approximately twenty years, Boston College had grown in a 
direction and to an extent never anticipated by Father Fulton or even by 
Father Gasson. The foundation of the Intown College, the Graduate School, 
the Law School, the Social Work School, and the College of Business 
Administration had extended immeasurably the educational service Boston 
College offered to the community. And it pleased the friends of the 
institution to observe that the development was not merely at the under- 
graduate level. 


1. Charles W. Lyons, S.J., to Joseph Rockwell, S.J., February 14, 1919, Province 
Records, Maryland Provincial S.J. Archives, Georgetown University Library. 

2. Woodstock Letters, 48(1919):402. 

3. Thornton D. ApoUonio, Secretary to the Committee, to Reverend James F. 
Mellyn, S.J., October 6, 1919, Boston College Graduate School files. 

4. Notice dated January 27, 1923, signed by Father Mellyn, Graduate School files. 
A student's account of the course is given in The Heights (April 1, 1924). 

5. Arthur L. Gould, assistant superintendent, to Reverend James F. Mellyn, S.J., 
January 13, 1923, Graduate School files. 

6. J. E. Burke, Superintendent of Public Schools, to Reverend James F. Mellyn, S.J., 
May 17, 1922, Graduate School files. 

7. Annual Report of the Superintendent, October, 1925, School Document No. 9, 
1925, Boston Public Schools, pp. 22-23. 

8. Ibid., p. 37. 

9. Ellen M. Cronin, Secretary to the School Committee, to Reverend James F. 
Mellyn, S.J., April 23, 1926, Graduate School files. 

10. Compiled from records in the office of the Boston College Graduate School. 

11. Augustine F. Hickey to the Reverend James F. Mellyn, S.J., October 11, 1919, 
Graduate School files. 

12. Ibid., and Father Hickey to Father Mellyn, October 14, 1919. 

13. Boston College Catalogue, 1920, p. 74. 

174 History of Boston College 

14. Father Hickey to Father Mellyn, March 20, 1920. 

15. Ibid., April 26, 1921; September 13, 1921. 

16. Ibid., February 2, 1922. 

17. Ibid., September 13, 1921; February 2, 1922; January 30, 1926. 

18. Ibid., April 26, 1921, and April 18, 1923, Boston College Graduate School files. 

19. William Devlin, S.J., to Joseph Rockwell, S.J., June 9, 1920; Joseph Rockwell, 
S.J., to William Devhn, S.J., June 13, 1920, New York Province Archives, S.J. 

20. The Pilot, September 13, 1924. 

21. William Devlin, S.J., to Joseph Rockwell, S.J., March 8, 1923, Maryland Provin- 
cial S.J. Archives, Georgetown University Library. 

22. William Devlin, S.J., to Joseph Rockwell, S.J., April 11, 1924, New York 
Province Archives, S.J. 

23. William Devhn, S.J., to Joseph Rockwell, S.J., May 23, 1924, New York Prov- 
ince Archives, S.J., supplemented with information supplied to Father Dunigan 
by the late Father Mellyn in a personal interview, March 2, 1943. 

24. The Pilot (July 5, 1924 and September 13, 1924). 

25. The Pilot (September 24, 1924). 

26. Ibid. (November 3, 1923); and The Heights (November 13, 1923). 

27. An eight-page brochure issued by the College in connection with the courses 
being offered at Chestnut Hill for male public school teachers. 

28. The Boston Herald (September 16, 1926); The Boston Post (September 16, 
1926); The Pilot (September 25, 1926). 

29. The Pilot (September 24, 1927). 

30. Ibid. 

31. The Boston Post (April 29, 1929); The Boston Globe (a.m.) (April 29, 1929); 
The Boston Transcript (April 29, 1929). 

32. The Boston Herald (editorial) (April 30, 1929); The Boston Transcript (editorial) 
(April 29, 1929). 

33. Boston College Bulletin. The Law School. Announcement of the First Session, 
1929-1930, pp. 11-14. 

34. Ibid. 

35. Boston College Bulletin, The Law School Announcement, for the respective 

36. Boston College Bulletin of the Graduate and Extension Schools, 1929—1930, pp. 
47-49; and The Heights (October 1, 1929). 

37. This description of the School of Social Work is based upon information supphed 
Father Dunigan by the Reverend James D. Sullivan, S.J., regent of this school. 

38. This description of the College of Business Administration is based upon infor- 
mation supplied Father Dunigan by the Reverend James J. Kelly, S.J., dean of that 



Depression Decade 

The period immediately before World War II was one of continued growth 
and consolidation, although on the side of physical expansion only one 
project, the wing on St. Mary's Hall, could be listed as new construction. 
The rapidly increasing Jesuit faculty had rendered the accommodations of 
the residence hall inadequate as early as the fall of 1927. At that time a 
temporary remedy was arranged and finally achieved in January 1928 by 
transferring the faculty library, which occupied the end of St. Mary's Hall 
over the chapel, to the new library building and converting the space thus 
obtained into four hving rooms, a bishop's suite, and three private chapels. 

Expanding St. Mary's, and the Cohasset Resthouse 

The problem of insufficient room was constantly pressing, however, until 
Father Dolan, late in 1930, decided that St. Mary's Hall should be substan- 
tially enlarged. He engaged the architects Maginnis and Walsh to design an 
addition that would preserve the pleasing proportions and general appear- 
ance of the building as well as protect the overall campus pattern which 
had been agreed on for future development. 

Work was actually begun on October 7 of that year and proceeded 
throughout the following winter and spring. When completed, the L-shaped 
addition provided 35 more individual living rooms, in addition to 7 rooms 


176 History of Boston College 

on the southeast end of the third floor which were designed as infirmary 
quarters. Among the changes effected was a new and enlarged refectory, 
planned to accommodate 104; a recreation room for the Fathers and a 
faculty reading room, on the first floor of the new section; offices for the 
president and treasurer, made by remodeling the old refectory; and visitors' 
parlors created by adaptation of the former offices. The new basement 
provided area for a large garage, as well as extended facilities for the 
wardrobe and a number of new rooms for workmen. The new wing was 
completed in the summer and formally occupied on the feast of St. Ignatius 
on July 31, 1931.' 

In May 1932 the trustees announced the purchase of the Brown estate, 
comprising some eight and a half acres in Cohasset, Massachusetts, and 
bordering the entrance to Cohasset harbor. The purpose of this acquisition 
was to provide a resthouse for the Jesuit faculty within easy motoring 
distance of the College, where some hours each week during the summer 
could be spent at the shore. This relaxation was considered advisable 
because teaching schedules, including summer school, were arranged on 
almost a 52-weeks-a-year basis. 

Father Gallagher Becomes Rector 

On January 1, 1932, Father Dolan was succeeded in the presidency of 
Boston College by the Reverend Louis J. Gallagher, S.J., until then Socius 
to the Provincial and Prefect General of Studies for Jesuit institutions in the 
New England area.^ Father Gallagher began his administration at Boston 

John O'Loughlin, assistant li- 
brarian in Bapst from its early 
days well into the postwar era. 

Seventeenth President 

Father Gallagher was born in Boston on July 
22, 1885. He attended public schools in 
Dorchester and the immaculate Concep- 
tion school in Maiden. He entered Boston 
College High School in 1900, and was at- 
tending Boston College in 1905 when he 
was accepted into the Society of Jesus. Dur- 
ing his pre-ordination course he spent five 
years on the faculty of Fordham University. In 1920, along with the Jesuit he 
would succeed as president. Father James Dolan, he was ordained by Cardinal 
Gibbons. He served briefly as principal of Xavier High School in New York and 
then was assigned to help administer the Vatican Relief Mission to Russia during 
the famine of 1922. He remained in Russia for two years during the establishment 
of Communism there. On returning to America he was appointed assistant to the 
Provincial of the newly established New England Jesuit Province in 1926. At the 
time of his selection as president of Boston College, he had overall supervision 
of the educational enterprises of the province. 

College when the full impact of the 1929 depression was being felt 
everywhere. In March 1932 he reported that the depression had forced a 
policy of financial retrenchment upon the College.^ The deficit in the 
payment of tuitions, which had increased with every semester of the 
previous two years, was particularly large during that term because of 
conditions prevailing in various banks. Deferred payment and installment 
paying had affected about 20 percent of the tuitions, and the number of 
students receiving financial aid from the College had increased 100 per 
cent over the previous year. He stated that the enforced forfeiture of tuition 
income did not result in the dropping of any students, partly because some 
balance was effected by the reduction of expenditures for equipment or 
developmental projects and by the frugal administration of the community 
house of the nonsalaried Jesuit faculty. Father Gallagher was also able to 
report that, up to that time, no reduction had been made in the salary of 
anyone employed by the College, nor was any contemplated. 

178 History of Boston College 

Alumni Field Stadium 

The depression necessarily obliged him to postpone indefinitely any plans 
for expansion, but he effected many improvements which were extraordi- 
nary in the light of the difficulties under which he labored. Financial 
restrictions, for instance, had caused the de-emphasis of intercollegiate 
athletics at Boston College during the last years of Father Dolan's term in 
office. A steady increase in the seriousness of the depression forced Father 
Gallagher either to discover a means of reducing in a substantial way the 
expenditures involved in the athletic program or to suspend the major 
sports altogether. 

In selecting the first alternative. Father Gallagher felt that a transfer of 
the home football games from the professional park in Boston, which 
charged 20 percent of the gross receipts of a game for rental, to University 
Heights would effect a saving which would enable football to continue on 
a satisfactory scale. Some rather discouraging difficulties, however, lay in 
the way of such a change. The grandstands on the campus were small, 
wooden, and, in several sections, of secondhand materials; age had contrib- 
uted to make them so unsafe that the city authorities finally condemned 
them. The first step, therefore, in carrying out a program for campus 
athletics was to provide a suitable set of stands. A large stadium was, of 
course, out of the question for many reasons, the chief of which was the 
enormous cost, which had led even heavily endowed universities to discon- 
tinue the practice of building them. Further, at Boston College the authori- 
ties were unwilling to commit a large portion of the campus which would 
eventually be needed for college buildings to this distinctly part-time use. 

The answer to this problem, announced in May 1932, was the installa- 
tion of prefabricated steel stands which provided strength at a minimum 
cost, were easy to erect, and were relatively inconspicuous." The permit to 
put up the stands was granted by the City of Newton on June 25, 1932, 
and the work of pouring the concrete foundations and assembling the steel 
sections was begun shortly after the closing of school.^ In order to reduce 
expenses as far as possible and at the same time provide a number of 
students with employment at a time when work was at a premium, the task 
of erecting the stands was given to a number of students under the direction 
of professional steel workers. This arrangement occasioned a protest from 
one of the labor unions, which objected to the employment of "amateur" 
help; but the labor officials, after investigating the situation, gave the project 
their approval. 

The completed stands were low-lying and rested in a natural declivity of 
the land. The field was landscaped in such a manner that the structure not 
only blended into the general scene but game audiences were protected in 
some measure from the direct rays of the sun. The capacity of the stands, 
with both permanent and temporary sections included, was planned to be 
20,000; for the convenience of these patrons, parking space for 3000 cars 
was arranged on the campus. The entire stands were not erected the first 

Depression Decade 179 

Father Gallagher with three 
shapers of Boston College ath- 
letics: John Curley ('13), long- 
time athletic director; Jack Ry- 
der, veteran track coach; Jo- 
seph McKenney {'27, '83 
HON), football captain, 1926, 
and football coach, 1928- 

year, however, and the season — which opened with the dedication of the 
new "stadium" on October 1 and included games with Fordham and Holy 
Cross — was played on a field which seated only 15,000. The full comple- 
ment of portable temporary stands was used during the two following 
years (1933 and 1934). The largest crowd to gather on Alumni Field was 
probably the one in attendance at the Diocesan band concert in 1941, 
estimated at over 25,000. 

In the years immediately before the war, the national prominence of the 
football team, with a consequent large following at its games, caused the 
transfer of the contests back to Fenway Park and later to Braves' Field, 
since the installation of facilities to accommodate large crowds properly on 
the campus would not only entail great expense but could not be effected 
without defacing the property. 

The Thompson Collection 

An example of the academic accomplishments that were rivaling nonaca- 
demic activities for attention at this period is found in the dramatically 
successful efforts of Father Terence L. Connolly, S.J., head of the English 
Department, to gather documentary material for firsthand study of English 
Catholic poets. In the fall of 1933 Father Connolly arranged for a loan 
exhibit at Boston College of manuscripts and first editions of the Catholic 
Victorian poet, Francis Thompson. The exhibition, the first dedicated to 
that poet in America, was held from October 5 to 8, 1933, through the 
kindness of the owner of the collection, Seymour Adelman of Chester, 
Pennsylvania. Loans from the Widener and the Boston Public Library 
augmented the display, which drew the interest of scholars throughout the 

180 History of Boston College 

Since eight years of devoted labor and great wealth had been employed 
by Mr. Adelman in assembling the collection, Father Connolly's surprise 
and pleasure can be understood, when, some four years later, Mr. Adelman 
offered his treasures to Father Connolly for a sum considerably less than 
their estimated value, with the understanding that the various items would 
always be known as belonging to the Seymour Adelman Collection. Within 
three weeks after Mr. Adelman's offer, loyal friends of the College had 
raised a fund to buy the manuscripts, and on April 22, 1937, title to the 
Adelman Collection was transferred to Boston College. The administration 
readily gave permission for the faculty reading room of the library to be 
converted into a permanent display center for the Thompsoniana and 
related items, and the collection was formally opened for public inspection 
on November 5, 1937. 

Bapst auditorium, 1928-1967. 

Kresge reading room in Bapst 
(former auditorium) after the 
renovation of 1986. 

Depression Decade 181 

On hearing of Boston College's acquisition of this material, Wilfrid 
Meynell, the patron and closest friend of the poet, donated to Father 
Connolly the manuscript of "From the Night of Forebeing." Later, upon 
the occasion of Father Connolly's visit to Meynell in England during the 
summer of 1938, he presented to Father Connolly several Thompson 
notebooks and manuscripts, including the complete manuscript of the Life 
of Saint Ignatius. The story of this meeting and some of the interesting 
details accompanying the presentation of Wilfrid Meynell's gift can be 
found in Father Connolly's Francis Thompson: In His Paths.^ 

Since that time the Thompson Room has been enriched by additions to 
the collection through Mr. Meynell's beneficence and by four portraits 
presented by Mrs. Edward C. Donnelly as a memorial to her late husband. 
The paintings are: Mr. Wilfrid Meynell, by Sir John Lavery; Alice Meynell, 
by the Honorable Neville Lytton; Coventry Patmore, by Sir John Lavery; 
and Francis Thompson, by John Lavalle. The portraits of Patmore and 
Thompson are hung to face a valuable copy of Raphael's Madonna del 
Gran Duca, symbolizing the dependence of both of these poets upon the 
Blessed Mother for their inspiration.^ 

Remembrances, Honors, Treasures 

The library was enriched in February 1934 by the accession of over 4000 
rare volumes which were bequeathed to the College in the will of the late 
Monsignor Arthur L. Connolly, of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Ja- 
maica Plain, Massachusetts.* The collection was particularly strong in Irish 
literature but also contained other items of great value, among which were 
St. Bonaventure's Life of Christ, printed in 1475, and a Commentaries on 
the Gospel, printed in the same period. In addition to these books, a large 
number of letters written by English and American literary figures were 
included in the collection.' 

In the early summer of 1934, the College assisted in the celebration of 
Cardinal O'Connell's Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood, 
culminating on June 9 with an outdoor Mass celebrated by His Eminence 
on Alumni Field before a crowd estimated at over 20,000.'° 

Father Joseph J. Williams, S.J., director of the Department of Anthropol- 
ogy at Boston College, was appointed one of the three representatives of 
the American Anthropological Association and the American Council of 
Learned Societies to attend the International Congress of Anthropological 
and Ethnological Sciences in London during the summer of 1934. At the 
congress, Father Williams presented dissertations before the religious as 
well as the African sections of ethnology, and was quoted in 65 dailies 
throughout England and Scotland." Further distinction came to him in his 
election as a fellow of both the Royal and the American Geographical 
Societies and also of the Royal Anthropological Institute and the Royal 
Society of Arts. The previous year Father Williams had established at 

182 History of Boston College 

Boston College the Nicholas M. Wilhams Ethnological Collection, consist- 
ing of several thousand volumes and with 5000 items in the African section. 
The collection proved to be the only one of its kind in the United States 
recognized by the International Institute of African Languages and Cul- 

Along with the varied activities of the depression years that showed the 
vitality of the institution in trying circumstances, a decision was made 
regarding the curriculum of the College that some faculty members found 
sad: the offering of an A.B. degree without Greek. From the day of its 
opening, Greek as well as Latin had been required by Boston College for 
the A.B. degree. As fewer and fewer applicants to the College in the 20th 
century were equipped or interested in taking the classical course, various 
curricula without Latin and Greek were offered, terminating, however, in a 
bachelor of science degree. In 1935 Boston College and Holy Cross 
authorities, working with the Jesuit Provincial Prefect of Studies, Father 
William J. Murphy, modified the age-old curriculum to include an A.B. 
degree still requiring Latin but without Greek. This was indeed a major 
concession, and it earned notice in the Boston press. >^ The reluctance of 
the College to make this decision was shown in the details of the new A.B. 
program. Any honors student had to include Greek in his course. Non- 
honors students were designated either A.B. (Greek) or A.B. (mathematics). 
It would be another 20 years before Latin would join Greek as an elective 
instead of a required course for the A.B. degree. 

Meanwhile, further interesting developments were occurring outside the 
curriculum. On May 29, 1935, the Boston College Library acquired an 
original letter (in Portuguese) of St. Francis Xavier, signed by the saint and 
addressed to Don John III, King of Portugal. The manuscript is composed 
of three foUo pages and is dated "Cochin, January 31, 1552," the last year 
of the saint's life, just after his return from Japan and shortly before he 
sailed to China and his death. It is a confidential report to the king 
referring to the Portuguese subjects in the Far East, whom the saint 
recommends for reward and recognition. He also records the work of some 
of the historical personahties with whom he came into contact in Japan, 
India, and Malacca, and the missionary work carried on in those countries. 
Careful study on the part of the Reverend George Shurhammer, S.J., 
biographer of St. Francis Xavier and greatest hving authority on documents 
pertaining to the Saint, established the Xavier letters as authentic." The 
letter which is now in the possession of Boston College was dictated, 
addressed and signed by the saint, but the body of the message is apparently 
in the handwriting of an amanuensis, very probably Anthony of China, 
who acted as Xavier's secretary on other known occasions and who was 
his sole attendant when the saint died on Sancien. The Philomatheia Club 
of Boston College purchased the letter and presented it to the College as a 
gift to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the 

Depression Decade 183 

Late in 1935 the borders of the campus on Beacon Street were ahered to 
conform with a street-widening program being carried out at the time by 
the City of Newton. The payment made by the city for the narrow strip of 
land ceded by the College aided, with private gifts, in defraying the cost of 
the graceful wrought-iron fence supported by granite pillars which was 
erected along the entire Beacon Street side of the property. The expanse of 
fence was broken almost opposite Acacia Street by an ornate gate which 
was dedicated by Father Gallagher as part of the alumni day activities on 
June 8, 1936.'' 

His Eminence, Eugenic Cardinal Pacelli, Papal Secretary of State and 
future Pope Plus XII, paid the College a surprise visit on the morning of 
October 15, 1936, in the company of the Most Reverend Francis J. Spellman, 
at that time. Auxiliary Bishop of Boston. i' The cardinal was greeted at St. 
Mary's Hall by Father Gallagher and members of the Jesuit faculty, and from 
there he was escorted to the porch of the library building, from which he 
briefly addressed the student body gathered on the campus. He then made 
a presentation to Boston College of a beautifully illuminated fifteenth- 
century missal as a memento of his visit. 

The depression years may have impeded, but they did not thwart, Boston 
College's academic expansion. The Law School was inaugurated in the year 
of the stock market crash. The School of Social Work was begun in 1936. 
Two years later the College would start its first new undergraduate school 
since 1864. 


1. The Boston Globe (October 11, 1930); Woodstock Letters, 60(1931):457-459; 
Boston College: Seventy-Fifth Anniversary, 1863-1938, p. 35. 

2. The Boston Post (January 2, 1932); The Boston Herald (January 2, 1932); The 
Boston Sunday Post (January 10, 1932); The Boston Sunday Globe (January 10, 

3. The Boston Transcript (March 19, 1932). 

4. The Boston Traveler (May 5, 1932); The Boston Post (May 5, 1932). 

5. The Boston Post (June 30, 1932). 

6. Milwaukee: The Bruce Pubhshing Co., 1944. 

7. Further details on the Thompson Collection will be found in Terence L. Con- 
nolly, S.J. (editor). An Account of Books and Manuscripts of Francis Thompson 
(Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, Boston College, n.d.); Terence L. Connolly, S.J., 
"Seymour Adelman's Thompsoniana," America, 50:16-17 (October 7, 1933). 

8. It is heartening that benefactions to the special collections continue. See Chapter 
39 for recent acquisitions for Burns library. 

9. The Boston Globe (February 15, 1934); The Boston Post (February 18, 1934). 
10. The Boston Sunday Globe (June 10, 1934); The Boston Sunday Advertiser (June 

10, 1934). 

184 History of Boston College 

11. The Heights (October 3, 1934). 

12. The Boston Herald (March 27, 1935). 

13. George Schurhammer, S.J., "Zwei ungedruckte Briefe des hi. Franz Xaver,' 
Archivum Historicum Societatis lesu (Rome), II, 44—45, 1933. 

14. The Boston Globe (May 29, 1935); The Boston Traveler (May 29, 1935). 

15. The Boston Post Qune 9, 1936). 

16. The Heights (October 16, 1936). 



An Expanded Campus 

On the evening of July 1, 1937, Father WiUiam J. McGarry, S.J., dean of 
the Jesuit seminary at Weston College, was appointed to succeed Father 
Gallagher as president of Boston College. It was Father McGarry's inten- 
tion on taking office to assume a full teaching schedule for himself in both 
the graduate and undergraduate divisions, but a semester's trial of this 
work in addition to his administrative duties had such a negative effect 
upon his health that he was forced to abandon his lecture courses for the 
balance of the year. 

Father McGarry's Short Tenure 

Other plans which he sought to put into effect soon after taking office 
included improvement of the library facilities, which he accomplished not 
only by completing the steel stackroom accommodations but by launching 
an extensive purchasing program to strengthen the library holdings in 
several departments. Father McGarry also took a keen interest in the 
undergraduate curriculum at the Fleights and made several changes to 
assure continued high standards. The Intown Division also had his atten- 
tion, with the result that a reorganized educational and administrational 
structure went into effect in the fall of 1938. 

The week of February 20, 1938, was set aside for celebration of the 
diamond jubilee of the founding of the College.' A downtown theater was 


Eighteenth President 

Father McCarry was born in Hamilton, Mas- 
sachusetts on March 14, 1894. After attend- 
ing Hamilton grammar school, he entered 
Boston College High School, and upon fin- 
ishing his course there in 1911 he entered 
the Society of Jesus. During his theological 
studies he focused on biblical scholarship, 
pursuing graduate studies at Fordham and 
being awarded the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology by Woodstock College. 
He was ordained in 1925 and later attended the Pontifical Biblical Institute in 
Rome, where he was awarded the degree of Licentiate in Sacred Scriptures with 
Honors. He was professor of Sacred Scriptures and dean at Weston College, the 
New England Province center for theology study, from 1930 to 1936.- 

engaged for the week and a program of events was arranged for every 
evening. On Sunday afternoon the opening session was a symposium on 
Catholic marriage by an intercollegiate Catholic Action unit; that evening 
the Student and Alumni Musical clubs presented a joint concert. The 
Philomatheia Club sponsored a public lecture on Monday evening, and on 
Tuesday Father McGarry met the alumni at their convocation and read to 
them the Papal Benediction which had been sent to the College from Rome. 
An intercollegiate debate with Harvard took place on Wednesday evening, 
and the evenings throughout the balance of the week were occupied with 
performances of the Dramatic Society's play. On Friday afternoon members 
of the Spanish, Italian, and German societies enacted scenes from selected 
masterpieces of the three countries, and the French Academy sponsored the 
Saturday matinee. A large pictorial and historical brochure on the College 
and a Boston College song book were published to mark the anniversary. 
Later, on April 1, a Solemn High Mass commemorating the founding of 
the College was sung at the Immaculate Conception Church in the presence 
of His Eminence, Cardinal O'Connell. 

Early in March 1938 a departure from the former compulsory entrance 
examinations for all and the introduction of a new method for admission 
by certification was announced with the publication of the 1938-1939 

An Expanded Campus 187 

Boston College Bulletin. Under the new system, candidates might qualify 
for entrance in any one of three ways: (1) full certification by an approved 
secondary school, (2) partial certification and passing grades in some of the 
approved forms of college entrance examinations in all required subjects in 
which the candidate had not been certified, or (3) passing grades in some 
one of the approved forms of college entrance examinations in all required 
subjects. Of course, all who wished to be considered for scholarships were 
to take the entrance examinations as usual. This arrangement was consid- 
ered by the College authorities a more equitable method of determining 
suitable candidates for admission in that it stressed the secondary school 
record as a better norm of fitness than an isolated examination.^ 

Father McGarry's career as a college president was prematurely brought 
to a close in the summer of 1939 by the imperative need of an experienced 
writer and prominent theologian to become the first editor of a new 
theological review. Theological Studies, which was in the process of orga- 
nization. The creation of this magazine was the result of a meeting in July 
1938 of professors of theology representing the five Jesuit houses of 
theology in the United States. The participants determined to launch the 
new theological quarterly as the official publication of the American Jesuit 
provinces. It was unanimously agreed that an urgent request be transmitted 
to the Jesuit General in Rome that Father McGarry be released from his 
current duties at Boston College and that he be appointed to the new office 
of editor. When the Jesuit authorities reluctantly consented to the proposed 
release, Father Wilham J. Murphy, S.J., was appointed to the presidency of 
Boston College on the Feast of the Assumption on August 15, 1939. 

A New President, a New War 

Sixteen days after Father Murphy was installed as rector, the armies of 
Adolf Hitler marched into Poland and Europe was once more at war. The 
conflict did not immediately affect life in the United States, particularly life 
on college campuses. Boston College carried on that year much as usual. 

A program for the graduate training of Jesuit scholastics was begun, with 
19 of these students living together as a semi-independent community in 
the brick parish house on Commonwealth Avenue near Lake Street and 
devoting the time usually allotted to the teaching period (or "regency") to 
advanced studies in the classics, history, or the sciences. 

Another milestone in the College's progress was reached in the summer 
of 1941, when arrangements were made to purchase the Louis K. Liggett 
estate to house the rapidly growing College of Business Administration. 
When the proposed transaction was brought before Cardinal O'Connell 
for his approval, he not only granted it with enthusiasm but insisted that 
he be permitted to donate the entire cost of the property. His generous 
offer was gratefully accepted, and it was determined to name the new 
building "Cardinal O'Connell Hall." The transfer of the property took 
place on July 25, 1941, and provided the College with an additional nine 

Nineteenth President 

Father Murphy was born in Lawrence, Mas- 
sachusetts, on October 20, 1895. After com- 
pleting his sophomore year at Boston Col- 
lege, he entered the Society of Jesus on 
September 7, 1914. He taught classics at 
Fordham University and FHoly Cross Col- 
lege. Fie was ordained at Weston College 
in 1927. F-Je spent two years of advanced 
study of literature in England and Italy, and in 1932 he became a lecturer in 
literature at the Boston College Graduate School. In 1934 he was named director 
of studies of the Jesuit schools in New England, and in 1937 he assumed the 
added role as assistant to the Provincial. 

and a half acres of land in the immediate vicinity of the main campus,'' 
bounded by Hammond Street, Beacon Street, and Tudor Road. 

When the College took over the property, the rooms in the master section 
were converted into classrooms for the Business School and those in the 
servants' quarters into offices for the extracurricular activities of the entire 
College. The magnificent Reception Hall, rising through two stories in the 
center of the building, served as the students' foyer, adjoining which were 
the administrative offices and some of the classrooms. The quadrangle of 
stables, carriage houses, a garage, and a gardener's lodge, surrounding a 
court which resembled an old English inn yard, was made over into 
quarters for the Athletic Association and dressing rooms for the teams. The 
second floor of this area was taken up with the workshop and scene lofts 
of the dramatic society. 

The College of Business Administration occupied O'Connell Hall from 
the fall of 1941 until June 1943 when, due to reduced numbers of students 
as well as to the pressing need of the hall as a Jesuit residence during the 
use of St. Mary's Hall by the army program, the business classes were 
transferred to the Tower Building. 

On October 4, 1941, the Solemn Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, known 
in a tradition which goes back many centuries in Rome, Paris, and London 

An Expanded Campus 189 

as the "Red Mass," was celebrated for the first time in Massachusetts to 
mark the opening of the judicial year. The ceremony, which took place in 
the Immaculate Conception Church, was under the auspices of Cardinal 
O'Connell and the Boston College Law School. 

The function drew the most distinguished legal assemblage ever gathered 
in the state for a religious service. Governor Leverett Saltonstall and Mayor 
Maurice J. Tobin led the procession, which formed in the rectory, moved 
along Harrison Avenue to the main entrance of the church, and then up the 
center aisle. Among the participants were the chief justice and the full 
bench of the Massachusetts Supreme Court; the judges of the Massachusetts 
probate courts and the United States Courts; judges of the land courts, 
district courts, and Boston municipal courts; the attorney general of the 
state and his entire staff; the United States attorney and his entire staff; 
district attorneys and assistant district attorneys; and representatives from 
all the law schools and law societies in the state. The Mass was said by 

1 940 football team — national champions. 

26 "48^ &3 k lie 



/ 1 9 4 O \ 

}° 50 36 47 43 27 44 37 49 gg 13 4S 


190 History of Boston College 
BBIttH^ ^^ '*1SKB. ^/^Sl^^il-Silt O'Connell Hall. 

Father Murphy, president of the College, and the sermon was delivered by 
the Reverend William J. Kenealy, S.J., dean of the Boston College Law 

As the months passed during this period, an interest in national defense 
was gradually taking form, and attractive opportunities in the various 
military reserves were offered to college men. From time to time students 
withdrew to begin training for commissions, but their numbers were few 
enough to draw special mention in the College newspaper. The feature of 
that era most clearly stamped in the memories of both students and alumni 
was the meteoric rise to nation-wide prominence of the College's football 
teams; on three New Year's Days, they participated in national bowl games. 
Enthusiastic friends hailed this success as the beginning of an epoch, but 
the hand of war was already lowering the intermission curtain upon sports 
and on all normal college life. 

In a little more than 20 years, Boston College had withstood rather well 
two external traumas: World War I and the Great Depression. But neither 
of those events brought the institution so close to the brink as did World 
War II. 


1. The Boston Sunday Post (February 20, 1938). 

2. The Boston Globe (July 2, 1937). 

3. The Boston Globe (March 5, 1938); The Heights (March 4, 1938). 

4. Middlesex South District Registry of Deeds, Book 6520, p. 365. 



Soldiers with Schoolbooks 

Long before Japanese bombs broke the Sunday morning silence at Pearl 
Harbor on December 7, 1941, Boston College — like the country at large — 
had been making readjustments to meet the demands of national defense. 
As early as 1938 a Boston College unit of the United States Marine Corps 
Reserve Fleet was inaugurated at the Boston Navy Yard.' In 1939 in 
cooperation with the Civil Aeronautics Administration, the College began 
a program for civilian pilot training. Flight training was given by instruc- 
tors of the E. W. Wiggins Airways, under contract to the government, at 
the Norwood Airport. Seventy-two hours of late afternoon classes in 
aeronautics were offered on campus. During its three years of operation, 
the Civilian Pilot Training course graduated 90 qualified pilots, almost all 
of whom were later commissioned in the Army or Navy air branches. The 
coordinator of the program, Father John A. Tobin, S.J., chairman of the 
Physics Department, took the flight training himself and secured a pilot's 

Boston College was one of six institutions in metropolitan Boston to 
offer college-level courses to prepare skilled defense workers. The program, 
subsidized by the government, was known as the "Engineering, Science, 
and Management Defense Training Course," and it began at Boston 


192 History of Boston College 

College in October 1941. It was estimated that over a thousand people 
attended the course at Boston College.^ 

The Draft 

The Selective Training and Service Act, constituting the first peacetime 
conscription in the history of the nation, was passed by Congress on 
September 14, 1940 and made law by the president's signature two days 
later. Under this legislation, which made men from 21 to 36 liable for 
military training, a first registration was ordered for October 16, 1940, 
and a lottery to determine the order of call, for October 29, 1940. Since 
only a relatively small percentage of college students were over 21, and 
since draft boards were inclined, in the period before the war, to grant 
deferments to students to permit them to finish their course, this act did 
not at once cause great concern to college administrators. 

Various branches of the armed forces continued, meanwhile, to present 
attractive opportunities leading to commissions for those students who 
would enlist on a deferred basis. Later, enough requests for advice in 
matters of draft deferment were received by the Boston College authorities 
to cause them to establish an organized method of counseling the students. 
This system was centered about a faculty board composed of Father John 
A. O'Brien, S.J., Dr. Harry Doyle, and Professor Fred Bryan, who were 
appointed by Father John J. Long, S.J., dean of the College of Arts and 
Sciences, early in May 1941 for the purpose of aiding students in preparing 
statements of information for their local draft boards. At the same time the 
attention of the students was drawn to the College's Placement Bureau, 
directed by George Donaldson, which was equipped to give full informa- 
tion on the various officer-training opportunities and which acted as a 
liaison office between the recruiting services and the student body. Both the 
Counseling Board and the Placement Bureau had representatives available 
for student conferences every day of the school week, with the aim of 
making sure that the individual student would be placed where he would 
be of greatest service to his country, whether in some particular branch of 
the armed forces, in a certain position in the ranks of a vital industry, or at 
his college desk. 

Three days after Pearl Harbor, Father Murphy and the deans of the 
various divisions addressed an assembly of the students on the seriousness 
of the national situation and cautioned them to remain calm, thoughtful, 
and prayerful until the situation would clear and they would know best 
how to serve their country. Five days later, the College celebrated Bill of 
Rights Day with a solemn blessing of the national colors on Alumni Field. 
At the same time, it was announced that the curricula and semesters of the 
entire system would be accelerated to enable those students who were soon 
to be called to service to finish as much as possible of their course. The 

Soldiers with Schoolbooks 193 

Christmas vacation period would not be altered, but the time usually 
allotted to the mid-year examinations would be substantially curtailed. 

In January 1942, the presidents of Holy Cross and Boston College, 
Fathers Joseph R. N. Maxwell, S.J., and William J. Murphy, S.J., and the 
deans of both colleges met with the Jesuit Provincial, Father James H. 
Dolan, S.J., to discuss the changes in curricula and schedules made neces- 
sary by the war. As an outcome of this meeting, an accelerated program 
affecting the entire college course was approved by the officials of both 
colleges and went into effect with the opening of the second semester on 
January 12, 1942. 

Enlistments on a deferred basis in the United States Navy Reserve 
continued briskly through the spring and into the summer of 1942. The 
College, cooperating with the government, arranged for a Navy indoctri- 
nation course to be conducted on the campus for the benefit of the 
reservists. The lectures were delivered by Navy officers attached to the 
Causeway Street headquarters. 

Meanwhile, the Army took steps to institute a program similar to the 
Navy's to obtain reserve officer candidates on a deferred basis. On May 
18, 1942, the president of Boston College was requested to participate in a 
program for the pre-induction training of students in the Army Enlisted 
Reserve Corps and to cooperate in an enlistment campaign for this branch. 
Father Murphy nominated Father John A. Tobin, S.J., as Army faculty 
adviser, and this selection was approved in Washington. Shortly after, a 
quota of 509 students for Boston College was announced and enlistments 
began. The drive was successful, but on July 8, 1942, the officer-candidate 
recruiting efforts of all branches of the armed services were combined into 
a joint procurement program. When this went into effect, Father Stephen 
A. Mulcahy, S.J., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, was appointed 
armed forces representative. 

On November 16, 1942, an impressive mass induction of 47 students 
into the V-1 and V-7 classes of the Navy was held in the auditorium in the 
presence of College and Navy officials. On December 5, 1942, enlistments 
in the reserve were closed, and it was announced that henceforth officer- 
candidate material would be drawn from the enlisted personnel obtained 
through the ordinary operation of the draft. About three weeks later, on 
December 24, all members of the Army Enlisted Reserve Corps were 
notified that they would be called to active duty on the completion of the 
semester ending after December 31, 1942. In order that the freshman 
reservists at Boston College might secure the maximum benefit provided 
by that directive, the opening of their new term was advanced to December 

The freshman class entering in February 1943 was admitted on the basis 
of a new wartime schedule planned to permit a student to finish his entire 
college course in two years' time, by means of curtailments already in 

Proud Refrain 

What are you dreaming, Soldier, 
What is it you see? 

A tall grey Gothic tower. 
And a linden tree. 

You speak so sadly, Soldier, 
Sad and wistfully — 

/ cannot hear the tower bell 
In the swirling sea. 

What meaning has it, Soldier, 
A tower bell, and tree? 

Nothing, nothing — only once 
It meant my life to me. 

Thomas Heath, '43 

Thomas Heath became a priest of the Dominican 
Order and is working in Africa. 

Soldiers with Schoolbooks 195 

practice and by omission of the customary vacation periods. This acceler- 
ated schedule permitted the seniors in the class of 1943 to finish three 
months earlier than usual; thus, in the first mid-winter commencement in 
the institution's history, 247 arts seniors and 50 business seniors were 
graduated at ceremonies held in the Immaculate Conception Church on 
Harrison Avenue on Sunday, February 28, 1943. 

The Army Proposes a Program 

In March 1943 the War Department announced a plan known as the Army 
Specialized Training Program (A.S.T.P.) whose purpose was to provide 
technicians and specialists for the Army. Those selected for the program 
would study, at government expense, at colleges and universities in fields 
determined largely by their own qualifications. Civilians from 17 to 22 
could, in advance of induction, be designated, by success in a special test, 
for participation in A.S.T.P. They would be soldiers on active duty: in 
uniform, under military discipline, and on regular Army pay. 

Since the Army was to need the facilities of hundreds of colleges through- 
out the country for this training program. Father Murphy immediately 
offered to the War Department the staff and physical equipment of Boston 
College if the government desired it as a training center. Negotiations were 
opened in the spring and were continued through the early summer. Late 
in June there was a series of inspections of the College facilities by military 
groups, and on July 5 the College received the War Department's Letter of 
Intent. With this official designation of Boston College as one of the 
institutions selected as a center of training came the appointment of Father 
Stephen A. Mulcahy, S.J., as local coordinator of the program. On July 7 
the newly appointed commandant of the post. Major John R. Canavan, 
U.S.A., visited the Heights and took lunch with the Jesuit Community. 

Under the arrangements agreed on, the Jesuit Fathers would vacate St. 
Mary's Hall and take up residence in small groups in O'Connell Hall and 
other properties owned by the College. A central kitchen and dining room 
for the faculty would be built in the basement of the Tower Building. St. 
Mary's Hall, meanwhile, would be re-equipped as a barracks to accommo- 
date over 400 soldiers. 

On Monday, July 12, 1943, moving of the Jesuit faculty's personal 
effects was begun. All that week and through part of the next, a number of 
large moving vans were engaged in distributing the contents of St. Mary's 
Hall among the outlying houses. As soon as the rooms were cleared, the 
soldiers' two-tier bunks, plain tables, chairs, and study lamps were brought 
in, and mess hall equipment was installed. The majority of the individual 
living rooms were arranged to accommodate four soldiers, with an occa- 
sional larger room providing space for six. The faculty dining room and 
the faculty recreation room were converted into mess halls in which the 
meals were prepared and served by Howard Johnson, Incorporated, a 

196 History of Boston College 

restaurateur approved by the Army. Since only about 200 men could be 
accommodated in the mess halls at one time, meals were served at successive 

Marching to Class 

The soldiers began arriving on July 25, and the influx continued for several 
days. Among them were natives of 37 states; they represented Army posts 
in every part of the country and were drawn from every branch of the 
service. The two qualifications which these young men had in common 
were intelligence above the average and a record which indicated that they 
could profit from academic instruction. 

On July 27 the first general assembly of "Army Specialized Training Unit 
Number 1189" was called by Major Canavan. The soldiers were welcomed 
by the College authorities and their new duties explained to them. The first 
activity confronting them was an interview by members of the College's 
four civilian boards, which would classify them for homogeneous grouping 

Drill on Alumni Field. 

Soldiers with Schoolbooks 197 

and assign them to the proper term of work. This processing of the men 
was carried on until the opening of classes on August 9. In the meantime, 
refresher courses in the subjects to be studied by the soldiers were opened 
as a voluntary service of the Boston College faculty to enable men who had 
been away from books and classrooms for some time to take up their 
classwork without a feeling of disadvantage. 

Although the original quota designated for Boston College was 425 
soldiers, 432 were present for the opening of classes. Of these, 132 were in 
the language and foreign area group, which studied conversational lan- 
guage, geography, and customs of certain countries, and 300 were in basic 
engineering, which stressed the study of mathematics. 

The first 12-week term for the Army Speciahzed Training Unit was 
finished on October 30, and the soldiers were granted a one-week furlough 
before commencing the work of the next semester. During November the 
unit was visited by Colonel Morton Smith, military director of the program 
for the First Corps Area, General Perry Miles, commander of the First 
Corps Area, and Dr. Henry W. Holmes, civilian educational coordinator 
of the program. 

Termination of the Army Program 

On February 7, 1944, 22 men were called from the language and foreign 
area group to active duty, presumably in Italy. This left only 97 men in 
that section and 206 in basic engineering. Suddenly in March the A.S.T.P. 
programs around the country were informed that the operation would be 
terminated by April 1. The decision was not understood at the time even 
by the military officers in charge of the program. Later, of course, it was 
clear that the decision was related to the D-Day invasion in June. 

The contract between the Army and Boston College ran until June 30, 
1944, and the rental for facilities was paid accordingly. One result of this 
arrangement was that St. Mary's Hall remained vacant until summer before 
being repainted and reoccupied by the Jesuit Community. 

Meanwhile, the civihan students continued to feel the effects of the war 
in many ways. In June 1943 the sophomore and junior members of the 
Naval and Marine Reserves were notified that they would be called to active 
duty on July 1, and freshman members were told that they would be 
summoned at the end of the semester. Army reservists who had not been 
previously called (premedical, engineering, and science majors) were also 
to report for duty on July 1, making a grand total of some 381 Boston 
College men affected. 

An emergency summer schedule was drawn up to provide seniors with 
45 hours of each philosophy course and 30 hours of religion in the period 
from June 28 to July 31, to make sure that they would have had the main 
portion of their senior matter even if they were called out before graduation 
in November. In September the wisdom of this plan was demonstrated 

198 History of Boston College 

when 14 senior marine reservists and 40 V-7 naval reservists were activated, 
in addition to 15 sophomore army reservists. 

On November 28 commencement exercises were held at which 73 
graduated, of whom 19 V-7 seniors were ordered to report immediately 
after graduation. The problems confronting the College administration 
with regard to the civihan student body can be exemplified by an exami- 
nation of the records for the period following the civilian registration of 
February 8, 1944. On that day, the Arts and Science course had an 
enrollment of 306; less than three weeks later, the figure had dropped to 
266; and on April 27, it was down to 236 — a loss of 70 students in a httle 
over two months. 

The War Fund and Adjustments 

In the operation of a college there is a threshold, or minimum level, below 
which expenses cannot be lowered and still have the institution function. 
When it became evident at Boston College that tuition fees from a greatly 
reduced student body could no longer meet that minimum level, the trustees 
decided early in January 1944 to inaugurate a Boston College War Fund 
Drive among the alumni, friends of the College, and businessmen of New 
England for the purpose of enabling the College to continue, without 
abandoning any of its services, through the straitened period of the war. A 
number of prominent business and professional men volunteered to act as 
a committee under Jeremiah Mahoney as chairman to secure a fund of 
$250,000. Cardinal O'Connell began the drive on January 25 with a 
donation of $5,000, and the appeal progressed so well that the committee 
was able to announce on September 18 that the goal had been achieved. 
Although the drive had been formally terminated, contributions continued 
to be received during the next two months, until the amount reached 

On April 22, 1944, Boston College's distinguished alumnus, William 
Cardinal O'Connell, died in his 85th year, and the College shared in the 
grief and sense of loss experienced by the entire community. After the 
cardinal's death, another son of Boston College, the Most Reverend Rich- 
ard J. Cushing, D.D., Coadjutor Bishop of Boston, was elected administra- 
tor of the archdiocese. The universal satisfaction felt at this announcement 
was increased when, on September 28, 1944, he was named as the next 
archbishop of Boston. 

Although the new archbishop did not graduate from Boston College, he 
entered the College from Boston College High School in September 1913 
as a member of the first freshman group to attend class at the Heights, and 
he remained until the end of his sophomore year, when he entered St. 
John's Ecclesiastical Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, to commence 
his studies for the priesthood. 

The opening of the fall term on August 21, 1944, coincided with the 

Soldiers with Schoolbooks 199 

During the war. Father John Louis 
Bonn's theatrical summer sessions li- 
vened the campus. 

d.d.. ciL. 

^ckoei oi 

return of the faculty to St. Mary's Hall. The elder members of the Jesuit 
Community had found the long walks several times a day between their 
temporary residence and the College buildings a trying experience, and 
they were grateful when circumstances permitted them to resume living 
once more in St. Mary's Hall where dining and chapel facilities were 
centrahzed and where classrooms were within a few steps. 

On September 8 an unprecedented innovation took place on the Heights 
when 168 Boston College High School seniors took up temporary quarters 
in one section of the Tower Building. This transfer was caused by a high 
school enrollment which exceeded the accommodations at James Street and 
obliged the high school authorities to make some immediate arrangement 
elsewhere. Since the military call for men of college age had left many of 
the classrooms at the Heights unused, Father Murphy proffered the high 
school the loan of needed classroom space for the scholastic year 1944- 
1945. The high school students were under the direction of their own 
prefect of studies, Father Joseph E. McGrady, S.J., and were taught by two 
experienced high school teachers, aided by several of the College instructors 
whose schedules permitted the additional work. One side of the Tower 
Building, on the second and third floors, was assigned to the high school 
classes, and their time schedule was so arranged that there was no conflict 
with the College students in the use of recreational or lunchroom facilities. 
The occupancy terminated in June 1945. 

200 History of Boston College 

Distinctions and Changes 

In the summer of 1945 Father Edward J. Keating, S.J., dean of Boston 
College Intown, announced that a course leading to the degree of bachelor 
of science in business administration with a major in marketing would be 
offered at the Intown Division beginning in September of that year. This 
course was distinct from a similar series of courses offered at the College 
of Business Administration on the Heights, and it required six years of 
evening attendance to complete. 

Another innovation scheduled by the College at that time was an Institute 
of Adult Education at the Intown Center, to be opened in September 1945 
under the direction of Father James L. Burke, S.J. Three sessions a year 
were formed during the fall, winter, and spring seasons, each offering a 
choice of six or more lecture-discussion courses in the fields of religion, 
philosophy, hterature, and public affairs. No academic requirements were 
established for these programs, nor was academic credit given. 

The official announcement of the new undertakings constituted the final 
major act in Father Murphy's term as president. On August 19, only five 
days after the abrupt end of the war with Japan, Father Murphy's six-year 
tenure of office was automatically terminated according to Jesuit custom, 
and the problem of finding answers to the many questions connected with 
the College's postwar readjustment devolved on his successor, the Reverend 
William Lane Keleher, S.J., twentieth president of Boston College. 


1. The Heights (January 21, 1938; March 11, 1938). 

2. The Heights (October 20, 1939; September 27, 1940; October 10, 1941); The 
Boston Globe (September 22, 1939); The Boston Herald (September 23, 1939). 

3. This account of the Defense Training Program is based upon records preserved in 
the Boston College Engineering, Science, and Management War Training Courses 
Office, Chemistry Department. 


Pi' l)f > 

■I I i^*^ 


t -c^^^Hi 

■^^^^ .. — ^ 


■■Hmiii IBllJUJ^UliLlJI 


iLJ g^BKsCtfMuia 

tan J i IB 


Aerial photograph of the central campus, including O'Neill Library, taken at dawn. 
(Photograph by Dan Dry) 

Bapst Library at night. The illumination at the top of Ford Tower is from Alumni 
Stadium, lit for evening sports. (Photograph by Lee Pellegrini) 

\\ 1 Ai 

m m III till iiif i?H m 

ki^ Vill ,vllt llil \^ k;;i Bill 

li^k 'I IS ' m BZio sSiS \iv\ i^m 



The Newton campus, with Trinity Chapel in the foreground. The main Law 
School building, Stuart Hall, is opposite the chapel, with Kenny-Cottle Li- 
brary to the right and Barat House in the center. {Photograph by Dan Dry] 

Tadolini's 1868 sculpture of St. Michael's triumph over Lucifer dominates a 
group of religious representations in Gasson Hall's gracious rotunda. (Photo- 
graph by Pam Perry, courtesy of the Boston Globej 

A springtime view from inside 
the doorway of Bapst Library. 
(Photograph by Lee Pellegrini) 

Rainbow's end: distribution of 
diplomas on Bapst Library 
lawn. (Photograph by Dan 

»^*^. ■ S^'^f'^'^f^^^^ ■^ 



When Bapst Library was renovated, a graceful enclosure for an elevator and air 
conditioning apparatus luas placed inconspicuously behind the northwest corner of the 
new Burns Library. (Photograph by Lee Pellegrini) 

The campus green looking toward Lyons and Fulton halls. (Photograph by Dan Dry.) 

A glimpse of fall. (Photograph by Dan Dry.) 

An eagle's eye view of 
the B.C. eagle. {Photo- 
graph by Dan Dry.) 

The central window of the assembly room in Gasson Hall depicts St. Patrick 
preaching to King Laoghaire at Tara. (Photograph by Dan Dry.) 



Postwar Adjustments 

Father Keleher assumed the presidency at a critical moment in national and 
collegiate history. World War II had come to an end in Europe with the 
surrender of Germany in May 1945; in the Far East, Japan capitulated 
three months later in August. Four years of global war, which had involved 
mobilization of the manpower and vast industrial resources of the United 
States, had interrupted the normal collegiate programs of thousands of 
American students. With the cessation of hostilities on all fronts, it was 
now necessary to restore the orderly rhythm of the campus. 

It soon became apparent, however, that the typical American college, 
whether independent or public, would never be quite the same as it had 
been before the war. The returning veterans, financially assisted by the 
Federal Government under the G.I. Bill, brought with them a maturity and 
earnestness, sometimes lacking in younger students, that would change the 
character and curriculum of the campus.' President Truman, in his letter to 
members of the President's Commission on Higher Education, summed it 
up: "As veterans return to college by the hundreds of thousands, the 
institutions of higher education face a period of trial which is taxing their 
resources and resourcefulness to the utmost."^ 

On the very day Father Keleher was elected president, the trustees voted 
to amend a regulation which had previously applied to those entering the 
armed forces. The administration now required that returning veterans 


Twentieth President 

Father Keleher was born January 27, 1906, 
in Woburn, Massachusetts. After attending 
Boston College High School, he graduated 
from the College of the Holy Cross and 
entered the Society of Jesus in 1926. He was 
ordained a priest in June 1937. Before his 
appointment as president he served as as- 
sistant to the Jesuit Provincial and as direc- 
tor of Jesuit novices. 

who planned to graduate must complete "one semester of senior philoso- 
phy and religion in residence at Boston College or its equivalent."^ "Or its 
equivalent" was one of several concessions. Two months earlier, on May 
23, 1945, it had been agreed that the regulations for the granting of degrees 
which had applied to students entering the armed forces could now be 
applied to veterans of the armed forces. The ruling was that, at the time he 
applied for the degree, the inductee must have acquired 127 credits if a 
Catholic, or 120 if not; also, the student must show that he had completed 
one semester of senior philosophy and one of religion in residence at 
Boston College. ■' War or no war, philosophy was the capstone of a Jesuit 

The same problem affected all Jesuit colleges. The Jesuit delegates to the 
1944 meeting of the Association of American Colleges discussed the 
question of granting credit to former students for work done at other 
institutions. The group agreed "that it is acceptable policy during the 
emergency to grant a degree to a former student who, for military reasons, 
is in another college and hence cannot complete his work in the Jesuit 
institution whence he came, provided the student has completed the re- 
quirements considered essential to a degree from a Jesuit institution."^ In 
responding to a brief questionnaire from the National Secretary of the 
Jesuit Educational Association, Stephen Mulcahy, dean of the College of 
Arts and Sciences at Boston College, reported that he had many requests to 
grant degrees to former students now in other institutions. He insisted that 
such students must complete a semester of senior year at Boston College 
and fulfill the other requirements already mentioned.*^ 

Postwar Adjustments 203 

Return of the Veterans 

Under these conditions, veterans began to return to the campus — both 
former students of Boston College and those from other institutions. In a 
cordial message to veterans in 1945, Father William Murphy had written, 
"Boston College sends you this word of welcome and explanation in 
anticipation of the day you . . . will return to your family and friends." 
Referring to their wartime experiences in foreign lands, he added, "This is 
a novel type of college preparation and demands a new set of entrance 
procedures."^ In a preamble to the course curricula, the new catalog 
acknowledged that, in the circumstances, more emphasis must be placed 
on the study of mathematics and the natural sciences; more, not less, 
emphasis must be placed on social sciences, "for students must be made 
aware of their social responsibilities as citizens of America and of the 
world."* Through the exigencies of war, the natives of Dorchester and 
Jamaica Plain were now familiar with the cultures of Europe, India, and 
the Far East. 

As the eager veterans began to take advantage of the G.I. Bill, the 
enrollment picture changed immediately and dramatically. To appreciate 
the contrast, it should be remembered that in April 1944 there were 236 
students registered in the College of Arts and Sciences. One hundred 
freshmen registered in June 1944: 88 in Arts and Sciences and 12 in 
Business Administration. When the academic year began in September 
1945 under Father Keleher's presidency, there was a total undergraduate 
enrollment of 453 students: 358 in Arts and Sciences and 95 in Business 

The real acceleration began in March 1946 when, restricting considera- 
tion to the College of Arts and Sciences, there was a total of 1067 students. 
Of these, 546 were veterans, 395 were civilians (as they were called), and 
126 were in the category of pre-matriculation. In the fall of 1946 The 
Heights had a banner headline: "Enrollment Breaks Record." There were 
2811 students in Arts and Sciences and Business Administration, including 
894 new veterans. The combined enrollment of Arts and Sciences and 
Business Administration in September 1947 was 4572. That year, for the 
first time in the postwar period, ex-servicemen comprised a minority (only 
40 percent of the freshmen class). Two years later, in the academic year 
1949-1950, in all schools of the University — undergraduate, graduate, and 
professional — there were 5766 full-time students and 1760 part-time stu- 
dents, making a grand total of 7526.'° Although the College of Arts and 
Sciences was probably the largest among the Jesuit colleges in the United 
States, overall enrollment at Boston College trailed that at Fordham, Saint 
Louis, Marquette, and Detroit." 

The faculty had also been affected by the war effort. Seventeen Jesuits 
had left the classroom to serve as chaplains in the various branches of the 
armed services. At least 20 lay members of the undergraduate faculty, most 

204 History of Boston College 

of the Law School faculty, and others had either volunteered or been 
inducted into the armed forces. With the end of the war and the numerical 
expansion of the student body, the administration began the recruitment of 
new faculty and welcomed back those who had served their country. 

The Need for Housing 

For the administration, the enrollment figure was good news. Among other 
reasons, income available from tuitions enabled the trustees to allocate 
funds with more freedom and to secure loans for necessary projects. ^^ To 
provide proper facilities for these new students, however, was a problem. 
As The Heights reported, "With the walls literally bulging at Boston 
College, it took bewildered freshmen and even the more collected upper 
classmen the full interclass break to worm their way to the next assign- 
ments."" There was, in brief, an acute shortage of space. With the excep- 
tion of O'Connell Hall (acquired in 1941) and the museum on Hammond 
Street (acquired in 1936), there had been no addition to the Chestnut Hill 

Students and other volunteers went from 
house to house selling "bricks" for the first 
postwar building, Fulton Hall. 

(Sl;is IB to Crrttfji 


(Official MkitonUilgHieiil 






Postwar Adjustments 205 

campus since the dedication of the library in 1928. While O'Connell Hall 
had been renovated for academic purposes, there were, strictly speaking, 
only two classroom buildings: the Tower Building (Gasson Hall) and Devlin 
Hall, which housed the science laboratories. Since these were now patently 
inadequate for the 3000 undergraduates who frequented the Heights every 
day, the administration searched for immediate relief. 

Off-campus facilities were less critical but also needed attention. In May 
1946 the trustees approved a new contract for the lease of the building at 
126 Newbury Street for the use of the Intown College and the School of 
Social Work.''' The Law School, which had a history of peregrinations, was 
now housed in quarters that were notably inadequate. From its original site 
in the Lawyers Building at 11 Beacon Street, the school had moved in 1937 
to a new home in the New England Power Building at 441 Stuart Street. 
With a dramatic drop in World War II enrollment, it became financially 
impossible, even with the help from the College, to provide rent for these 
relatively commodious quarters. 

After an intense search, space was finally acquired in the Kimball 
Building at 18 Tremont Street in the heart of ScoUay Square. Besides the 
well-known attractions of that area, it was also handy to the courts. In the 
interest of economy, students assisted in moving the library. The enrollment 
continued to dwindle and in June 1945 there were only six graduates. In 
an interview some years later. Professor WiUiam J. O'Keefe ("Mr. Chips" 
of the Law School, who taught there for 30 years) said, "We never knew 
from one day to the next how long we were going to keep going, but 
somehow we managed to keep the school alive."'^ And again, when it 
seemed impossible to find suitable space, he said, "If necessary, we'll meet 
in my living room, but meet we will!" 

The G.I. Bill came to the rescue. By the fall of 1945, five months after 
the war ended in Europe, 250 students were enrolled and the increase 
continued every semester thereafter. Father William J. Kenealy, who had 
just returned from his tour as chaplain in the United States Navy, was 
appointed dean. With accelerated programs for veterans, the Law School 
began to overflow its cramped quarters. There would be yet two more 
moves to take the Law School to its present campus on Centre Street in 

It was at the Heights, however, that the pressure for space was becoming 
explosive. Fortunately, the presence of veterans who, in the early years after 
the war, accounted for more than half of the undergraduates, opened the 
door to the acquisition of surplus government property under legislation 
passed by the Truman Administration. Congress had appropriated funds 
whereby the Federal Public Housing Authority (FPHA) had been assigned 
responsibility for assisting educational institutions to acquire surplus fed- 
eral structures to be used to house distressed veterans and servicemen and 
their families. This appropriation also authorized the reimbursement of 
funds already expended by educational institutions who had acted before 

206 History of Boston College 

the appropriation had been passed. The College took immediate advantage 
of this federal generosity. In July 1946, after the application had been 
processed, the Boston Office of the FPHA authorized the relocation from 
Fort Devens Air Base in Ayer, Massachusetts, to Boston College of three 
two-story army barracks.'* Comprising 137 dormitory units, these wooden 
structures were re-erected on what was known as Freshman Field, the area 
fronting on Beacon Street and now occupied by Campion Hall. At the same 
time, the Housing Authority authorized alterations in the basement of the 
Tower Building to provide dining facilities for the veterans who occupied 
the dormitories. 

These resident halls — although scarcely meriting such an elegant desig- 
nation — were by law reserved to the veterans. Later on, however, permis- 
sion was granted by the government to Jesuit scholastics who attended 
summer school to occupy the Mead-Lantham dormitories, as they were 
officially known. '^ Still later, permission was extended to nonveterans if 
space remained after veterans had been accommodated. 

Expansion of Classroom Space 

While easing the veterans' housing shortage was important, it only exacer- 
bated the need for classroom space, which now became the number one 
priority. In this crisis, turning again to the government, the Board of 
Trustees voted to submit an application, under existing legislation, request- 
ing educational facilities "to alleviate an acute shortage of such facilities at 
Boston College."'* The plan called for classroom space for 1000 students, 
500 in Arts and Sciences and 500 in Business Administration. From the 
beginning of Father Keleher's tenure there had been talk of a permanent 
building, but that type of structure would be months in construction and 
therefore would not solve the immediate problem. 

In the spring of 1947 Father Keleher authorized the Bennett-Stewart 
Company to proceed with the dismantling, transportation, and re-erection 
of Building No. 26, then standing at the South Boston Navy Yard exten- 
sion." This building, with extensive alterations and additional safety 
features made at the College's expense, was erected along Beacon Street 
where McGuinn Hall now stands. Furnished as a temporary wooden 
classroom building for undergraduates, veterans, and others, its use was so 
urgent that the contract called for it to be in place by September 1 947. 

The third building obtained from government surplus and designed to 
meet still another emergency was the so-called "Recreation Building," 
which served as an auditorium and gymnasium. Contractually part of the 
classroom project and acquired under Pubhc Law 697, this acquisition 
consisted of "the transfer of government surplus building No. A-14 from 
Gallups Island, Boston Harbor, to the campus of the College for use for 
recreation, luncheonette, and laboratory."-" This multipurpose, three-story 
structure, completed in September 1947 where Cushing Hall now stands. 

Postwar Adjustments 207 

was used as an auditorium (where several commencements took place), for 
ROTC drills, and for other functions. In view of its humble origins, the 
interior was rather lavishly outfitted by John H. Pray and Sons, who laid 
carpets, rugs, and linoleum. 

As the administration discovered, the federal agencies were much more 
accommodating than the City of Newton. The Garden City, so it seemed to 
authorities at the Heights, went beyond the call of duty in its insistence 
upon conformity in these temporary buildings with all the regulations of 
the city which applied to any structure. Since wooden buildings were under 
discussion, however, the city was undoubtedly correct in imposing strict 
standards regarding the boiler room, electric systems, and exits. ^^ In any 
case, conformance was an added expense for the College, which had no 
choice but to cooperate. 

With the army dormitories, classrooms, and recreation center in place, 
the College managed to survive the accelerated increase in campus enroll- 
ments. Father Keleher was understandably delighted with this somewhat 
unexpected solution to his space problems. While it was meant to be only 
a temporary and partial solution, he showed himself to be a realist when he 
remarked to the contractors who had set up the war surplus buildings, "I 
have a feeling that Boston College will have them on the property for a 
long, long while. "'^ It would be nearly 20 years before the last of these 
most valued "temporary" buildings was dismantled. 

Accommodation with the City 

In July 1947 President Truman signed Public Law 239, which terminated 
certain acts of the Congress connected with postwar emergencies. As a 
result, educational institutions were instructed to review their contracts for 
veterans' temporary housing with a view to the removal of those accom- 
modations. Two years were allowed to comply with this legislation. How- 
ever, there was a proviso by which the use of units that, in the opinion of 
the institution, were still necessary could be extended for successive peri- 
ods.-^ The following year, the president signed the McGregor Bill, which 
"provided for the release of government property to institutions."^" Boston 
College, of course, wished to take immediate possession of the temporary 

In this procedure, however, it was necessary to obtain permission and 
approval from the City of Newton. The city, as already hinted, was not at 
all anxious to see these examples of early Army architecture converted into 
permanent structures along historic Beacon Street. The specific reason 
given by the aldermen was that the buildings probably did not conform 

208 History of Boston College 

At a special convocation in Octo- 
ber 1 947 in Bapst auditorium. 
Father Keleher conferred an hon- 
orary LL.D. degree on Boston's 
auxiliary bishop (later cardinal) 
John J. Wright ('31). 

with the building code of the City of Newton.-^ Represented by the Boston 
law firm of Stone, Bosson, Mason and Gannon, the College finally won its 
case. In order to accomplish a settlement and at the urging of Attorney 
Gannon, President Keleher wrote a strong letter of intent to the Newton 
aldermen, two of whom were clearly skeptical of the intentions of the 
College. In his effort to placate these officials, he said he assumed that they 
"realized that the College is not at all anxious to have these temporary 
structures on the property," and that "it is the intention of the College to 
remove these buildings as soon as the current housing difficulty for veterans 
can be taken care of." "Moreover," he continued, "it is also the intention 
of the College to erect as soon as possible a permanent dormitory unit 
which will take care of out-of-town students and which will meet the 
requirements of the City of Newton in every respect."^* 

Finally the precious document arrived which "relinquished and trans- 
ferred, without monetary consideration, to the trustees of Boston College 
all contractual rights and all property rights, title, and interest of the United 
States in and with respect to the veterans' temporary housing located in 

Postwar Adjustments 209 

Newton, Massachusetts, designated as Project No. MASSV-19137."-^ Nei- 
ther the aldermen nor Father Keleher could envision at the time the number 
of permanent buildings that would one day line Beacon Street from the old 
Freshman Field to the corner of Beacon and Hammond streets. 

Helping the Veterans' Transition 

While the administration was making every effort to supply physical 
facilities for veterans, the dean and teaching staff were setting up a program 
to facihtate the resumption of studies by some veterans and the initiation 
of a collegiate program by others. The 1945-1946 catalog included a 
notice to veterans at Boston College, each of whom was promised assis- 
tance "to continue his education and complete it successfully at the earliest 
possible time consonant with good scholarship." Every consideration 
would be given to courses taken in the Army and Navy Schools. More 
importantly, perhaps, "a special educational advisor has been appointed to 
care for the individual problems of each veteran." In addition, certain 
courses were specifically fashioned to give veterans a brief review of 
material that would be required for advanced courses, "and every effort 
will be made to prepare them for entrance at the next opening date."-" 
Because of accelerated programs, "opening dates" occurred frequently 
during those years. 

Consequently, veterans returning to the campus found a professionally 
staffed guidance center available to them. The two Jesuits who operated the 
clinic were particularly well-qualified. Father James F. Moynihan, S.J., was 
awarded the Ph.D. in Psychology by the Catholic University of America in 
1942. A licensed psychologist, he was a senior consultant (1944—1948) at 
the Veterans Guidance Center at Harvard University, a director of the 
Rosary Child Guidance Center in Boston, and consultant to state and 
national committees. Father Moynihan's collaborator at the center was 
David R. Dunigan, S.J. Awarded a Ph.D. in Education by Fordham Univer- 
sity in 1945, he was an active member of the Boston College faculty and a 
counselor at the U.S. Veterans Guidance Center at Harvard. The guidance 
clinic was of inestimable value to the returning veterans who, after several 
years in the regimentation of the service, had to sharpen tools of scholarship 
which had grown rusty amid the harsh realities of global war. They sought 
advice in matching their abilities and goals with the degree programs and 
courses offered at Boston College. Mature in approach, anxious to succeed, 
and industrious in application, they often needed direction to compete 
academically with the bright young men who had just received their high 
school diplomas. 

In some cases, to compound the problem, there was also the question of 
credits. To remedy deficiencies and to assist in orientation, there was a 
separate program called "Veterans' Matriculation (or Pre-Matriculation) 
Course." This program was devised and designed by Father Michael G. 

210 History of Boston College 

Pierce, S.J., dean of freshmen in the College of Arts and Sciences. Father 
Pierce, who was also the official contact with the government for the 
purchase of surplus property, had been very active in keeping in touch with 
the students who were drafted. He was even more concerned with the 
returning veterans. It would be difficult to exaggerate his contribution to 
Boston College during the trying years of the war and in the immediate 
postwar years of adjustment. A key figure in assimilating veterans into the 
College, Father Pierce's Matriculation Course at one time numbered 160 

A Return to Normalcy 

As the months went by, the campus gradually returned to normal, both in 
curricular and extracurricular activities. The Jesuits and their lay colleagues 
deserve credit for preserving, as far as possible, the traditions of Boston 
College during the war and effecting a smooth transition from war to 
peace. Complementing the diplomacy of President Keleher, Father Stephen 
Mulcahy, S.J., who presided over the College of Arts and Sciences, kept the 
classical tradition alive when the accent was on physics, engineering, 
cartography, chemistry, and geography. In point of fact, at this very time, 
there were those who, in 1945, questioned the validity of the strict classical 
curriculum. Only seven years earlier in June 1938, the Bachelor of Arts 
degree at Boston College was conferred for the first time without the Greek 
requirement.^' Whether the discussion reflected the exigencies of a wartime 
curriculum is not clear. However, at meetings held in November 1945 and 

"Government surplus" 
buildings were placed 
where Gushing and 
Gampion halls now 
stand. This new building 
was used for assemblies, 
theatricals, and basket- 
ball, as well as ROTG 
and student activities; 
the others were dormito- 

Postwar Adjustments 111 

February 1946, the department heads voted 13 to 2 (with 2 abstentions) 
that Latin should not be required for the Bachelor of Arts degree.^° After 
further discussion, it was resolved that "in the Bachelor of Arts curriculum, 
a substitute for Latin in the original, the classics in translation, be offered, 
either from a literary or social sciences standpoint." Since the resolution 
was never submitted to the entire faculty, it was not accepted by Father 
Keleher. But it was an indication of things to come. 

Faculty Remuneration 

At the same time, the administration began to take a more professional 
posture in addressing the needs of the faculty. This development was due 
to the normal progress of events but more especially to the increase in lay 
faculty members. In the first place, faculty salaries began to improve. In 
1947 Boston College's first salary scale was approved by the trustees and 
appeared in the minutes of the meeting of April 22. 



Salary Range 




$2400 to $3200 

5 years 

$160 per year 

Assistant Professor 

$3200 to $3800 

4 years 

$150 per year 

Associate Professor 

$3800 to $4500 

4 years 

$175 per year 


$4500 to $6000 

On recommendation 

N.B. All increments 

are on merit, not automatic. 

Student tuition, which still reflected the origin and mission of Boston 
College, was now subject to an annual increase to balance the budget of 
the institution.^! A committee on rank and tenure was appointed to 
stipulate the requirements for promotion. Advancements in rank, and 
increments within rank, were to be judged solely on merit; these rewards 
were never to be granted automatically.^^ 

Again, in 1947, as further proof of concern, the trustees discussed a 
retirement plan for full-time faculty, who were eligible to participate after 
the completion of three years. The plan was tied to the Teachers Insurance 
and Annuity Association (TIAA). In this plan, which is still in operation at 
Boston College, teachers would contribute 5 percent of their regular 
monthly compensation and Boston College would add an equal amount.^^ 
TIAA was the plan adopted at most universities. 

Kudos for the Faculty 

At this time the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences was administered by 
the able and energetic Father George O'Donnell, S.J. Fortified with a Ph.D. 

212 History of Boston College 

in mathematics from St. Louis University, he adjusted the scientific courses 
to the Army SpeciaUzed Training Program (ASTP), taught a number of 
those courses himself, and then supervised the transition to a normal 
schedule. Father James L. Burke, S.J., with a Ph.D. in Government from 
Harvard University, assisted Father O'Donnell in the administration of the 
Graduate School and also gave academic leadership to the important 
History and Government Department. He inaugurated and directed the 
popular program in adult education. Father John P. Foley, S.J., fresh from 
his duties as a navy chaplain, resumed his work as freshmen dean, while 
Father Pierce was reassigned as executive assistant to the president. Father 
Edward J. Keating, S.J., was dean of the Intown College; Father James J. 
Kelly, S.J., continued as dean of the College of Business Administration. 

An unsung hero who deserves a special accolade was Father John A. 
Tobin, S.J. Although to some extent a self-made academician, he became 
an excellent physicist and chaired the Department of Physics for many 
years. With little notice and a minimum of immediate preparation, he was 
the key figure in designing the scientific program for the ASTP. A major 
part of that program concentrated on courses in engineering which, in 
time, developed into a B.S. in Engineering. Father Tobin had read the signs 
of the times. In March 1945 he urged the dean to consider continuing the 
B.S. in Engineering which, he explained, could be expanded into a school 
like the College of Business Administration. In fact, he had been informed 
by George Donaldson, director of vocational guidance, that "engineering 
is still first choice of the returning veterans." Including Father James Devlin, 
S.J., and Professor John Shork among the immediate stalwarts, he assured 
Father Mulcahy "of our enthusiastic cooperation in any plan to start this 
course with a dean of engineering and some small faculty. The need is so 
great that this should be done at once."^'* The moment was not, however, 
auspicious for the proposal. The College was being urged to start a school 
of nursing, and the College of Business Administration (the first profes- 
sional undergraduate school for men) was still in its infancy. The adminis- 
tration did not warm to the idea of a school of engineering then, nor has it 

Other Mainstays 

There were other sources of the unity and continuity so necessary in the 
Hfe of a college. The Heights, which continued publication during the war, 
reminded alumni overseas of their collegiate roots. In the spring of 1945, 
The Stylus carried an editorial, "On Post- War Peace," which took a dim 
view of the peace treaties and the spirit that dictated them. The verdict 
seems unduly harsh, but the editor felt that "until the United States is the 
home of a society which instinctively upholds Christian principles, she 
cannot help but be involved in international injustice."^^ In 1946 The Stylus 
noted that "the veterans have returned from the wars" and the staff was 

Postwar Adjustments 213 

Terence L. Connolly, S.J., director of 
libraries, 1946-1959. 

grateful. In the summer issue, one-third of the articles contained "post- 
scripts to war written by these men, some medal wearers, all battle-scarred 
in some way or other."^*^ One of the articles, by James H. Sullivan, was an 
account of Padre Pio, the stigmatic priest, whom many of the Boston 
College students had visited when stationed near Foggia. 

The Dramatic Arts Course, which had been offered during summer 
sessions for two seasons before the war, was reorganized and enlarged into 
the School of Dramatic and Expressional Arts by Father John L. Bonn, S.J., 
in the summer of 1947. This new school provided standard dramatic 
training with stage facilities in the new recreation hall, but in addition it 
offered related concentrations in literature and criticism, debate and panel 
discussion, and corporate religious expression. 

The football, basketball, and hockey teams, which had resumed their 
intercollegiate schedules, could now depend upon the band to lift the spirits 
of the students as they cheered on their local heroes. Under the direction of 
Walter Mayo ('23), who supervised music in the Watertown schools, the 
orchestra and glee club provided a cultural resource on campus and shared 
the stage with local colleges. 

Athletics, which had played an important role in the history of Boston 
College, returned to the campus. After three years of "informal" football, 
with nostalgia for the glory days of 1941 and 1942, the Eagles took to the 
field against the Deacons from Wake Forest at Braves Field, the Eagles' new 
home, on Friday night, September 27, 1946. Boston College, which de- 
pended on a few 1942 players and untested freshmen, lost the contest 12— 
6. But it was no disgrace. With the return of Coach Denny Meyers, who 
had spent the war years in the Navy, the highly esteemed director of 

214 History of Boston College 

athletics, John Curley, had put together in 1946 the toughest schedule in 
Boston College history.^^ Although losing to Wake Forest, the Eagles had 
beaten Michigan State, Georgetown, and Alabama, the Rose Bowl cham- 
pions. Among the outstanding players coached by Denny Meyers from 
1946 to 1948 were Edward J. King (future governor of Massachusetts), Art 
Donovan, Art Spinney, Ernie Stautner, John Kissell, Butch Songin, and 
Mario GianeUi. 

The Feeney Case 

An unhappy episode during the administration of Father Keleher was the 
so-called "Feeney Case." Father Leonard Feeney, a talented Jesuit poet and 
engaging personality who had taught at Boston College in the 1930s, 
headed St. Benedict Center, a Catholic organization that had been started 
by the priests of St. Paul's parish in Cambridge. Father Feeney preached a 
very narrow interpretation of the axiom, "Outside the Church, there is no 
salvation" — an interpretation that did not conform to traditional Catholic 
teaching. The dynamic priest attracted a number of devoted followers and 
advocates of his unique view of salvation. 

The Feeney case touched Boston College because several faculty members 
not only became adherents of the St. Benedict doctrine but promoted it in 
their classes when they were supposed to be teaching nontheological 
subjects. Fakri Maluf and James Walsh, philosophy teachers, and Charles 
Ewaskio, a physics teacher, were warned by Dean Mulcahy to restrict 
themselves to their respective subjects and avoid excursions into theology. 
Since they would not desist and accused the College of heresy for not 
agreeing with them, Father Keleher dismissed them. When the newspapers 
published accounts of the dismissals. Father Keleher submitted an explana- 
tion that said, in part, "They [the former faculty members] continued to 
speak in class and out of class on matters contrary to the traditional 
teachings of the Catholic Church, ideas leading to bigotry and intolerance." 

This episode was unhappy not only for Boston College but for the 
Society of Jesus and the Boston Church. Father Feeney was not long after 
dismissed from the Society and excommunicated. Many years later in 
1972, through the efforts of Cardinal Medeiros, archbishop of Boston, the 
excommunication was lifted and Father Feeney was received back into the 

A glance at the record shows that in the years immediately after the 
war— a watershed in the life of every U. S. educational institution — Boston 
College first resumed the tenor of its way, then began a steady growth in 
student enrollment and a planned expansion of academic and residential 
facilities. The presence of veterans in fairly large numbers provided an 
atmosphere of maturity wherein it was easier to propose and to justify 

Postwar Adjustments 215 

innovations. At the same time, there was a renewed effort on the part of the 
entire academic community to preserve Boston College's heritage as an 
outstanding Jesuit institution on a plane with other independent institu- 
tions in the United States. 


1. The Omnibus Bill (G.I. Bill), providing benefits for returning service personnel, 
was signed by the president on June 22, 1944. It was known as Public Law No. 
346 (78th Congress) and cited as "Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944." 
Public Law 16 was also available for the vocational rehabilitation of disabled 

2. "Higher Education for American Democracy," Report of the President's Com- 
mission on Higher Education, Vols. I— VI (New York, 1946). 

3. Minutes, Board of Trustees, August 20, 1945. BCA. 

4. Minutes, Board of Trustees, May 23, 1945. BCA. 

5. Edward B. Rooney, S.J., to Stephen A. Mulcahy, S.J., July 26, 1944. JEA 
Collection, BCA. 

6. Ibid. See also Stephen A. Mulcahy, S.J., to Edward B. Rooney, S.J. BCA. 

7. Boston College Bulletin, 1945. 

8. Ibid. 

9. For these statistics and those that follow, see file, "Enrollment and Faculty 
Statistics." BCA. 

10. See Enrollment, Jesuit Colleges and Universities, 1949—50, JEA Directory 
(1950-1951). BCA. 

11. Ibid. 

12. For tuition rates set for each school, see Minutes, Board of Trustees, April 16, 

1947. Faculty salaries were also set at this meeting. 

13. The Heights (September 27, 1946). 

14. Minutes, Board of Trustees, May 7, 1946. 

15. Todd F. Simon, Boston College Law School after Fifty Years: An Informal 
History (privately printed, 1980), p. 21. 

16. Sumner K. Wiley to C. J. Meaney Company, July 2, 1946. Wiley was Director of 
Region I for FPHA. BCA. 

17. Sumner K. Wiley to Stephen A. Shea, S.J., June 21, 1948. So named for the 
congressional authors of the legislation. 

18. Minutes, Board of Trustees, August 26, 1946. 

19. William L. Keleher, S.J., to Bennett-Stewart Co., May 2, 1947. BCA. 

20. William D. Jones to William L. Keleher, S.J., February 19, 1948. BCA. The date 
of this letter is accounted for by the fact that the letter summarized the comple- 
tion of the project. Federal expenses for the classroom building and recreation 
center totalled $131,564. 

21. The federal government was careful to protect itself by insisting on conformity to 
local regulations and statutes. 

22. William L. Keleher, S.J., to Bennett-Stewart Co., May 9, 1948. BCA. 

23. Sumner K. Wiley (Director, Housing and Home Finance Agency) to Boston 
College, June 25, 1947. BCA. 

24. See William L. Keleher, S.J., to Thomas L. Gannon, July 6, 1948. BCA. 

25. Thomas L. Gannon to William L. Keleher, S.J., September 14, 1948. BCA. 

26. William L. Keleher, S.J., to Board of Aldermen, September 27, 1948. BCA. 

27. W. P. Seaver, Director, Region II, to Wilham L. Keleher, S.J., November 12, 

1948. BCA. 

216 History of Boston College 

28. Boston College Catalogue, 1945-1946, p. 5. 

29. See Charles F. Donovan, S.J., "Boston College's Classical Curriculum," Occa- 
sional Papers on the History of Boston College, p. 10. BCA. 

30. See "Summary of Reports on the Faculty Discussions of the A.B. Requirement." 

31. Minutes, Board of Trustees, March 1, 1946; April 16, 1947. BCA. In 1946 m the 
Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Business Administration, tuition was $150 per 
semester; in 1947 it was raised to $175 per semester. On February 11, 1953, the 
trustees raised the yearly tuition to $500 for the four undergraduate colleges. 

32. Minutes, Board of Trustees, April 22, 1947. BCA. 

33. Minutes, Board of Trustees, January 10, 1947. BCA. In the 1980s the faculty 
contribution was 2 percent and the University's 8 percent or 10 percent, depend- 
ing on length of service. 

34. John A. Tobin, S.J., to Stephen A. Mulcahy, S.J., March 27, 1945. 

35. The Stylus (Sprmg, 1945), pp. 63-64. 

36. See inside cover "Keeping in Stylus," The Stylus (Summer, 1946). 

37. Jack Falla, 'Til the Echoes Ring Again (Brattleboro, Vt.: Stephen Greene Press, 
1982), p. 25. 

38. This brief account is taken from a five-page summary made by Father Keleher at 
the request of the Father Provincial of the New England Province. BCA. 



The College at 
Mid-Twentieth Century 

What sort of curriculum were Boston College students following in the 
Keleher years after World War II? A short answer is: pretty much the same 
curriculum, at least for the A.B. degree, that students followed during the 
presidencies of Fulton (1870-1880 and 1888-1891), Gasson (1907- 
1914), and Dolan (1925-1932). From their founding, all the American 
Jesuit colleges had been faithful to the classical-philosophical education 
that had been the Jesuit tradition for centuries. And while there were some 
compromises along the way, such as the dropping of Greek for the A.B. in 
1938 as mentioned earlier, and some grumblings about the Latin require- 
ment, the old classical curriculum was still prescribed for the prized A.B. 
degree in the years immediately after the war. 

That curriculum was, by today's standards, heavy in hours of classes and 
courses carried, and it was mostly prescribed. Twenty-four credits, or 18 
percent of the curriculum, were devoted to electives. The emphasis in 
freshman and sophomore years was literary; in junior and senior years, 
philosophical. Clearly the most honored by Boston College, it was called 
the A.B. Greek curriculum. The somewhat radical A.B. -without-Greek 
curriculum was called A.B. Mathematics, wherein courses in history and 
mathematics were substituted for freshman and sophomore Greek. 


218 History of Boston College 

College of Arts and Sciences 

Bachelor of Arts Requirements 


1stSem.(hrs.) 2nd Sem.(hrs.) 


English 1-2 




English 3 



Mathematics 1-2 




Modern Language 1-2 or 11-12 




Theology 1-2 




Creek 1-2 or 5-6 




Latin 1-2 




Fine Arts 1-2 








English 21-22 




Modern Language 11-12 or 21-22 




Theology 21-22 




Science (Chem. 11-12 or 21-22 

Biology 31-32 or Physics 21-22) 

3, 2 lab. 

3,2 lab. 


Latin 21-22 




Greek 23-24 or 21-22 








Philosophy 41-42-43-44 




Theology 41-42 




History 41-42 












Philosophy 101-102-103-104 




Philosophy 105-106 




Theology 101-102 











The Bachelor of Science degree, awarded for programs including neither 
Greek nor Latin, prescribed the same Enghsh and philosophy and theology 
courses as the A.B. curriculum but allowed greater concentration in one of 
the natural sciences or mathematics, or in history, education, or social 

A Commitment to the Classics 

The commitment to the basic classical education is seen strikingly in the 
nonbusiness curriculum of the College of Business Administration at this 
time. Freshman A.B. Greek students were following principles of composi- 

The College at Mid-Twentieth Century 219 

tion and poetry in Latin and Greek as well as English. The description of 
English 1—2 in the College of Arts and Sciences catalog reads: "Prose 
composition. A study of the qualities of style. Narration, description, and 
essay. Poetry. The nature and types of poetry. Principles of versification; 
the emotional and intellectual elements of poetry." 

In the College of Business Administration, freshman English 1—2 was 
described in the catalog: "Training in the development of a mature prose 
style is stressed. Exposition, narration, and description. Frequent theme 
work in exposition. A play each of the Latin and Greek stage is read in 
translation. The imaginative, emotional, and intellectual content of poetry, 
prosody and poetic types. Extensive reading of English and American 
poetry." Boston College was clearly accommodating its traditional human- 
istic education to blend with professional courses for its future managers 
and business people. There was no room for Latin or Greek in the Business 
Administration curriculum, but Latin and Greek plays in translation were 
included in the English course. 

In the sophomore year A.B. Greek students studied rhetoric in English 
and the classical languages. English 21-22 was titled "Oratory and Shake- 
speare" and the course description was: "The theory and practice of 
oratorical composition. The qualities of oratorical style. Argument, persua- 
sion, analysis, and stylistic study of oratorical masterpieces. Shakespeare. 
A study of selected tragedies of Shakespeare for their dramatic and orator- 
ical value." 

At the same time sophomores in the College of Business Administration 
were following their version of English 21—22, which was called "English 
as a Medium of Oral Expression," with this catalog description: "The 
principles of oratory; their application studied in rhetorical masterpieces, 
including a speech of Cicero in translation. Six Shakespearean tragedies 
are read: Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, King Lear, and Antony 
and Cleopatra." Again an effort was made to preserve some thread of the 
ancient classic tradition, and future accountants and bankers were not left 
unacquainted with Cicero. Back in the nineteenth century the freshman 
year had been called the "poetry year," while sophomore was the "rhetoric 
year." That humanistic tradition was still active in the College of Arts and 
Sciences, while vestiges of the tradition livened the experience of Business 
School students. 

If compromise and some capitulation had taken place as regards the 
classical languages and literature at Boston College in the fifth decade of 
the twentieth century, there had been no faltering or retreat on the philo- 
sophical front in the junior and senior years. All students, regardless of 
major, regardless of degree track or professional aspiration, followed the 
same 10-course, 28-credit sequence in philosophy: logic, epistemology, 
metaphysics, cosmology, fundamental psychology, empirical psychology, 
rational psychology, natural theology, general ethics, and special ethics. 
The purpose of this heavy concentration on philosophy was not to turn the 

220 History of Boston College 

Fulton Hall opened in 

students into professional philosophers but to give them an acquaintance 
with and some mastery of a world view that had been developed over a 
period of many centuries in the Aristotelian-Thomistic philosophy. The 
method of philosophy classes was largely the lecture, and classes tended to 
be large. It is significant that when Lyons Hall (opened in 1951) was being 
planned and when it was first in use, it was called the philosophy building; 
its basic classrooms accommodated 85 students, while several other rooms 
provided for well over a hundred students — rooms that were designed 
primarily with philosophy classes in mind. The talent of the professor, 
rather than the size of the room or the number in the class, determined the 
quality of the learning experience in philosophy, as former students of such 
teachers as Fathers Jones I. Corrigan, Francis Low, or John A. McCarthy 
can attest. 

At midcentury the curriculum at Boston College was far more prescribed 
than elective. Highly structured, with emphasis on literary and philosophi- 
cal skill and knowledge, it was geared to produce generalists, not special- 
ists. Its hoped-for product was the gentleman of Newman's ideal. From 
today's perspective at Boston College and in the wider collegiate scene, the 
curriculum just described may seem overly structured. It is worth noting, 
however, that just after the war, in 1945, Harvard's famed curriculum 
study, General Education in a Free Society, appeared, with the purpose of 
counteracting the unbridled electivism introduced by President Eliot at 
Harvard. The educational debate between advocates of curricular prescrip- 
tion and electivism raged in the nineteenth century, was alive at the halfway 
mark of the twentieth, and has not lost relevance today. 

The College at Mid-Twentieth Century 111 

The Need for New Buildings 

When Father Keleher assumed the presidency of Boston College in August 

1945, his concern about the curriculum was not its content but how to 
administer it for a growing horde of students in only two permanent 
classroom buildings, Gasson and Devlin. The previous chapter recounted 
temporary measures that gave immediate patchwork relief to the classroom 
situation. But even before those measures were effected, plans for perma- 
nent building were afoot. Only six months into his presidency in January 

1946, Father Keleher requested Archbishop Richard Cushing's approval of 
an intense, short-duration public drive for funds for three buildings: a 
classroom building, a gymnasium, and a dormitory.' 

The classroom building was needed, he explained, because of the large 
number of returning veterans applying for admission and the growing 
popularity of the College of Business Administration, whose quarters in 
O'Connell Hall were inadequate. Interestingly the proposed gymnasium 
was justified not in terms of the need for student recreation and exercise 
but because the administration, convinced of the need of an ROTC 
program at Boston College, had already been informed by Army represen- 
tatives that the presence of a gymnasium would be a critical item in a 
decision about awarding an ROTC program. As it turned out, the war 
surplus "recreation building" was to serve as a gymnasium until the 
construction of Roberts Center in 1958. 

A dormitory was needed, Father Keleher continued, because the number 
of out-of-town applicants was constantly growing and because the College 
had never been satisfied with the arrangement whereby such students 
simply boarded in the neighborhood. 

It was an ambitious building program Father Keleher outlined for the 

The president's office in St. 
Mary's Hall from 1932 to 

222 History of Boston College 

archbishop, whose support he particularly needed because he envisioned a 
drive which would largely focus on the parishes of the archdiocese. Indeed 
the drive, which ultimately took place in the fall of 1947, was the last the 
College would conduct that had a definitely "parochial" flavor. Perhaps to 
allay the archbishop's fears that the College, in shaky financial condition 
after the war, was undertaking too much. Father Keleher wrote as he 
completed his letter, "I feel that I should add that it is not my intention to 
build in stone and along Gothic lines. Rather than detract from the present 
set-up [that is, the collegiate Gothic buildings of the central campus], I 
would erect these new buildings in brick, but on the Liggett estate" [that 
is, on the property surrounding O'Connell Hall, bordered by Beacon and 
Hammond streets and Tudor Road]. Fortunately these frugal plans were 
not followed. Maginnis and Walsh, architects of the original buildings, 
were called upon to plan the next two academic buildings, Fulton and 
Lyons, and the upper campus surrounding O'Connell Hall was preserved 
and developed exclusively as a residential area. 

The new home for the College of Business Administration, which was 
named eventually for Father Robert Fulton, the first dean and twice 
president of Boston College, was begun in June 1947.^ On October 30 
there was a laying of the cornerstone, with Father John McEleney, Provin- 
cial, and Governor Robert Bradford on hand and Archbishop Richard 
Gushing officiating and speaking.' The building was occupied the following 
fall. Fulton is perhaps the least successful of the Maginnis and Walsh 
Gothic buildings, in part because of the squat towers which the architects 
provided in order not to block the view of Boston College's signature, the 

Alumni Hall on Com- 
monwealth Avenue was 
home to the Alumni As- 
sociation from 1 950 un- 
til the move to the New- 
ton campus in 1986. 

The College at Mid-Twentieth Century 223 

tower of Gasson Hall, from Beacon Street. In time, of course, Carney and 
McGuinn blocked that view. 

The early occupants of Fulton Hall were proud of the James J. Byrnes 
Library, which was adequate for a relatively small, entirely undergraduate 
College of Business Administration. It would be decades before Boston 
College would have a commodious central Hbrary; in the meantime each 
professional school except Education developed its own library. Another 
feature of Fulton Hall was an industrial management laboratory in the 
basement. Though now long abandoned, it was considered innovative in 
the era of the "efficiency expert" and time-and-motion studies. 

Even as work on Fulton Hall was going on, plans for other buildings 
were being formulated. The boiler room in the basement of Gasson Hall, 
which had serviced the four original buildings— Gasson, St. Mary's, Devlin, 
and Bapst — became inadequate. There was also need for accommodations 
for craftsmen and tradesmen, for storage, and for a garage to house trucks 
and motorized equipment. A service building was begun in the fall of 
1947" and completed the following year. 

So physical expansion was very much in the air. The minutes of the 
Board of Trustees for April 9, 1948, show that Father Keleher proposed a 
new classroom building for the College of Arts and Sciences. Only a few 
weeks later, on April 26, 1948, the trustees were discussing a building for 
the Law School at Chestnut Hill. In late April Father Keleher wrote to 
Maginnis and Walsh^ about planning the new building for the College of 
Arts and Sciences, which was to be located on the west side of the campus 
between the Tower Building and the recently completed College of Business 
Administration. He said it would consist mainly of classrooms ("the 
majority of these large enough to accommodate philosophy classes") but 
with provision also for a number of departmental offices (which were just 
coming into existence) and secretarial offices. The basement of the building 
was to be given entirely to a cafeteria large enough to serve 3500 students. 
The letter mentioned the College's hope of starting a dormitory soon and 
concluded with a reference to a 1936 plan for a building that might be a 
good beginning for planning the philosophy building. The significance of 
that reference is the date. In 1936, two years before the College of Business 
Administration was begun (in the depth of the depression, during the 
presidency of Father Louis Gallagher), Boston College and Maginnis and 
Walsh were pushing ahead with Gasson's dream. 

Lyons Hall was under construction from May 1950 to July 1951.* The 
cornerstone laying ceremony was presided over by Archbishop Gushing on 
November 10, with the architect, Charles D. Maginnis, and contractor, 
John Volpe, the future governor of Massachusetts, attending. As the build- 
ing progressed, the students eagerly awaited the availability of genteel 
eating accommodations. A Heights headline proclaimed, "New Philosophy 
Building Includes Modern Cafeteria (with Seats)." The reference to seats 
was a wry comment on the cafeteria in Gasson Hall, where eating was 

224 History of Boston College 

Father Keleher with building con- 
tractor (later governor) John Volpe 
as the cross was about to be set atop 
the new "philosophy" building (Ly- 
ons Hall) in 1951. 

accomplished in a standing posture/ Another innovation in Lyons was a 
small faculty dining room in the northwest corner of the first floor. Special 
presidential concern assured provision for two activities in the new build- 
ing: facilities for the musical clubs to rehearse and store instruments on the 
top floor (and incidentally an oversized elevator for the larger musical 
instruments) and a psychology laboratory.'* The psychology laboratory, "to 
accommodate approximately 50 students working at benches rather than 
at the usual desks," was a facility for the new department of psychology 
founded by Father James Moynihan, who had recently completed doctoral 
studies in experimental psychology at Catholic University. Since the tradi- 
tional philosophy curriculum included courses in philosophical psychology, 
the title "Modern Psychology" was adopted for the new department. Father 
Moynihan used to say that after several years — once people became used 
to the different approach of his department in contrast to that of the 
philosophy department — he simply took down the sign outside his office, 
"Modern Psychology," and cut off the adjective. At any rate, for several 
decades his select and demanding undergraduate major in psychology was 
one of the most distinguished in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

The College at Mid-Twentieth Century 225 

The New School of Nursing 

The first totally new postwar academic venture of Boston College was the 
School of Nursing. Approval for its inauguration was given by Father Vicar 
General Norbert DeBoyne on December 8, 1945.' In seeking the approval, 
Provincial authorities cited the frequent requests on the matter from 
Archbishop Richard Gushing. The archbishop's interest was understand- 
able. There were naturally many Cathohc nurses in the archdiocese, and 
advancement in the nursing profession was becoming more dependent on 
the possession of a bachelor's degree. Archbishop Gushing saw the desir- 
abihty of a collegiate school of nursing under Gatholic auspices, and he 
made the proposal to his alma mater. 

In August 1946 Father Anthony GarroU, a member of the Ghemistry 
Department, was named regent of the Nursing School.^" Deans of Jesuit 
colleges had traditionally been members of the Society of Jesus. When 
laymen first began to be appointed to head Jesuit professional schools, it 
was not uncommon to appoint a Jesuit with the title of regent, who served 
as liaison between the president and the dean and faculty of the professional 
school. This practice remained in effect for only a decade or two, however, 
and was then abandoned. 

With no background in nursing education. Father Garroll proceeded to 
educate himself. He reviewed the results of a recent survey of 13 represen- 
tative colleges of nursing throughout the country indicating common 
practices on such matters as relationship to the university, title of the 
nursing unit, faculty status, hospital relationships, governance, and fi- 
nances. From this material he drew up an organizational and operational 
outline for the new School of Nursing and submitted it to Father Keleher." 
In late November 1946 Mary Maher, who had served as a faculty member 
of the Massachusetts General Hospital School, was appointed dean.^^ 

The School of Nursing was to serve two classes of students: those who 
had already earned a diploma from a hospital school and were registered 
nurses, and high school graduates. The first group of high school graduates 
entered in September 1947, but the school began functioning in the spring 
semester of 1947 with a class of 35 graduate nurses. 

Mary Maher, who had been the New England regional director of the 
Ghildren's Bureau and had held leadership positions in the nursing profes- 
sion, found the regent-dean arrangement awkward and left after a brief 
tenure. In 1948 Rita P. Kelleher was named dean, and for the next two 
decades she gave the School of Nursing steady and humane leadership. She 
held degrees in nursing from Columbia University and Boston University 
and had been associate director of the Quincy Hospital School of Nursing. 
A confident Dean Kelleher sought and obtained accreditation for the 
graduate nurses program only three and a half years after the School 
began." Similarly in June 1950 the School of Nursing library was approved 
by the Medical Library Association, which was a tribute to the hbrarian, 

226 History of Boston College 

Rita P. Kelleher, dean of the School 
of Nursing, 1947-1973. 

Mary Pekarski, then at the beginning of a distinguished career at Boston 
College as a librarian of the nursing profession.'" 

The School of Nursing was located at 126 Newbury Street in the early 
years, sharing the facilities with the Graduate School of Social Work. The 
only courses the student nurses took on the Chestnut Hill campus were in 
the sciences. These arrangements lasted until the School of Nursing moved 
to a new building on the central campus in 1960. The new structure was 
appropriately dedicated to Cardinal Cushing, inasmuch as he had been the 
inspirer of the school's beginning as well as the munificent donor of the 
funds that made the school's new home a reality. 

The School of Nursing broke the long tradition of an all-male undergrad- 
uate student body at Boston College. Only five years later the School of 
Education would extend coeducation. But it would be more than two 
decades before coeducation would be adopted by the College of Arts and 
Sciences and the College of Business Administration. 


1. Father Keleher to Archbishop Richard Cushing, January 16, 1946. BCA. 

2. The Heights (April 30, 1948). 

3. The Heights (October 30, 1947). 

4. The Heights (April 30, 1948). 

5. Keleher papers. BCA. 

The College at Mid-Twentieth Century 227 

6. The Heights (November 3, 1950; March 9, 1951). 

7. The Heights (October 20, 1950). 

8. Father Keleher to Maginnis and Walsh, December 7, 1948. BCA. 

9. Father Socius Forrest Donahue to Father General Janssens, December 1, 1946. 

10. Father Keleher to Provincial, August 2, 1946. BCA. 

11. Father Anthony Carroll to Father Keleher, September 20, 1946. BCA. 

12. Father Keleher to Mary Maher, November 27, 1946; The Heights (February 7, 
1947). BCA. 

13. National Nursing Accrediting Service to Father Keleher, November 20, 1950. 

14. Report of the National Nursing Accrediting Service, p. 22. BCA. 



Outline of a University 

Under Father Keleher's presidency, Boston College had moved from the 
shadows of the war years out into the bright sunshine of a surprisingly 
strong recovery. With enrollments increasing beyond prewar levels, with 
the addition of a third undergraduate college, and with a campus enlarged 
by the construction of three new buildings, administration, teachers, stu- 
dents, and alumni could take pride in their educational institution on the 
Heights. There was an air of optimism in planning for the future. Taking 
advantage of a solid foundation, the administration, supported by a com- 
petent faculty, was prepared to continue a progressive policy of develop- 

A New Leader for New Times 

As was the custom in the Society of Jesus, it was time to choose a new 
leader. In those days the choice was made in Rome. Appointed rector of the 
Jesuit Community by Father General John B. Janssens on March 20, 1951, 
Joseph R. N. Maxwell, S.J., was elected president of Boston College by the 
Board of Trustees on June 29, 1951.' Although only 52 years of age at the 
time of this appointment. Father Maxwell had had as broad an administra- 
tive experience as any Jesuit in the New England Province. In 1935, at age 
36, he was appointed dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston 


Twenty-first President 

Father Maxwell was born in Taunton, Mas- 
sachusetts, on November 7, 1899. Educated 
at Taunton High School, he attended Holy 
Cross College, entered the Society of Jesus 
on September 7, 1919, and was ordained to 
the priesthood in 1932. From 1926-1929 he 
was an instructor in English at Holy Cross 
and also taught English to the scholastics at 

Weston College in 1933-1934. During a year of ascetical studies in Belgium he 
published The Happy Ascetic, the life of a saintly Belgian Jesuit. Awarded a Ph.D. 
in English at Fordham University, he maintained a life-long interest in the classics 
and served a term as president of the Classical Association of New England. He 
authored Completed Fragments, a book of verse. He was a member and officer 
of several regional and national educational associations, including the prestig- 
ious Association of American Colleges, of which he was elected the 41st president 
in 1955. He was awarded four honorary degrees. 

College upon the sudden death of a beloved and legendary dean, Father 
Patrick McHugh. After four years as dean Father Maxwell assumed the 
presidency of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. 
After six difficult years (1939-1945), in which he faced the common 
problems arising from the war, he was appointed rector of the Cranwell 
Preparatory School in Lenox. Following those serene years in the Berk- 
shires, he moved to the president's office at Chestnut Hill. 

The early years of Father Maxwell's tenure were mildly complicated by 
what the government called a "national emergency." The Korean War, 
which began in July 1950, had its own effect upon campuses across the 
country, although minor in comparison with the dislocations of World War 
II. In August 1950 General Lewis B. Hershey, director of Selective Service, 
indicated that the September draft quotas were down to the 22-year age 
group. Students of 21 years or younger were safe for the moment; further, 
those in school, when called, could postpone induction until they completed 
the year in good standing. Even so, enrollments were immediately and 
adversely affected at the undergraduate level by the conflict. For example. 

230 History of Boston College 

in the academic year 1949-1950, there were 3294 students in the College 
of Arts and Sciences; the following year there were 2599, a difference of 
almost 700 students.' Thus began a precarious existence for both the 
students and the institution. Although many Boston College students were 
drafted, there was some compensation in the size of the student body by 
the expansion of ROTC programs on campus. 

Such issues as acceleration, deferment, federal aid, and Selective Service 
Tests were debated and discussed with educational associations and at 
various institutions. Papers on the "Pre-Induction Program for Jesuit 
Students" were presented at the 1951 Annual Meeting of the Jesuit Educa- 
tional Association.^ As time went on, the associations and colleges worked 
for an extension of the G.I. Bill (Public Law 346). Public Law 16, for the 
rehabilitation of wounded veterans, had already been extended to veterans 
of the Korean conflict. In passing, it may be helpful to note that on June 
19, 1951, President Truman signed the Universal Military Training and 
Service Act, which became Public Law 51. Finally, after a long congres- 
sional debate, veterans' benefits were extended through a new G.I. Bill 
(Public Law 550), which was signed by the President on July 16, 1952. 
Although the bill was tied to the number of days a veteran served on active 
duty, the maximum time allowed for education was 36 months."* 

It was against this background of the Korean "emergency" that Father 
Maxwell took up his duties at Boston College. As would be the case with 
any prudent administrator responsible for the entire enterprise, he was 
immediately interested in the financial health of the institution. When 
compared with the university of the 1980s, with its expanded campus and 
high-rise buildings, Boston College in the postwar years was a relatively 
small operation. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 1951, total expenses 
reached the modest sum of $1,961,914; total income from all sources was 
$2,251,998. This left a net operating income of $290,084 which could be 
used for salary increments, interest on the debt, renovations, or new 
projects.^ (Thirty-eight years later, in fiscal year 1988-1989, the operating 
budget was over $223 million.) In any case, through good management 
and increased enrollments in the Keleher years, Boston College remained 
in sound financial condition. And the growth continued. 

The New School of Education 

The Heights for October 5, 1951, carried a headline with important news: 
"Father Maxwell Announces New School of Education to Open Next 
September." The concept was not brand new. There had been, in previous 
years, a modest attempt to fulfill this function. Before WW 11 and after, an 
undergraduate Department of Education, chaired by Father Dunigan, was 
developed within the College of Arts and Sciences. It was designed to offer 
a B.S. in Education and, at the same time, to supply elective subjects for all 
juniors and seniors interested in teacher preparation. •> Due to a drop in 

Outline of a University 231 

enrollment in the Department of Education after the war, education courses 
were offered only to juniors and seniors. In fact, it was more or less 
assumed that the B.S. in Education would be withdrawn and, in its place, 
students would be encouraged to take minor elective courses to fulfill the 
minimum requirements for pubhc school teachers. The proposed courses 
were psychology of education and methods. 

Father Dunigan's successor was Father Charles F. Donovan, S.J., class of 
'33. He had been awarded a Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Education by Yale 
University. In 1948 he was appointed chairman of the Department of 
Education at his alma mater. In addition to rearranging the curriculum 
and establishing a major in education, he was successful in drawing up a 
practice teaching program, despite the difficulties in scheduling late after- 
noon classes in philosophy. This program, incidentally, had to be submitted 
to the Province Prefect of Studies and the Provincial for approval.^ 

It was becoming more and more evident, however, that a department of 
education was inadequate. A school of education would be much more 
satisfactory for several reasons, one of which was the continued elevation 
of certification requirements for public school teachers in Massachusetts. 
In this situation, Father Donovan made a strong case for a four-year, 
coeducational college of education which would confer a B.S. degree in 
education.*' Citing an obvious local need and appealing to the success of 
Jesuit schools in other areas, he concluded that "there is no reason why in 
so strongly a Catholic center as Boston and Massachusetts, Boston College 
should not have a good and flourishing school of education, to exercise a 
beneficial influence on education and educational policies in this part of 
the country."' Father Keleher, who was in the last months of his presidency, 
sent Father Donovan's proposal to the Provincial with a strong endorse- 
ment.'" Archbishop Richard Gushing, Father Keleher noted, would favor 
this development, and such a school would also attract the religious sisters 
of the archdiocese who, up to this time, had to go elsewhere for their 

The final proposal, which incorporated additional information requested 
by Father Provincial James Coleran, was submitted by Father Maxwell. 
This version of the proposal was especially careful to include statistics on 
the number of women enrolled in schools of education and active in the 
teaching profession at the elementary and high school levels.'^ Coeducation 
was still a novelty at Boston College. Apparently, there was no difficulty 
with or opposition to this part of the plan at any level of authority. Less 
than three weeks after the proposal had been submitted, "Permission to 
inaugurate a School of Education as a distinct unit of the College and as a 
coeducational venture was granted by Very Reverend Father General under 
date of July 20, 1951."" 

Suspecting that the Catholic women's colleges in the Boston area would 
be surprised — and perhaps disappointed — at this new development, Father 
Maxwell wrote a letter of explanation to the presidents of Emmanuel 

232 History of Boston College 

College, Regis College, and Newton College of the Sacred Heart. "Since it 
[the new school] is to be coeducational, I would like to give a word of 
explanation of our reasons for taking this step, lest our action be inter- 
preted as an unfeeling entrance into competition with the Catholic women's 
colleges that are doing such outstanding work in the Greater Boston area." 
After a brief summary of the reasons, he hoped "that this explanation will 
prevent any misgivings or misunderstandings on your part. . . ."*'' 

The administration appreciated the advantages of publicity within the 
academic community in preparing for the inauguration of the school. In the 
late spring. Father Maxwell hosted a luncheon on campus for Boston 
College alumni engaged in the teaching profession and for superintendents, 
headmasters, and other officials in the school systems of Boston and other 
towns. On time, as promised, the School of Education opened its doors to 
176 freshmen as the academic year 1952-1953 got under way. As The 
Heights described it, "With the resumation [sic] of classes on the 22nd of 
September, a new look was seen on the B.C. campus in the person of 110 
women who are entering as freshmen in the School of Education."" Not 
only were these students "on the campus," they were in the very heart of 
the campus, for the offices and classrooms were located in the Tower 

Prior to the opening of Campion Hall in 1 955, the coeducational School of 
Education was located in Gasson Hall. 


i i|;< I ![n\\ : I.. ItiKlu- \l 
|l,-Tn..n.l. li \( K HOW l.,HM 
I,,-,,,.,:, Th« iialghta. October . 

,iil by the Ki 
■ HO:i. The Soil 

Outline of a University 233 

Building. >* Father Donovan, the dean, was ably assisted by Marie M. 
Gearan, an experienced administrator, as dean of women. It was an 
auspicious beginning, and the new school had to wait only four years for 
its own building. The pioneers of the class of '56 are part of the history of 
Boston College in that the School of Education was the final step in 
completing its four-undergraduate-college structure. 

Establishing Graduate Programs 

With the four undergraduate colleges in operation, the administration 
turned its attention to graduate programs. No university is truly complete 
without instruction and research at the highest level. Consequently, in its 
quest for recognition, the president's academic council in 1952 voted to 
inaugurate three doctoral programs. To be more accurate, it was a decision 
to restore or reinstate doctoral departments. This new development had an 
interesting history of its own. 

In a reorganization of graduate and extension courses in 1925 and 1926, 
a formal Graduate School was established which superseded the Master of 
Education program which Father James F. Mellyn, S.J., had introduced in 
1922. First located at James Street and later moved to the Heights, the 
Graduate School began to offer fields of concentration in several areas of 
study. Not only was the master's degree awarded, but a doctorate in 
philosophy was also offered to those who wished to do some work beyond 
the master's level. A few years later, however, the doctoral program was 
severely criticized by the Association of American Universities (AAU), 
which at that time acted as an unofficial — but influential — accrediting 
agency for graduate departments. 

In 1932 the Committee on the Classification of Universities and Colleges 
of the AAU undertook a survey of doctoral departments in the United 
States. In its visitation to the campus, the committee had no serious 
criticism of the undergraduate departments, and Boston College remained 
on its approved list. However, in its evaluation of faculty and library 
resources, "the Committee found it difficult to find any justification for the 
conferring of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy."'^ After a later and 
further review at Father Louis Gallagher's insistence, the Committee on 
Classification of the AAU "was still unsatisfied with your graduate work, 
particularly that leading to the Ph.D. degree, and we should like to see all 
work of the Ph.D. degree dropped entirely.""* Father Gallagher took the 
advice of the AAU in order to ensure the continued inclusion of Boston 
College on its approved list. The committee had praised the resources of 
the library for undergraduate departments. 

Aware of the problems of the past. Father Maxwell's advisors were 
confident that, with the recruitment of qualified faculty and deepening of 
library holdings, the College of the 1950s was adequately prepared to offer 
the doctorate in economics, education, and history. This was also the 

234 History of Boston College 

judgment of Father Edward B. Rooney, S.J., president of the Jesuit Educa- 
tional Association." Father James Burke, who on the death of Father 
George O'Donnell was appointed acting dean of the Graduate School, 
accepted the first doctoral candidates in the summer and fall of 1952. 
Father Paul A. FitzGerald, S.J., with a newly minted Ph.D. in history from 
Georgetown University, arrived in 1953 to assume the management of the 
Graduate School for the next seven years. One of his first tasks as dean was 
to restrict faculty in the doctoral departments to those professors who 
possessed the Ph.D. degree, in order to eliminate any cause for criticism 
from an outside agency. Moreover, for the first time, competitive teaching 
fellowships, graduate assistantships, and research assistantships for spon- 
sored research projects were awarded in order to attract superior students. 
These assistantships were especially helpful in the science departments, 
where graduate students supervised laboratory sessions for undergraduates. 
At the same time, the Graduate School continued to grant a prestigious 
master's degree in 12 departments. 

The First Self-Study 

The Graduate School was not the only area that claimed attention at this 
time. Because professional schools — such as Management, Nursing, and 
Education at Boston College — are designed for a specific purpose, they are 
subject to well-defined inspections by the appropriate professional agency. 
The overall academic health of a university, however, is generally gauged by 
the strength of the liberal arts college which, in its turn, is evaluated by the 
regional accrediting association. The College of Arts and Sciences, as the 
oldest and largest unit at the Heights, is, so to speak, the flagship of the 
undergraduate schools and preserves the liberal (and Jesuit) tradition. 

In 1952 a long-range preparation for the periodic visitation of the 
accrediting committee of the New England Association coincided with a 
notice from the Ford Foundation. The Fund for the Advancement of 
Education announced "a newly established program for college self-studies 
to be administered by the Committee on College Self-Studies." The pro- 
gram provided "a limited number of grants to liberal arts colleges for the 
purpose of conducting a self-analysis of the underlying aims of their liberal 
arts program."-" 

The academic administration grasped this opportunity to conduct an in- 
depth self-study of the College of Arts and Sciences with, it hoped, the aid 
of a grant from the foundation. With the assistance of several faculty 
members and the expert counsel of Sister Josephina Concannon, C.S.J., 
acting as a resource person, a proposal was submitted to the foundation, 
together with an application for a grant "to assist us in our evaluation of 
our hberal arts program at Boston College."^' The proposal involved three 
steps: First, enlisting the support and interest of the faculty through papers 
and discussions which, in fact, had already taken place at the fall faculty 

Outline of a University 235 

The main campus entrance in the 1 950s. 

convocation; second, scheduling a year-long series of faculty activities, 
guided by a special committee, which would evaluate every aspect of the 
institution from curriculum to athletics; and third, the step for which 
funding was requested, proposed "a visitation program whose object will 
be to have a member of each department spend four weeks during the 
academic year 1954-1955 as an observer in the corresponding department 
of an outstanding liberal arts college."-^ Boston College requested $21,000 
as a reasonable budget for 12 visitors from 11 departments. Worked out 
in detail, the budget provided compensation for professors whose schedule 
had been increased to replace those on visitation for transportation, per 
diem expenses, secretarial assistance, and printing.'^ 

To implement the second step, the Committee on Self-Study, with Father 
William V. E. Casey as chairman, was formed to undertake a survey and 
"to estimate for our advantage the present effectiveness of our college." 
There was also the possibility that this project "would be associated later 
with one operating under a Ford Foundation grant and involving several 
other universities."^'' To accomplish this end, 11 subcommittees were 
appointed to report on curriculum, faculty, instruction, admissions, guid- 
ance, library, campus activities, alumni, public relations, campus services, 
and athletics. The final reports, done with diligence and objectivity, were 
submitted to the president in late 1954 and early 1955.^^ 

The fact that these efforts were not rewarded with a foundation grant is 
not important. (In 1955-1956 the Ford Foundation made a grant, in two 
installments, of $1 million to Boston College.) Similar grants, of varying 
amounts, were made at that time by the foundation to other colleges to be 
invested for "increase of faculty salaries or for meeting other pressing 

236 History of Boston College 

academic needs. "^* The real importance of the self-study lies in the fact that 
for the first time, conscious of its responsibilities, the faculty at Boston 
College conducted a frank, comprehensive, in-depth appraisal of the 
strengths and weaknesses of the academic program. It was the first in what 
has become an impressive series of self-analyses undertaken by the Univer- 
sity and its several divisions. 

The Law School 

In completing the outline of a university, the Boston College Law School 
was another area of unusual activity in these years of development. The 
dean. Father William Kenealy, had been successful in recruiting an out- 
standing faculty, and good students were applying in greater numbers. 
There was, all admitted, the potential for a distinguished Catholic law 
school. However, there was agreement also — especially on the part of the 
American Bar Association — that all efforts would be defeated as long as 
the Law School continued to occupy the cramped quarters of the Kimball 
Building. An inspector from the ABA, after listing the factors and facihties 
that determined the adequacy of a good plant, wrote, "Your quarters at 18 
Tremont Street come a long way from meeting these requirements. The 
atmosphere of the place is that of a trade school which, in spite of the 
earnest effort of your faculty, cannot be dispelled."-^ He criticized the 
classrooms, the library space, student lounge, faculty room, and other 

From that time on, using the possible loss of accreditation as leverage, 
Father Kenealy pressed hard for a new building, first with Father Keleher, 
then with Father Maxwell — and not only a new building, but a building on 
the campus. After weighing the advantages and disadvantages, it was the 
unanimous opinion of the law faculty that, "with a building of our own at 
the Heights, we can reasonably aspire to the status of a truly great CathoUc 
Law School of national reputation within a few years."^^ Father Kenealy 
was also persuaded that a prestigious campus law school would enhance 
the image of Boston College as an emerging Catholic university. 

The decision to construct a new Law School building at the Heights was 
made in the fall of 1952.^' The original choice of location, where Ruben- 
stein Hall now stands, was later rejected in favor of a site further removed 
from the undergraduate campus. Although it is not clear how the city was 
persuaded to sell the property, the trustees empowered the treasurer, Father 
Edward Whalen, "to acquire from the City of Boston, title to land on 
Commonwealth Avenue which is to be the site of the Law School. "^° This 
parcel of land, opposite the MBTA station, was duly purchased for the sum 
of $28,000, the total amount of which was returned as a gift to Boston 
College by Mr. and Mrs. Vincent P. Roberts. The new building was 
constructed in less than a year at a cost of $1,250,000 and formally 
dedicated by Archbishop Richard Cushing on September 27, 1954.^^ A 
banquet was held at the Statler Hotel on November 21, 1954, to celebrate 

Outline of a University Til 

The Law School moved to St. Thomas More Hall in 1955. The scene shows 
part of the reservoir acquired in 1949 still unfilled. 

both the opening of St. Thomas More Hall and the twenty-fifth anniversary 
of the Law School, at which Professor William O'Keefe was awarded an 
honorary doctor of laws degree for his 25 years of service. 

Secure in its new building, the Law School gradually fulfilled the high 
expectations of its faculty and the administration. Much of this success 
was due to Father Robert F. Drinan, S.J. ('42). A graduate of Georgetown 
University Law School, he was appointed dean in 1956. He approached his 
task with vision, enthusiasm, and boundless energy. Focusing his immedi- 
ate attention on the academic quality of the school, he recruited superior 
students and distinguished faculty members with the assistance of the 
Presidential Scholarships. He also initiated the annual Boston College 
Industrial and Commercial Laiv Review. The night school was discontin- 
ued, to the disappointment of its alumni, who formed a particularly close 
circle. But the enhanced standing of the Law School paved the way for the 
establishment of a chapter of the Order of the Coif in 1964, a tangible 
award of excellence. 

Local Law School alumni and alumnae have held prominent positions. A 
few among the many are: Kevin White ('55) was a four-term mayor of 
Boston; Congresswoman Margaret Heckler ('56) represented Massachu- 
setts' Tenth District from 1967-1982 and later served in the president's 
cabinet as Secretary of Health and Human Services and as ambassador to 
Ireland; and Thomas Salmon ('57) was a two-term Governor of Vermont. 

A Faculty Manual Evolves 

Every well-organized college or university, in addition to a policy-making 
board of trustees, has a faculty manual or faculty statutes. The statutes give 

238 History of Boston College 

a quasi legal force to regulations governing administrative and faculty 
responsibilities. The first attempt at such a manual came from the Jesuit 
Educational Association, which drew up a tentative format for complex 
Jesuit institutions. 3- Although President Murphy had been anxious to codify 
regulations at Boston College, pressures of the war years forced him to 
postpone that project. As a first step with approval of the Board of Trustees, 
his successor. Father Keleher, issued a general plan covering faculty salaries, 
rank, and tenure and, at the same time, established a committee on 
university rank and tenure." This plan was followed by a "Tentative Form 
of Statutes for Boston College." The language in this attempt was imprecise 
and descriptive rather than legal, and it was critically reviewed by Father 
Kenealy, Father George O'Donnell, and other readers. The matter became 
more complex by reason of Father Provincial's involvement in certain Jesuit 
appointments and their termination. 

The first "University Faculty Manual" was published and circulated in 
1953, the second year of Father Maxwell's administration. Father Thomas 
Fleming, executive assistant to the president, had solicited model statutes 
from several Jesuit institutions — notably Fordham — as a guide in drafting 
a manual at Boston College. The result was a concise statement of the 
administrative plan of the College and the function of its several parts. The 
manual defined the offices of president, deans, and directors; it also defined 
departments and the duties of department chairmen. In an area that had 
been traditionally vague, it was explicit in setting down requirements for 
advancement in rank that would be enforced and interpreted by a commit- 
tee on appointments and promotion. The manual also covered faculty 
salaries, annuity and insurance plans (TIAA), and hospitalization compen- 
sation insurance.^'' 

The new full-time faculty contracts were also specific in determining 
faculty obligations and in limiting employment beyond the institution. The 
administration recognized "that private professional activities of individual 
faculty members may be desirable from the viewpoint both of the University 
and the individuals concerned." In general, however, the total amount of 
time was limited for each individual "in order that no interference with the 
proper discharge of full-time college duties occurs." Finally, it was forbid- 
den for a full-time faculty member to teach in another institution during 
the academic year.^^ 

All of this meant that, as Boston College expanded, there was a greater 
professionalism in its governance. Not only that, but the insistence on strict 
requirements for promotion in rank emphasized the importance of research 
and fostered publications — normal signs of an active, productive faculty. 

The ROTC in Action 

After the end of World War II, the War Department made a survey of 
colleges with a view to an expansion of the Reserve Officers' Training 
Corps. Boston College expressed an interest in the estabUshment of an 

Outline of a University 239 

ROTC unit. After a visit from the Army in January 1947 and a formal 
application by Father Keleher, the College was informed by the War 
Department that an ROTC Field Artillery Unit had been approved, to begin 
the next academic year. 

In the 1950s it was a common sight to see uniformed members of the 
Reserve Officers Training Corps in class and at other campus functions. 
During the Korean action there was an automatic deferment for those 
collegians who joined the ROTC and remained in good standing. At Boston 
College, Colonel Elmer B. Thayer, the commanding officer of the artillery 
unit, was a strict disciplinarian, and he enforced army regulations and the 
campus demerit system with rigid impartiality. This rigor was reflected in 
statistics submitted to the president: In 1951, of a total of 860 ROTC 
cadets, 400 were freshmen but only 125 survived to graduate as commis- 
sioned officers. ^^ Reasons for attrition were many. For example, two ROTC 
cadets who failed to report to the Fort Bragg ROTC camp in 1951 were 
formally discharged by the commanding general, First Army, and required 
to reimburse the government for daily subsistence drawn in junior year. 
The government also requested that they be denied admission to senior year 
until reimbursement had been made.'^ 

In addition to the annual exhibition drill and spring parade, which 
always drew high-ranking officers to the campus, a military Mass was 
celebrated in honor of St. Barbara, patron saint of artillerymen. In the early 
years, a statue of the saint was on loan from Fort Sill for the occasion. 
Father Maxwell later commissioned an artist at Oberammergau to carve a 
statue of St. Barbara that would be displayed permanently at Boston 
College.^^ Moreover, the Boston College ROTC unit had its own distinctive 
insignia worn as a shoulder loop by cadets and their officers.^' 

In those years the ROTC unit was housed in the old army barracks along 
Beacon Street, which were beginning to show the ravages of student use. 
This was one of the reasons later advanced by Father Maxwell in approach- 
ing Congressman John W. McCormack for federal assistance in building a 
new gymnasium which would also provide space for the offices and officers 
of the ROTC. In the dean's office, however, it was more important to 
resolve the discussion on academic credit for ROTC courses. In a resolution 
of this question, Boston College, bowing to pressure from the Army and 
influenced by the procedure in other colleges, agreed to grant 12 credits 
for the junior and senior courses in military science. To make up for this 
substitution, cadets were allowed to take one extra elective.'"' Ultimately, 
this decision fitted in nicely with the Army's new program which converted 
all college units into a general military science program for the better 
distribution of commissioned officers.*" 

Reaching Out 

Securely organized from within, the College began to reach out to a larger 
pubhc beyond the campus. In the early 1950s, with the active encourage- 

240 History of Boston College 

ment of Mayor John B. Hynes, the politicians and merchants of Boston 
were beginning to discuss the future development of the city. Boston 
College provided the forum. Organized by W. Seavey Joyce, S.J., dean of 
the College of Business Administration (later called School of Manage- 
ment), who was ably assisted by John Collins, S.J., Chairman of the Finance 
Department, the First Annual Business Conference was held in Bapst 
Auditorium on May 15, 1954. The program was entitled, "Greater Bos- 
ton's Business Future." Welcomed to the campus by Father Maxwell, the 
roster of speakers and guests comprised a list of Who's Who among 
Boston's merchants, bankers, and developers. They were called "Boston's 
top thinkers and doers. "■'- 

The first conference was designed "not to come up with any answers, 
but merely to get the burning questions that need answering out into the 
open." An immediate outgrowth of the annual conference — and perhaps 
more important — were the "citizen seminars" at which these questions 
were discussed. Again, these were organized by the School of Management. 
The seminars, which met several times a year, discussed urban develop- 
ment, zoning codes, a world trade center, tax proteaion, and new munici- 
pal construction. The first seminar met on October 7, 1954, and Mayor 
Hynes set the tone with his paper, "Boston — Whither Goest Thou?" 

The citizen seminars, hosted by Presidents Maxwell, Walsh, Joyce, and 
Monan, met regularly on campus for 25 years. They were influential in 
moving the Cit>' of Boston toward the renewal it now enjoys. Carl Gilbert, 
then president of the Gillette Company and a regular member of the 
seminar, said, "This University has earned the gratitude of all of Metropol- 
itan Boston, and the whole Commonwealth, for its readiness to open its 
halls to citizens of every station in life, ... of every political persuasion so 
that they might here consider together and debate certain of the pressing 
questions facing the communit}'."-'^ Although the conferences and seminars 
no longer meet at Boston College, they have continued under a different 
format in downtown Boston. 

Extracurricular Activities 

In other ways, too, it was a busy campus. The pages of The Heights for 
these years document the history of those extracurricular activities which 
began at the end of the last class. In the tradition of Jesuit colleges from the 
earliest years of the Society, dramatics was an integral part of a liberal 
education; in the 17th and 18th centuries, Jesuit theater had no equal. For 
several years in the early fifties, the Boston College Dramatic Society was 
under the capable direction of Francis Sidlauskas, who continued the 
polished performances of Father John Louis Bonn. A graduate of Boston 
College and the Yale School of Drama, Sidlauskas was so well thought of 
by Elliot Norton, the Boston drama critic, that he secured his appointment 
as Chairman of the Committee on College and Universit}' Theaters of the 

Outline of a University 241 

New England Conference.'*'* He staged a number of memorable perfor- 
mances, one of which was entitled, All My People Sing. Written in blank 
verse by an Arts and Science senior, Leo Hines, this play portrayed the life 
of St. Francis Xavier from his college days in Paris through his missionary 
work in the Indies. Again, acknowledging Jesuit roots, he directed an 
original performance of Saint in a Hurry, adapted by the students, which 
commemorated the 400th anniversary of the death of St. Francis on the 
island of Sancian.^^ In March 1954 the members of the Dramatic Society 
travelled to New York. There, for the first time, they participated in the 
Fordham Jesuit one-act play festival, presenting Thor, With Angels, by 
Christopher Fry."* 

Sidlauskas was succeeded by Father Joseph Larkin, a graduate in speech 
and drama from The Catholic University. Father Larkin continued to insist 
upon a professional approach to dramatic presentations and, at the same 
time, gave academic respectability to the offerings in speech, communica- 
tion, and theater. His own choices struck a nice balance between the 
classics, such as Shakespeare, and modern playwrights. A number of his 
students went on to fame and fortune on Broadway and in the movies. 

In a related area of the performing arts, the Boston College Musical 
Clubs received their share of local and regional applause. With their 
trademark, "Songs from the Towers," the Glee Club was immensely 
popular on campus and at other colleges. In his last concert before joining 
the Cambridge school system as musical director, Walter Mayo, in a 

A late 1 950s dance in 
the auditorium/gymna- 
sium of Campion Hall. 

242 History of Boston College 

bravura performance at Jordan Hall, rewarded his enthusiastic audience 
with a program of selections from classical, semi-classical, light opera, and 
traditional works/^ He was succeeded by Joseph LoPresti who, in addition 
to the annual appearance at Jordan Hall, arranged a number of combined 
concerts with local women's colleges, notably Regis College and Newton 
College of the Sacred Heart. 

Development of the Boston College Character 

With the active interest of aspiring young politicians among the student 
body, Boston College had always provided a platform for state and city 
candidates for office. As its name became better known in ever-wider 
circles, candidates for national office came to the Heights to test the waters 
in an Irish Catholic, academic atmosphere. One memorable visit occurred 
on March 19, 1954. Adlai Stevenson, Democratic candidate for president 
in 1952 and titular head of the party, spoke to 1200 students and faculty 
who had crowded into Bapst Auditorium. Although his address that day 
was nonpohtical, he was clearly preparing to challenge President Eisen- 
hower for the second time. This "totally civihzed man," as he was called, 
never reached the White House, but in a campus election he defeated 
Eisenhower by 150 votes, 476—326.'** Others who were nationally known 
included the colorful G. Mennen Williams, Governor of Michigan, who 
also had national aspirations. He spoke to the juniors and seniors of the 
School of Management on the topic, "The Role of the State Government in 
the Federal System." 

The Candlemas Lectures, founded by William J. Leonard, S.J., and 
inaugurated on February 2, 1947, continued to attract outstanding speak- 
ers — a tribute to the latter's perception of Boston College. The purpose of 
the lectures is to stimulate interest and scholarly research in the field of 
Christian letters. The roster of lecturers in the fifties included G. B. 
Harrison, professor of Enghsh hterature at the University of Michigan; 
Bishop John J. Wright ('31), later a cardinal, who was the acknowledged 
authority on St. Joan of Arc; James Johnson Sweeney, director of the 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, who spoke on "The 
Language of Poetry"; and Frank Sheed, Catholic writer, apologist, and 

In later years the Candlemas Lectures became part of the Humanities 
Series, perhaps the most enduring, popular, and high-quality lecture and 
artistic series on campus. Sponsored by Boston College, these lectures, 
readings, and cultural performances are open to the public and free of 
charge; over the years they have drawn an appreciative and discerning 
audience from the academic and artistic community in the Boston area. 
The person most responsible for the success of this series has been Father 
Francis Sweeney, well known for his own writings and a member of the 
English Department and faculty moderator of The Stylus. Father Sweeney 

Outline of a University 243 

has brought to the campus distinguished figures in every category of art 
and hterature."' 

The origin of the Humanities Series is usually traced to a lecture given 
by Robert Frost, who was invited by The Stylus' board to introduce a year- 
long celebration in honor of the diamond jubilee of that literary journal. 
The premier American poet, four-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, spoke 
in the Campion auditorium on April 3, 1957, reading and discussing his 
own poetry. The Frost lecture, in turn, led to the "Steinman Visiting Poets 
Series" in 1957—1958. Funded by David Steinman, the internationally 
acclaimed bridge builder, this series featured Robert Frost, Ogden Nash, 
T. S. Eliot, and Sister M. Madeleva. The popularity of the Steinman lectures 
persuaded the administration to fund the Humanities Series. Formally 
inaugurated in the fall of 1958, the first year of Father Michael Walsh's 
presidency, this series has proved enormously successful. 

Student Societies 

The character of Boston College was further enhanced in these years by 
student societies. In addition to the Sodality of Our Lady, identified with 
Jesuit colleges since the 16th century, there was the Gold Key Society. 
Founded to knit a closer bond among the more ambitious students, it 
organizes campus activities in accordance with its motto, "Service and 
Sacrifice." The Order of the Cross and Crown, founded in 1939, is reserved 
to members of the senior class of the College of Arts and Sciences who have 
achieved distinction during their first three years in studies, extracurricular 
activities, and school spirit. In recent years, Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit 
honor society, is recognized as a particularly familial mark of distinction 
at Boston College. Founded in 1915 at Marquette University, a chapter 
was established at the Heights in 1939 by Dean Maxwell. Students honored 
by induction into Alpha Sigma Nu must have distinguished themselves in 
scholarship, loyalty, and service; by these means, it is expected that they 
will appreciate and promote the ideals of Jesuit higher education. 

Academically more restrictive were the clubs and academies associated 
with departments or professional schools. Over the years, the Mendel Club 
of the Chemistry Department has been particularly active in serving the 
needs of the premedical and predental students. In keeping with the times 
it has also become involved, through an annual conference, in medical- 
ethical questions. Many of these organizations, or the schools and depart- 
ments with which they were associated, supported a magazine or "house" 
journal by means of which the members were encouraged to write on 
timely topics. Some were short-lived; others were more enduring and 
influential. In addition to The Heights and The Stylus, which represented 
every constituency, Caritas carried its message for the Graduate School of 
Social Work. Guidepost, which had a fairly wide circulation beyond the 
campus, was staffed by budding executives at the School of Management. 

244 History of Boston College 

Some excellent articles are found in Humanities, which enjoyed a high 
reputation as the classical journal. The Mathematics Department published 
the Ricci Mathematical Journal and the Chemistry Department edited its 
own Bulletin. 

One indication of Boston College's movement from collegiate to authen- 
tic university status was the progress of the Graduate School of Arts and 
Sciences. The history of American graduate schools, it has been said, is the 
history of the Ph.D. degree. At the 1957 June commencement, Boston 
College conferred the Ph.D. degree on four candidates and the Ed.D. on 
one, all of whom did well in their chosen fields. Robert McEwen, S.J., was 
later chairman of the Economics Department and a national consultant on 
consumer affairs. With her degree in history, Patricia Goler was subse- 
quently appointed dean of Lowell University and elected a member of the 
Board of Trustees of Boston College. Sister Josephina Concannon, C.S.J., 
was an effective superintendent of archdiocesan schools staffed by her 
congregation, was active in the NCEA, and was a resourceful faculty 
member at the School of Education. Charles Morgan Sullivan, a college 
professor and an officer in several economic associations, was the first 
student in modern times to earn all three degrees at Boston College. 
Raymond Ahearn became well known in banking circles in addition to his 
teaching at the Heights.™ 

As Boston College moved toward the 1960s, it was, by ordinary mea- 
surements, a healthy institution. It had some problems (there was never 
enough money), but the programs were sound, the competition for admis- 
sion made for a more highly selective student body, and the faculty was 
more highly trained. The future looked bright. 


1 . Minutes, Board of Trustees, June 29, 1 95 1 . BCA. 

2. Jesuit Education Association Directory, 1950-1951, 1951-1952. BCA. 

3. Ralph H. Schenk, S.J., "Pre-Induction Orientation for Jesuit High School Stu- 
dents," Jesuit Educational Quarterly (June 1951), pp. 33-44; also Paul O'Con- 
nor, S.J., "Pre-Induction Orientation for Jesuit College Students," ibid., pp. 44— 

4. The amount of allowance for veterans, as full-time students, was as follows: 
$110 a month with no dependents; $135 with one dependent; $160 with more 
than one. 

5. "Boston College: Analysis of Financial Condition, 1951." BCA. If land, build- 
ings, other immovables, securities, etc. were added, total assets would be 

$1 1,387,498. There was also a long list of scholarships, some of which were very 
small, available for student aid. 

6. Annual Report of the Chairman of the Undergraduate Department of Education, 
March 7, 1946. BCA. 

7. Father Keleher to Father Donovan, July 13, 1950. See also Father Donovan to 
John J. Desmond, Jr., Commissioner of Education, June 1, 1951. BCA. 

Outline of a University 245 

8. Father Donovan to Father Keleher, February 18, 1951. BCA. 

9. Ibid. 

10. Father Keleher to WiUiam E. FitzGerald, S.J., February 20, 1951. BCA. 

11. Ibid. 

12. Joseph R. N. Maxwell to Father FitzGerald, July 3, 1951. BCA. 

13. Note signed J.R.N.M., S.J. BCA. 

14. Father Maxwell to Sister Margaret Patricia, S.N.D., August 23, 1951. BCA. 

15. October 3, 1952. 

16. Through the courtesy of the Franciscan Sisters at nearby Mount Alvernia Acad- 
emy, the School of Education women were allowed the use of the gymnasium for 
classes in physical education until Campion Hall was built. 

17. Adam Leroy Jones, chairman, to Louis J. Gallagher, S.J., October 28, 1933. 

18. Fernandus Payne to Father Gallagher, November 5, 1934. BCA. 

19. In a memorandum dated October 8, 1952, Father Maxwell alerted several 
members of the faculty to a visitation of the campus by Father Rooney "to 
discuss the proposed restoration of the Ph.D. degree." The president further 
suggested "that you prepare a complete list of all the teachers in your depart- 
ment, giving their degrees and the sources of their degrees, the number of years 
they have been teaching, the teaching they have done on the graduate level, 
whether or not they have had experience in directing research, etc." BCA. 

20. John K. Weiss to All University and College Presidents, June 9, 1952. BCA. 

21. Father Maxwell to Committee on College Self Studies, October 22, 1953. 

22. "Proposal for which Grant is to be Sought from the Fund for the Advancement 
of Education." BCA. 

23. Ibid. 

24. The Committee on Self-Study to All Members of the Faculty of the College of 
Arts and Sciences, November 3, 1953. BCA. 

25. The list of committee members and their reports are preserved in the Archives. 

26. See Minutes, Board of Trustees, September 23, 1955, and July 10, 1956. 

27. Will Shafroth to William Kenealy, April 3, 1950. BCA. 

28. "General Report on the Condition of the Law School," October 8, 1952. BCA. 

29. Minutes, Board of Trustees, January 4, 1952. 

30. Minutes, Board of Trustees, May 5, 1953. 

31. For a more detailed account of the construction of St. Thomas More Hall and the 
relocation of the Law School, see Todd F. Simon, Boston College Law School, 
pp. 31-33. 

32. Edward B. Rooney, S.J., to William J. Murphy, S.J., April 23, 1941. BCA. 

33. William L. Keleher, S.J., to Faculty, April 3, 1947. The regulations were revised 
in May 1949. 

34. Copies of the Faculty Manual are in the Archives. 

35. "The Boston College Policy on Private Professional Activities of FuU-Time Fac- 
ulty," Office of the President, December 12, 1956. BCA. 

36. E. B. Thayer to Father Maxwell, August 21, 1951. BCA. 

37. E. B. Thayer to Father Maxwell, September 6, 1951. BCA. 

38. Father Maxwell to Chaplain (Brig. Gen.) James H. O'Neill, November 26, 1951. 
Also, Hans Heinzeller from Oberammergau to Father Maxwell, July 14, 1952. 

39. Father Maxwell to Col. Thayer, December 17, 1951. BCA. 

40. Memo to department chairmen and administrators from Dean Francis O. Corco- 
ran, S.J., April 30, 1954. 

41. Father Maxwell to Major General Hugh M. Milton, November 12, 1953. BCA. 

42. Program, press clippings, and photographs are in the Archives. 

246 History of Boston College 

43. See "Boston Citizen Seminars 1954-1979: 25 Years of Public Service," p. 2. 

44. The Heights (January 16, 1953). 

45. Ibtd. 

46. Ibid., March 5, 1954. 

47. May 3, 1953. Programs of musical organizations are preserved in the Archives. 

48. The Heights (March 19, 1954). 

49. Humanities Series programs and announcements are preserved in the Archives. 

50. See Paul A. FitzGerald, S.J., "To Produce Scholars," Alumni News (Spring 



Growth and Change 
in the Fifties 

The explosion of enrollment after World War II made it necessary to 
expand the faculty. At the same time, with a new sensitivity to high 
standards of faculty expertise, the Ph.D. or comparable terminal degree 
was a prime desideratum. In the years just before and after 1950 the New 
England Province provided almost a score of Jesuits with newly completed 
doctorates in a number of disciplines. But many lay faculty had to be 
recruited also to meet the University's commitments. 

A Critical Mass of Faculty 

At this time, partly by design, partly by happenstance, a number of Boston 
College alumni who had opted for a career of scholarship and college 
teaching completed doctoral studies at distinguished universities and re- 
turned to their alma mater to spend their careers. This group created a 
critical mass of faculty members who knew Jesuit education from personal 
experience, who were acquainted with and sympathetic to the traditions of 
Boston College, and who could help ease the transition from the era of a 
dominantly Jesuit faculty to the time of a largely lay faculty with no Jesuit 
educational background. This influential band of devoted alumni, along 
with other alumni and alumnae of the same era who did not pursue the 
doctoral route, deserve recording in the history of Boston College. The list 


248 History of Boston College 

John J. McAleer ('47) of the 
English Department, one of 
many Boston College gradu- 
ates who became faculty mem- 
bers at their alma mater. 

does not include those receiving the bachelor's degree after 1960, although 
happily the University has continued to draw to the faculty professionally 
qualified men and women who completed their undergraduate work at 
Boston College. 

Of course Boston College graduates were a minority among the growing 
faculty added in the Maxwell years. With the new emphasis on scholarly 
credentials and commitment, a cadre of talented, ambitious young people 
came to Boston College. To a large extent they set the standards of future 
faculty excellence as they recruited colleagues in their several disciplines 
during the expansion decades that followed. 

Construction of Dormitories 

It has been noted that as early as 1946 President Keleher had stated the 
need for a dormitory building. Despite a 30 percent drop in enrollment in 
the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business Administration 
from 1949 to 1954 (from 4799 students to 3323 according to Jesuit 
Educational Quarterly annual statistics), there was pressure for residential 
facilities. Campus accommodations in O'Connell Hall and the converted 

Growth and Change in the Fifties 249 

B.C. Undergraduates Who Returned as Faculty 

PaulT. Banks, Sr. ('39), 

Joseph M. McCafferty ('41), 



Joseph Bornstein ('46), Chemistry 

Daniel McCue ('40), English 

Joseph Cautela ('49), Psychology 

Francis J. McDermott ('39), English 

William M. Daly ('42), History 

Francis M. McLaughlin ('54), 

Paul Devlin ('39), Management 


Stanley J. Dmohowski ('45), 

Vincent C. Nuccio ('49), Education 


Bernard A. O'Brien ('57), 

John J. Donovan ('39), Sociology 


Vincent F. Dunfey ('37), 

Thomas H. O'Connor ('49), 



Joyce M. Dw^er ('60), Nursing 

Robert F. O'Malley ('40), 

Joseph Figurlto ('45), Romance 



Jean A. O'Neil ('55), Nursing 

John J. Fitzgerald ('47), English 

Thomas J. Owens ('44), Philosophy 

Christopher J. Flynn, Jr. ('44), 

Charles L. Regan ('51), English 


Irving J. Russell ('43), Chemistry 

Albert M. Folkard ('37), English 

Pauline R. Sampson ('52), Nursing 

Arthur L. Glynn ('39), 

Robert L. Sheehan ('49), Romance 



Walter T. Greaney, Jr. ('43), 

Ernest A. Siclliano ('37), Romance 



Vincent A. Harrington ('51), 

Joseph A. Sullivan ('44), 



William B. HIckey ('34), 

Alfred E. Sutherland ('51), 



Francis J. Kelly ('49), Education 

John F. Travers, Jr. ('50), Education 

Joseph F. Krebs ('44), Mathematics 

John E. Van Tassel, Jr. ('50), 

Archille J. Laferriere ('45), 



John J. Walsh ('49), Education 

Pierre D. Lambert ('49), Education 

Norman J. Wells ('50), Philosophy 

Robert J. LeBlanc ('45), 

Donald J. White ('43), Economics 


& Dean of Graduate School of 

John L. Mahoney ('50), English 

Arts and Sciences 

John J. McAleer ('47), English 

Frederick J. Zappala ('46), 


museum on Hammond Street (where Roncalli now stands) were makeshift, 
and too many students were boarding in the neighborhood. Besides, while 
loyal to its Boston roots and mission, the University felt it was destined to 
become a national institution and therefore needed residence halls in the 
tradition of Georgetown and Holy Cross. A student body made up mostly 
of commuting students would be drawn from a candidate pool that could 
not contain the talent and potential of a wider geographical pool of 
applicants. The University's fresh emphasis on quality pointed to a larger 
residential population. Accordingly, during the academic year 1954-1955 
Father Maxwell was busy with plans for the first buildings constructed as 
residence halls on campus. 

250 History of Boston College 

The M. A. Dyer Company, architects, produced plans for a three-story 
half-timbered construction that melded well with the luxury residences on 
Tudor Road opposite the University property. The building's three units, 
with accommodations for 260 students, were considered separate although 
physically one; hence the three designations of Claver, Loyola, and Xavier. 

Clearance for the construction of dormitories had to be obtained from 
the City of Newton. This process entailed negotiations that would be 
repeated frequently — and sometimes with warmth — over the years. Father 
Thomas Fleming, executive assistant to the president, made several presen- 
tations before the Committee on Claims and Rules of the Board of 
Aldermen, one of which contained a reference showing that the town 
fathers anticipated the Jesuit Fathers in concern about the impact of resident 
students upon the neighborhood. Father Fleming stated, "The dormitory 
will be operated under the strict rules of a Jesuit university, copies of which 
have been presented to the committee, and under the supervision of resident 
members of the Jesuit faculty. Under such rules there is no danger to the 
neighbors of the area of such type of nuisance as was the intent of the 
provision of the zoning law prohibiting the erection of dormitories in 
residential areas. "^ The rules in question reveal the detailed discipline of 
dormitory life of that era. 

A perusal of the semi-monastic rules for the prospective resident students 
must have satisfied the aldermen, because despite the prescient warning of 
one of their members that the proposed "building may be the first of a half 
dozen similar buildings,"- the Board of Aldermen unanimously granted 
permission for the Tudor Road dormitory. Probably no Boston College 
facility was constructed under such pressure. City approval came in early 

The first residence halls constructed by Boston College. 

Growth and Change in the Fifties 251 


It is the conviction of the college authorities that young men entering 
college do so with the sincere and earnest purpose of obtaining all the 
benefits of a college education. 

To accomplish this purpose, there must be a well-ordered plan of work, 
a time for study, and opportunity for relaxation. Whatever rules and 
regulations are necessary to bring about this desired effect are made with 
that sole purpose. 

Order of Time 

Class Day 





Rise (optional) 


Mass (optional 


Mass (optional) 















Freshmen and sophomores retire 




Upper classmen retire 


Study in rooms 




Study in rooms 



End of study 















The responsibility for the condition of the dormitories is a corporate one, 
since it rests with the individuals residing in them. Students are also 
responsible for the condition of their rooms, and they can be held account- 
able for damage done therein. 

Hence, no one may be invited to occupy your room, or the room of 
another student who happens to be absent, without the explicit permission 
of the prefect. Each student upon leaving his room should make certain 
that the door is locked. 

Non-resident students are not to enter any room in the dormitories 
unless accompanied by the occupant of the room, and they must leave 
when occupant of room leaves. 

Since a student's character is reflected not only in himself but also in his 
environment, all rooms must be kept neat and presentable. Frequent 
checks will be made by the prefects to promote this important element of 
dormitory life. 

It is positively forbidden to bring lady visitors, even mothers and sisters, 
into the dormitories. 

The purpose of the college years is to train and prepare the student for 

252 History of Boston College 

life. The chief indication that a college education is attaining this is success 
in studies. To accomplish this result it is very necessary that each one 
should manifest the proper consideration due his fellow students. The chief 
factor militating against this success is unnecessary noise in whatever shape 
or form it may take. 

Hence, during the period of study, students must avoid all unnecessary 
moving about and remain in their rooms. 

Radios may not be used during study hours from Monday to Friday 
inclusive. When in use at other times, the radios should always be so 
modulated as not to disturb one's neighbor. 

Evidence of intoxication, or the introduction of intoxicating liquor into 
the college premises, renders the offending party liable to dismissal from 

Pictures or books of questionable character may not be displayed or 
retained in private rooms. 

Gambling in any shape or form is positively forbidden. 

Resident students are generally not allowed the possession or control of 
automobiles. However in special cases, if the student has written consent 
from parent or guardian, permission may be granted. 

"Out Permission" is a permission to absent oneself from the college 
premises. "Out Permissions" are granted on: 

Friday nights until 12:00 p.m. for freshmen and sophomores 

12:30 a.m. for upper classmen 
Saturday nights until 12:30 a.m. for freshmen and sophomores 
1 :00 a.m. for upper classmen 

On each Sunday night there will be a further permission for the members 
of the senior class. This permission expires at 10:45 p.m. 

Failure in studies or infractions of discipline will incur the loss of "Out 
Permissions" for a period of time to be decided by the Dean of Men or the 

Permission to visit one's home on the weekend may be granted to those 
in good standing, provided parents or guardians have signified their con- 
sent in a personal letter addressed to the Dean of Men. This permission 
will begin after classes on Friday and end on Sunday at 9:45 p.m. Slips for 
weekend permissions are at the Office of the Dean of Men (College of Arts 
and Sciences). These are filled out by the student on Thursday if he plans 
to spend the weekend at home. 

On returning from all "Out Permissions," each student must report in 
person to his prefect. 

The dormitories will be closed during the major vacations at Christmas 
and Easter, and for the entire summer. 

April, The Heights printed an architect's drawing of the building on April 
22, and the new residence halls received students in September, with the 
formal dedication and blessing of the building occurring on September 27, 

CLX, as the Tudor Road residences are popularly known, were indeed 
just a beginning of building to accommodate students wishing to live on 

Growth and Change in the Fifties 253 

campus. In November 1956 the University once again petitioned the 
Newton Board of Aldermen for permission to build dormitories, and on 
February 4, 1957, they received a favorable reply.^ Construction went 
forward once more in haste during the spring and summer, and by opening 
of classes in September 1957 two residences, Kostka and Gonzaga, wel- 
comed a new group of residents. The buildings bordered Beacon and 
Hammond streets, and Gonzaga was distinguished by containing a chapel 
to accommodate 500 students. 

Administrative Changes 

In 1956 some administrative changes were made in the College of Arts and 
Sciences that were significant in the development of the University. Father 
William Van Etten Casey was named dean, Henry McMahon became 
assistant dean, and Weston Jenks was appointed director of educational 
guidance. McMahon, a member of the History Department, backed up a 
succession of deans as assistant and associate dean for nearly 30 years until 
his death in 1984. Jenks' role grew until he headed all counseling services 
in the undergraduate schools. Father Casey had been a vigorous and 
innovative chairman of the Theology Department at a time of considerable 
ferment in Catholic collegiate circles concerning the teaching of college 
theology. Under Father Casey's leadership the Boston College theology 
program had achieved showcase status among Cathohc colleges. Father 
Maxwell now called upon Father Casey to give similar stimulating leader- 
ship to the entire college. 

Henry J. McMahon ('40), assis- 
tant and associate dean of the 
College of Arts and Sciences, 

254 History of Boston College 

Father Casey set about his task with dispatch. In the spring of 1957 he 
announced a number of changes that in retrospect seem tame but that 
were, in the context of the traditions of the University, mildly revolutionary. 
First was a reallocation of the philosophy curriculum. As pointed out 
earher, the philosophy curriculum had been for generations the preoccupa- 
tion of the junior and senior years, a series of courses that earned 28 credits 
(enough in most colleges for a respectable major). Starting in the fall of 
1957 the philosophy curriculum was begun with freshmen and distributed 
through all four years, with one 3-credit course each semester plus an extra 
course in senior year on the history of philosophy. 

The new distribution of the philosophy curriculum gave upperclassmen 
more leeway in the pursuit of their majors, but Father Casey stressed other 
advantages: The four-year distribution of the philosophy curriculum would 
allow for a more gradual and thorough assimilation of the method and 
content of the subject. Philosophy's relation to other disciplines would be 
perceived throughout the collegiate experience. And, since philosophy and 
theology are twin pillars of the Jesuit liberal arts core, they should be 
studied side by side through all four years.'' 

Another change had to do with the honors program. For two decades 
there had been a hmited honors program, whose purpose was to entice 
talented students to the study of Greek, once Greek ceased being a 
requirement for the A.B. degree in the 1930s. Only select students who 
chose the Greek curriculum could be members of the honors program, 
which was called A.B. Greek Honors. Now that system was dropped. The 
new honors program would touch all parts of the curriculum, the liberal 
arts core, and especially the academic field of concentration. Honors 
students were to be freed of some of the academic lockstep of the college 
experience and encouraged to pursue independent study in addition to 
special tutorials set up for them. 

Other accommodations for gifted students were announced: early admis- 
sion (the admission of qualified high school students having completed 
three years) and sophomore standing (the placement of outstanding high 
school graduates directly into the second year of college). Another new 
program, "Junior Year in Europe," was begun one year earlier to allow 
"better students to pursue their studies for a year in one of the great centers 
of Western culture, to master one or more European languages, and to 
achieve that cosmopolitan point of view that comes from a prolonged 
residence in Europe." 

Perhaps the most revolutionary prediction that Father Casey made about 
the curriculum of the College of Arts and Sciences was that in the near 
future the Latin requirement for the A.B. degree would be dropped.^ One 
might have expected an outcry of protest at such a proposed break with 
hallowed Jesuit tradition. But hardly a murmur was heard. Administrators 
of Jesuit colleges in the United States had been quietly questioning the 
viability of the Latin requirement for over a decade. Students at Jesuit 

Growth and Change in the Fifties 255 

Weston M. Jenks ('45) began 
the office of Educational 
Guidance in 1 956. Later he 
was director of University 
Counseling Services until his 
death in 1988. 

colleges for years had been voting against the Latin curriculum by opting 
for the B.S. rather than the A.B. degree. In 1955 at Boston College and 
Holy Cross alone out of the 28 Jesuit colleges, slightly more than 30 per 
cent of the students earned the A.B. degree with Latin; the national average 
was under 11 percent. <^ The catalog for the 1958-1959 academic year made 
no mention of Latin as a requirement for the A.B. degree. So ended a 
nearly century-old academic tradition at Boston College, and the way was 
open for the sweeping curriculum changes for the A.B. degree that were to 
follow in the next decade. 

Professional Schools 

Boston College's professional schools established a pattern of seeking 
national recognition through the medium of accreditation by the appropri- 
ate organizations as early as feasible. Started in the depression and strug- 
gling through the WW II period, the College of Business Administration 
was not in a position to consider accreditation until the period of Father 
James Sullivan's deanship (1948-1953). The American Association of 
Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) set as one norm for accreditation 

256 History of Boston College 

a faculty of whom at least 50 percent possessed appropriate terminal 
degrees. Father Sullivan enlisted members of the Economics Department to 
help CBA meet that standard. When Father Joyce was named to succeed 
Father Sullivan in 1953, he retained the chairmanship of the Economics 
Department, thereby facihtating cooperation between the two units. 

The administration of CBA contacted the business schools at three Jesuit 
universities having recent accreditation experience for guidance: Loyola 
University in New Orleans, the University of Detroit, and Creighton 
University in Omaha.' In the spring of 1955 Father Joyce engaged a 
consultant from the Fiarvard Business School to examine the School of 
Business Administration and advise about its readiness for an accreditation 
visit. After some adjustments to meet the consultant's advice, application 
was made for accreditation by AACSB. At this time, in the fall of 1955, 
Donald White of the Economics Department was named associate dean for 
the internal administration of the school because of the heavy external 
commitments of Father Joyce. And it was Dean White who wired the happy 
news from the annual AACSB meeting at Berkeley, California, that CBA 
had been admitted to full membership rather than associate membership in 
the association. Only one other college in the previous ten years had 
received full membership on initial application.^ 

After the visit of the AACSB evaluation team. Father Joyce wrote to 
Father Maxwell with some surprise — and even a little skepticism — that the 
chairman of the visiting team had commented that the College of Business 
Administration was already capable of offering an MBA program.' In 1956 
Dr. Vincent Wright, a former member of the Economics Department then 
associated with Northeastern University's Evening College of Business, was 
named by Father Maxwell as dean of the Evening College of Business 
Administration on campus, with authority to begin a part-time graduate 
program in business administration. The graduate program was launched 
in the fall of 1957 with a student enrollment of 150.'"^ 

Intown College to the Heights 

By the mid-fifties there was thought of providing a building for the Nursing 
School on campus." With the Nursing School would go the library from 
126 Newbury Street, along with its capable librarian, Mary Pekarski. 
Hence there was concern in the Intown College about being isolated at 
Newbury Street. Father Maxwell's discussion with Vincent Wright at the 
time of his appointment revealed that the establishment of an Evening 
College of Business Administration on campus was a deliberate test to see 
if evening students would come to the Heights. It was feared that a move of 
the evening operation to Chestnut Hill might result in a drastic drop in 
enrollment.'- But the administration's fears were unfounded, because in its 
first semester of operation the newly established campus Evening College 
of Business Administration drew a hundred students." This response paved 

Growth and Change in the Fifties 257 

the way for the move of the Intown College to Chestnut Hill a few years 

During the fifties the Intown College prospered, reaching an enrollment 
of over a thousand. It should be noted that from its earliest years of degree- 
granting, the Intown College — or Evening College — was not merely a 
purveyor of eclectic or unrelated practical or vocational courses for work- 
ing people. Rather it was a college offering at an alternative time (evening) 
basically the same collegiate programs that the University offered during 
the day in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business 
Administration. The catalogs of the 1950s, for example, reveal that the 
same Latin requirements for the A.B. degree that existed — and were 
debated — in the College of Arts and Sciences at the Heights obtained 
likewise for the Intown College. True, a minority of Intown students opted 
for the A.B. degree because of the rigid classical language requirement, but 
that was also becoming true of the campus College at the time. 

A New Home for the School of Education 

As it prepared for its opening in September 1952, the School of Education 
was given remarkable latitude by the administration in selecting a faculty. 
All of the faculty, liberal arts teachers as well as professional faculty 
members, were chosen by the School of Education, and for the first five 
years they functioned as a unit. Thus faculty meetings, even dealing with 
professional education requirements, were attended by professors of En- 
glish, philosophy, and physics as well as teachers of education subjects. The 
purpose from the first was to integrate the professional aspects of the 
school with the liberal arts tradition of Boston College. Indeed, several of 
the liberal arts disciplines — namely, music, fine arts, and speech — which 
later blossomed in the College of Arts and Sciences got their foothold at 
Boston College in the School of Education. In the early years. School of 
Education students were sometimes teased by Arts and Sciences students 
for being associated with a "vocational" college, but they were urged by 
the School of Education administration to retort proudly that they attended 
a liberal arts college with a purpose. 

As has been noted earlier, the School of Education was favored by its 
initial location in the flagship of the campus, Gasson Hall. The dean's office 
was in the southwest corner of the first floor on the College Road side of 
the building. The original library and current honors program room was 
given to the School of Education, separated into four or five rooms for 
offices and faculty gatherings. 

During the 1950s and until the opening of Carney Hall in 1962, nothing 
was in shorter supply at the University than adequate faculty office space. 
In earher days the mostly Jesuit faculty had their rooms in St. Mary's Hall 
for study and a series of parlors on the first floor of St. Mary's for 
consultation with students. The sudden growth of the lay faculty resulted 

258 History of Boston College 

in makeshift office accommodations for most — a desk in a converted 
classroom with a dozen other teachers, or a cubbyhole at the end of a 
corridor with a temporary partition closing off corridor traffic (but not 
noise). The School of Education faculty, which was growing not only 
because of the need to staff the infant school but also because of the new 
doctoral program, shared some of the end-of-corridor offices in Gasson. 
Such four-person offices undoubtedly inhibited scholarly reflection, but 
surely promoted togetherness. 

But it was not the inadequacy of faculty office space or any other 
academic exigency that determined from the day of its opening that the 
School of Education must have a new building. The reason was mundane 
but compelling: plumbing. The existing buildings on campus had been 
built with an all-male student body in mind and typically each provided 
one large lavatory in the basement. With a hundred coeds in the freshman 
class, it was clear that soon as many as 500 female students would grace 
the School of Education's facilities. Before classes began in September 
1952, Father Maxwell was wielding his architect's ruler on a proposed 
building for the latest (and last) undergraduate unit of the University. When 
colleagues in teacher education throughout New England learned that 
Boston College was immediately planning a new building for its new 
school, they congratulated School of Education personnel on having an 
administration that gave such high priority to professional education. The 
expressions of admiration were duly accepted, and no mention made of 

The School of Education's Campion Hall. 

Growth and Change in the Fifties 259 

The architect for both the Law School and the School of Education 
buildings was once again the firm of Maginnis and Walsh. Obviously 
Father Maxwell told them to proceed with plans for both buildings almost 
as soon as the School of Education opened its doors, because in May of 
1953 Charles Maginnis sent Father Maxwell contracts for the Law School 
building and the School of Education. Father Maxwell replied that he could 
not sign the School of Education contract because "we have not as yet 
submitted to Rome any plans for the School of Education."'" But without 
much delay permission was obtained, and nine days after More Hall was 
dedicated, ground was broken for Campion Hall on October 7, 1954. 

Campion Hall was planned as one of the least costly buildings provided 
by Maginnis and Walsh. The others, even relatively scrimped Fulton Hall, 
were done in stone, whereas Campion was to use a combination of stone 
and brick. Even as the building developed in June of 1954, Father Maxwell 
gave the architect orders to cut back further on the stone." The brick in 
color and style reflected the nearby service building and was to be matched 
a few years later in Roberts Center. But the stone-brick combination of 
Campion Hall was not repeated elsewhere on the middle campus (in 
McElroy, Carney, Cushing, McGuinn, Higgins, or O'Neill). 

Campion Hall was ready for the opening of classes in September 1955, 
so that the first class in the School of Education spent their senior year in 
the new building. A dedication ceremony was held on September 22 with 
Archbishop Richard Cushing presiding. 

The School of Nursing 

The decade of the fifties brought some important changes to the School of 
Nursing. The regent at the time. Father James Geary, asked Father Edward 
Gorman of the Philosophy Department to handle the philosophy course in 
the School of Nursing and act as counselor for students. The 19-year 
association of Father Gorman with the School of Nursing proved to be a 
significant formative influence for the nursing students and faculty of that 
time. His name is still venerated in Cushing Hall. 

In 1954 the office of regent was abolished and Dean Rita Kelleher gained 
direct access to the president. The original academic curriculum for basic 
(non-R.N.) students when the school opened called for a five-year program. 
This was eventually rearranged into a standard four-year program. 

The School of Education joined the School of Nursing in starting a 
program leading to a master of education degree with majors in the clinical 
areas of medical and surgical nursing, maternal and child nursing, psychi- 
atric nursing and community health nursing. By 1958 the School of 
Nursing had sufficient faculty with the necessary academic background to 
consider establishing its own program in the Graduate School of Arts and 
Sciences. Father Maxwell gave his approval, and a program leading to a 

260 History of Boston College 

master of science degree with a graduate department in the School of 
Nursing was begun. Marie Andrews was the first head of this program. 

The Student Mood 

Some hints as to the student mood and intellectual style of the 1950s may 
be gleaned from the student paper, The Heights. It is interesting to note 
that as early as 1957 The Heights reprinted an article from a national 
Catholic magazine praising Martin Luther King."" In the same issue the 
paper carried an article that addressed the integration of the races as a 
national, not only a southern, issue: "Integration Our Problem — North 
and South." 

While evincing social enhghtenment for a national problem, students 
also showed some concern about campus issues. In May of 1957 the 
student paper complained that the recently announced tuition increase of 
$100, which brought the following year's tuition to $700, had been 
implemented without a letter to parents on the subject such as had been 
sent two years earlier for a similar increase. Nevertheless the paper editori- 
alized that the University should plan to raise tuition to $1000 by the year 
1962 in order to provide higher salaries for the faculty.'^ The editorialist 
was a prophet. Five years later the tuition was, in fact, $1000. 

A quarter of a century before O'Neill Library opened, there were student 
complaints about the shortcomings of Bapst. In October 1957 a Heights 
editorial, alleging that Bapst Library was uncomfortable and lacked an 
adequate book collection, called for the erection of a new library.'^ During 
the following months The Heights carried a series of student interviews 
about Bapst. Student opinion ran seven to one against the library, com- 
plaining mostly about the number of books reported as "NA" (not 
available) and about the amount of sociaHzing occurring in the library." 

Father Casey might have been spearheading an academic revolution in 
the College of Arts and Sciences, but the students were not revolutionists. 
In 1956 a Heights editorial took a stand against unhmited "cuts." In those 
days, class attendance was obligatory and the editorial writer believed there 
should be no change unless, perhaps, some greater liberty might be allowed 
for students in elective courses or for honors students.^" This expression of 
opinion was not followed by a flood of indignant letters to the editor 
calling for the abolition of required class attendance. The following decade, 
however, would bring radical contrasts both in college regulations and in 
student mood. 

Father Maxwell was a poet, a bookish man with little interest in sports 
of any kind. Given his personal leanings, it was natural that he enthusiasti- 
cally backed the introduction of doctoral programs in the Graduate School 
of Arts and Sciences and arranged for the start of a graduate program in 

Growth and Change in the Fifties 261 

business administration. But it came as something of a surprise to many in 
the University community that before the end of his term in office he was 
seen as a champion of Boston College athletics. 


1. BCA. 

2. News-Tribune (April 5, 1955). BCA. 

3. Ernest G. Angevine to Father Fleming. BCA. 

4. Alumni News (Summer 1957). 

5. Ibid. 

6. For an account of the decline and fall of the Latin requirement for the A.B. 
degree see Charles F. Donovan, "Boston College's Classical Curriculum," Occa- 
sional Papers in the History of Boston College. BCA. 

7. Raymond F. Keyes, History of the College of Business Administration and School 
of Management, 1938-1978, p. 30. BCA. 

8. Ibtd., p. 32. 

9. Father Joyce to Father Maxwell, December 28, 1955. BCA. 

10. Keyes, op. cit., p. 56. 

11. Memo of M. A. Dyer Company, August 28, 1956. BCA. 

12. Keyes, History, p. 55. 

13. Ibtd. 

14. Father Maxwell to Charles Maginnis, May 25, 1953. BCA. 

15. Father Maxwell to Eugene Kennedy, Jr., June 14, 1954. BCA. 

16. The Heights (January 11, 1957). 

17. The Heights (May 3, 1957). 

18. The Heights (October 18, 1957). 

19. The Heights (November 22, 1957). 

20. The Heights (November 9, 1956). 



Postwar Athletics 

At a press conference at Alumni Hall on March 26, 1957, Father Maxwell 
had good news for faithful alumni who had begun to think that they were 
about to witness the end of an era: 

In connection with the return of our football games to our campus and the 
efforts of our alumni to raise a quarter of a million dollars for the renovation 
of our stadium, I feel that it is not an exaggeration to say that we are on the 
threshold of a new era for Boston College athletics.^ 

According to rumors following the 1956 football season, many alumni had 
feared that Boston College might imitate the drastic decisions taken by 
Georgetown and Fordham, long-time football powers in the East, to drop 
football.' Quite the opposite. Not only would there be a new stadium, 
located on the lower campus adjacent to the reservoir parking area, but the 
master plan included a gymnasium and an ice hockey rink. This bold and 
imaginative program completely reversed a brief period of indecision. 

A Home for the Football Team 

Father Maxwell's announcement recalled several pages of sports history at 
Boston College. The first stadium erected at the Heights in 1915 was called 
"New Alumni Field." Seating 5000 spectators, the stands — on one side 


Postwar Athletics 263 

only — ran along College Road, and the playing field occupied what was 
once referred to as the "dust bowl" and later called the "college green. "^ It 
was dedicated at mid-season in a game with arch rival Holy Cross, which 
the Crusaders won 9-0." Built on the same site, the second stadium was 
dedicated in 1932 during a game with Loyola College, Baltimore, wherein 
the Eagles were the victors 14-0. This stadium, which pre-empted some of 
the prime property on the campus, was never envisioned — even by those 
who built it — as a permanent home for the football team. It was, in reality, 
an expansion of the first stadium, seating 22,000. Its location, destined for 
academic construction, was far from ideal, and the parking facilities were 
totally inadequate even for those days. It was used for home games only 
from 1932 to 1936; from 1937 through 1939 the football games were 
played at Fenway Park as often as at Alumni Stadium. Coach Frank Leahy, 
who was at the Heights for only two seasons (1939-1940), was in favor of 
moving the games permanently to Fenway Park. After World War II, from 
1946 through 1952, games were played at Braves Field. The Eagles returned 
to Fenway Park in 1953 for their home games through the 1956 season. 

After the 1956 season, the owners of Fenway Park served notice that the 
Eagles' cleats would no longer be allowed to chew up the Red Sox infield. 
In fact, built for the smaller baseball gate, Fenway Park was judged too 
small for big-time football, and thought was being given to the installation 
of additional seats for the football season when the owners made their 

This was the situation and the dilemma faced by Father Maxwell. The 
one who must make a financial decision which affects the future of the 
institution and its academic programs cannot be too sentimental about 
past athletic glories. Moreover, at this time Boston College was also 
embarking on a program of construction of residential facilities to attract 
students from a larger geographical pool. It was in this context that both 
alumni and sports writers began to speculate on the dreadful possibility 
that Boston College would discontinue football. It did not help to recall the 
recent 7-0 loss to Holy Cross. In fact, as oral history has it, the discussion 
was short and to the point. "We could drop football," said Father Maxwell 
to Bill Flynn, alumni secretary and line coach. "Or we could build a 
stadium," replied Flynn.* Responding to alumni pressure and persuasively 
backed by alumni generosity, on January 23, 1957, Father Maxwell an- 
nounced a $250,000 Alumni Stadium Fund drive to be organized by alumni 
secretary, varsity line coach, and soon-to-be athletic director Flynn and to 
be chaired by 1926 captain and former coach Joe McKenney.^ 

In the meantime, the existing stadium on campus had been dismantled, 
leaving only a few stands (reminiscent of the 1915 stadium) along College 
Road.' The relocation of the stadium was largely an intramural operation. 
With alumni and student volunteers supplementing the professional super- 
vision and assistance of an outside crew, it was literally transported from 
the upper campus to the new site on the Beacon Street end of the small 

264 History of Boston College 

reservoir acquired in 1949. The move included the curved end zone and 
lower stands on the west side, as well as the flat end zone stands. To these 
were added 6,000 on the east side, making a total of 25,000 seats. 

An Expanded Stadium Plan 

The response of alumni — ^including subway alumni — was so enthusiastic 
and generous that the stadium plan was expanded to include a gymnasium 
with a basketball court, connected to a large lobby which would provide 
for student and faculty lounges, offices for student publications, ROTC, 
and athletic offices. This part, in turn, would be connected to a third unit 
which would contain a regulation-size hockey rink with facilities to accom- 
modate 2000 spectators. This three-unit building was eventually aban- 
doned in favor of the original gymnasium, with a seating capacity of 4000 
and a separate hockey rink with a seating capacity of 6000. 

Completed in September 1957, the stadium was called "an epic in 
community teamwork." It will always remain a silent memorial to the 
indefatigable labors of generous workers, including Joseph McKenney 
(stadium chairman), John Griffin (alumni president), Daniel DriscoU (chair- 
man of the alumni fund). Dr. Christopher Duncan, John Curley (manager 
of athletics), Father George Kerr (all- American guard), and a host of others. 
Many colleges in the area contributed to the fund, as did the Boston clubs 
of other Jesuit institutions. 

The new Alumni Stadium was dedicated on September 21, 1957, during 
a game with Navy. The handsome brochure of 105 pages commemorating 
the event contained letters of congratulations from, first of all. President 
Dwight Eisenhower and from local and national personalities, and it also 
recognized the contribution of those who made the dream possible.' Alas, 
the fortunes of war do not always reward the brave: Boston College bowed 
to Navy 46-6. 

The gymnasium, built at a cost of $1,235,400, was located as originally 
planned in a triangular area along Beacon Street and the inner reservoir 
road. To inaugurate the project. Archbishop Gushing turned the first sod 
on May 3, 1957.'° Named after Mr. and Mrs. Vincent P. Roberts, out- 
standing benefactors of the University, the gymnasium was dedicated on 
October 3, 1958, in an elaborate ceremony which featured Arthur Fiedler 
and 55 members of the Boston Pops Orchestra. With officers and directors 
of the Boston College Alumni Association on hand, there were short 
speeches by Dr. Edmund Flaherty, chairman, Dr. Christopher Duncan, 
alumni president, and Father Michael Walsh, president. 

The New Ice Hockey Rink 

The new hockey rink, initially referred to as the Auditorium Arena, was 
built parallel to the west stands of the stadium and completed the sports 
complex on the lower campus." In drawing up plans for this facility, which 

Postwar Athletics 265 

McHugh Forum, the ice hockey rink completed in 1 958, alongside Alumni 
Stadium, opened a year earlier. 

was a new venture for Boston College, Father Maxwell, Bill Flynn, and 
other interested people visited several Newf'England colleges that had 
recently constructed ice hockey rinks. These on-site visits were extremely 
helpful. The authorities of Boston College learned what to exclude and 
what to include; they also discovered the economic advantages to a college 
with a major collegiate hockey team. 

Built at a cost of $800,000, the rink had a floor space of 195 by 85 feet 
(the exact dimension of that at Boston Garden), with ten miles of pipe 
attached to two large Prick refrigeration units. While it was always primar- 
ily an athletic facility, with dressing rooms for visiting teams, it could be 
easily converted into an auditorium for commencement exercises and other 
large gatherings. It was dedicated on November 14, 1958, to the memory 
of Father Patrick J. McHugh, S.J., for 13 years the popular and respected 
dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In the evening, a capacity crowd 
was on hand to witness the ice show, headed by world champions Carol 
Heiss and Alan Hayes Jenkins. After the featured performance, the rink 
was opened for general public skating.'^ 

As Bill Flynn observed in an interview, "This is all rather amazing when 
you consider that in little more than a year we have moved our varsity 
sports activities back to the campus and provided improved and expanded 
facihties for our intramural sports program."" The old "temporary" 
wooden gym was torn down, intramurals took over the former Alumni 
Field on the upper campus, and the baseball diamond was, in time, moved 
to the large area known as Commander Shea Field on the Cleveland Circle 

266 History of Boston College 

side of the reservoir. These facihties, plus new student residences, strained 
the University's finances. In a jocular mood, at the Annual Laetare Sunday 
Breakfast in March 1957, Father Maxwell suggested a new organization 
which might be called, "Get Maxie off the Hook Club."''' 

Watching over this athletic enterprise was the imperious eagle. Chosen as 
the Boston College mascot in the early twenties, a live Texas eagle lived out 
its natural life in a large cage near the Science Building. In more recent 
years, however, a gold-leafed bronze eagle, four feet high, with six foot 
wings, has perched atop a 30-foot granite pedestal in front of the Casson 
Tower." This eagle, cast in Japan, adorned U.S. Ambassador Lars Anderson's 
residence in Tokyo. It was brought to the United States at the turn of the 
century and rested for many years on the Anderson estate in Brookline. In 
October 1954, with Father Thomas M. Herlihy, pastor of St. Ignatius Church, 
acting as an intermediary, it was donated to Boston College and placed on 
a base in front of Alumni HalL^"^ Two years later, the eagle was moved to its 
present location on the granite column, which once stood in front of the 
South Station in Dewey Square." 

Leaders of the Program 

The successful execution and completion of this ambitious athletics pro- 
gram depended, of course, on people. In his statement to the press on 
March 26, 1957, Father Maxwell announced the newly created position of 
director of athletic facilities, which would be filled by John P. Curley. 
Replacing Curley, William J. Flynn would become director of varsity and 
intramural sports. These two men were most responsible for implementing 
the design for a new era in athletics. "Gentleman John" Curley, who 
provided a bridge linking the past with the future, had graduated from 
Boston College in 1913. After returning to the Heights in 1929 as graduate 
manager of athletics, he had impressed his stamp for 28 years upon the 
Athletic Department while earning the respect of his peers across the 
country. As Father Maxwell said, he had found the man who from the point 
of view of experience and ability "is best suited to direct these consohdated 

A schoolboy star at English High School and a 1939 graduate of Boston 
College, Bill Flynn was captain of the football team in his senior year. 
Returning to the Heights in 1948, he was a member of the Mathematics 
Department and an assistant coach; five years later he was appointed 
alumni secretary. Partly by reason of his long tenure as director of athletics, 
but mostly because of his talents and personahty, Flynn enjoys a national 
reputation in athletic circles, and he has served two terms as president of 
the NCAA. Boston College acknowledged his contribution to alma mater 
by naming the enclosed athletic facility the William J. Flynn Student 
Recreation Complex. 

Postwar Athletics 267 

The faculty moderator of athletics, traditionally a Jesuit, has an impor- 
tant role to play. Father Joseph L. Shea ('40), who had succeeded the 
legendary Maurice V. DuUea, S.J., in 1957, held this position during these 
years of expansion. He was also dean of men. As moderator he was, in 
effect, the Jesuit advisor to the president and the president's liaison with 
the graduate manager and the coaches. Father Shea, in a job which he 
enjoyed, had the confidence of the Athletic Department, which was reluc- 
tant to see him depart in 1962 for his new post as rector of Boston College 
High School. He returned to the campus in 1977, where he served once 
again as the University representative to the Athletic Department until his 
death in December 1987. 

Boston College has been fortunate in attracting the loyal services of men 
and women who have exercised a positive influence over their colleagues 
and students. Such a man, for example, was track coach Jack Ryder. Not 
only did he develop some of the finest track stars in the East (the relay was 
his special event), but he directed their competitive instincts toward life's 
goals. In dark tie and business suit, always pictured with a stop watch in 
his hand, John A. Ryder came to Boston College in 1919. For 33 years he 
enjoyed the confidence of students, faculty, and administration. With a 
trackman's explanation, "The legs won't take it any more," he became 
coach emeritus on September 16, 1952. On the occasion of his retirement 
at age 76, a large testimonial Communion breakfast was held in Lyons 
Hall; he died the following year. He was later honored by a bronze plaque 

John "Snooks" Kelley, besides being Boston College's legendary hockey 
coach, actively promoted athletics for inner city youth. 






1 -j 

i-^" ^' 



r '^' w 

Egg \/ ' 


B ' 



WW' ^ 1 





268 History of Boston College 

presented to Boston College by the Jack Ryder Track Club on Alumni Day, 
June 4, 1955, before 1000 alumni, family, and friends. '^ The plaque says it 
all: "Moulder of men and maker of champions." 

There is another who must be mentioned. Anyone who has ever walked 
along Linden Lane, attended class in Gasson Hall, or watched a football 
game knows the legendary name of Joseph McKenney of the class of 1927. 
An outstanding quarterback during his collegiate years, he was appointed 
head coach the year after graduation. His teams won national acclaim 
through 1934. Joe McKenney has been the recipient of many honors from 
his alma mater. Former president of the Alumni Association, he received 
the McKenney Award and most recently the Bicentennial Rale Medallion; 
he was awarded an honorary doctor of education degree in 1983. As we 
have seen, he was a good choice for chairman of the Alumni Stadium drive. 
But his real distinction has been in his strength of character and his 
unwavering commitment to the Jesuit enterprise at University Heights. 

With the completion of these new facilities, the administration at Boston 
College renewed its commitment to an expanded intercollegiate program 
and, in fact, inaugurated a new era. This program brought Boston College, 
alone among Jesuit colleges in the United States, to the forefront of national 
competition in all major sports. 


1. BCA. 

2. Georgetown University dropped football in 1951. See Hunter Guthrie, S.J., "No 
More Football for Us!" Saturday Evening Post (October 13, 1951). Fordham 
dropped football in 1954. In both cases financial deficits were the controlling 

3. It is almost impossible to erase labels attached by students. In the construction of 
Carney and McGuinn Halls, the heavy equipment chewed up the sod of old 
Alumni Field. It was an eyesore for years and was dubbed the "dust bowl" by a 
generation of students. As a college green, it is now a gathering place for 
students and is used for their outdoor activities. 

4. Boston Sunday Globe (May 26, 1957). 

5. In a memo dated June 30, 1955, John P. Curley, Graduate Manager of Athletics, 
informed Father Maxwell that Boston College would contribute $6000 for the 
erection of 3000 sideline seats at Fenway Park. BCA. 

6. Jack Falla, 'Til The Echoes Ring Again: A Pictorial History of Boston College 
Sports (Brattleboro, Vt.: Stephen Greene Press), p. 28. 

7. Ibid. 

8. These stands were used for commencement and other outdoor functions through 

9. This collector's item, preserved in the archives, is a valuable source of informa- 
tion for this entire enterprise. 

10. For additional information, see Alumni News (Spring 1957), p. 2. 

11. See the interesting article, with photographs. Alumni News (Winter 1959), pp. 

Postwar Athletics 269 

12. The Heights (November 21, 1958). 

13. Alumni News {Summer 1957), p. 5. 

14. Boston Globe (April 1, 1957). 

15. Boston Herald (December 19, 1958). 

16. The Heights (October 22, 1954), p. 8. 

17. Ibid. (October 19, 1962). 

18. Alumni News (Summer 1955), p. 22; also Boston Sunday Post (June 5, 1955). 



Approaching the Centenary 

Since Father Maxwell had continued as president for several months beyond 
the usual six-year term for Jesuit rectors, it was rumored that he might 
remain in office for the foreseeable future. An extension of his administra- 
tion was made plausible by reason of a policy decision in Rome, where it 
was decided that in large institutions such as Boston College, Fordham, 
and Georgetown, a superior of the Jesuit Community should be appointed 
to ease the burden of the rector. The first to fill this office had been Father 
Urban W. Manning, who arrived at St. Mary's Hall in February 1954. Due 
to illness, he was replaced within two years by Father Robert A. Hewitt, a 
former rector of Weston College, who was appointed superior of the Jesuit 
Community on May 13, 1956. 

Putting an end to speculation, however, Jesuit General John B. Janssens 
chose the chairman of the Biology Department as the next rector of Boston 
College.^ Elected 22nd president by the Board of Trustees, Michael P. 
Walsh, S.J., took office on February 5, 1958. A popular choice, he was 
fully prepared to accept his responsibilities. Entirely familiar with the 
University and its administrative machinery, it was soon clear that he had 
formed definite ideas as to where he would like to lead his institution. As 
former chairman of the crucial committee on rank and tenure, he had 
helped to design the mechanism for promotion. This, in turn, had brought 
him into contact with professors at every level and convinced him of the 


Twenty-second President 

Born in South Boston on February 28, 1912, 
Father Walsh maintained a lifelong loyalty 
to his home town. In the opinion of some, 
the cordial relationship that existed during 
his presidency between Father Walsh and 
Cardinal Richard Gushing was not unre- 
lated to their both being natives of South 
Boston. Michael Walsh graduated from 

Boston College High School in June 1929, entered the Society of Jesus that 
summer, and was ordained a Jesuit priest at Weston College in 1941 . His academic 
bent was towards science and in 1948 he was awarded a Ph.D. in Biology by 
Fordham University. During the decade 1948-1958 Father Walsh served as chair- 
man of the Biology Department at Boston College. During this period he was 
prominent in several professional associations related to his work in biology, 
especially in cytology and genetics, his areas of research. A satisfying corollary to 
his academic work was his chaplaincy of the Catholic clubs of the Harvard, Tufts, 
and Boston University medical schools. 

necessity of faculty research and publication. With many years of experi- 
ence as an advisor to the premedical and predental students, he became 
familiar with the admissions process and student aid, two areas in which 
he would later become much involved. Through his work with St. Luke's 
Guild of Catholic Physicians, he came to know many members of the 
Alumni Association and other "outside" constituencies of the University. 
Building on this background, Father Walsh would, in time, become a 
leading spokesman for Catholic higher education in the United States as he 
further enhanced the national image of Boston College. 

Upon taking office. Father Walsh presided over a burgeoning campus 
that included four undergraduate colleges and four graduate and profes- 
sional schools. Boston College was in fact, if not in name, a university 
offering the doctorate in three departments and the master's degree in 
fourteen departments; in addition, it offered the LL.B., the MBA, and the 
MSW. Total enrollment stood at 7877 students, with 600 residential 

272 History of Boston College 

undergraduates. The full-time faculty numbered 345; full- and part-time 
combined totaled 557. Of this number, 135 were Jesuits. 

In an interview held shortly after he moved into his office, the new 
president indicated his areas of concern. Competitive salaries would receive 
serious consideration; of equal importance to the faculty were office 
facilities, opportunities for individual research, and added fringe benefits 
that would facilitate publication. Again focusing on research in his response 
to an interviewer's question, Father Walsh briefly described some of the 
research projects at Boston College, several of which were sponsored by 
governmental agencies, and revealed that he planned to establish "a central 
office of research to coordinate and develop the work of our present 
research bureaus." Commenting on the nursing programs and noting the 
inadequate facilities at 126 Newbury Street, he expressed the hope of 
bringing the School of Nursing out to the campus as soon as possible. As 
for a medical school, which was provided for by the charter, he did not see 
that as a viable possibility in the foreseeable future. Father Walsh was 
especially interested in expanding campus residences in order to accom- 
modate bright students who were applying for admission; he also envi- 
sioned the expansion and modernization of the Bapst Library. As their 
former advisor, he was proud of the record of science majors and the 
acceptance of premedical students into recognized medical schools.^ 

A Change of Name? 

Since a university is an ongoing enterprise, a new president inherits the 
projects initiated or undertaken by his predecessor. During his term of 
office, Father Maxwell had begun to think about the advantages, and 
disadvantages, of changing the name of Boston College to include the word 
university, which would more accurately describe the true status of the 
institution. The question first surfaced in 1953 at a meeting of the Board 
of Trustees. A motion was duly made and seconded "to empower the 
president to negotiate a change of the name to Boston Catholic University, 
reserving the name of Boston College to the College of Arts and Sciences."^ 
Again in 1956 there was a discussion at a board meeting "about the change 
of the name Boston College to some title with university, such as Botolph 
University, but it was voted to postpone action to another meeting."'' 

Father Maxwell then decided to open the discussion to Jesuits, adminis- 
trators, faculty, and alumni. The agenda for a University Council Meeting 
in February 1957 included an item, "Change in Title to Include University." 
Father W. Seavey Joyce, dean of the College of Business Administration and 
a member of the Council, took the occasion to pen a thoughtful five-page 
letter to the president on this subject. Citing the more glaring problems 
with the present name, confusion with Boston University, the connotation 
of a single-unit institution, the not uncommon European application of 
college to secondary schools, the redundancies such as "Boston College 

Approaching the Centenary 273 

Brendan Connolly, S.J., direc- 
tor of libraries, 1960-1974. 

Graduate School," he came down hard in favor of a change. Ehminating 
other possibiHties and dismissing the mystical allegiance to the second and 
third letters of the alphabet, he strongly urged "Jesuit University of Boston" 
w^hich, he explained, could be accomplished in several stages.^ 

The question of the name began to generate a great deal of interest 
among the alumni, who took sides for and against a change. Henry G. 
Beauregard ('36) addressed an open letter to Father Maxwell with historical 
arguments for a change. While ''college may have been adequate in 1863 
and 1911," he argued, "it has become a complete misnomer of what, in 
fact, is a large and expanding university."*^ Like others, he claimed that the 
change would have been made years ago if it had been a mere matter of 
substituting university for college. But that was not possible in Boston. 
Beauregard opted for "Bellarmine University" in honor of the Jesuit 
Cardinal and Doctor of the Church. He also provided for the retention of 
"Boston College" for an undergraduate school.^ 

Using similar arguments, William F. Joy ('40) suggested St. Robert 
Bellarmine, St. Thomas More University, and Boston Catholic University. 
"Above all," he wrote, "we must be objective — not sentimental, emotional, 
or, worse, provincial." Traditional college songs and cheers should not be 
a determining factor.^ But Charles W. O'Brien ('33) would have none of it. 
The former Fulton Prize Debater, employing the rhetorical devices he had 
learned in his sophomore year, made an impassioned defense of the current 
name of his alma mater. Examining the word university, he wrote, "What 
magic, then, attached to this mystic word that men desire it?"' "It is high 
time," he continued, "that we junked the inferiority complex that has so 

274 History of Boston College 

long beset us and begin in all humility to take ourselves for granted as a 
great university and 'Boston College' is its name."'" O'Brien's juxtaposition 
unwittingly served to clarify the status questionis. 

Six months into his presidency, Father Walsh appointed a Change of 
Name Committee, because, as he wrote, "There is a pressing need to 
seriously consider our present name of Boston College and to change it in 
the not too distant future."" The committee, chaired by Paul FitzGerald, 
S.J., dean of the Graduate School, held its first meeting in September 1958; 
the meetings continued through November.'^ It was agreed that, in addition 
to the confusion with Boston University of which there were many exam- 
ples, the name penalized the graduate and professional schools. In response 
to a letter from the chairman, the president of the Jesuit Educational 
Association wrote, "I do not know on how many occasions I, myself, have 
had to stop to explain to foreigners . . . that Boston College is not merely a 
college but a university."^^ He had also encountered problems in proposing 
Boston College for membership in the International Association of Univer- 

The problems were real enough, but the committee realized that there 
were formidable constituencies that would oppose a change. The greatest 
opposition would, understandably, come from the alumni whose diplomas 
have been certified by the Trustees of Boston College. The Development 
Office, which was planning a fund-raising drive, feared that potential 
benefactors would be confused. Enrolled undergraduate students were 
generally satisfied with the name, but there were exceptions. In a thoughtful 
and somewhat humorous piece in The Heights, Brian McNiff clearly voted 
for the inclusion of University in the name. "We have been an authorized 
university since 1863, and it is time that we officially recognized the fact in 
the title of the school."" The whole question was further complicated by 
the work of two other committees, the Planning Committee and the 
Centenary Committee, whose members wanted to know what suggestions 
the Name Committee was going to make. 

While there was unanimity within the committee on the advantages of 
changing the name, it was difficult to find a consensus on a new name. In 
the first place some members preferred to identify university with a place, 
others with the name of a person. But there were problems with both 
preferences. "University of New England," for example, had a number of 
votes. However, it was discovered that there existed, in Henniker, New 
Hampshire, a small school known as New England University. "Newman 
University" was seriously considered. But, as one member explained, 
graduates of non-Catholic universities who had belonged to Newman Clubs 
often referred to themselves as Newman alumni. There was unanimous 
opposition to Boston College University, Boston Catholic University, Cath- 
olic University of Boston, and Jesuit University of Boston.'^ At the same 
time, there was complete agreement that the name Boston College should 
be preserved for one of the undergraduate schools. 

Approaching the Centenary 275 

In the end, the committee made several recommendations to the presi- 
dent. Reasons for and against were attached to the recommendations. For 
identification with Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts there 
were: Commonwealth University, Chestnut Hill University, Botolph Univer- 
sity, and Tremont University. Other suggestions were: Cheverus U., after 
the first Bishop of Boston; Campion U., after the Jesuit martyr and man of 
letters; and Fenwick U. However, since Bishop Fen wick, a Jesuit and the 
second Bishop of Boston, had founded Holy Cross, there was less enthusi- 
asm for that name. Commonwealth University, one of the preferred titles, 
was a high-sounding name, identified with the state and situated on 
Commonwealth Avenue. Boston College would still be used for the name 
of the undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences, and there were a number 
of examples of this academic arrangement.'* 

For reasons of his own, the president did not act on the report of the 
Name Committee. Opposition among the alumni had increased. The fund- 
raising campaign, organized around the name and achievements of Boston 
College, may also have been an important factor. Moreover, after the 
centenary, which had been a target date for the committee, interest waned. 
There was one last reference in The Heights. In a 1963 editorial, which 
appeared to reflect student opinion, the campus newspaper opposed a 
change of name. With a rather tortuous and, to some extent, specious, 
argument, the editorial explained that university was derived from univer- 
sality. Since Boston College, in its academic programs, did not embrace 
every field of learning, it did not deserve to be called a "university."'^ Since 
then the question has not been revived for serious discussion or resolution. 

A New Agenda 

The new president lost no time in mapping a course for the future. 
Throughout his presidency he was a firm believer in the efficacy of commit- 
tees. In May 1958 he appointed a University Planning Committee, which 
was charged to develop a 10-year projection in the growth of Boston 
College. This committee, which was chaired by Father W. Seavey Joyce, 
plotted its work in two stages: from 1958 to the centenary in 1963; and 
from 1964 to 1968.18 

In a memorandum to the administration and faculty, Father Joyce ex- 
plained that "the objective of the UPC is to work out a plan for the directed 
growth of Boston College." He further stated that "most of the elements 
involved in the growth of a university may be grouped under four headings: 
faculty, students, educational environment, and buildings."^^ It was also 
hoped that an orderly growth would provide a basis for a financial appeal. 
To accomplish all this, subcommittees were appointed to interview faculty, 
key personnel, and other segments of the University. During the first year, 
95 persons were interviewed (some in groups), while others submitted 
written recommendations. 

276 History of Boston College 

Meeting weekly and guided by materials from the president's office, 
federal agencies, and private foundations, the committee calculated future 
enrollments and their effect on faculty recruitment and construction. Father 
George R. Fuir, director of housing, recommended the immediate addition 
of 300 rooms for residential students and an increase in dining facilities to 
accommodate 1000 students.-" Professor Paul Devlin submitted a new and 
complex organizational chart for the governance of the University.-^ In an 
effort to solve a perennial problem. Dean of Students Father Joseph L. Shea 
presented a plan for a circumferential campus roadway, with innovative 
traffic and parking patterns, that would reserve the center of the campus 
for pedestrian use. The location of future buildings also came within the 
purview of the committee. 

In the first year of its existence, the UPC submitted two lengthy reports 
to the president.^- The ideas contained in these early reports were expanded 
and refined in the following years. The committee considered the advisabil- 
ity and extent of an increased student enrollment, an expanded program 
in scholarship aid, the recruitment of a distinguished faculty (including 
professorial chairs), the renovation of existing buildings, new construction, 
boarding facilities, and alumni relations. For new construction, the com- 
mittee recommended an art center and a new library, both of which were 
added in later years. With remarkable prescience and anticipating future 
situations, the committee suggested that a faculty committee, "to serve at 
least in an advisory capacity, would be a good adjunct to the athletic 
program."" The committee also emphasized the importance of the newly 

Martin P. Harney, S.J., of the His- 
tory Department, whose work from 
1936 to 1976 laid the foundation for 
the current Irish Studies program. 

Approaching the Centenary 277 

established Office of University Development, which should be considered 
a continuing and regular part of the life of the University. 

In his final report for 1959, Father Joyce "respectfully suggested" that 
the UPC be continued in the form of a standing committee with a rotating 
membership. The president accepted this recommendation and the commit- 
tee, with Father Joyce as permanent chairman, continued beyond the 
centenary. While the committee had generally focused on the physical 
growth of the campus, the 1963—1964 report placed a distinct emphasis 
on fostering the spiritual and religious development of the students. Among 
other things, it strongly urged the restoration of the annual retreat for all 
students. Incidentally, this report echoed the resolutions of the 1962 Jesuit 
workshop on philosophy and theology as academic disciplines and their 
role in the moral, rehgious, and spiritual fife of the Jesuit college student.-" 

In receiving each report. Father Walsh was effusive in his appreciation of 
the genuine contribution of the committee, although he did not always 
agree with its recommendations. A good example of disagreement would 
be the location of Gushing Hall. The committee urged that the nursing 
building be placed along Beacon Street facing Campion Hall. Father Walsh 
decided upon its present location because, among other reasons, he could 
not afford at that time to raze the temporary wooden structure on Beacon 
Street which provided essential space for offices and classrooms. 

Appointed at the same time as the UPC was the Centenary Committee. 
Its mandate, as expressed by the president, was to plan "an academic 
program of a very high cahbre to be conducted at an appropriate time near 
the 100th anniversary of the issuance of a charter to Boston College by the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts on April 1, 1863."-^ The committee was 
given five years to construct a program that would document "the miracle 
of Chestnut Hill." With an added word of caution, the committee was 
asked not to coUide with the development or pubhc relations offices. 

In the early meetings the committee, which was chaired by Father Robert 
F. Drinan, quickly agreed upon three major areas of concentration that 
would enhance the University's image. ^'' First, it was decided to invite 
learned societies and other academic groups to schedule their meetings on 
the campus during the centennial year. Secondly, the committee, by what- 
ever means possible, would endeavor to stimulate the faculty of the various 
schools in two areas of research: to trace in a professional way, with 
adequate documentation, the history of Boston College as it evolved in the 
several undergraduate and graduate programs and, also, to illustrate in an 
appropriate way the scholarship of the University as reflected in faculty 
publications. Finally, the committee laid plans for "an impressive academic 
function lasting for some days, dedicated to top-level discussion of an 
important theme, to culminate in a convocation at which every major 
university would be represented." The theme that was eventually chosen, 
and around which the celebration was planned, was "Strength in Excel- 
lence." This theme carried forward the motto of Boston College: "Ever to 

278 History of Boston College 

Excel." The committee's long-range preparations, under the dynamic lead- 
ership of the chairman, insured a successful centennial celebration which 
will be described in its proper place. ^^ 

A More Complex Governance 

During Father Walsh's tenure, the governance of the University evolved 
from a relatively simple design to a more complex mechanism which, the 
experts said, would bring more efficiency to the whole enterprise. In 1957 
Boston College was administered by a small staff which included the 
president, his executive assistant, a treasurer, a director of admissions, 
academic deans, and department chairmen. Ten years later, in addition to 
the Board of Trustees, there were the Board of Regents, five vice presidents, 
the secretary of the University, and several directors of key areas.^' 

In view of their impact on the academic life of the University, two of the 
more important faculty committees were the University Committee on 
Promotion and the Faculty Committee on Research. The promotion com- 
mittee, operating within the 1960 revised university statutes, applied with 
impartiality the prescriptions for advancement in rank and tenure. Chaired 
by Father Robert McEwen, chairman of the Economics Department, the 
committee included several professors who had rendered yeoman service to 
Boston College. P. Albert Duhamel, a graduate of Holy Cross with a Ph.D. 
from Wisconsin and a Shakespeare scholar, came to Boston College in 
1949 and served the University in many capacities. In 1956 he delivered the 
Candlemas lecture, choosing as his subject, "The Mind and Art of Thomas 
More." For several years he was book editor for the Boston Herald under 
the byline, "I've Been Reading." Cornehus Moynihan, another member of 
the committee, was a respected Law School faculty member, former dean 
(1936-1937), and later a judge. Trained at Princeton and Columbia, John 
R. Betts of the History Department was familiar with the strict standards 
of scholarship applied in the best universities across the country. These men 
were anxious to advance the academic standing of the University. 

Academically linked to the Committee on Promotion was the extremely 
important Faculty Committee on Research, which was chaired by Russell 
G. Davis, a member of the School of Education faculty. Successful in 
obtaining research grants, he was familiar with the design and composition 
of research applications that would attract the attention of foundations 
and government agencies. Father William D. Sullivan, another member of 
the committee, was also instrumental in raising the level of research in the 
Department of Biology. In the fall of 1959 the president reported that, in 
the past year, national foundations and federal agencies had provided 
grants and assistance in the amount of $1,370,000. The National Science 
Foundation and the Federal Public Health Service had funded research 
programs in physics, mathematics, chemistry, and nursing.-' 

These grants were not large when compared with the research funding in 

Approaching the Centenary 279 

Colleagues in the English De- 
partment, P. Albert Duhamel 
and Richard E. Hughes. Du- 
hamel was director of the Arts 
and Sciences honors program 
in its formative years. In 1 956 
he was appointed Philomath- 
eia Professor of English. 
Hughes was dean of Arts and 
Sciences 1969-1972. 

Other universities at the time, but it was a start. Each year the grants became 
larger, reflecting the increased professional activity of the faculty.'° In 
addition, the grants enabled the University to acquire the more sophisti- 
cated instrumentation necessary for advanced research in nuclear physics, 
electrochemistry, and the disease of cancer." And, for the first time, serious 
thought was given to the construction of a second science building to relieve 
the cramped laboratory space in Devlin Hall. 

Well-equipped buildings are obviously important, even though major 
discoveries have been made in dimly lit rooms in basement quarters. But 
the faculty is even more important. A university faculty has a double 
responsibility: In the search for truth, a committed faculty member seeks 
to expand and enlarge our knowledge of the world in which we live. In a 
related capacity, the teacher must pass on to students the accumulated 
wisdom of the past in order to prepare them for the future. This latter 
function, which is concerned with the intellectual development of the 
student, is generally associated with and applied to the undergraduate 
programs. In the "civilization of intelhgence," the Catholic university may 
be more aware than others of the interrelation of the sacral and secular 
sciences. In this endeavor, the deans and faculty members at Boston College 
proposed creative innovations "to lead men to knowledge," as Cardinal 
Newman would have it. 

280 History of Boston College 

An Enhanced Honors Program 

Mention was made earlier that soon after his appointment as dean in 1958, 
Father WiUiam Casey started a radically new honors program. Since at age 
34 the Boston College honors program is nearly a venerable institution as 
curricular experiments go, some detail should be given of its development 
and influence. An early "Working Paper for a Definition of an Honors 
Program" defined its goal in terms of the Parable of the Talents: "It should 
be the goal of an honors program to make sure that no student buries his 
talents," and "every student blessed by heredity or early training with 
more talents than the average should be provided with every motive and 
opportunity for developing those talents to the utmost."^^ As in other 
collegiate honors programs, there were certain common notes. The most 
common characteristic was the provision for freedom in the selection and 
pursuit of courses — freedom, however, modified by intensification. Another 
characteristic was the effort to broaden the student's knowledge through a 
better integration of courses. As a capstone, the honors program seeks to 
develop the academic and social poise of a student. 

A further refinement of the honors program, again initiated by Father 
Casey, was the "Scholar of the College Program." Few in number, those 
admitted to this elite rank were the intellectual stars of their class. Identified 
in second semester of junior year, they were students "who have demon- 
strated the highest level of academic ability, have intellectual maturity, and 
(have) demonstrated scholarly accomplishments."^^ 

William Van Etten Casey, S.J., 
academic vice president and 
dean of the College of Arts 
and Sciences, with Sir Alec 

Approaching the Centenary 281 

Appointed as Scholars of the College in April 1958 by the dean in consulta- 
tion with department chairmen and faculty were Carney E. Gavin, an 
outstanding student from Boston Latin School who later became a priest of 
the Archdiocese of Boston and associate director of Harvard's Semitic 
Museum, and Daniel J. Geagan, who had attended La Salle Academy in 
Providence, Rhode Island. In consultation with his director, each scholar 
during his senior year had complete freedom to select a program of studies; 
he was also free to attend classes (which were optional) in any department. 
Finally, he must submit an honors thesis, and he was expected to graduate 
Summa Cum Laude, which was the case with the first four scholars. In 
essence, it was an effort to duplicate the English system, with an emphasis 
on tutorials." 

These efforts to improve the academic chmate of the campus did not go 
unrewarded. In March 1958 Father Casey and Professor P. Albert Duhamel 
collaborated on a proposal which was submitted to the Carnegie Corpo- 
ration of New York for a grant to fund the honors program. In his covering 
letter, the dean wrote that the apphcation was submitted in order "to help 
us in our attempt to improve the quality of education in the Boston area." 
He continued: 

My interest, and the interest of the newly appointed President of the 
University, in this particular program is a reflection of our determination to 
devote the next six years, terminating in our hundredth anniversary, to the 
development of sound academic policy and the improvement of the quality 
of education both on and off the campus. ^^ 

Father Walsh fully supported this endeavor, as he explained in a letter to 
John Honey, executive associate of the Carnegie Corporation. "In my first 
interview with the press," he wrote, "I emphasized that one of the central 
concerns of my administration would be the estabhshment and develop- 
ment of programs designed to advance quality as the key factor in educa- 
tion."^* As correspondence, telephone calls, and visits continued, the 
president, the dean, and Professor Duhamel developed a cordial relation- 
ship with Mr. Honey and the Corporation. 

In its proposal, Boston College had asked for $79,700 to be paid over a 
three-year period in four installments. These funds were to cover the 
salaries for the contracted services of a director, faculty seminar leaders, 
secretarial staff, and other items. In June 1958 the Carnegie Corporation 
awarded Boston College a grant of $84,700 to be paid in four installments, 
"toward development of its honors program." Boston College was free to 
announce the grant at any time and in any suitable manner.^' 

With this grant, the honors program came under the academic supervi- 
sion of Professor Duhamel, who was appointed director of the Office of 
Special Programs. He was assisted by the Honors Advisory Committee. In 
describing the program in its own publication, the Corporation acknowl- 
edged that "some Catholic educators have expressed concern that Catholic 

282 History of Boston College 

Father Frederick Adelmann, 
chairman of the Philosophy 
Department, 1956-1965. 

education has not made a large enough contribution to the preparation of 
scientists, research men, and college teachers." (The editor added paren- 
thetically, "They might be relieved to know that their colleagues in secular 
colleges feel the same way about their own institutions.") But the members 
of the Corporation were also convinced that "Boston College is determined 
to provide superior programs for talented students and challenge them to 
think in terms of excellence. "^^ 

Women in Arts and Sciences 

In concluding its account, and implying that the Carnegie Corporation had 
some part in it, the Quarterly gratuitously noted that, after 96 years, 
women were to be admitted to the College of Arts and Sciences. Although 
not quite accurate, this comment introduces an interesting story, even in its 
briefest form. It is also rather complicated. After the announcement of the 
honors program, which was described in a special flyer, college advisors 
and student counselors in high schools informed the Office of Special 
Programs that a number of their gifted female students had expressed an 
interest in the program. Somewhat familiar with the poficies at Boston 
College, these advisors wrote to ask if the honors program was open to 
women as well as men.^^ These inquiries forced the president, the deans, 
and the director to search for an answer that would be acceptable to all 

Approaching the Centenary 283 

On the one hand, the director of special programs did not want to turn 
away gifted female students who were planning a career in research, 
medicine, or law. These students were not interested in a career in elemen- 
tary or secondary school teaching. On the other hand, women had never 
been admitted to the undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences, and 
permission to do so would require an affirmative response from the Jesuit 
General and the New England Provincial. It was finally decided to admit 
women to the Arts and Sciences courses. To observe the existing policy of 
admission, however, they were required to register in the School of Educa- 
tion, which was already coeducational. But this arrangement, in turn, 
caused jurisdictional and administrative problems. 

The Arts and Sciences dean wanted a clarification. "Does Father Dono- 
van, dean of the School of Education, clearly understand," he asked the 
president, "that academically talented women who do not want education 
courses or practice teaching will be under the jurisdiction of the College of 
Arts and Sciences in special programs once they have been admitted?"'*" 
Initially, Father Donovan had misgivings. Pointing out that inaccurate 
statements had been made in The Heights and elsewhere and left uncor- 
rected, he preferred to disassociate the School of Education from the 
program for women that was being formed in A&S."^ Two weeks later he 
relented and spelled out his and Albert Duhamel's understanding of the 
arrangement: "Women in the A&S program will be registered in the School 
of Education but will have no further academic connection with it. They 
will be fully admitted to the A&S Honors Program (under Professor 
Duhamel's direction), will take all courses in the College of Arts and 
Sciences, and will get an A.B. degree. ""*- 

That is exactly what happened to six female students who registered in 
the School of Education in the fall of 1959. They were immediately enrolled 
in the honors program and, during four years, were gradually assimilated 
into the College of Arts and Sciences and graduated with an A.B. honors 
degree in June 1963. As some had predicted, however, there were repercus- 
sions beyond the campus. The Jesuit Provincial of New England, while 
allowing the six students to continue, reminded Father Walsh that permis- 
sion would have to be obtained from Rome before additional female 
students were admitted to Arts and Sciences. In retrospect, it was clear that 
these women had paved the way for a fully integrated coeducational College 
of Arts and Sciences when that permission was granted in 1969. 

Funding from Outside 

The School of Education did not lag far behind the College of Arts and 
Sciences in designing its own honors program. With the encouragement of 
Father Donovan, Professor Russell Davis was the chief architect of the new 
program which, although tailored to the professional curriculum of the 
School of Education, manifested the characteristics of this type of program. 

284 History of Boston College 

F(>) ^i 

'^^^^^^ ^ 









Stanley Bezuszka, S.J., long-time chairman of the Mathematics Department 
and director of the Mathematics Institute. He introduced an early form of 
computer to the campus in the late fifties. 

Thus, according to Professor Davis, "Schools must provide programs which 
ivill stretch students toward the limit of their intellectual capacity."''^ This 
was the rationale, of course, of all such programs. 

A proposal was submitted to the Ford Foundation (Fund for the Ad- 
vancement of Education) for funding. The initial request, for a four-year 
cycle, was for $56,815. After officials of the foundation explained to Father 
Walsh that this sum was in excess of what the foundation might be prepared 
to do, the proposal was scaled down to a more acceptable amount."" The 
revised proposal was submitted, and in December 1958 Father Walsh was 
notified that the Ford Foundation would fund the honors program with a 
grant of $25,000."^ Father William E. FitzGerald, former Provincial Supe- 
rior of the New England Province, was appointed director of the honors 
program in the School of Education. 

There were other signs that the faculty and programs at Boston College 
were making a favorable impression beyond the campus. In October 1958 
the National Science Foundation made a grant of $200,000 to the Boston 
College Institute of Modern Mathematics. The institute, with a grant of 
$10,000, had been founded by Father Stanley Bezuszka, S.J., who had 
gained widespread recognition for his fresh approach to the teaching of 
mathematics. With advanced degrees from Brown University, Father Be- 
zuszka became a nationally recognized leader in the preparation of teachers 

Approaching the Centenary 285 

of mathematics, and he has been a frequent participant in national and 
international conferences on teacher preparation/'^ 

The preparation of secondary school teachers was not confined to 
mathematics. For three consecutive summers, beginning in 1959, the Coe 
Foundation in New York City funded an Institute in American Studies 
with an annual grant of $10,000 under the sponsorship of the Department 
of History and Government of the Graduate School."*^ Each summer the 
institute awarded 15 fellowships to outstanding high school teachers in 
history, social studies, and American literature. The fund also provided a 
stipend for two visiting professors for the Summer Institute, which was 
under the direction of John R. Betts, professor of American history. During 
the year 1958—1959 another grant from the Coe Foundation underwrote a 
series, the Coe Lectures in American Civilization, which brought to the 
campus such well-known figures as Allan Nevins, Clinton Rossiter, Charles 
Callan Tansill, and Oscar Handlin.''* 

There was also cause for satisfaction at the graduate level. Although the 
doctoral programs in economics, education, and history were still in their 
infancy, federal agencies were willing to support them. With the passage of 
the National Defense Education Act in 1958, in the wake of Sputnik, 
federal programs were funded which aimed at producing college and 
university teachers from institutions of wide geographical distribution. Five 
of these fellowships were made available to doctoral students at Boston 
College. The stipends, beginning with $2000 the first year and gradually 
increasing, were for three years. In a three-year period, Boston College 
Graduate School received about $70,000. These awards, which also pro- 
vided stipends for dependents, enabled several students in the Graduate 
School to plan a career in teaching.''^ 

A Changing Student Body 

In September 1959, while the president, his deans, and faculty were 
organizing an improved sequence of courses, Boston College welcomed the 
largest class in its history. Selected from 4300 applicants, 1350 freshmen 
arrived on campus for the start of the academic year. The total number of 
resident students — also a record — was 670: 300 freshmen, 200 sopho- 
mores, and 170 juniors. With a director of housing, Jesuit prefects in the 
dormitories, and expanded dining facilities in Lyons Hall, students from 
New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania were introduced to the 
famous Boston accent. Irish surnames still outnumbered others on the class 
rosters, but an increased representation from other ethnic backgrounds 
brought a cosmopolitan atmosphere to the campus — a good development 
in every way. 

That same class (September 1959), which would graduate in the centen- 
nial year, was by ordinary academic indexes the best prepared scholastically 
to accept the intellectual challenge at Boston College. It was generally 

286 History of Boston College 

agreed by the admission officers that the influx of superior students was 
due at least in part to the announcement of the honors program. It was, 
indeed, one of the fruits of a program which encourages advanced standing. 
It was also due to the president's aggressive recruitment of national merit 
scholars and the dramatic increase in student aid which began to match 
the offers of other schools. On-site visits by Boston College faculty mem- 
bers encouraged a better articulation between high schools and the Univer- 

Not only were the students challenged in the classrooms, but their 
horizons were broadened by the appearance on campus of some of the 
most exciting personalities in the United States and abroad. Sir Alec 
Guinness, the distinguished British actor of stage and screen, charmed the 
audience with his readings of Christian verse and prose. The medical 
missionary. Dr. Thomas Dooley, who had shocked the conscience of the 
world by his charitable work in Laos, moved the students with stories of 
the sick and starving people of Southeast Asia. James "Scottie" Reston, the 
Washington bureau chief of the New York Times, introduced students to 
the precarious and controversial world of the political pundit. And the 
presence of the distinguished British economist. Lady Barbara Ward Jack- 
son, attested to the quality of the Tobin Lecture Series and provided an 
ideal role model for the women on campus who were struggling with 
ambitions of their own. 

As the years went by and Boston College approached its one hundredth 
birthday, the Tower Building was no longer the solitary sentinel erected by 
Father Gasson. In the early 1960s, it had become the centerpiece of an 
attractive campus that boasted 30 buildings — some constructed, some 
purchased. With the relocation to Chestnut Hill of the Intown College and 
the School of Nursing, it was easier to coordinate the academic programs 
in the various schools now clustered on a single campus. It also made for a 
more judicious and equitable assignment of University faculty members. 

But, in common with other institutions, there were also problems. There 
was never enough money to do all the things that the administration 
wanted to do. The very small, almost nonexistent endowment yielded very 
httle income to fund selected projects; the absolute necessity of an increase 
in student aid limited other initiatives. The faculty worked in cramped 
office space. With a faculty that had been traditionally teaching-oriented, 
research and publication were only now beginning to receive the attention 
that professional standing demanded. Although proud of its history, Boston 
College had launched an effort to change its image from that of a local 
college to a broader image that would more accurately reflect its changing 
student population. 

But the problems were not insuperable, nor did they bring discourage- 
ment. They only increased the determination to excel. 

Approaching the Centenary 287 


1. As he left Boston College, Father Maxwell accepted an invitation to act as a 
consultant and advisor to the president of the Pontifical Catholic University of 
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for a period of six months to direct the reorganization of 
that Jesuit institution. He later had an influential career as a missionary pastor in 

2. Alumni News (Spring 1958), pp. 5-7. 

3. Minutes, Board of Trustees, November 3, 1953. BCA. 

4. Minutes, Board of Trustees, November 29, 1956. BCA. 

5. W. Seavey Joyce, S.J., to Father Maxwell, February 20, 1956. BCA. 

6. May 28, 1956. See Alumni News (Commencement issue, 1956), p. 18. 

7. Ibid. 

8. Alumni News (Fall 1956), p. 2 . 

9. Ibid. 

10. Ibid. 

11. Father Walsh to Donald J. White, August 7, 1958. BCA. 

12. The other members of the committee were Charles Donovan, S.J., Robert Drinan, 
S.J., Donald J. White, John Donovan, John Walsh, and William Daly. 

13. Edward B. Rooney, S.J., to Paul A. FitzGerald, S.J., November 21, 1958. BCA. 

14. October24, 1958, p. 5. 

15. Although these names were not favored by the committee, there were others 
within the University and beyond who were strongly in favor of one of them. 
These names were revived (along with Kennedy University) several years later, at 
the time of the centenary. At that time. Father Charles Donovan, academic vice 
president, surveyed 30 presidents and academic vice presidents of substantial 
private universities nationwide on the wisdom of changing the name. Several 
urged that no change be made. 

16. Committee minutes and associated materials are preserved in the archives. 

17. October 25, 1963, p. 8. 

18. The other members of the initial UPC were Paul A. Devlin, J. J. Collins, S.J., Paul 
T. Heffron, William G. Guindon, S.J., John E. Murphy, S.J., John E. Van Tassel, 
and Vincent P. Wright. 

19. "Some Notes on Planning." BCA. 

20. Minutes, UPC, August 5, 1959. 

21. Ibid. 

22. One is entitled "Preliminary Report of the UPC," February 1959. The second is 
entitled "University Planning Committee: Final Report," July 1959. 

23. "Prehminary Report," p. 30. 

24. This workshop was sponsored by the Jesuit Educational Association and held at 
Loyola University, Los Angeles. It is found in the JEA Collection, BCA. 

25. "Prehminary Report of the Committee on the Centenary of Boston College." 

26. The other members of the committee were Russell G. Davis, James O. Dunn, 
Walter J. Fimian, Richard W. Rousseau, S.J., and Francis W. Sweeney, S.J. 

27. Assisting the Centennial Committee were John Earner, Director of Public Rela- 
tions, and John Tevnan, Office of Development. A complete account of the work 
of the Centennial Committee is preserved in the archives. 

28. Estabhshed in 1960, the Board of Regents was comprised mainly of prominent 
businessmen who acted as advisors to the president. The origin and function of 
the regents will be treated in a later chapter. 

29. "Report from Father Rector," Alumni News (Fall 1959), pp. 5-6. 

30. In 1984 total grants from federal agencies and other sources totaled $6,788,000. 

288 History of Boston College 

31. "Research the Key to the Unknown," Alumni News (Fall 1961), pp. 4—11. 

32. BCA. 

33. The Heights (April 25, 1958). 

34. See The Pilot (May 24, 1958); also an excellent article in the B.C.-B.U. Football 
Program, November 15, 1958. 

35. Father Casey to John C. Honey, March 18, 1958. BCA. 

36. May 5, 1958. BCA. 

37. Florence Anderson to Father Walsh, June 19, 1958. BCA. 

38. Quarterly (Carnegie Corporation of N.Y.), vol. VII, No. 3 (July 1959). 

39. See, for example, Frederic T. Hawes, College Advisor at Stamford High School, 
to Office of Special Programs, October 27, 1958. BCA. 

40. Father Casey to Father Walsh, October 30, 1958. BCA. 

41. Father Donovan to Father Walsh, March 28, 1959. BCA. 

42. Father Donovan to Father Walsh, with copies to Father Casey and P. Albert 
Duhamel, April 11, 1959. BCA. 

43. "Proposal: An Honors Program for Undergraduates in Education." BCA. 

44. Father Walsh to Dr. Clarence H. Faust, October 29, 1958. BCA. 

45. Stanley W. Gregory to Father Walsh, December 5, 1958. BCA. 

46. Correspondence and proposals in archives. See The Heights (October 24, 1958). 

47. WilUam Robertson Coe, born in England but a naturaUzed American citizen, 
amassed a fortune in the insurance industry. Among his best-known benefactions 
are the Coe Collection in Western Americana and the Coe Chair in American 
Studies at Yale University. 

48. BCA. See also The Heights (December 4, 1959), p. 1. 

49. The Heights January 15, 1960). 



The University 
at Age One Hundred 

The rapid growth of the University in the postwar decades made every 
president a builder whether he was attracted to that role or not. Father 
Maxwell was an enthusiastic builder who drew floor plans of buildings at 
his desk in St. Mary's Hall. In contrast, Father Michael Walsh protested his 
inexperience where building was concerned, claiming that his only prepa- 
ration had been building boxes for the biology greenhouse and cages for 
the laboratories.' Yet there were very few months during Father Walsh's 
10-year tenure that a new building was not under construction. 

A Time of Building 

The first academic building in the Walsh era was a facility for the School of 
Nursing. Since Cardinal Gushing had been influential in the founding of 
this school, it was fitting that the funds for its building came from his 
impressive fund-raising talent. The cardinal contributed nearly a million 

Father William Guindon, chairman of the Physics Department, headed a 
planning committee for Gushing Hall and acted as advisor to the president 
on the project. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on February 20, 
1959, and 13 months later the faculty and students of the School of 


290 History of Boston College 

Gushing Hall. 

Nursing moved from Newbury Street to the new building at Chestnut Hill. 
Cardinal Cushing presided at dedication ceremonies on March 25, 1960. 

Three months before Cushing Hall was completed, in December 1959, 
ground was broken for three more residences on Tudor Road and Ham- 
mond Street. These were eventually given the last names of the first three 
bishops of Boston: Jean Louis de Cheverus, Benedict Fenwick, and John B. 
Fitzpatrick. They were planned to accommodate 378 students and 19 
resident prefects.- Under construction for nine months, the dormitories 
were ready for the opening of classes in the fall and were dedicated, with 
Cardinal Cushing once more presiding, on September 15, 1960. 

With the resident student population growing, the need for adequate 
dining facilities had become truly desperate, a need that Father Walsh began 
to address as soon as he became president. But there were many other 
needs — almost as urgent — for offices and meeting rooms for student clubs, 
for recreational space, and for an enlarged bookstore, to name only a few. 
The administration's preliminary thinking about how to meet these varied 
needs was expressed by some of the president's top aides in a 34-page 
document that appeared in July 1959 entitled, "The University Center." 
The document's diffuse focus and assorted recommendations showed how 
"underbuilt" the University was despite the ambitious building program 
that had been under way for more than a decade. 

The first page of "The University Center" paper contained this statement: 
"Although a physically large proportion of the Center will be dining rooms 
for boarding students, this preponderance must not overshadow the main 
purpose of providing a cultural home for all members of the University 
family . . . stimulation of the cultural Hfe of Boston College should issue 
from every aspect of the Center."^ These were noble aspirations, but 

The University at Age One Hundred 291 

practical necessity won out, and the finished building emphasized dining 
far more than culture. Indeed, the authors of "The University Center" 
proposed that the building house an interesting melange of noncultural 
facilities: an infirmary, a post office, a university store, the placement 
bureau, a bowling alley, a billiard room, and rooms for crafts and hobbies. 
On the cultural side it was proposed that the center have music listening 
rooms, accommodations for musical clubs, an art salon, speaking rooms, 
and a theater. The last suggestion would seem to have been very difficult to 
carry out simply in terms of space requirements, but a year later Father 
Walsh wrote to the architects about a theater.* 

At the time construction began, Father Walsh referred to the new 
building as the student-faculty center.^ The groundbreaking ceremony was 
held after the Mass of the Holy Spirit for the start of the academic year on 
September 21, 1960. Begun just after Cheverus, Fenwick, and Fitzpatrick 
were completed, the building — eventually named McElroy, for the Univer- 
sity's founder — was under construction for 15 months and was dedicated 
on November 9, 1961. 

The array of needs that planners of McElroy Commons hoped the 
building would fill proved how facility-poor Boston College was at the time 
Father Walsh assumed the presidency. Yet McElroy offered no solution to 
a perhaps more pressing problem from a collegiate viewpoint: lack of 
suitable office space for the faculty. The professional schools on campus — 
Law, Business, Education, and Nursing — had been provided with new 
buildings, and while these structures were not exactly generous in their 
provision of space for offices, they were light years ahead of what was 
available for the Arts and Sciences faculty. The ends of corridors in Gasson 
were blocked off with temporary partitions, converting the space into 
offices for as many as four faculty members. A few classrooms were 
converted into "offices" by introducing 10 desks for faculty. In short, the 
high-quality faculty the University had attracted, and was attempting to 
attract, needed better accommodations for scholarly work and interaction 
with students. Carney Hall was to be the answer to this need. 

In writing to Father James Coleran, S.J., the Provincial, about his plans 
for a faculty building, Father Walsh made some revealing comments: 

The first of the buildings that I would like to construct from the funds we are 
receiving for our Development Program is the Graduate Center. This is a 
building that will give us some more classroom space, seminar rooms, and 
primarily office space for faculty. 

At present we are cramped for suitable space for our Jesuit and lay faculty. 
Our Jesuits are generally forced to use the parlors in St. Mary's Hall for 
consultation and guidance of our students. Many of the lay faculty are in 
offices with anywhere from six to ten other individuals. 

It is my hope through this new building to give each of our faculty an 
individual office or cubicle. In this way I think we can achieve greater results 
in research, publication, counseling, and teaching from our faculty. As you 

292 History of Boston College 

perhaps know, our faculty have been very satisfied with the salaries and fringe 
benefits they have attained in recent years. The only drawback at times is 
adequate faculty office space. 

I have been calling this building a graduate center, but for the most part it 
will be a faculty office building. . . .'' 

Almost a year after Father Walsh's letter to the Provincial, ground was 
broken for the faculty office building on April 16, 1963, right in the midst 
of Boston College's centennial celebrations. The building was under con- 
struction for nearly a year and a half. Carney was dedicated on September 
18, 1964, named for the earliest major benefactor of Boston College, 
Andrew Carney. 

While Carney was still under construction in the spring of 1964, the 
final three residence halls of the upper campus — Welch, Williams, and 
Roncalli — were begun. To make room for the new buildings, the former 
Stimson home on Hammond Street, purchased for the University by the 
Philomatheia Club in 1936, was razed. Welch and Williams were ready for 
occupancy in September, but Roncalli's completion was delayed until 
December because of the need to move a house from that site to a location 
on Beacon Street. RoncaUi was occupied by students in September 1965.^ 

As a scientist who had been promoted from the chairmanship of the 
Biology Department to the presidency. Father Walsh was well aware of 
Boston College's inadequate science facilities as the institution's centennial 
approached. Opened in 1924, Devlin Hall had been planned primarily for 
undergraduate science courses. With the new emphasis on graduate educa- 
tion and, indeed, with the impending start of doctoral programs in chem- 
istry (1960), physics (1961), and biology (1963), new and more sophisti- 
cated facilities were needed. The science departments were encouraged to 
plan for expansion. As early as January 1960 the Physics Department 
prepared a 22-page document entitled, "A Study of the Space Needs of the 
Physics Department, 1960-1975. "^ Two months later the Biology Depart- 
ment submitted a proposal for a biology building.' To make the planning 
more comprehensive and coordinated. Father Walsh appointed a faculty 
committee, with Father James Devlin of the Physics Department as chair- 
man, to make recommendations for a new science building. The committee 
submitted a report in August 1961.'° Another committee, referred to as the 
1961—1962 Science Building Committee, submitted a preliminary report 
in February 1962 which recommended that Devlin Hall be renovated and 
modernized for the Chemistry Department. 

Father Walsh's own thinking about the proposed science facility was 
developing along different lines from those of the departments and the 
committees. As late as August 1962 he said that he had considered having 
all undergraduate science remain in Devlin, with a new science building 
serving as a research and graduate center for two or three sciences." But 
not long after that Father Walsh settled on the plan for separate new and 
complete facilities for physics and biology, explaining that each science 

The University at Age One Hundred 293 

would be in its own wing — the equivalent of separate buildings.^- Chemistry 
would remain in Devlin. 

Ground was broken for the new science building on March 29, 1965. 
Assisting Father Walsh in the ceremony were Stephen P. Mugar, president 
and director of Star Markets, who contributed over half a million dollars 
for the building, and John P. Higgins of Arlington, a long-time personal 
and professional friend of Mugar's, for whom Mugar wanted the new 
science facility named. The cost of Higgins Hall was $5,500,000 with 
$1,600,000 in federal grants aiding the project. The 136,000 square foot 
V-shaped building, with one wing devoted to biology and the other to 
physics as planned, was equipped with laboratory facilities and equipment 
that provided the two sciences it served with the most up-to-date resources 
for advanced research as well as basic collegiate science courses." 

Higgins Hall was dedicated with elaborate two-day ceremonies on the 
11th and 12th of November 1966. Scientific papers were read and discussed 
on the first day and representatives of 135 universities attended a convoca- 
tion in Roberts Center the following day. Honorary degrees were awarded 
to Dr. George Beadle, president of the University of Chicago and 1958 
Nobel laureate in medicine and physiology; Dr. William B. Castle, of the 

In the spring of the centennial year, ground was broken for a building whose major 
function was to provide long-awaited faculty offices. Assisting Cardinal Gushing and 
Father Walsh was distinguished classics professor Joseph P. Maguire. The building was 
named for early benefactor Andrew Carney. 

294 History of Boston College 

Harvard Medical School and Boston City Hospital; Dr. James Van Allen, 
pioneer in space physics, of the University of Iowa; and Dr. Donald F. 
Hornig, special advisor on science to President Johnson.''' In his welcoming 
remarks Father Walsh used the science setting to stress a theme familiar at 
Boston College — namely, the danger of slighting the humanities. He said, 
"I sometimes wonder if there might be a danger of overemphasis on science 
research, due primarily to the availability of grants from government 
agencies and foundations. As a biologist myself, I think I might be absolved 
of any charge of minimizing the importance of research, but as an educator 
I sometimes wonder if the comparative neglect of some areas of the 
humanities might indicate a danger of neglecting the training of the scientist 
as a man." 

Even as preparations were under way for the dedication of the new 
science building, the fall issue of the Alumni News announced the imminent 
start of a building dedicated to the social sciences. Father Walsh was aware 
that the full range of social sciences was late in developing at Boston 
College and needed special attention and encouragement. As a sign of 
commitment to the social sciences. Father Walsh invested considerable 
personal effort and University funds in setting up a research center that 
came to be called the Institute of Human Sciences. It was expected that the 
institute would attract major research grants concerning social problems 
that a university with Boston College's ideals would want to address. Father 
Walsh's ambitious hopes for the institute were not fully realized, although 
it attracted talented social scientists, some of whom have remained at the 
University and made significant contributions within their several disci- 
plines. Though the Institute of Human Sciences disappointed expectations, 
it may have indirectly benefited the basic social science departments; 
certainly those departments are far stronger than they were in 1968. 

A member of the Board of Regents, Sidney Rabb, along with a colleague, 
Alfred L. Morse, headed a drive among the Jewish community of Greater 
Boston for funds for the social sciences building. Significantly the group 
established to assist Rabb and Morse was called the Institute of Human 
Sciences Fiscal Committee. It was fitting that when ground was broken for 
the proposed building in the spring of 1967, Sidney Rabb and Alfred Morse 
joined Father Walsh and Cardinal Cushlngforthe ceremony." 

One of the principal purposes of the social sciences building was to 
provide a campus home for the Graduate School of Social Work, which 
until then had been located at 126 Newbury Street. Appropriately the 
building was named for the founder and first dean of the Graduate School 
of Social Work, Father Walter McGuinn, and his brother. Father Albert 
McGuinn, who served many years as chairman of the Chemistry Depart- 
ment. McGuinn Hall opened in September 1968. 

The University at Age One Hundred 295 

The Board of Regents 

In carrying out the ambitious building program he had undertaken, Father 
Walsh relied heavily on the prudent advice and support of the Board of 
Regents. This distinguished group, distinct from the Jesuit Board of Trus- 
tees, was an innovation in the governance of the University. The board was 
organized in 1959. At that time, working with Thomas J. Cudmore, an 
alumnus of the Graduate School of Social Work and then director of the 
Office of Development, the president's office assembled a list of names — 
including alumni and non-alumni — of people who had achieved outstand- 
ing success in their fields of endeavor. In moving toward such an advisory 
body. Father Walsh had the example of a number of Jesuit universities that 
had established similar boards. Although the title varied from institution to 
institution, the purpose of the boards was generally similar: to meet 
periodically, usually between meetings of the Board of Trustees, to assist in 
long-range planning, to evaluate current problems, and to advise the 
president on such matters as capital development and deficit financing. The 
board members, as prominent men in the local community, were especially 
helpful in promoting public understanding of and support for the institu- 
tion. In response to Father Walsh's invitation to join the board, these men 
were remarkably enthusiastic in offering their services to Boston College. 
Henry M. Leen, Esquire, class of 1929, became chairman of the board. 
Christopher Duncan, who was chairman of the Centennial Development 
Program, was also on the board. The names of other members appear at 
the end of the chapter. ^"^ 

The Board of Regents met for the first time on September 27, 1960. In 
his remarks that afternoon. Father Walsh said, "It is a source of real 
satisfaction and consolation to have men of your calibre on whom we can 
rely and on whose judgment and recommendations we can depend."'^ He 
was confident that "you can assist not only on some of the financial and 
business problems of the University but also in the field of public relations 
and in many other areas that I will touch upon toward the end of this 
meeting.">8 After drawing a detailed picture of the University at that time — 
enrollments, faculty, assets, operational expenses, and budget — the presi- 
dent outlined his plans for the future and touched upon some of the 
problems. His immediate concern was the successful outcome of the 
Centennial Fund Campaign, on which he enlisted their advice and assis- 
tance. From 1960 to 1968, when the Board of Regents was replaced by the 
Board of Directors, these men, generous with their time and money, were 
of inestimable value to the president. In launching the University on its 
second century, they provided a needed cushion of security. 

A Self-Appraisal by Arts and Sciences 

With all the building that was going on during his presidency, one might 
conclude that Father Walsh was totally preoccupied with construction. Far 

296 History of Boston College 

Robert Frost was a star attraction of 
the Humanities Series for years. 
With him are Father Francis Swee- 
ney and Wayne A. Budd ('63), now 
U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts. 

from it. He was primarily an educator, and no project during his regime 
had more of his interest than the self-study of the College of Arts and 
Sciences. At the convocation in 1962 the president announced that there 
would be a far-reaching self-appraisal of the College of Arts and Sciences 
the following academic year, 1963—1964. The self-study was launched by 
Father Walsh in a letter to the Arts and Sciences faculty in April 1963. 

The executive committee of the self-study consisted of the academic vice 
president, Father Charles Donovan, chairman, Father John McCarthy (the 
College dean), Robert Carovillano (physics), John Mahoney (English), 
Donald White (economics), and the president, ex-officio. Mahoney served 
as executive director of the self-study. President Victor Butterfield of 
Wesleyan University agreed to be adviser to the project. A prominent 
spokesman for hberal education, Butterfield brought a wise and sympa- 
thetic outsider's view to the faculty's deliberations. He gave the keynote 
address at the fall faculty convocation in 1963, met with several of the 
committees in subsequent months, and after reading the final reports 
submitted a wise and paternal critique. A faculty advisory council, consist- 
ing of two members from each of the academic divisions (humanities, 
physical sciences, and social sciences) was elected to serve as Haison 
between the faculty and the executive committee. The departmental mem- 
bership of the advisory council was Joseph Chen (chemistry), William Daly 
(history), Malcolm McLoud (classics), Paul Michaud (history), David 
O'Donnell (chemistry), and Maurice Quinlan (English). Father Walsh's 
original vision for the self-study was a department-by-department exami- 

The University at Age One Hundred 297 

nation and updating of curriculum not only in the core area but especially 
in the majors.^' 

It was decided that while the departments were working on their self- 
appraisals, some committees should be attacking a few broad issues of 
concern to the entire college. At the fall convocation the faculty chose six 
areas for special study and established committees on total curriculum, 
intellectual climate, library, research activities, the honors program, and 
guidance.-^ These committees and topics became quite influential in the 
eventual outcomes of the self-study. It is somewhat ironic that what was 
envisioned as primarily a departmental undertaking had mild results at the 
departmental level, whereas many sweeping changes emerged from the 
college committees. In his final letter of advice after reading the self-study 
reports. President Butterfield gently warned against excessive emphasis on 
departmental autonomy at Boston College. It is significant that the major 
changes of the self-study came not from departmental but from collective 

The most far-reaching and lasting ideas came out of the Committee on 
the Total Curriculum, chaired by Father James Skehan. Generations of 
Boston College students had carried a heavy course load: six courses a 
semester, for a total of 48 courses for graduation. The curriculum commit- 
tee recommended a decrease of 12 courses for the bachelor's degree. The 
Executive Committee ultimately modified this recommendation to a 10- 
course reduction (for a total of 38 in four years), with five courses per 
semester for each of the first three years and four courses per semester 
(with an optional fifth course) in senior year. This distribution of courses 
is in effect at the present time. 

As the total curriculum, so the core curriculum was reduced. The final 
recommendation was that half of the courses (19) be devoted to the 
common core, to be distributed as follows: 

Theology 5 courses 

Philosophy 4 courses 

English 2 courses 

History 2 courses 

Natural Science 2 courses 

Mathematics 2 courses 

Languages 2 courses 

In the years immediately following the self-study, under the influence of the 
Second Vatican Council and other forces at work in the Church, the 
Theology and Philosophy departments voluntarily reduced their participa- 
tion in the core curriculum. Otherwise, the recommended core curriculum 
was eventually adopted and was in effect until further revisions in 1971. 

The rationale for a slimmed-down course load can probably best be 
gleaned from correspondence of Father Walsh with the Provincial, Father 

298 History of Boston College 

John V. O'Connor, in the following year when he was seeking approval for 
the proposed new curriculum. In his first letter, Father Walsh explained: 

In an effort to provide a more scholarly and reflective setting for the college 
experience, it is our hope to cut the present 48-course schedule to 38 courses, 
with five in each of the first three years and four in the senior year (per 
semester). Within this less course-burdened schedule, there has also been an 
attempt to provide for the freedom to take advanced electives in the tradi- 
tional humanistic areas such as English, languages, and history, while at the 
same time giving adequate but not overbalanced attention to the student's 
major area of study and to preparation for graduate study.-^ 

In reply. Father O'Connor said that he felt he had to get approval from 
Rome, because the suggested changes departed so sharply from the curric- 
ulum last approved by Father General in 1959. To help him make the most 
suasive case in favor of Boston College's request, the Provincial posed a 
series of probing questions." The nub of Father Walsh's reply is found in 
the following paragraph. 

As a preface let me say, since several of your questions focus on our requested 
reduction of courses required in the core curriculum, that we are keenly 
concerned to preserve the integrity and spirit of the Jesuit liberal arts tradition 
as far as this can possibly be done within a reduced course load. The key 
factor here, as is obvious, is our conviction — a conviction not unique to us 
among Jesuit colleges — that our students are carrying a course load that is 
too heavy. With some of the finest colleges turning to a schedule that limits 
each student's courses to three per term and many more colleges not 
permitting their students to carry more than four courses per term, it has 
become evident that to have our students carry six courses per term makes it 
difficult to achieve some of the best goals of contemporary education in 
terms of more reflective study and writing, more independent work, and 
greater opportunity for the enjoyment of genuine scholarly leisure. It is, 
therefore, not by any means for the purpose of lessening the effectiveness or 
contribution of the liberal arts that the suggested reductions are made, but in 
order to provide what we sincerely feel is a schedule of studies better fitted 
to the talents and previous education of our current students, more conso- 
nant with the present trend in higher education to place more responsibility 
upon the individual student for self-direction in his education, and better 
adapted to the realistic needs of today's undergraduates as regards prepara- 
tion for graduate education." 

Father Walsh's thinking on the reasons for the proposed curriculum change 
clearly reflected a consensus that had been established among the faculty at 
Boston College. Approval eventually came, and the new program of studies 
was put in place in September 1965. 

In the letter just cited, Father Walsh's reference to a three-course load 
per term was significant because that became the cause championed by the 
Committee on the Total Curriculum. In reviewing alternative scheduling 
programs, the committee became familiar with the Dartmouth College 

The University at Age One Hundred 299 

plan of three courses a semester spread over a trimester that included an 
occasional summer. Not a great deal of enthusiasm for the Dartmouth plan 
was generated among the faculty at large, but the Total Curriculum 
Committee made a heavy commitment to it. Indeed, the committee's strong 
recommendation of the so-called three-three program was undoubtedly the 
most radical proposal to come out of the self-study. But the community did 
not warm to the suggestion. 

At the conclusion of the self-study the academic vice president drew up for 
Father Walsh a list of 30 recommendations adopted and transmitted by the 
Executive Committee calling for action by the University administration.^'' A 
sample, including some challenging and some routine recommendations, 

• Establish an educational policy committee. 

• Move toward the election of department chairmen. 

• Establish a system of sabbatical leaves to replace the somewhat re- 
stricted faculty fellowships. 

• Expand secretarial service for faculty. 

• Increase funds for graduate assistantships. 

• Give high priority to the building of a new library. 

• Increase the funds available for book purchases. 

• Increase the library staff. 

• Expand the admissions office. 

• Add a full-time clinical psychologist to the guidance office. 

• Appoint a director of foreign students. 

• Review the system of spiritual retreats for Catholic students. 

Of these recommendations, the one concerning the library was slowest in 
being fulfilled. Higgins, McGuinn, the theater, and lower-campus resid- 
ences preceded O'Neill Library. This delay, in hindsight, was fortuitous. It 
is highly unlikely that in the mid-sixties the University would have under- 
taken a project asjnassive or successful as O'Neill. 

The great majority of the recommendations of the self-study were put 
into effect — if not immediately, then within a year or two. The self-study 
should not, however, be given total credit for all that followed, for a 
number of changes were already under active consideration before it was 
undertaken. For example, academic administrators at Boston College and 
other Jesuit colleges had long been aware of the heavy course load carried 
by the students. But the self-study involved the academic community and 
gave the blessings of collegial consensus to changes toward which the 
institution had been moving. 

Butterfield's Recommendations 

In his response to the reports and recommendations of the self-study. 
President Butterfield of Wesleyan was generous in his praise and sage in his 

300 History of Boston College 

admonitions, several of which deserve recording here. Butterfield felt there 
was danger of the University moving too far toward a graduate school 
orientation, with primary emphasis on specialization in a discipHne rather 
than on breadth of culture. He saw departments, in growing strength and 
self-absorption, as potential villains. He wrote: 

It seems to me that the heavy emphasis on departmentalization symbolizes 
and encourages a kind of specialization that we don't want. It tends to 
exclude or discourage cultural breadth and range and intellectual variety and 
versatility in scholars and teachers, and puts them in the false position of 
insisting on such qualities in their students while they don't have them 
themselves. It also limits the possibilities for a genuine community of scho- 
lars, and tends to weaken rather than strengthen the kind of intellectual 
climate or atmosphere that is so vital in the life of scholars and the education 
of students. 

Related to his reservations about heavy departmental orientation was 
Butterfield' s second warning, on the subject of research: 

Research is now a loaded word with faculty members, and to be at all critical 
is apt to put you in the position of seeming to be against the whole idea. I 
wish there were a better word for it, and that we could conceive of our 
faculty members as being constant "learners" as well as teachers. Perhaps the 
word "research" has this connotation for some, but I doubt for many since 
it has become a kind of fetish, and its essence is symbolized in both academic 
and popular mind by scientific research. 

President Butterfield believed in institutional — not merely departmental — 
involvement in faculty recruitment. As president he was active in the process 
of appointments to the faculty. Indeed the author first met him on a plane 
when he was traveling to visit the campus of a prospective member of the 
Wesleyan faculty. His third admonition reflected his philosophy of faculty 

Most faculty members should be good with the average undergraduate, 
though it is important to recognize those teachers who are especially good 
with majors or with graduate students. Some faculty people have to be good 
administrators and like it. Some are especially good to carry the educational 
adventure to the extramural world, and this is important too. A faculty must, 
in fact, in the right balance reflect collectively the various functions of the 
institution, and I think we have to stay aware of this and be careful not to 
apply the same formula to all faculty appointments although of course the 
dominant type should be the broad, cultivated scholar-teacher who is thor- 
oughly competent in a special field. -^ 

President Butterfield had a richly articulated philosophy of liberal educa- 
tion. He served Boston College well as adviser in the 1963-1964 self-study. 
The College of Arts and Sciences might serve its own interests well by 
reconsidering, after several decades, the advice Butterfield gave. 

The University at Age One Hundred 301 

Honor Societies: The Long Road to Omicron 

The accreditation of colleges and universities — their several schools, depart- 
ments, and programs — by regional and professional associations attests to 
the fact that degrees from an accredited institution will be recognized by 
the academic world. But accreditation, of and by itself, does not measure 
the level of quality. The approval of national honor societies, however, has 
always carried with it the mark of academic distinction. As indicated 
earlier. Alpha Sigma Nu, the National Jesuit Honor Society, had been 
installed in 1939; Gamma Pi Epsilon was later merged with ASN. Students 
in the School of Management had been honored by Beta Gamma Sigma, 
the honor society in the field of commerce and business, which is recognized 
by the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business. A Sigma Xi 
Club (the first step) was installed at Boston College on May 2, 1957. A 
petition for elevation to a chapter of Sigma Xi, the national honor society 
for the promotion of scientific research, was made in 1964; a chapter was 
installed on May 24, 1966. 

Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, the most prestigious of the honor societies, 
had already been established at two Catholic institutions.-* At Boston 
College in the late fifties, there was a feeling that the academic program in 
the College of Arts and Sciences and the governance of the University 
generally had reached a level of achievement that would justify an applica- 
tion for a campus chapter. The initial overtures, it may be said in advance, 
were not auspicious. In 1958 a faculty committee of Phi Beta Kappa key 
holders, chaired by Professor Joseph Sheerin of the Classics Department, 
filed an application for a chapter at Boston College. Since the University 
administration was not involved in the petition (which is the proper 
procedure), negotiations were carried on between the secretary of Phi Beta 
Kappa and the faculty committee. Things appeared to go well.-^ After 
completing and submitting answers to a lengthy questionnaire, the chair- 
man was informed that the Committee on Qualifications, after screening a 
large number of applications, had selected 1 1 colleges for further exami- 
nation. Boston College was one of the eleven. With this encouragement, 
the committee began to prepare the general report and schedule on-site 

In the meantime, Father William Casey, who had been kept informed of 
the progress of negotiations, had occasion to visit a leading Catholic 
institution that had submitted the required documentation, including the 
general report, in its petition for a chapter in the previous triennium. That 
petition was rejected. When the Phi Beta Kappa committee at that institu- 
tion allowed Father Casey to see the confidential file, he discovered that the 
application had been rejected because of their pohcy on financial assistance 
to athletes.^' Of the total scholarship aid, more than half went to athletes, 
some of whom had grade point averages of less than 2.00. In a further 
consultation with Dr. Helen C. White, a Phi Beta Kappa senator to whom 

302 History of Boston College 

Boston College had recently given an honorary degree, Father Casey learned 
that an institution's policy on athletics is of crucial importance in the 
decision to grant a local chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.^" 

After making a survey of financial assistance to athletes at Boston 
College, Father Casey concluded that "the College of Arts and Sciences 
would have no hope of winning final approval for a local chapter of Phi 
Beta Kappa."" He then instructed Professor Sheerin to withdraw the 
application; the latter did so with the lament that practices "in one or two 
of (our) undergraduate schools are such as seriously to prejudice our 
chances for final approval of a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in the College of 
Arts and Sciences. "^^ In his reply, the secretary of the United Chapters, 
while appreciating how difficult and distressing the decision was, felt that 
it was a wise one. Assuming that the weaknesses would be corrected, he 
reminded Professor Sheerin of the next triennium when the committee 
members might renew their application if they decided that the time was 

The Phi Beta Kappa members of the faculty did, in fact, feel that the time 
was ripe in 1962, the next triennium. A new committee was formed, 
chaired by Professor Frederick White of the Physics Department, and on 
October 15, 1962, an application was filed with the National Office. 
Boston College was again selected for further examination. On-site visits 
were arranged and the general report was presented in October 1962 for 
consideration by the Committee on Qualifications. The report, 110 pages 
long and eight months in preparation, covered a wide range of the Univer- 
sity's operations.^" 

Economist Lady Barbara 
Ward Jackson speaking with 
students after her Centennial 
Lecture, just before the anni- 
versary convocation. 

The University at Age One Hundred 303 

Alas, the petition was rejected. In his letter to Professor White, the 
secretary cited three reasons for turning down the committee's application 
for a chapter. First, the Committee on Qualifications felt that the faculty 
should have a greater voice in the governance of the University, in adminis- 
trative appointments, and in institutional policy. Secondly, "the committee 
was unfavorably impressed by the fact that nearly one half of the present 
faculty are Boston College alumni," even though "most, if not all, have 
advanced degrees earned elsewhere." Such a recruitment policy, the com- 
mittee felt, could lead to provincialism and inbreeding. Finally, the com- 
mittee was critical of the "heavy curricular requirement in philosophy." 
The 27-hour requirement — highest among Jesuit colleges — plus 16 hours 
of theology "leaves students very little room for electives over and above 
the major."^^ 

While the letter necessarily gave first attention to considerations that led 
to rejection, Phi Beta Kappa was impressed with several aspects of Boston 
College. Except for the too-heavy requirement in philosophy, "the Commit- 
tee had only favorable things to say about the content and quality of the 
undergraduate program."'* The committee commended the admissions 
policy, the plant, and especially the library collections. In summary, the 
committee "would encourage the Phi Beta Kappa members of the faculty 
to continue working toward the establishment of a chapter."'^ 

In his reply to Carl Billman's letter. Professor White pointed out the 
steps that had been taken and were being taken, in conjunction with the 
self-study project, to correct what Phi Beta Kappa perceived to be negative 
aspects of the University's administration and curriculum. In reference to 
alumni on the faculty. White pointed out that a high of 58 percent in 1958 
had been reduced to 44 percent in the academic year 1963—1964. More- 
over, the relatively high number of alumni on the faculty could be explained 
by the fact that almost all of the Jesuits, of whom there were many, had 
taken their undergraduate degrees at Boston College.'^ In concluding. 
White hoped that "you will consider a new application and recommend 
the estabhshment of a Phi Beta Kappa Chapter at Boston College to the 
next triennial meeting."^' 

These two apphcations for Phi Beta Kappa were by no means futile or 
unproductive. The administration addressed these weaker areas honestly 
and responsibly. In every instance there was improvement, and the self- 
study project itself benefited from the recommendations that came from 
sources beyond the campus. Although it anticipates somewhat the progres- 
sion of events, it should be mentioned that improvements brought success. 
Chaired by Professor Robert Carovillano of the Physics Department, a 
third Phi Beta Kappa faculty committee was formed and an application 
was submitted in 1968.'"' This appHcation was approved and, with an 
appropriate ceremony, the Omicron Chapter of Massachusetts was in- 
stalled at Boston College on April 6, 1971. Boston College was the 105th 
institution to be invested with a chapter, and the 10th Catholic college. 

304 History of Boston College 

The American Association of University Women 

While the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is not an 
honor society, Boston College's relation to AAUW may well be mentioned 
in the context of the Phi Beta Kappa story. The AAUW is an association of 
women graduates of colleges and universities on the association's approved 
list. Established to further the interests and professional status of educated 
American women, the AAUW is a women's network lobbying in Washing- 
ton and active in major academic bodies, offering fellowships for advanced 
graduate studies for women and promoting the presence and influence of 
women in the academic world. Mary Kinnane, who became dean of women 
in the School of Education in 1955, applied for and received membership 
in AAUW on the basis of holding a degree from the University of Kansas, 
an approved AAUW institution. She set in motion an inquiry about AAUW 
membership for Boston College on behalf of women graduates of the 
School of Education, the School of Nursing, and the Graduate School of 
Arts and Sciences. AAUW's 1958 statement of membership eUgibility 
standards included five points: regional accreditation, provision for basic 
hberal education, adequate provision for women students, professional 
opportunities for women in faculty and administration, and maintenance 
of academic freedom. It was feared that the absence of women from the 
central liberal arts division, the College of Arts and Sciences, might be a 
bar to approval for Boston College. But as a result of a series of exchanges 
between Father Walsh and the AAUW, Boston College was placed on the 
approved AAUW list in December 1963 and became a corporate member 
of AAUW with Dean Kinnane as haison."' 

The achievement of AAUW approval is a reminder that women's interests 
were actively promoted before full coeducation in all undergraduate divi- 
sions was instituted and before there was a Women's Resource Center. 
Other examples of breakthroughs in the 1960s for and by women were the 
winning of the first Woodrow Wilson fellowship by a School of Education 
woman, despite a somewhat reluctant A&S Woodrow Wilson committee; 
acceptance of women students in the junior year abroad program; admis- 
sion of women in the previously all-male University Chorale; and accep- 
tance of women cheerleaders — an issue that provoked prolonged discussion 
among the undergraduate deans. 

The Centennial Celebration 

When Father Michael Walsh became president of Boston College in Febru- 
ary 1958, he had no way of knowing that his term would run a whole 
decade. As long as the presidents of Boston College served a dual role, 
president of the University and rector of the Jesuit Community, it was 
unusual for a president's term to exceed six years. That is because, 
according to canon law, the term of a religious superior (rector) is normally 

The University at Age One Hundred 305 

three years, renewable once. This rule accounts for the large number of 
presidents in Boston College's relatively short history. It was not until 
Father Monan's presidency that the rectorship of the Jesuit Community 
was held by a person other than the University president. 

When Father Walsh assumed the presidency in 1958, expecting to serve 
six years, he knew that he was fated to orchestrate the centennial celebra- 
tion of 1963. He lost little time in setting in motion planning for the 
centennial. As mentioned in the last chapter, in August 1958 he set up a 
Centenary Committee chaired by Law School dean Father Robert Drinan. 
In July 1961 John Tevnan of the Development Office was appointed 
executive director of the centennial program. Since the Boston College 
charter was granted on April 1, 1863, it was decided that major centennial 
events would be scheduled for the spring of 1963. 

Bearing a publication date of 1962 was a commemorative book, The 
Crowned Hilltop: Boston College in Its Hundredth Year. Commissioned by 
Cardinal Cashing as a centennial gift to his alma mater, The Crowned 
Hilltop contained 55 pencil sketches of Boston College buildings, settings, 
and leaders by the New England illustrator. Jack Frost. Father Francis 
Sweeney, whose pen has so often beautifully served Boston College, 
provided a text outlining the University's history as companion to the Frost 

The first formal centennial event was the annual Candlemas Lecture on 
March 21, 1963. Rev. Hans Kiing of the University of Tubingen, later a 
controversial theologian, addressed a gathering of 3500 at Roberts Center 
on the topic, "The Church and Freedom." In the audience were Richard 
Cardinal Cushing and Metropohtan Athenagaros of Montreal. 

Five days after the Kiing lecture, a formal academic convocation was held 
in Roberts Center for conferring an honorary degree upon Augustin 
Cardinal Bea, who served the Vatican as president of the Secretariat for 
Christian Unity. Revered in the Christian world for his ecumenical leader- 
ship, Bea was that ecclesiastical rarity, a Jesuit who was made a cardinal. 
For years after the event, the Jesuit Community at St. Mary's Hall remem- 
bered Cardinal Bea's visit as a joyous benediction. 

The hturgical celebration of the centennial took place on Saturday, 
March 30, at the Holy Cross Cathedral, with a Pontifical Mass of Thanks- 
giving. Cardinal Cushing preached and the University Chorale, assisted by 
an orchestra, presented Missa Domini, a Mass written for the occasion by 
the chorale's director, C. Alexander Peloquin. In the afternoon a luncheon 
on campus was attended by church dignitaries and alumni and addressed 
by the bishop of Pittsburgh, John J. Wright of the class of 1931. 

On Monday and Tuesday, April 15 and 16, 1963, a centennial theologi- 
cal conference was held on "The Church and Tradition." It presented such 

306 History of Boston College 

Mfm\f^^^W^^^^^KS^U^ y-^^H 

/ >'■• ' /-^ '■ ■' 

/ ,-.^^.- 

^ /r- ^ 

5 . ' 

: 1 


President John F. Kennedy addressing the Centennial Convocation on April 20, 
1963. To his left is Father Walsh and, at the edge of the photo, the president's 
brother, Edward. Behind the president, to his right, is academic vice president 
Father Charles Donovan. 

speakers as Jaroslav Pelikan of Yale, Father Hans Kiing, Father Waher 
Burghardt of Woodstock College, Father Jean Danielou of the Institut 
Cathohque in Paris, George H. Wilhams of Harvard, and Robert McAfee 
Brown of Stanford. The concluding paper, delivered by Cardinal Cushing, 
was entitled, "A Bridge Between East and West," on the desired dialogue 
between the Latin and Greek churches. Of the Cushing address Hans Kiing 
wrote later, "The cardinal's extraordinarily well-documented, realistic, and 
constructive address matches the best I have ever heard a European bishop 
deliver on ecumenical problems. "''- 

During the next three days of Easter week some sixty scholars represent- 
ing the humanities, the physical sciences, and the social sciences gathered 
for a colloquium on "The Knowledge Explosion — Liberation and Limita- 
tion." Several years later the principal papers of the colloquium were 
published in book form under the title. The Knoivledge Explosion, with a 
deft introduction by Father Francis Sweeney, as a permanent record of 

The University at Age One Hundred 307 

what Hans Kiing called Boston College's "brilliant centennial celebra- 

The climactic and most public event of the centennial year was the 
academic convocation in Alumni Stadium on the afternoon of Saturday, 
April 20, graced by the presence of President John F. Kennedy. Honorary 
degrees were conferred on the president of America's oldest university, 
Nathan Marsh Pusey of Harvard; on the president of the country's first 
Catholic university, Father Edward B. Bunn, S.J., of Georgetown; and on 
Lady Barbara Ward Jackson, who had given a Centennial Lecture the 
preceding Wednesday evening on the subject, "The Units of the Free 
World." In his address President Kennedy won the hearts and laughter of 
the assembly by saying at the outset how good it was to be back in a city 
where his accent was considered normal and where they pronounce words 
the way they are spelled. By a coincidence, the talks of both Lady Jackson 
and the president leaned heavily on the recent encyclical of Pope John 
XXIII, Pacem in Terris. Kennedy remarked of the encyclical, "As a Catho- 
hc, I am proud of it; as an American, I have learned from it." 

President Pusey brought the felicitations of the higher education com- 
munity and graciously expressed the reasons why Boston College was 
heartily celebrating its hundredth anniversary: 

We welcome the advent of strong Catholic colleges and universities of which 
surely this is one of the chief, into the advance ranks of our institutions of 
higher learning. Together these institutions have already done much to build 
value into our common life and on them our hopes for a worthy future in 
large measure must surely now depend. The colleges and universities, and 
among them I should like to say personally Harvard, congratulate Boston 
College on the accomplishments of her first century. We salute her on this 
happy day for her achievement. We would speak of our pride in our 
association with her and we wish for her long life and a continuation of that 
strong forward surge with which she now so clearly and so creatively is 
moving ahead. 

The centennial celebrations wound down with emphasis on theater. On 
April 22 and 23 the Dramatic Society, under the direction of Father Joseph 
Larkin, presented an English version of the famous Jesuit morality play, 
Cenodoxus: Doctor of Paris, written by the distinguished seventeenth 
century Jesuit dramatist, Jakob Bidermann. On Sunday, May 5, students of 
the Classics Department presented the Rhesus of Euripides on the hbrary 

On May 11 to 14 there were five performances of a play written for the 
centennial by the Scottish playwright James Forsythe, Seven Scenes for 
Yeni. The director was the well-known Broadway artist Eddie Dowling. 
The cast consisted of professional actors in the main roles, with some 
support from student actors. The play was held in McHugh Forum. Prior 
to the premiere of Yeni, there was a two-day seminar, "One Hundred Years 

308 History of Boston College 


For weeks the campus had been alive with activity. Now army helicopters 
hovered over the campus and Secret Service men patrolled the buildings. 
April 20 dawned bright and clear, but still foul-weather preparations went 
on in McHugh Forum and Roberts Center, where over one hundred closed 
circuit television sets were being installed. The face of the campus had 
undergone a startling transformation. The colors of the nation and of the 
university billowed out in swaths of bunting along the President's route and 
great quantities of flowers covered the speakers' platform at the reservoir 
end of Alumni Stadium. At eleven o'clock a violent rainstorm swept the 
campus. By one o'clock only a high wind and a fine mist buffeted the 
Chestnut Hill area. By two o'clock over twenty thousand people had 
swarmed into the stadium. The chairs and seats were wet and a handsome 
brochure became a valued sponge. At 2:15 a great procession began to 
wind its way down from Roberts Center to the stadium. As the band struck 
up its martial music, the weather began to clear and soon the only sign of 
rain was the glistening lawn of the field. A great cry of welcome rose from 
the stands as representatives of over three hundred colleges and universi- 
ties began to file into the stadium. The delegates of fifty learned societies 
and the faculty of Boston College, over six hundred strong, made their 
entrance in a stream of gold, crimson, blue, and maroon robes and hoods. 
They were followed by the distinguished guests, officers of the university, 
and Church and state officials. In the place of honor strode John F. Kennedy, 
President of the United States, wearing the honorary Boston College degree 
he received in 1956. The band struck up "Hail to the Chief" and an 
enthusiastic audience thundered its welcome to the President. 

of the American Theater," during which some thirty playwrights, actors, 
and critics analyzed and honored the evolution of American drama. 

It was a proud centennial year. Somehow the University managed to go 
about its ordinary business despite the heady and joyous celebrations of the 


1. Father Walsh to Richard Cardinal Gushing, May 19, 1958. BCA. 

2. Father Walsh to Father Socius, Peter McKone, October 21, 1959. BCA. 

3. "The University Center," an intriguing document, is in the archives. 

4. Father Walsh to Frederick Dyer Co., June 21, 1960. BCA. 

5. Announcement of ground-breaking. BCA. 

6. Father Walsh to Father Coleran, May 25, 1962. BCA. 

7. Letter from Father Edward Hanrahan, former Dean of Students, to Father 
Donovan, February 5, 1985. BCA. 

8. BCA. 

9. BCA. 
10. BCA. 

The University at Age One Hundred 309 

11. Father Walsh to Father Guindon, August 1, 1962. BCA. 

12. Father Walsh to Rene Marcou, November 9, 1962. BCA. 

13. Alumni News (Winter 1966). 

14. Programs, clippings and other materials related to the dedication are preserved in 
the archives. 

15. Alumni News (Spring 1967). 

16. Sidney R. Rabb, Chairman of the Board, Stop ic Shop, Inc.; Adrian O'Keeffe, 
President, First National Stores, Inc.; Ralph Lowell, Chairman of the Board, 
Boston Safe Deposit & Trust Co.; Ernest Henderson, President, Sheraton Corpo- 
ration of America; Thomas J. McHugh, President, Atlantic Lumber Co.; Roger 
C. Damon, President, First National Bank of Boston; Edward F. Williams, 
Business Consultant; Thomas M. Joyce, Esq., Trial Attorney; Carl J. Gilbert, 
Chairman of the Board, The Gillette Co.; John B. Atkinson, President, Atkinson 
Shoe Co.; Wallace E. Carroll, President, American Gage &c Machine Co.; Peter 
Fuller, President, Cadillac-Oldsmobile Co. of Boston; and Augustus C. Long, 
Chairman of the Board, Texaco, Inc. 

17. "Address: Board of Regents Meeting, September 27, 1960." BCA. 

18. Ibid. 

19. Father Walsh to Father Donovan, August 5, 1963. BCA. 

20. The membership of the committees on six general areas of concern are given 

Committee on the Total Curriculum: J. Frank Devine, S.J., P. Albert Duha- 

mel, Paul T. Heffron, Lawrence G. Jones, John J. Long, S.J., H. Michael 

Mann, Robert F. O'Malley, John P. Rock, S.J., and James W. Skehan, S.J., 

Intellectual Climate Committee: Raymond F. Bogucki, Joseph Bornstein, 

Gary P. Brazier, James J. Casey, S.J., Brendan Connolly, S.J., chairman, 

Albert M. Folkard, Donald A. Gallagher, and Raymond McNally. 
Library Committee: John R. Betts, Gerald C. Bilodeau, John FI. Kinnier, 

S.J., Donald B. Sands, and Norman J. Wells, chairman. 
Committee on Research Activities: Robert Becker, chairman, Joseph Cris- 

centi, Joseph A. Devenny, S.J., Walter Driscoll, Erich Von Richthofen, 

Joseph McKenna, William Pare, and Chai Hyun Yoon. 
Honors Program Committee: Edward L. Hirsh, chairman, Edward V. Jezak, 

Louis O. Kattsoff, Edgar Litt, David Loschky, and John J. Walsh, S.J. 
Committee on Guidance: Robert Cahill, Leonard R. Casper, Joseph R. 

Cautela, chairman, George L. Drury, S.J., Robert T. Ferrick, S.J., John F. 

Norton, and John vonFelsinger. 

21. Father Walsh to Father Provincial John V. O'Connor, May 22, 1964. BCA. 

22. Father O'Connor to Father Walsh, June 3, 1964. BCA. 

23. Father Walsh to Father O'Connor, June 12, 1964. BCA. 

24. Father Donovan to Father Walsh, August 27, 1964. BCA. 

25. President Butterfield's lengthy memorandum is attached to the final report of the 
Executive Committee of the Arts and Sciences Self-Study of 1963—1964. BCA. 

26. The Catholic University of America and the College of St. Catherine in Minne- 

27. Carl Billman to Joseph E. Sheerin, October 16, 1958. BCA. 

28 . Billman to Sheerin, December 1 9, 1 95 8 . BCA. 

29. William V. E. Casey to Father Walsh, June 25, 1959. BCA. 

30. Ibid. 

31. Ibid. 

310 History of Boston College 

32. Joseph Sheerin to Carl Billman, June 3, 1959. BCA. 

33. Billman to Sheerin, June 9, 1959. BCA. 

34. Copies of the report are in the archives. 

35. Carl Billman to Frederick White, December 1 1, 1963. BCA. 

36. Ibid. 

37. Ibid. This correspondence was printed in The Heights (February 7, 1964). 

38. Frederick White to Carl Billman, n.d. 

39. Ibid. 

40. The general report is dated October 1, 1969. BCA. 

41. BCA. 

42. America June 8, 1963), p. 829. 

43. Ibid. 



Years of Accomplishment 

In September 1967 Father Walsh began his last year as president of Boston 
College. A decade at that level of administration, with ultimate responsibil- 
ity for the academic and financial health of an institution, can seem a long 
time to be the incumbent. The pressures of fund-raising, campus expansion, 
pubhc relations, and competing on-campus constituencies pose daily tests 
of leadership and diplomacy. Although successful in meeting his responsi- 
bilities, Father Walsh decided that ten years as rector-president had given 
him sufficient opportunity to reach his immediate goals and to point the 
way to future distinction for the University. 

He could take satisfaction in what had been accomplished, although he 
did not deny that there were clouds on the horizon. The University was, in 
fact, flourishing. Enrollments continued to climb, with 8125 full-time and 
1604 part-time students, for a total of almost 10,000. The class of 1971 
was the most highly qualified and most highly subsidized ever admitted to 
Boston College. In addition to unusually high SAT's, 5 percent were former 
class presidents, others had been involved in social and welfare projects, 
and many had been high school newspaper editors. To teach these promis- 
ing students and those in the graduate and professional schools there were 
540 faculty members, supported by lecturers, graduate fellows, and assis- 
tants.' While total assets, including investments and property, had reached 
$58,000,000, the operating budget had increased to $31,000,000.^ The 
growth, though not spectacular, had been steady and substantial. 


312 History of Boston College 

Father John A. McCarthy, long-time 
professor of philosophy and dean of 
the College of Arts and Sciences 
from 1960 to 1964. 

In assessing the growth of institutions, university histories tend to be 
written from the perspective of the president's office. But the president does 
not work in isolation. For the academic enterprise, the next most important 
offices are those of academic deans. Hence a picture of the Walsh adminis- 
tration depends for completeness on recognition of the supporting deans. 

Contributions by the Academic Deans 

When Father Walsh assumed the presidency in 1958, the dean of the 
College of Arts and Sciences was William V. E. Casey, S.J., appointed in 
1956. One of the first decisions of the new president was to elevate Father 
Casey to the newly created post of academic vice president. (Father Casey 
retained the deanship of the College of Arts and Sciences.)^ In 1960 Father 
Casey moved to Holy Cross College and was replaced as dean by Father 
John A. McCarthy of the Philosophy Department, who was the first to be 
given the student government's teacher-of-the-year award. The gentle and 
scholarly Father McCarthy, however, who was dean during the critical 
period of the A&S Self-Study and the centennial, was not temperamentally 

Years of Accomplishment 313 

inclined to administration, and in 1964 he was permitted to return to his 
beloved classroom. He was succeeded by Father John R. Willis of the 
History Department. A graduate of Amherst College and educated for the 
Protestant ministry with a Ph.D. from Yale, Father Willis was a convert to 
Catholicism. He brought intellectual sophistication and broad cultural 
interests to the office. 

One of the dynamic forces in the Walsh administration was Law School 
dean. Father Robert F. Drinan. Like Father Casey, he took over the top post 
in his school in 1956, succeeding another activist. Father William J. 
Kenealy. Drinan brought the Law School national prestige and attention 
and remained dean until 1971, when he resigned and ran successfully for 

A rock-steady influence during the Walsh years was Dean Rita P. 
Kelleher of the School of Nursing, whose administration spanned more 
than two decades. She steered the school to accreditation and oversaw the 
move from Newbury Street to Cushing Hall in 1960. 

Succeeding Father James D. Sullivan as dean of the College of Business 
Administration in 1953, the talented W. Seavey Joyce, S.J., led the CBA 
until his appointment by Father Walsh as vice president for community 
relations in 1966. Because Father Joyce devoted so much of his time to 
external projects such as the citizen seminars and a television series on the 
city, he was supported by a succession of associate deans: Donald J. White 
of the Economics Department (1955—1961), Father William C. Mclnnes 
(1961-1964), and Father Alfred J. Jolson (1964-1968). Father Jolson was 
acting dean of the College of Business Administration in 1966-1967. 

In Father Walsh's last year in office (1967-1968), he appointed the first 
lay dean for the Business School, Albert J. Kelley. Kelley was an unusual 
choice, not only because he was the first lay dean of CBA, but because of 

Albert J. Kelley, first lay dean 
of the College of Business Ad- 
ministration. He changed the 
name to School of Manage- 

314 History of Boston College 

his unique background of experience and education. A native of Boston, 
Kelley graduated from the United States Naval Academy. While still in the 
service, he earned an engineering degree at MIT, later returning to earn a 
Ph.D. in systems engineering. During the Korean War he served as a test 
pilot. In 1960 he joined the NASA program, where he gained experience at 
high management levels. It was not the expected background for dean of a 
school of management, but Kelley's forceful personality and managerial 
skill gave unhesitating and positive forward impetus to the school. 

In 1961 Father Walsh appointed the dean of the School of Education, 
Father Charles F. Donovan, to the post of academic vice president, which 
had been vacant for a year after Father Casey's departure from Boston 
College. Father Donovan continued to act as Education dean until 1966, 
when he began to devote full time to the vice presidency. William C. Cottle, 
who came from the University of Kansas to head the Boston College 
counselor education program, was acting dean in 1966—1967, with John 
Travers as acting associate dean. In 1967 Donald T. Donley was named 

Father John V. Driscoll, an alumnus of Boston College and of the School 
of Social Work, became dean of the School of Social Work in 1958 when 
Father Walsh assumed the presidency.'' Father Driscoll added to the prestige 
of the school by overseeing a thorough curriculum revision and by increas- 
ing the number of faculty members with doctoral degrees. He also worked 
with Father Walsh in preparing the move of the school to McGuinn Hall. 

When Father Walsh took office, the dean of the Graduate School of Arts 
and Sciences was Father Paul A. FitzGerald of the History Department, 
who succeeded another historian in that office. Father James L. Burke, in 
1953. When Father FitzGerald joined the administrative office of the 
national Jesuit Education Association in New York in 1960, Father Joseph 
A. Devenny became dean and served through the 1965—1966 academic 
year. When Father Devenny became dean of the Weston School of Theology 
in Cambridge, Father Walter J. Feeney of the Mathematics Department was 
named dean of the Graduate School. 

What was known as the Intown College became the Evening College 
early in Father Walsh's presidency, when the school was moved to the 
Chestnut Hill campus. The dean. Father Charles Toomey, was succeeded 
by Father Charles W. Crowley in 1960. Father Crowley served until the last 
year of the Walsh administration, when the present energetic dean. Father 
James A. Woods, became dean. 

There were other appointments that reflected a growing concern for the 
administration of student life on campus. In 1967 a new position was 
created for Father Edward J. Hanrahan. Formerly director of resident 
students, he was appointed dean of students. Father Hanrahan, a former 
officer in the U.S. Army, was to earn the respect of the students through a 
fair and impartial enforcement of the regulations for 18 years. (The 
students were convinced that he had eyes in the back of his head!) To 

Years of Accomplishment 315 

Father Edward J. Hanrahan, 
dean of students for a quarter 
of a century. 

provide further help for the growing number of female students, Ann Flynn 
was appointed assistant dean of women. Brian J. Counihan became assis- 
tant dean of students. 

The 1967-1968 academic year began with problems that were new to Boston 
College. On Monday morning, September 18, 1967, the maintenance work- 
ers (custodians, painters, carpenters, electricians, truck drivers, maids, and 
ground crew) picketed the gates to the campus. It was the first strike at 
Boston College. The workers wanted recognition as a bargaining union and 
a new contract. Although initially opposed to arbitration by the Labor 
Relations Board, the administration finally agreed to LRB jurisdiction; but 
at that point the union declined the board's mediation. The five-day strike 
ended on September 25, when the administration recognized Local 254 as 
their official bargaining agent (which was, in turn, certified by the LRB). 
Over 90 percent of Boston College maintenance workers had signed union 
cards. = 

A Commitment to Academic Progress 

Father Walsh's presidency was a period of determined commitment to 
academic progress. The president's determination was reflected in the 
agendas of deans and faculty and echoed by a number of the students. At 
the graduate level, this was an era of building faculty strength and academic 
resources for the inauguration of doctoral programs. The first three years 
of the 1960s saw doctoral programs begun in three sciences: chemistry 
(1960), physics (1961), and biology (1963). In 1966 the Philosophy De- 
partment started its doctorate, and the following year doctoral programs 
in modern languages and psychology were begun. As the decade ended five 
more Ph.D. programs were launched: Germanic studies (1969), English 

316 History of Boston College 

and sociology (1970), and political science and theology (1971). Because 
of a change in personnel, the Ph.D. in Germanic studies was discontinued 
in 1977. 

While the inauguration of these later doctoral programs belonged to the 
Joyce era, the foundation for them was firmly laid in earlier years. The 
growth of faculty strength at this time is seen in the number of new faculty 
members added in successive years: 1962-1963, 14; 1963-1964, 37; 
1964-1965, 54; 1965-1966, 46; 1966-1967, 83; 1967-1968, 75; 1968- 
1969, 101. It was a period of heady and optimistic expansion. Nevertheless, 
the expansion was done with prudent planning and with appropriate 
checkpoints. Proposals for doctoral programs had to survive stiff depart- 
mental skepticism, then scrutiny by the Educational Policy Committee of 
the Graduate School, and finally review by the central administration and 
trustees. Also at this point in the University's governance, each doctoral 
program had to receive approval from the Provincial of the New England 
Province of the Jesuits and, more significantly, from Father General in 
Rome. Rome was already wary of what was perceived as a tendency of 
American Jesuit colleges and universities to overexpand, so approvals were 
not given lightly. Indeed, each approval was a vote of confidence in the 

At the undergraduate level, especially in the College of Arts and Sciences, 
there was an almost competitive intellectualism. Father Walsh, aggressively 
abetted by his strong-minded dean of A&S, Father William Van Etten 
Casey, considered the College of Arts and Sciences the flagship of the 
institution, and he was determined to achieve dramatic academic advances 
there. Reflecting such ideals, as early as 1958 The Heights was calling for 
more "eggheads" at Boston College and lamenting that only 193 Boston 
College alumni had earned the Ph.D. degree in 21 years.* There was great 
concern about the winning of national fellowships such as Woodrow 
Wilson, Marshall, NSF, and Danforth fellowships by Boston College 
seniors, and the University's success was compared with that of other 
institutions. Departments announced with pride the number of their majors 
opting for graduate study, especially in Ph.D. areas. In 1963 The Heights 
trumpeted that 60 percent of the senior class was committed to graduate 
study the next year.^ The 1960s was probably the most self-consciously 
intellectual period in Boston College's history. 

The 1960s saw a number of academic beginnings — sometimes fledgling 
beginnings — of programs that have burgeoned in subsequent decades. John 
Eichorn came to Boston College from the University of Indiana to head the 
special education program, which has won substantial federal funding. 
William Cottle, at about the same time, joined the School of Education 
faculty from the University of Kansas to lead the robust counseling psy- 
chology program. 

The College of Business Administration began to attract faculty members 
with strong quantitative backgrounds — a development that led to establish- 

Years of Accomplishment 317 

ment of the influential Quantitative Management and Computer Science 
Department. Indeed, CBA at this time (1963) offered the first computer 
science course at Boston College. The first computer for academic use was 
obtained by the Mathematics Department under Father Stanley Bezuszka's 
direction. At about the same time the registrar, Father John Fitzgerald, 
introduced a computer for administrative uses. 

In an effort to bring the Theology and Philosophy departments into 
harmony with major thrusts of the Second Vatican Council, sweeping 
curricular changes were initiated in 1966. In place of the rather limited 
fixed set of courses that had been prescribed for decades, broad new 
programs of electives — as many as 64 in philosophy — were introduced.'* In 
keeping with the ecumenical emphasis of the recently concluded Council, 
Boston College was active in promoting the concept, and then the reality, 
of the Boston Theological Institute, a consortium of prime theological 
schools in the Boston area for cross-registration in courses and sharing of 
hbrary and other facilities.' 

Toward the end of 1967 Dean Rita Kelleher announced her resignation. 
She had been with the School of Nursing since its inception and had given 
it masterful leadership. In recognition of her unique contributions, the 
trustees voted to confer on her an honorary degree at the June 1968 

Dean Kelleher's successor was Margaret Foley, who had earned a doctor- 
ate at St. Louis University and for 20 years had served as executive secretary 
of the Conference of Catholic Schools of Nursing. Unfortunately her term 
was a brief one due to ill health. Rita Kelleher returned as acting head of 
the school while Dean Foley was hospitalized. When Dean Foley died in 
September 1970 a new president. Father Joyce, presided at her funeral 

Student Protest: Civil Rights 

In the 1960s and early 1970s many American colleges, reflecting or perhaps 
even exaggerating the mood of American society, were in turmoil, particu- 
larly regarding issues of civil rights and the Vietnam war. Turmoil is 
probably too strong a word to describe the student protest that developed 
at Boston College. Student protest of the disruptive sort did not become a 
phenomenon of campus hfe at Boston College until the presidency of 
Father W. Seavey Joyce (1968-1972). Still, it is worth reviewing student 
reaction to the protest issues during the earlier 1960s. One can get an 
impression of how these issues influenced the Boston College community 
by scanning the pages of The Heights. 

In April 1960 a Heights article charged that the Boston College campus 
was apathetic about the constitutional rights of Southern blacks.^" The next 
month there were scoldings because the University was not yet represented 
in a proposed Greater Boston collegiate rally against segregation." 

318 History of Boston College 

During the 1960s Father Robert Drinan, Law School dean, was Boston 
College's leading spokesman on civil rights matters, and the The Heights 
faithfully recorded his opinions. Early in the controversy about ethnic 
separation in the Boston schools, Father Drinan condemned what he called 
the de facto segregation of the pubhc schools in Boston.'- Father Drinan 
openly challenged Boston College students to become involved in the racial 
issue by associating themselves with the programs of CORE and NAACP." 
In a Red Mass sermon for jurists and lawyers in Jamaica, New York, the 
Law School dean criticized Catholics for racial apathy, and this was 
reported to the campus community.^'' 

In late 1965 the University proudly announced the inauguration in the 
following summer of the "Upward Bound" program to help prepare 
minority children for college entrance. Upward Bound was to continue for 
10 years. 

In 1967 the Boston College community's attention was called to a 
document from the Superior General of the Society of Jesus in Rome, 
addressed to all American Jesuits, concerning racial justice. Father Pedro 
Arrupe noted the identification of American Jesuits with the middle class 
and their lagging behind in promoting the interests of blacks. He said, 
". . . the Society of Jesus has not committed its manpower and other 
resources to the interracial apostolate in any degree commensurate with 
the need [of blacks] to share in our services." He urged Jesuit schools and 
colleges to encourage blacks to apply for admission and to offer them 
scholarships and other financial assistance. '^ 

A December 1967 issue of The Heights carried a story that showed positive 
action on the racial issue by one academic department. The Speech Depart- 
ment, under the leadership of its dynamic chairman, John Lawton, launched 
a program in which Boston College students travelled to parish and Catholic 
school audiences to inform them of the church's stand on racial justice. 
The program cited not Father General Arrupe's exhortation but rather the 
admonition in the Papal Encyclical, "On Progress of Peoples," which de- 
plored discrimination against blacks. The question addressed by Dr. Law- 
ton's speakers was, "To what extent have American Catholics implemented 
the papal teaching on interracial justice?" The principal topics covered were 
the education, employment, and housing of blacks. The Speech Depart- 
ment program was one of the University's most constructive responses to 
the race issue. It became an apostolic project of the chairman of the Speech 
Department, who even raised funds from friends to subsidize the travel of 
his student speakers. '<> 

In the spring of his last year in office. Father Walsh announced the 
estabhshment of a $100,000 scholarship fund to attract black students to 
Boston College.'^ This fund was to grow dramatically as a subsidy to what 
came to be called the "Black Talent Program" under Father Joyce. This 
program will be treated in detail in the next chapter. 

Years of Accomplishment 319 

Student Protest: The Vietnam War 

A second protest issue on campuses during the 1960s was the Vietnam 
War and the concomitant draft. For many the memory of the war in 
Southeast Asia remains both fresh and bitter. United States involvement, 
begun under President Dwight Eisenhower, continued to grow under 
President Lyndon Johnson. After the Tonkin Gulf Resolution of 1964, the 
president increased U.S. troop strength to 200,000; General William 
Westmoreland requested that 540,000 troops be made available by 1967. 
As the casualties climbed and the draft came closer to the collegiate 
population, the potential for student reaction increased. 

During Father Walsh's regime, reaction on campus to the Vietnam war 
was somewhat restrained and balanced — that is, two-sided. For example, 
the first reference in The Heights to the Vietnam war was in October 1965 
when the paper published two articles presenting pro and con arguments 
concerning the war." A week later The Heights had two articles justifying 
U.S. intervention in Vietnam.^' In November The Heights carried a report 
of a debate on the war between a Boston University professor (pro) and 
Professor Raymond McNally of Boston College (con). In December there 
was an account of a Neic York Times ad signed by 190 faculty members 
from 17 New England colleges, including 19 from Boston College, sup- 
porting the United States position in Vietnam.^° A January 1966 issue 
reported that a number of Boston College students attended a downtown 
rally in support of the Vietnam war.^' The following month The Heights 
editors again presented contrasting pro and con views of the war.-- In 
March the Catholic Peace Fellowship of Boston ran an ad in The Heights 
signed by nine faculty members and some students calling for an end of 
the Vietnam hostilities.-' 

The following fall The Heights noted the pope's plea for a month of 
prayer to bring about a peaceful settlement of the Vietnamese conflict. The 
same issue outlined the special Masses and services that the University 
would conduct in responding to the Holy Father's request. One was to be 
a campus demonstration for peace, and the University reUgious director, 
Father John Gallagher, was quoted as saying, "This is not a pacifist 
demonstration, but a demonstration of concern for peace. Of course, 
pacifists are welcome, as are all people who are opposed to war and 

A big event of the fall of 1966 was the visit to the campus of Vice 
President Hubert Humphrey. Various antiwar groups planned to picket 
Humphrey's talk in Roberts Center, and they distributed flyers around 
town and on the campus. A small group of Boston College students 
objected to their activity on campus and succeeded in having them with- 
draw; The Heights condemned the actions of these students.-^ On the day 
of the address, as 3500 people awaited Humphrey's arrival in Roberts, a 
group of picketers including a handful of Boston College students marched 

320 History of Boston College 

on the sidewalk along Beacon Street. A crowd of Boston College students 
(estimated by The Heights at 500) shouted at the pickets, "Get off our 
campus." The Heights, in condemning the counterdemonstrators, attrib- 
uted their actions not to support for the war but to concern for the "image" 
of Boston College that would be projected by the picketing of the vice 

In the spring of 1967 The Heights reported plans for a Vietnam week, 
with some activities sponsored by the Catholic Peace Fellowship and 
counteractivities under the aegis of Young Americans for Freedom. The 
same issue carried an editorial calling for an end to the Vietnam War and 
urging support for the upcoming antiwar marches in New York and San 

By the fall of 1967 The Heights' editorial policy was clearly aimed at 
opposing the war effort. The paper called attention to a massive antiwar 
demonstration to be held in Washington.-'* But the following week there 
was an account of a rally on Bapst lawn in support of our men in Vietnam 
sponsored by YAF (Young Americans for Freedom). ^^ In November a 
Heights article reported conflict at the Law School, with some faculty and 
students protesting the presence of recruiters from Dow Chemical, manu- 
facturer of napalm. In the same issue there was a full-page ad signed by 
faculty members at local colleges, including 31 from Boston College, 
protesting the war in Vietnam and U.S. use of napalm.^" A later issue in the 
same month noted that the national AAUP had condemned student protest 
blocking recruiters or speakers as an interference with academic freedom.^' 

In December 1967 The Heights reported that a Boston College faculty 
antiwar committee had been established, with 30 present at the organiza- 
tional meeting. The group planned to counsel draft resisters and support 
them if arrested.^^ Two weeks later 102 faculty members had a full-page ad 
condemning "the government's" war in Vietnam.^^ But still the campus 
was neither radicalized nor radically split. In February the Campus Council, 
in an attempt to "break the relative silence in the Vietnam war debate on 
the B.C. campus," planned a "Vietnam Week" to present and explore all 
sides of the issue.''' 

Perhaps unconsciously presaging things to come, in the final semester of 
Father Walsh's presidency a pohcy on student demonstrations was pub- 
lished. Any proposed protest must be registered with the Office of the Dean 
of Students. The policy stated in part, "Violence in every form and peaceful 
intimidation which incites violent reactions are repugnant and intolerable 
in any expression of assent or dissent."'^ 

From 1960 to 1968 the Boston College campus was definitely aware of 
the issues of race and war that were troubling American society and leading 
to violent confrontations at some universities. But the atmosphere at the 
University was restrained and pohte compared with what it would become 
a few years later. 

Years of Accomplishment 321 

Matching Societal Changes: New Regulations 

The 1960s were a period of student unrest and agitation. Many of the 
relaxations of collegiate rules that occurred during that decade at Boston 
College, however, were not initiated by the students but were part of a 
societal movement toward decreased regimentation. For example, when 
student residences were opened after World War II, the administration 
simply adopted dormitory customs that had been in effect for a century at 
established Jesuit boarding colleges such as Holy Cross and Georgetown, 
including obligatory attendance at daily Mass. In the academic year 1959— 
1960 that rule was reduced to attendance at Mass twice a week, and during 
the following decade the Mass attendance requirement was removed en- 

Another standard feature of student life at Boston College and other 
Jesuit colleges during the nineteenth century and the first half of the 
twentieth century was the annual religious retreat — two or three days 
completely dedicated to spiritual talks by priests, frequently distinguished 
Jesuits who made a career of such apostolic activity. In 1964 it was decided 
that instead of an annual retreat, each student would be bound to make 
two retreats during his four years at college. The following year — the year, 
incidentally, of the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council — the require- 
ment concerning retreats was abolished. 

In the strictly academic realm, class attendance had been obligatory since 
the founding of the University. To take care of sickness or other emergency 
absences, a "cut" system was in effect in the 1940s and 1950s whereby a 
student might, without adverse administrative action, be absent from a 
number of classes in a course equal to twice the credits assigned to the 
course. Since most semester courses carried three credits, six unexplained 
absences were tolerated. In the 1960s there began to be discussion of a 
more relaxed regulation. In 1961 a policy was adopted making class 
attendance voluntary for Dean's List students. In 1965 the voluntary class 
attendance policy was extended to all students in all courses. 

In the early post- WW II period the student handbook set forth definite 
dress standards for the all-male student population. Coats and ties were to 
be worn in class. As time went by there was a gradual relaxation in the 
College of Arts and Sciences, so that sweaters and other informal dress 
became acceptable. However, under the stern eye of its indomitable dean 
of men. Father Francis McManus, the College of Business Administration 
(as it was then known) held fast to the coat and tie requirement until 1966, 
when a relaxation of the CBA dress requirements merited notice in The 

As noted above, the changes during the 1960s described here did not 
occur as a form of yielding to student pressure or organized protests. In 
fact, in some instances — especially the issue of voluntary class attendance — 

322 History of Boston College 

there was some initial doubt or resistance on the part of some students. 
One area where students did actively lobby for change, however, was 
participation in academic policy-making bodies. Shortly after the Educa- 
tional Policy Committee was established in the College of Arts and Sciences 
in 1964, students petitioned the EPC for student representation on that 
body; the request was denied. But in the spring of 1968 the A&S student 
senate celebrated victory; the Educational Policy Committee made provi- 
sion for two student representatives, later increased to four. 

Participation in University Governance 

During his last year in office, Father Walsh established a committee to draw 
up a blueprint for the University Academic Senate. Uppermost in his mind 
was the involvement of the faculty more intimately in the decision-making 
process for University affairs." The planning committee agreed upon a 3:2 
ratio of faculty to administrative members on UAS. This having been 
settled, the question was raised as to whether there should be any student 
representation. Some felt that since faculty were just gaining a common 
deliberative forum with the administration, this advance might be some- 
what diminished by the inclusion of student representatives. Others sug- 
gested that students would not be given any kind of proportionate repre- 
sentation but would have a few slots to insure the presence of the student 
viewpoint. Ultimately it was agreed to include two student members on the 
UAS. The planning committee felt that it had taken a liberal and progressive 
stand in granting two places to students, but they soon learned that many 

Helen Landreth, first cu- 
rator of the Irish Collec- 

Years of Accomplishment 323 

students were incensed by such limited representation, which was con- 
demned as tokenism.^' The proposed charter for the University Academic 
Senate went to the full faculty for ratification in March 1968. There was a 
good faculty response: 62 percent of the entire faculty voted, and 51 
percent of the entire faculty approved the charter. Of those voting, 82 
percent approved the charter with two slots for students.^' The UAS was 
not organized until the following fall, when Father W. Seavey Joyce was 
president, and he was to find that student unhappiness with the structure 
of the University Academic Senate would lead to the first student demon- 
stration in his regime. 

While the Undergraduate Government of Boston College (UGBC) be- 
came a reality the year after Father Walsh left the presidency, the planning 
for and authorization of UGBC took place in 1967-1968; accordingly, this 
is an appropriate place to consider the gradual evolution of student 
government at Boston College. Over a period of three decades, student 
organization went from an exclusive emphasis on class (senior, junior, 
sophomore, freshman) activities to a senate organization in each under- 
graduate school topped by a coordinating council, to the present UGBC 
structure embracing the entire undergraduate student body as a single 
political entity. 

The student handbooks of the 1950s explained that each class would 
have five officers: president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and Athletic 
Association representative. That the focus of the government was mainly 
social was shown by the provision that in the junior class an additional 
officer would be elected to run the junior prom and the junior week tea 
dance. In the days of the more or less prescribed curriculum, students were 
assigned to fixed divisions or sections, groups of students who took most 
of their classes together. This rather domestic arrangement was reflected in 
the advisory councils for each class president, composed of the class officers 
and one representative of each division or section in the year. Each year 
also had a moderator, usually a Jesuit assigned by the president. 

In 1959, possibly because at last the School of Nursing was at the 
Chestnut Hill campus and the entire undergraduate student body could act 
in consort, a new form of student government was inaugurated. Each of 
the undergraduate colleges had its own senate to care for internal matters. 
The activities and concerns of the four classes were entrusted to four 
interclass councils. Campus-wide issues and interests came under the 
jurisdiction of the Campus Council, composed of a few senators from each 
of the student senates. The Campus Council's constitution, published 
annually in the Boston College Handbook, noted that it would be in effect 
when approved by the student senates and the deans of the respective 
colleges and by the president of the University. The constitution also 
provided for a moderator, appointed by the president, who would attend 
all meetings. The moderator had power to suspend or veto council action; 

324 History of Boston College 

in the event of a suspension or veto, the council, upon a two-thirds vote, 
could appeal to the Council of the Deans. It is therefore clear that in 1959, 
when the Campus Council's constitution was published, there was still 
considerable dependence by the students on the authority and guidance of 
the administration, as demonstrated by their seeking the approval of deans 
and the president to establish the legitimacy of their government and by the 
strong role assigned to the faculty moderator. 

The Campus Council, with its concomitant governmental bodies, was 
operative from 1959 to 1968. The last time the Campus Council's consti- 
tution appeared in the student handbook, the title of the moderator was 
changed to advisor, which reflects the less directive spirit of the late 1960s; 
but the definition of the role and authority of the advisor remained the 
same as that of the original moderator. 

As the student body grew larger and more residential in the 1960s, 
scheduhng of events by classes and organizations became more complex. 
The Campus Council addressed this problem and, after appropriate con- 
sultation and approval, established the Social Commission. An eight-page 
charter for the Social Commission appeared in the handbook for 1967— 
1968, the last year of the Campus Council's existence. The need for a 
Social Commission underscored the need for a stronger coordinating 
organization for student government, and during the academic year 1967- 
1968 a constitutional convention was held for the purpose of chartering an 
entirely new vehicle of student government. The work of the convention 
proceeded calmly and in a nonadversarial atmosphere during a period of 
student activism, and there emerged a radically different structure, a much 
stronger central government for the entire undergraduate student body, 
whose validity derived from its own constitution rather than from a 
relationship with the senates of the four schools. The description of student 
government in the 1970-1971 University Student Guide points out that the 
constitutional convention and the resultant UGBC were a byproduct of the 
University Committee on Student Life in 1967, headed by the then new 
vice president for student affairs. Father George Drury. So the development 
of a stronger and more independent student government was achieved 
under the guidance of the administration. The new UGBC constitution 
provided for ratification by the student body, with no reference to approval 
by deans or the president. No provision was made for a faculty or other 

At least two factors contributed to the success of UGBC. The first was 
financial clout. The administration acquiesced in the arrangement called 
for by the UGBC constitution whereby the funds resulting from the student 
activities fee were controlled and managed by UGBC. This gave student 
government extraordinary fiscal responsibility and leverage. The second 
factor enhancing the prestige of UGBC was its continuation and enlarge- 
ment of the role of the Campus Council's Social Commission, acting as 

Years of Accomplishment 325 

arbiter and in many respects controller of the extra-class calendar of the 
students. However, UGBC has been the student government structure of 
the 1970s and 1980s, so its growth and achievement will be noted 

The Connection with Weston College 

An account of these years in the development of the University would be 
incomplete without a brief description of the relationship between Boston 
College and Weston College. At Weston College, which had a pontifical 
charter, the young Jesuits of the New England Province pursued their 
philosophical and theological studies for civil and ecclesiastical degrees in 
preparation for their priestly apostolate. Boston College played an impor- 
tant role in the academic formation of New England Jesuits. 

Located in the nearby suburb of Weston, the School of Philosophy at 
Weston College had for many years been a constituent college within the 
University, and was so designated in the official catalog. The bachelor's and 
master's degrees were granted by Boston College, but the two schools were 
financially and academically distinct and geographically separated. The 
School of Philosophy had its own dean and faculty; at the undergraduate 
level, the courses, examinations and papers were given, graded, and di- 
rected by the Jesuit faculty.'"' This working arrangement, while academically 
justified, was a httle unusual and, to some extent, casual. As might be 
predicted, there was friction from time to time over the lines of jurisdiction. 

With this in mind, and wishing to improve the procedures, "A Statement 
of the Relationship of the School of Philosophy to Boston College" was 
drawn up and signed on December 9, 1959, by John V. O'Connor, S.J., 
rector of Weston College, and Michael P. Walsh, S.J.'" It reaffirmed the 
fact that the School of Philosophy was a constituent college in the University 
structure and subject to the broad poficies of the University. In certain 
matters, those especially that pertained to the A.B. and B.S. degrees, the 
dean of the School of Philosophy was responsible to the president of Boston 
College; in matters that concerned the master's degree, he was responsible 
to the dean of the Graduate School. Even the new procedures did not 
entirely eliminate friction, but these problems were usually resolved in a 
fraternal way. The point is, however, that as time went on academic 
administrators and religious superiors were persuaded that it would be 
advantageous to both the young Jesuits and the University to cement even 
closer ties. Progressive Jesuit fathers at Weston were convinced that the 
academic isolation of the scholastics was not a good thing. 

So, in September 1965 the campus on the Heights had a new look. The 
Provincial Superior and his counselors agreed, with the approval of the 
trustees of Boston College, that the Jesuit scholastics should take their 
philosophy courses and upper division electives at the Heights. Conse- 

326 History of Boston College 

quently, there was an unaccustomed influx of young men in cassocks and 
birettas taking their places in the classrooms with the Boston College 
undergraduates. The mixture was something of a novelty for both groups, 
and it added another dimension to the campus. Certainly the Jesuit charac- 
ter of the University was further enhanced. The Jesuit faculty at Weston, of 
course, contributed their services to this new enterprise. 

Three years later, the dean of the School of Philosophy, Oliva Blanchette, 
S.J., proposed a "Program for Jesuit studies at Boston College."''- The 
program was designed to be a replacement for the School of Liberal Arts 
at Shadowbrook, where young Jesuits completed their classical studies, and 
the School of Philosophy. It was to be administered by a Jesuit (Father 
Blanchette was later appointed to this task) with the title of Associate Dean 
of Jesuit Studies. He was assisted by an academic committee for overall 
supervision of the program and by a subcommittee. The special subcom- 
mittee, with five of its members chosen from the Department of Philosophy, 
was responsible for implementing a specific program in systematic philos- 
ophy and had to be approved by the Jesuit Provincial. Basically, it was a 
new effort to prepare Jesuit scholastics, who were now eligible for the 
honors program, for their undergraduate degree and also to ensure a 
proper foundation in philosophy for their future studies in theology. 

The administration of the program was admittedly complicated, inas- 
much as it involved the academic vice president, the chairman of the 
Philosophy Department, and the Jesuit dean. The New England Provincial, 
who had ultimate responsibiUty of his scholastics, was necessarily involved 
in its operation. Boston College, in addition to its academic contribution, 
gave full scholarship aid to each Jesuit scholastic. As is clear from this brief 
description, the University had become a key component in the academic 
formation of the New England Jesuits. 

The School of Theology at Weston College was also listed in the Boston 
College catalog as a constituent school of the University, and the names of 
those who received theological degrees were printed in the commencement 
program. However, the connection between Boston College and the School 
of Theology had never been properly defined. The academic association 
between the two schools was vague enough when the School of Theology 
was located at Weston; it was even more tenuous after the school moved 
its operation to Cambridge in 1968. The reasons for the move to Cam- 
bridge, in view of the educational advantages it offered in consort with 
other divinity schools, were compelling.^^ However, the decision to change 
the degree offered caused further confusion. 

The School of Theology, with pontifical approval, offered a Licentiate in 
Sacred Theology (STL) to those who qualified after four years of theology. 
This was an ecclesiastical degree. After the move to Cambridge, the school 
offered a Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) and an advanced Master of Divinity 
degree (M.Div.) — both considered civil degrees. In anticipation of the move 
to Cambridge, the dean at Weston began to discuss some of these questions 

Years of Accomplishment Jill 

with Father Donovan, the academic vice president at Boston College. The 
latter referred the questions to the president, who wrote, "I am not too 
sure, either, what arrangement we have with the School of Theology at 
Weston. There is actually no legal tie-in with them. It is sort of a handshake 
agreement."'" Father Walsh's main concern was with the M.Div. as a 
terminal degree for hiring and promotion purposes. His advice to the dean 
at Weston, Father J. A. Devenny, was that he should do as he wished but 
refrain from "raising these technical difficulties.""^ 

After the Weston theologate moved to Cambridge, the confusion contin- 
ued. In 1971, when Robert White, S.J., president of Weston College, 
informed the president of Boston College that he was appointing a new 
dean. Father W. Seavey Joyce, S.J., did not conceal his annoyance in a letter 
to his academic vice president. Since Father White was informing him of 
this change, Father Joyce assumed there was some connection between the 
two schools. If there was a connection, he wanted an answer to certain 

If Weston College and/or its School of Theology form a constituent school of 
our University, why must they have a separate President besides a separate 
Dean? I am aware, of course, that Weston has always been financially separate 
from Boston College. This is a considerable difference. On the other hand, 
according to our Statutes, the President of Boston College appoints our 
deans, and these appointments require the concurrence of the Directors.'"^ 

In his opinion, the whole situation was "very messy." He suggested that 
"we face up to the fact that Weston College is, in fact, not a constituent 
school of Boston College."''^ 

In the ensuing years, Weston College at Cambridge and Boston College 
have indeed become two completely distinct and separate institutions. 
Weston College which, in addition to the Jesuits, enrolls laymen and 
laywomen as well as religious men and women, confers its own civil 
degrees, which have state and regional approval. As Jesuit institutions in 
the New England Province, they share a fraternal bond and the theological 
faculties enjoy a cordial academic relationship. 

While many Jesuits associate Weston College with their philosophical 
and theological studies, other scholars — locally, nationally, and interna- 
tionally — associate the name with the physical sciences. Over the years, the 
Weston Observatory, founded in 1928 by Edward P. Tivnan, S.J., has 
brought to Boston College both prestige and, indeed, financial emoluments 
through government contracts. Henry M. Brock, S.J., a graduate of MIT, 
was appointed the first director of the observatory. Through his contacts, 
Francis Tondorf, S.J., an eminent seismologist at Georgetown University, 
donated a 25-kilogram Bosch-Omori seismograph, the first major piece of 
equipment acquired by the observatory. This was augmented in 1934 when 
Father Francis J. Dolan, S.J., president of the College of the Holy Cross, 
donated a Wiechert (80 kg) seismograph to Weston. As a result of personal 

328 History of Boston College 

gifts to him, Father Michael J. Ahern, S.J., one of the best-known Jesuits in 
New England and director of the observatory from 1940-1950, purchased 
a 3-component Benioff in 1936."^ The observatory was in business. 

From 1930 to 1949, these dehcate instruments were located in the 
"Mansion," the original building on the grounds, and the observatory was 
supported by the New England Province. The construction of a new, 
modern seismological observatory, built adjacent to the "Mansion," was 
completed in 1949, and the instruments were transferred to the new facility 
at that time. 

In a true sense, Father Daniel Linehan, S.J., an internationally recognized 
seismologist, is the father of the Weston Observatory of Boston College. 
Director of the observatory from 1950 to 1972, he founded the Department 
of Geophysics in 1949, which was located at the observatory but affiliated 
with Boston College. Father James Skehan, S.J., with a Ph.D. from Harvard, 
established the Department of Geology at Boston College in 1956. In 1968 
these two departments were merged to become the Department of Geology 
and Geophysics at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Weston 
Observatory itself, where many of the classes are held in proximity to the 
speciahzed library, became financially and academically a constituent part 
of Boston College in 1946. The seismic unit has, perhaps, garnered the 
lion's share of publicity as part of a world-wide network that reports on 
earthquakes and other natural phenomena. 

The Downtown Club 

A promising, but short-lived, project of the 1960s deserves mention. A 
group of young alumni drew up plans for "The Boston College Downtown 
Club." In proposing this new venture, the "founding fathers" explained 
that it would bring the alumni closer together by providing social and 
recreational facilities; it would also deepen Boston College's interest in and 
commitment to the City of Boston. It would, in the words of Vice President 
W. Seavey Joyce, S.J., "give a new visibility, a new evidence of Boston 
College in the heart of the city."'*' 

At the Founders Day Dinner in April 1967 at the Sheraton-Plaza Hotel, 
Father Walsh declared that "The Boston College Downtown Club is a 
milestone in the history of Boston College." The 600 alumni who were 
present on that occasion vowed, "It can be done."^" These same alumni, 
with $35.00 each, acquired charter membership; and 30 alumni each gave 
$1000 for life membership. The club had been incorporated in October 
1966 as a nonprofit organization with a charter. A building had been 
selected and a bank was committed to the mortgage. The proposed 
structure was a four-story brick building on Hawkins Street near the newly 
developed Government Center. The building had to be purchased from the 
Boston Redevelopment Authority and renovated for approximately 
$360,000; another $40,000 would be spent on furnishings.^^ 

Years of Accomplishment 329 

The president of the club, John E. Joyce ('61), explained to his constitu- 
ency that the immediate goal was 900 regular members. With 800 annual 
members and 70 life members, the club could count on $100,000. When 
the club reached that mark, the president explained, the Charlestown 
Savings Bank would provide a mortgage of $300,000. 

The original plan, as events turned out, was too ambitious and had to be 
drastically amended. In October 1970 the Boston College Downtown Club 
opened its new home at 280 Devonshire Street, site of the much-loved and 
well-remembered Warmuth's Restaurant. The club was available for lunch- 
eons, parties, and social events; it was used by the alumni to meet business 
acquaintances and associates. But complications developed. The club had 
occupied Warmuth's with the understanding that it could remain for two 
years, giving the president and directors an opportunity to explore other 
possibihties. However, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, which had an option on the 
building, moved in more quickly than had been anticipated. The president 
and board of directors then made the difficult decision to terminate the 
club in order to avoid a future debt. The club closed down officially in May 

The Alumni Association 

The Downtown Club episode calls attention to the Alumni Association 
itself. The Alumni Association at Boston College has always been close- 
knit, generous (according to individual means), fraternal, and enthusiastic. 
The first issue of the Alumni Bulletin, published in October 1919, an- 
nounced the appointment of the first alumni secretary. The Bulletin, like 
many new ventures, had its ups and downs, with frequent lapses in 
pubhcation. In October 1933, however, volume 1, number 1 of Alumnus 
appeared. This journal, which was designed to "disseminate news concern- 
ing Alma Mater" and act as a channel for alumni activities, has gone 
through several formats. But publication has been continuous, consistent, 
and interesting as Alumni News, Bridge and, presently, Boston College 
Magazine — the last justly praised for its design and content. 

Even a casual perusal of alumni publications reveals the intense loyalty 
and genuine pride of Boston College graduates. The formal association 
itself, with outstanding officers, has been energized and motivated by such 
popular directors as William Flynn ('39), the late Walter Boudreau ('43), 
football and hockey star, and the present incumbent, John Wissler ('57), 
who was appointed to this office in 1967. For 36 years the attractive chalet 
that used to stand at 76 Commonwealth Avenue was the Alumni Associa- 
tion headquarters and scene of innumerable alumni gatherings, class reun- 
ions, dances, banquets, and football game celebrations. When the chalet, 
along with the former Philomatheia Club building, was razed to make 
room for attractive new dormitories, the Alumni Association found a new 
home in Putnam House on the Centre Street campus, one of the two 

330 History of Boston College 

original mansions with which Newton College of the Sacred Heart was 
begun. The new headquarters provide a gracious and efficient setting for 
Alumni Association business and functions. 

Several alumni groups celebrate and support varsity athletics. The annual 
Varsity Club dinner is one of the highlights of the year. One such memora- 
ble dinner was held at the new Sheraton-Boston on January 6, 1966, with 
1700 in attendance, including members of the 1940 Bowl Team.^^ The Blue 
Chips, an organization for the specific support of the hockey team, was 
founded in 1969 by Alfred Branca, M.D. ('39), who had been president of 
the Alumni Association in 1967-1968. The Hall of Fame was inaugurated 
in 1970. 

Athletics in the Sixties 

To comment briefly on athletics in the 1960s, the football team did not 
enjoy national ranking at that time, although there were bright spots. The 
1967 season, for example, was disappointing, ending with a 4—6 record. 
Army, Syracuse, Penn State, and Villanova were worthy opponents, but the 
other teams on the schedule were not considered formidable. The loss 
through graduation of ail-American Bob Hyland, who was a first-draft 
choice for the NFL, was probably the difference. Gary Andrachik from St. 
Ignatius High School in Cleveland, an outside linebacker, gave promise but 
suffered injuries in his senior year. Barry Gallup, a wide receiver on the 
1967 team, was nationally recognized and later became an outstanding 
coach at Boston College. 

The incomparable Robert Cousy, formerly a member of the world 
champion Boston Celtics, came to Boston College as head basketball coach 
in 1962. During his five years on the Heights, Boston College became one 
of the top 10 teams in the country. In 1967 Coach Cousy's team won 17 
and lost 7. His teams went twice to the NIT and once to the Eastern 
NCAA. It was a dramatic improvement over previous years in this sport. 

For more than a generation, John "Snooks" Kelley and hockey were 
practically synonymous at Boston College. A graduate of the class of 1928, 
"Snooks" became head coach in 1936; as he began his 30th year in 1966, 
he had won 400 games. Dean of American collegiate hockey coaches, he 
retired in 1972 after joining that exclusive group of coaches whose teams 
had won over 500 games. In those years Boston College won the NCAA 
national championship in 1949; went twice to the NCAA finals (1956 and 
1965); and won the Boston Bean Pot trophy several times. He was suc- 
ceeded by one of his former players, Leonard Ceglarski.^"' 

The "great American game" has had a long tradition at the Heights. In 
the 1920s and 1930s the fierce rivalry between Boston College and Holy 
Cross drew literally thousands of spectators. In the 1960s, however, 
collegiate baseball seemed to be losing its attraction on every campus. In 
1967 the Boston College baseball team, under Coach Eddie Pellagrini, did 

Years of Accomplishment 331 

Robert Cousy, basketball coach, 

not get off to a fast start, although it boasted some long-ball hitters. There 
was no home field and, due to poor weather, no home games. Nevertheless, 
Boston College managed to slip into the NCAA regionals, much to the 
dismay of Harvard, which had had a good season. In a crucial game of a 
three-game series, Boston College managed to beat the University of 
Massachusetts 7-6 in 12 innings in the rubber game. The Eagles then went 
on to the final in Omaha, where they won their first game over Ryder 
College 3-1. The bubble burst two days later when they lost to Houston, 

Track and field was another major intercollegiate sport at this time. 
Coach WiUiam GiUigan succeeded the legendary Jack Ryder in 1952. Where 
Coach Ryder had concentrated on the sprints and the relay, Gilligan 
concentrated on the weights and developed some outstanding performers 
in the hammer throw, the discus, and the shotput. George "Dizzy" Desnoy- 
ers and John Fiore were accorded all-American honors in the hammer 
throw; they also threw the discus. Many remember that Harold Connolly 
('53), who began under Ryder, was developed by Gilligan and won the 

332 History of Boston College 

Gold Medal in the 1956 Olympics. Coach Gilligan retired after 29 years 
and was succeeded by Coach Jack McDonald in 1981. 

Any reference to athletics at Boston College in these "middle years" 
would be incomplete without a bow to Eddie Miller ('57, MBA '68, Ed.D. 
'90). Popular with the alumni, coaches, and press, he was for a number of 
years the director of sports publicity at Boston College. His friendly 
contacts with the Boston sports writers assured coverage of every event, 
and his winning personahty made him a friend of every writer. His 
contribution to the sports program was large, indeed. He was later ap- 
pointed director of public relations for the University, but many were 
convinced that his heart remained in sports publicity. 

Debating the Status of the Jesuit Community 

Late in Father Walsh's administration, a question emerged that would 
engage the attention of Jesuits at Boston College — and, indeed, on every 
Jesuit campus- — for the next several years. Basically, the discussions re- 
volved around the legalities and advantages of restructuring the Board of 
Trustees and separating the Jesuit Community from the University. The 
resolution of these problems would, in time, drastically affect both parties. 
This question will be taken up in greater detail later on in the narrative, 
but, chronologically, it surfaced at this time.^* 

The Heights of October 6, 1967, carried the headline: "Walsh Consult- 
ing Jesuits in Community Restructure." The writer went on to explain that 
the Jesuits wanted more time to explore the implications of such a separa- 
tion, but even those who were opposed admitted that the trustees would 
ultimately make the decision. The Heights expanded on this question in an 
editorial comment in the same issue. The editor went further on November 
17 when, after a conversation with Father Walsh, he implied that an 
announcement was imminent. Such was not the case. 

From other sources, it is clear that Father Walsh was convinced that the 
legal separation of the Jesuit Community and the University was desirable 
and inevitable.^^ In this whole matter, he was influenced by his presidential 
comrade-in-arms, Paul C. Reinert, S.J., of Saint Louis University. Father 
Reinert, in fact, had already restructured his board of trustees and separated 
the community and university into two distinct legal corporations, all of 
this with the tacit approval of the Superior General in Rome.^" 

These discussions were very important, but the wheels turned slowly. 
Although it would be several years before the "new order" was in place, it 
was Father Walsh, a leader in the movement, who set the machinery in 
motion at Boston College. 

The End of the Walsh Era 

Father Walsh submitted his resignation to the Board of Trustees on January 
25, 1968, effective June 30, 1968. The narrative makes it abundantly clear 

Years of Accomplishment 333 

that he was a talented and effective administrator who substantially ad- 
vanced the growth and influence of the University.^' As the director of 
public relations observed, "Study the reports, tote up the accomplishments, 
count the buildings in the physical expansion, measure the University's 
increased prestige, compute the academic achievements, gauge the perform- 
ance — all of it is an open book."'^° 

Father Walsh's experience was utilized in the Jesuit Educational Associ- 
ation, the National Catholic Educational Association, and the national 
organizations of independent colleges and universities/' Within the JEA he 
led the movement for the large, complex Jesuit university at a time when 
other members of his order favored the small, liberal arts college/' He 
argued that, in higher education. Catholics should not yield graduate and 
professional education exclusively to public and nonsectarian universities. 
In this "in house" controversy, as history testifies, he was successful. 

As a spokesman for the NCEA, he was often called upon as an officer 
and representative to articulate the philosophy of education that motivates 
and guides Catholic higher education. Although he was the author of many 
articles on this subject, his basic thesis is contained in an article that 
appeared in Alumni News the year before his retirement entitled, "Why a 
Catholic University?" Father Walsh held that the Catholic university is "the 
place where the Church does its thinking."*^ The Catholic University is the 
borderline, as Father John Courtney Murray had first observed, where the 
Church meets the world and the world meets the Church."'*'* For this 
reason, among others. Father Walsh considered it a blessing "to have on 
our own faculty [at Boston College] scholars who are not of the Cathofic 
faith, whose insights and perspectives illumine our task and make possible 
within the University family the kind of open discussion that helps the 
Catholic university be the center of hving thought that serves the intellectual 
mission of the Church."**^ 

A testimonial dinner was tendered Father Walsh on May 5, 1968, at the 
Sheraton-Boston. It was a gathering of notable Bostonians from church 
and state and from the world of academia. Business leaders, who had 

As a permanent monument to his achievements, Walsh Hall, a high-rise 
student residence, was dedicated to the memory of Father Walsh on 
October 2, 1982. In the program notes for that occasion is the following 

No sooner had Father Walsh stepped away from the leadership of 
Boston College than the Trustees at Fordham University prevailed upon 
him to assume its presidency. Four years later. Father Walsh tendered his 
resignation to a grateful and reluctant Board and returned to Boston. The 
conclusion of fourteen years in a Presidency did not bring any form of 
retirement for Father Walsh. During the last ten years of his life, he was 
perhaps the most respected Trustee, and certainly the most cherished 
and relied-upon counselor in Catholic education."" 

334 History of Boston College 

admired Father Walsh's financial acumen, were also present. Eulogies were 
given by Governor John A. Volpe, Richard Cardinal Gushing, and Dr. 
Abram Sachar, president of Brandeis. Father Leo P. O'Keefe, S.J., repre- 
sented the Jesuits at Boston College. Cardinal Gushing summed it up when 
he said, "Father [Walsh] is that rare and wonderful sort of person who 
seems too good to be true, but he is in fact both good and true. ... He has 
never tried to be spectacular or dramatic, but simply by being himself he 
has achieved universal success."*^ 

Father Walsh may have been fortunate in the timing of his leaving the 
presidency of Boston College. The unsettled events of the following years 
would have stretched his administrative skills to the limit. It fell to the lot 
of an equally talented man, Father W. Seavey Joyce, to meet the challenge 


1. There were 437 lay members of the faculty, and 103 Jesuit administrators and 
faculty members. 

2. During these years the Jesuits continued the practice of "contributed services." 
The salaries paid to Jesuit faculty members and administrators were deposited in 
the Loyola Fund and, after taking what was necessary for the support of the 
Jesuit Community, were returned to the University for development. 

3. After the long tenure as dean of the beloved Patrick J. McHugh (1921-1935), the 
College of Arts and Sciences had a series of relatively short-term deans: Father 
Joseph R.N. Maxwell (1935-1939), Father John J. Long (1939-1941), Father 
Stephen A. Mulcahy (1941-1948), Father Ernest B. Foley (1948-1951), Father 
Francis O. Corcoran (1951-1954), and Father John W. Ryan (1954-1956). 

4. Father DriscoII's predecessor, Father Richard P. Burke, served as dean for three 
years 1955-1958, having succeeded the cofounder and distinguished second 
dean, Dorothy L. Book. In his rather brief administration, Father Burke skillfully 
adapted the School of Social Work to a radically changed set of accreditation 

5. The Heights (September 22 and 29, 1967). 

6. Ibid. (October 10, 1958). 

7. Ibid. (September 27, 1963). 

8. Ibid. (December 3, 1965). 

9. The Boston Theological Institute, formally incorporated in 1968, involves the 
following institutions: Andover Newton Theological School, Boston College 
Department of Theology, Boston University School of Theology, Episcopal Divin- 
ity School, Gordon-Conwell Divinity School, Harvard Divinity School, Holy 
Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Saint John's Seminary, and Weston 
School of Theology. 

10. The Heights (April 29, 1960). 

11. Ibid. (May 6, 1960; May 13, 1960). 

12. Ibid. (October 4, 1963). 

13. Ibid. (November 8, 1963). 

14. Ibid. (October 1, 1965). 

Years of Accomplishment 335 


Ibid. ( 


7fo;^. ( 


Ibid. ( 


/fcfci. ( 


/ft^W. ( 


Ibid. ( 


7fc(i. C 


Ibid. ( 


/i)iJ. ( 


/foii. ( 


Ibid. ( 


7fo/rf. ( 


Ibid. ( 


/fei^. ( 


/fci^. ( 


Ibid. ( 


/fczW. ( 


Ibid. ( 


/fo/c7. ( 


;fe/vi. ( 


Ibid. ( 


Ibid. ( 


Since t 








(November 13, 1967). 

(December 15, 1967). 

(March 5, 1968). 

(October 22, 1965). 

(October 29, 1965). 

(December 17, 1965). 

yanuary 14, 1966). 

(February 11, 1966). 

(March 4, 1966). 

(September 30, 1966). 

(October 14, 1966). 

(October 21, 1966). 

(April 7, 1967). 

(October 6, 1967). 

(October 13, 1967). 

(November 3, 1967). 

(November 13, 1967). 

(December 1, 1967). 

(December 15, 1967). 

(February 2, 1968). 

(January 2, 1968). 

(April 1, 1966). 
Since the University Academic Senate (UAS) was to be so prominent in campus 
life during the next few years, the composition of the drafting committee should 
be noted: Father Charles Donovan, Academic Vice President; Father Robert 
Drinan, Dean of the Law School; Paula Fellows, School of Nursing; Walter 
Greaney, School of Management; John Mahoney, Department of English; John 
Schmitt, School of Education; Father Robert White, Weston College; Father John 
Willis, Dean of Arts and Sciences. 
The Heights (February 9, 1968). 
Ibid. (March 19, 1968). 

The qualifications of the Weston faculty, most of whom had advanced degrees, 
were never an issue. 

See James A. Donohoe, J. CD., "Seminary Reform," Alumni News (Winter 

Father Walsh to Father Donovan, November 15, 1967. BCA. 

Father Joyce to Father Donovan, November 23, 1971. 

For most of this information, see Annual Report: Weston Observatory, Boston 
College, 1973-1974. BCA. 
"Eagles in the City," Alumni News (Fall 1967). 
Alumni News (Fall 1967). 

Ibid. According to an item in Bridge (November 1970), the initiation fee was 
$100 and annual membership $100. 

This explanation for termination is based upon information supplied by John E. 
Joyce in a telephone conversation with Paul A. FitzGerald, S.J. on October 1, 
1985. In 1987 some alumni were talking about trying a Boston College center in 
the city again. 

See Alumni News (Spring 1966). 
See "Snooks," Bridge (January 1972). 

336 History of Boston College 

55. In 1987 Coach Pellagrini announced that the 1988 baseball season would be his 
last as coach. 

56. See below, Chapter 34. 

57. See Paul A. FitzGerald, S.J., The Governance of Jesuit Colleges in the United 
States (University of Notre Dame Press, 1984), p. 206. 

58. See Paul C. Reinert, S.J., "First Meeting of a Board," Jesuit Educational Quar- 
terly (October 1967), pp. 112-117. 

59. See A Ten-Year Report: 1958-1968. BCA. 

60. John Lamer, Alumni News (Spring 1968). 

61. See P. A. FitzGerald, S.J., Governance, pp. 161—67. Also Robert Harvanek, S.J., 
"The Objectives of the American Jesuit University: A Dilemma," ]EQ (October 

62. After retiring as president of Boston College and Fordham University, Father 
Walsh was advisor to Dr. Robert Wood, president of the University of Massachu- 

63. Alumni News (Winter 1967). 

64. Ibid. 

65. Ibid. 

66. Father Walsh died in the Jesuit Community residence at Boston College High 
School on April 23, 1982. The funeral Mass was held at St. Ignatius Church, 
Chestnut Hill. The large representation of Jesuit college presidents attested to the 
esteem in which he was held in the Society of Jesus. 

67. BCA. 



A Restless Campus 

It was apparent to those reading the signs of the times that Father Walsh's 
successor would inherit a restless campus. And, indeed, student activists of 
the 1960s won a place for themselves in American history. The final 
assessment has not yet been made, but the general pattern of events is fairly 
clear. Some background will be helpful in understanding what happened 
on the American campus — and more specifically at the Heights. 

The National Context 

It really began in 1954, when the Supreme Court's landmark decision, 
"Brown versus Board of Education," protected the equality of all Ameri- 
cans, including blacks. Thus was the way opened for a massive civil rights 
movement, which extended from the nonviolent marches of Martin Luther 
King to riots in the ghettos. 

But campus unrest focused much more on antiwar and antidraft protests 
than on civil rights issues. The University of California at Berkeley was 
called the Bastille of the student revolution.' The movement began there in 
1964 under the leadership of Mario Savio when the administration and 
regents tried to restrain student activists. The Free Speech Movement of 
Savio spread to Columbia University, where Mark Rudd and his student 
cohorts forced the resignation of President Grayson Kirk. Between January 
1 and June 16, 1968, the National Student Association counted 221 major 


338 History of Boston College 

demonstrations at 101 colleges and universities involving nearly 40,000 

In the beginning, at least, most student protests were nonviolent and 
their goals were reasonable. In fact, student activists in the mid-1960s 
confined themselves to doing good works locally. They contributed sub- 
stantially to the national peace movement in 1965, and many of their 
demands were met. As it turned out, the Limited Test Ban Treaty of 1963, 
which outlawed atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, had weakened the 
peace movement, but the war in Vietnam brought it back to life. That war, 
which strained the patriotism of so many Americans, affected a large 
segment of the collegiate population in a way no other war had ever done. 
In another curious departure, women on campus were as vocal as men in 
denouncing the draft, recruitment, and service. The coeds also shouted, 
"Hell no, we won't go!"^ All of this activity would reach its peak in 1970 
and 1971, but when the administration changed at Boston College in 1968, 
the campus was deceptively quiet. 

New Directions from a New President 

For the first time in the history of Boston College, faculty members — 
mostly laypersons, but with some Jesuit associates — engaged in a discus- 
sion of the qualities the new president should have and the kinds of policies 
he should promote and the challenges he would meet. Such discussion may 
have found its way indirectly into the selection process, but at that time 
there was no direct participation in it since the Superior General of the 
Society of Jesus, in consultation with the New England Provincial and his 
consultors, made the choice. On May 15, 1968, the Very Reverend Pedro 
Arrupe announced that Father W. Seavey Joyce would succeed Father Walsh 
as rector of the Jesuit community and president of Boston College. Father 
Joyce was the last president of Boston College to be named by the 
administration of the Society of Jesus. It was later decided that the new 
president would assume office on July 1.'* 

On Sunday, October 20, 1968, Father Joyce was inaugurated as the 
twenty-third president of Boston College. It was the first such ceremony in 
the history of the institution. A procession of faculty, representatives of 
other universities, and guests went from Gargan Hall in Bapst Library to a 
gathering of some 3700 people in McHugh Forum. Greetings were ex- 
tended to the new president by Massachusetts Governor John A. Volpe, 
Boston Mayor Kevin White, faculty representative Thomas O'Connor, and 
James Stanton, president of the Boston College Alumni Association. Presi- 
dent Nathan Pusey of Harvard welcomed Father Joyce to the university 
community of Boston. The Honorable Henry M. Leen ('29), chairman of 
the Board of Directors, presented the president with a medallion designed 
by Allison Macomber, artist-in-residence, to be handed down to future 

Twenty-third President 

Born September 3, 1913, Fatlier Joyce grad- 
uated from Boston College High School in 
June 1931, entered the Jesuits that summer, 
and in due course was ordained to the 
priesthood at Weston College in 1943. He 
earned a master's degree in economics 
from Georgetown University and a doctor- 
ate from Harvard in the same discipline. He 

joined the Boston College faculty in 1949 as chairman of the Economics Depart- 
ment and, while retaining that role, became dean of the College of Business 
Administration in 1952, a position he held for 14 years. For the last two years 
before his election as president. Father Joyce was vice president for community 
affairs. In the 1950s he initiated the Boston citizen seminars, served as president 
of the Metropolitan Planning Council, and was featured on a weekly television 
program on metropolitan planning. 

A few weeks before his inauguration, Father Joyce sent a message to the 
students in which he indicated some of the items on the administration's 
agenda. McGuinn Hall, the new social science center, would open; the 
Graduate School of Social Work, housed at 126 Newbury Street, would 
move into the new facility. He had high hopes that by the second semester 
Devlin Hall would be substantially reconstructed, and plans were in 
progress to convert the Bapst auditorium to library use, as was the original 
intent of the architect. He mentioned an art center and new dormitories 
which would include, for the first time, accommodations for women.*" 

There were ambitious plans for new and expanded academic programs. 
The faculty, it was envisioned, would increase by 122 members, although 
it was calculated that only 30 would soon retire or leave. In part this 
increase was necessary to meet the challenge of the largest freshman class 
in the history of the University. The University Academic Senate, organized 
in 1967, would play a larger role, and the channel between the undergrad- 
uate government and the president would be widened. Beyond the faculty, 
there would be changes in administration. Most immediately, for example, 
the academic vice president became the senior vice president and dean of 

340 History of Boston College 

faculties, and the vice presidents, with the academic deans, formed the 
president's cabinet. 

One of Father Joyce's most important announcements, with far-reaching 
consequences, concerned the Board of Trustees. Father Walsh had estab- 
lished the Board of Regents in 1959 as an advisory body. This group, with 
the addition of newly appointed Jesuits, would now become the Board of 
Directors. The 10 Jesuit trustees would also be members of the new board, 
which would be responsible for the normal "direction and conduct of 
business and affairs of the University as of October 8, 1968."^ The trustees 
reserved to themselves several critical prerogatives, such as amending the 
University's statutes and electing the president. 

Although not intended as such at the time, the trustees/directors arrange- 
ment proved to be temporary (four years) and transitional — a bridge 
between exclusive Jesuit control and the present form of the trustees. A 
further discussion on the matter is found in Chapter 34. Several academi- 
cians were added to the Board of Directors: Robert F. Byrnes, chairman of 
the History Department at Indiana University, and Joseph G. Brennan 
('33), chairman of the Philosophy Department at Barnard College. These 
men brought to the board particular concern for faculty interests. While 
Father Joyce remained ex officio a member of the Board of Trustees, he was 
no longer chairman; Father Joseph L. Shea, S.J., was elected to that 
position. These boards functioned in parallel until the fall of 1972, when 
both were consolidated into one Board of Trustees. The new board, with 
Jesuit and lay members, was a startling innovation which, as a catalyst, 
hastened the separate incorporation of the Jesuit Community.^ 

In bringing to a close his message to the students, the new president 
expressed the hope that we "may live and work and pray and play together, 
bound by the profound unity of our character and aspirations.'"' Fortu- 
nately for his own peace of mind, he could not foresee that his administra- 
tion would be buffeted by the storms that blew across all American 
campuses; nor could he predict that his relations with a sizable segment of 
the student body would be less than pleasant. In the end he could not help 
but be disappointed in the truncated realization of his dreams and the 
frustrations that plagued his administration. 

New Appointments 

In addition to the Board of Directors, which obviously affected the admin- 
istration of the University, Father Joyce made several new appointments 
that reflected his priorities and his philosophy of governance. In the process 
the traditional Jesuit influence in academics and campus poUcy was reduced 
and, conversely, the role of the layman was enhanced. As his executive 
assistant he chose Richard J. Olsen, 34 years old and a 1955 graduate of 
the University. With an MBA from Babson Institute, he had been a senior 
research associate in the Boston College Bureau of Public Affairs. In 

A Restless Campus 341 

December 1968, a few months imo his term, he selected Francis X. Shea, 
S.J., as his executive vice president — the first to hold that office at Boston 
College. Involved in most of the crucial decisions of this administration, 
Shea was an enthusiastic innovator with an abundance of ideas. He entered 
the Jesuits in 1943, was ordained in 1956, and later earned a Ph.D. in 
Enghsh at the University of Minnesota. As a member of the faculty he had 
been involved in many initiatives, such as the Boston Theological Institute, 
the civil rights struggle (he had marched with Martin Luther King from 
Selma to Montgomery), Upward Bound, and other programs. Popular with 
the students, he was Heights' "Man of the Year" in 1968. As time went on, 
many thought that his recommendations were not sufficiently researched 
and that his effectiveness was limited by his lack of administrative experi- 
ence, yet he was an important part of the Joyce administration. 

Some other appointments were interpreted as the implementation of 
suggestions made by Father Joyce during his term as chairman of the 
Planning Committee under Father Walsh. James Mclntyre was named vice 
president for student affairs, one of the first laymen to move to that level of 
administration. Mclntyre ('57) has served the University in several capaci- 
ties and is at present senior vice president. George Drury, S.J., moved from 
student affairs to become vice president for community affairs, a sensitive 
position in which he had to reconcile the interests of the University with 
the legitimate concerns of the surrounding community. Another distin- 
guished layman, Paul Devlin ('39), whose academic career had flourished in 
the School of Management, became a vice president of the University and 
continued as assistant treasurer.'" 

There were other changes that, in time, would affect the University. On 
July 1, 1968, Francis J. Nicholson, S.J., was appointed superior of the 
Jesuit Community. A graduate of Boston College, class of '42, he had 
earned his LL.B. degree at Georgetown and a doctorate at Harvard Law 

James Mclntyre ('57), named 
vice president for student af- 
fairs in 1968. 

342 History of Boston College 

School. At this time he was a professor of international law in the Boston 
College Law School. In 1971 he was elevated to rector (a title previously 
held by Father Joyce) and negotiated the separate incorporation of the 
Jesuit Community. His was an important role in the transition which will 
be explained later in detail in its proper context. 

Naturally the president wanted his own team as he began his first 
academic year, and there were new faces among the deans. Samuel Aronoff 
(formerly of Iowa State), who had come to the campus as vice president for 
research, succeeded Father Walter Feeney as dean of the Graduate School 
of Arts and Sciences in 1969. The growth of the University and the 
professional competence of lay colleagues led to lay administrators and 
faculty filling positions that in earlier years had been reserved to Jesuits. 
Mary T. Kinnane was dean of the Summer School; Albert J. Kelley was 
dean of the School of Management, and Christopher Flynn was his associ- 
ate dean; Donald J. Donley was dean of the School of Education; and 
Margaret Foley was dean of the School of Nursing. 

A similar pattern which shifted administrative responsibilities from Jesuit 
to lay faculty was discernible in the various academic departments. While 
laymen and laywomen normally administered the professional schools and 
their departments, the trend to lay preponderance was most noticeable in 
the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1969—1970, only 6 out of 19 
departments in the college were administered by Jesuits, while 13 were 
managed by laymen or laywomen. 

The Theology Requirement: An Issue 

As the 1968—1969 academic year opened, two problems that had been 
simmering reached the boiling point. One had to do with theology require- 
ments and the other with student representation on campus committees. A 
petition composed by an ad hoc student committee was circulated in 
September demanding (1) that all theology requirements in the four under- 
graduate colleges be abolished; (2) that there be a 50 percent student 
membership on the educational policy committees of the four undergradu- 
ate colleges; and (3) that there be a 50 percent student membership on the 
University Academic Senate. '' 

The Boston College curriculum required students to take four semesters 
of theology to graduate — that is, 12 semester hours. While a few extremists 
called for the abolition of this requirement, most students and faculty 
recommended a reduction in credits. To some extent the problem had been 
exacerbated by Vatican Council II, which had revised the thrust of tradi- 
tional courses: Everything had to be relevant. As time went on and votes 
were taken, 75 percent of the students and most of the faculty were in favor 
of a reduction in credits, but not abolition of the requirements. Oddly 
enough, the Arts and Sciences EPC seemed to be moving in the direction of 
a drastic reduction from 12 hours to 6. Father William Leonard, chairman 

A Restless Campus 343 

of Theology, tried to persuade the EPC to accept 9 hours and also to make 
theology obligatory for all, irrespective of creedal adherence. In addition to 
valid academic reasons for endorsing 9 hours, faculty members were 
understandably anxious to continue their course offerings. 

In the meantime, however, a sharp controversy broke out between the 
University Academic Senate, which attempted to legislate for the four 
undergraduate schools, and the EPCs who guarded their own prerogatives. 
In essence it was a jurisdictional question. The Arts and Sciences EPC 
maintained that where a department of the University administers courses 
in more than one undergraduate college, change should be determined by 
the separate colleges. In point of fact, since the Department of Theology 
was located in A&S (and serviced the other colleges), A&S assumed 
responsibility for any change that might be made.'^ But the jurisdictional 
conflict persisted through several meetings of the UAS, which held for 9 

Finally, in a joint meeting of the executive committee of the University 
Academic Senate and the A&S Educational Policy Committee, there was 
an attempt to resolve the two questions of jurisdiction and credit hours. 
For practical purposes — but without yielding on the principle — A8cS 
agreed to register for 9 hours of theology for 1969-1970. The A&S EPC 
did not wish to put pressure on the other schools to reduce their curriculum 
to 6 hours, nor did the committee wish to change registration or catalogs 
without sufficient notice." 

The controversy continued under the chairmanship of Father O'Malley, 
who had replaced Father Leonard. The Theology subcommittee, chaired by 
Professor Brian Cudahy, recommended that the requirement remain at 9 
hours for 1970-1971; the requirement would then be reduced to 6 hours 
commencing in September 1971. Due to the ecumenical choice of courses, 
it was also decided that theology would be required of all students. It is 
worth noting that although a few faculty and many students had proposed 
dropping theology as a curriculum requirement in the course of this 
discussion, a majority felt that Boston College, as a Jesuit institution, 
should include the "queen of the sciences" which has been defined as fides 
querens intellectum. As of March 5, 1970, theology remained safely within 
the proposed basic, Hberal core curriculum at Boston College. 

The Students' Desire for a Greater Role 

Theology was not the only area where students, becoming more aggressive 
every year, were putting pressure on the administration. They were deter- 
mined to have a greater voice in forming campus policy. Although they had 
enjoyed a modicum of success in gaining access to the Educational Policy 
Committees, they quickly realized that the University Academic Senate 
would be a more important power base because it could affect every corner 
of the campus. The UAS (formed in 1967) as originally constituted included 

344 History of Boston College 

Father Joyce moved the 
president's office from 
St. Mary's Hall to Bo- 
tolph House on May- 
flower Road. He was to 
find the new location 
easier for students to 
picket and occupy. 

14 administrators, 28 faculty members, and 2 students. Opening with a 
strong bid, the students demanded 50 percent representation on the basis 
of its larger constituency.'" This was, as they knew, an unrealistic demand, 
and they gradually scaled down their request, but they refused to settle for 

Accordingly, the Congress of the Undergraduate Government at Boston 
College presented a resolution, unanimously approved by its members, 
directing the president of UGBC "not to accept an increment of less than 
12."'^ The Committee on Student Affairs of the UAS, after a series of 
heated meetings, endorsed the student resolution and sent its recommen- 
dations on to the full senate. In November 1968 the senate approved the 
increase of students to 14, which was approximately 25 percent of the 
membership, and at its December meeting the Board of Directors approved 
the addition of 12 students (5 graduate students and 9 undergraduates).'* 
As The Heights noted, 25 percent gave the students "more power in making 
academic pohcy than they have at any other Catholic university."'^ 

By early March 1969 the undergraduate and graduate student govern- 
ments had presented their selections to the senate, which formally wel- 
comed them as members. Not even The Heights editorial staff, which 
enjoyed its adversarial role, could quarrel with the sympathetic response of 
administrators, faculty, and directors to student demands. For their part, 
the student senators made a significant and responsible contribution in the 
areas of prime concern to them: resident life, food services, recreational 
facilities, and student organizations. 

While the students were privy to many campus initiatives, the budget — 
strictly guarded by the Board of Directors and financial vice president — 
was beyond their purview. In September 1968 the president announced a 
tuition increase of $400, which would raise the total to $2000, effective 

A Restless Campus 345 

September 1969.18 xhe budget for 1967-1968 was $23,155,500; the 
projection for 1968—1969 was $24,147,800. The figures would continue 
to climb with the growth of the University, and income and expenses had 
to balance as in any other enterprise. The reasons for the increase were (1) 
additional faculty members, (2) current inflation, and (3) the anticipated 
elimination of the Loyola fund (which amounted to $850,000 in 1968) 
through separate incorporation of the Jesuit Community. 

Predictably, students protested the tuition increment and recommended 
guidelines for future increases. A tuition hike, they insisted, should affect 
only those enrolled after the effective date; students should be immune 
from further liability during their student years — for example, a hike in 
freshman year would not be repeated for those students in sophomore, 
junior, or senior year. The most recent increase, they argued, should affect 
only those who enrolled in September 1969. 

To comply with such demands would have been irresponsible on the part 
of the administration and, indeed, a design for fiscal disaster. But student 
protest became an automatic reaction to a tuition increment, which was 
the initial pretext for a student strike in 1970. 

The Mary Daly Controversy 

It was, to some extent, ironic that the students, some of whom had favored 
the abolition of the theology requirement and others a reduction in credits, 
should have so vociferously protested the administration's decision to 
terminate the contractual services of a theology professor. The Heights, 
always prepared with editorial comment, carried a banner headline on 
Mary 11, 1969: "Professor Mary Daly Fired: No Promotion or Exten- 
sion." Although the subject of the ensuing controversy was a junior faculty 
member at that time, the case became a cause celebre. 

Mary Daly, an assistant professor with two doctorates (a pontifical 
S.T.D. and a Ph.D.) and the author of two books and several articles, had 
been at Boston College for three years. She herself had initiated the process 
of promotion to associate with tenure. With customary confidentiality, the 
application moved from the department committee to the dean's commit- 
tee, through the University committee to the president. According to the 
statutes, he made the final decision — and it was negative. Approached by 
the students, who proved to be a forceful lobby, he refused to change his 
mind; nor would he reveal his reasons." 

As the students continued their protest in earnest, a number of faculty 
members joined the crusade in support of Professor Daly, and petitions 
with 4000 signatures were presented to Father Joyce. UGBC condemned 
the dismissal. Members of the faculty argued that the basic question was 
one of academic freedom, since Daly's ideas and opinions were not 
endorsed by everyone; she was known to have critics within her own 
department and in a wider circle. The Arts and Sciences Senate passed a 

346 History of Boston College 

resolution indicating that Daly's dismissal would jeopardize the reputation 
of Boston College in the academic world. The Undergraduate Government 
Congress recommended that seniors withhold their contribution to the 
University and that the senior gift committee cease its activities. 

At a meeting in late March 1969, the UAS voted to make Boston College 
completely coeducational and to cut theology to nine credits, but it voted 
against a reconsideration of what had become known as "the Daly case." 
But pressure continued as 1500 students marched in protest and picketed 
Botolph House, the president's residence. The effect of the protest on the 
administration resulted in the appointment by the president of a special 
committee, chaired by Professor Edward Hirsh, for a tenure review. The 
committee was charged to recommend a decision to the president based on 
a view "of the total situation." On the recommendation of the committee, 
the president reversed his decision and Daly was promoted to associate 
professor with tenure. It was, as the press pointed out, an unusual move in 
academic circles, but Professor Daly felt that her reinstatement was "a 
significant victory for Boston College."-" The resolution of this case clearly 
demonstrated that the administration was no longer immune to pressure 
from faculty and students — a development which would have come as a 
surprise to an earlier generation at the Heights. 

A New Dean for Arts and Sciences 

Father Joyce's first year in office must have seemed endless. While the Arts 
and Sciences faculty was searching for a solution to the controversy on the 
theology requirement, the president was presented with yet another prob- 
lem for which the administration itself was at least partially responsible. 
Early in 1969 it was decided at the highest level that a new dean was 
needed for the College of Arts and Sciences. The executive vice president 
wanted a dean of Arts and Sciences who would be attuned to his own style 
of administration and who at the same time would be sympathetic to the 
growing activism of the students. He persuaded Father Joyce that a change 
of administration in the College of Arts and Sciences should be made. His 
choice for the office was a respected member of the English Department, 
Richard E. Hughes, one of the most productive scholars on the faculty. 

In March 1969, after Dean Willis had been informed of the administra- 
tion's intention. Father Shea asked Professor Hughes to accept appointment 
as acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. When Hughes declined 
that designation, he was offered the deanship without qualification. After 
the fact, the administration decided that faculty consultation was needed. 
However a series of unforeseen events forced the administration to go to 
the Board of Directors for confirmation before advising the chairmen of 
this decision. 

The faculty, while admitting the statutory right of the president to 
appoint a dean, vehemently protested the procedure. At a special, late 

A Restless Campus 347 

afternoon faculty meeting in the Bapst auditorium, Academic Vice Presi- 
dent Donovan first apologized for the manner in which dean-elect Hughes 
had been appointed, then called upon the faculty to affirm the appointment 
by acclamation. The faculty refused the vice president's request and insisted 
upon participation in the process.^' At the same time, faculty leaders made 
it quite clear that their objections were not directed at Professor Hughes, 
who was personally acceptable. A special committee of the A&S EPC was 
formed to investigate the chain of events and to recommend a response. 
After the investigation, which received the complete cooperation of the 
administration, the committee recommended that the faculty refuse to 
endorse the appointment and suggested instead a selection committee for 
nominations. ^- 

At this point, in late May, the appointment had gone beyond the 
possibility of revision and the administration wished to save the dean-elect 
further embarrassment. In commenting on the faculty recommendations, 
which he considered advisory, the president declined to accept their advice. 
As he wrote to the dean of Arts and Sciences, "I have requested Prof. 
Hughes to accept the deanship; he has received the concurring approval of 
the Directors. . . . Prof. Hughes is, therefore, the dean designate as of July 
Ist."^^ Professor Hughes agreed and so informed the faculty, observing, 
"I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't accept the appointment." In the 
circumstances, he decided "to go with the affirmators, who seem to have 
the edge."^'' Dean Hughes held office during the period of student unrest 
and confrontation. He was, in fact, and was perceived by students to be 
sensitive to student concerns and viewpoints. 

The End of ROTC 

There was never a dull moment at University Heights during these times. 
When the administration put out one fire, another started. Repercussions 
from the Vietnam war ran wide and deep, and national legislation brought 
the war closer to the campus. The Selective Service Act of 1967 deferred 
undergraduates in most instances, but it abolished deferments for students 
applying to and accepted at graduate schools. In any case, Vietnam was the 
prism through which students looked at the military and its pervasive 
presence. One of the casualties of the war on many American campuses 
was the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC). Ivy League schools 
(Harvard, Yale, and Darmouth) were among the first to attack these 
programs, and Boston College was not far behind. The academic arguments 
against ROTC at the Heights were about the same as at other universities: 
(1) ROTC courses should not be granted academic credit; (2) ROTC 
instructors should not be granted professorial status, because they are 
affiliated with and controlled by an outside agency; (3) ROTC should not 
exist through the Military Science Department, nor should free space be 
allocated to this group.^^ 

348 History of Boston College 

The Student Coordinating Committee (SCC), a subcommittee of Stu- 
dents for a Democratic Society (SDS), took the larger view and adopted 
the classic arguments of campus Hberals against ROTC. The program, they 
insisted, was an important implementation of American foreign policy 
whose object was to advance the cause of American imperialism. Imperial- 
ism, in turn, provided an umbrella for American multinational corpora- 
tions. And in all of this, the Defense Department (really the Army) 
controlled policy on campus. Consequently, the SCC believed that argu- 
ments favoring the retention of ROTC on the Boston College campus were 
invalid. Members of the committee consequently committed themselves "to 
work for the complete removal of ROTC from this University. "^^ 

The question was first introduced to the UAS by George O'Toole, an 
undergraduate senator, who, on February 19, 1969, filed a motion which 
was sent to the Committee on Curriculum and Educational Policy. O'Toole 
recommended that Boston College effect a complete and immediate sever- 
ence of all its relations with the U.S. Army ROTC Program. This included 
the abohtion of the Department of Military Science and the withdrawal of 
University facilities.-^ Like it or not, the UAS was handed an explosive issue 
and the question was debated in that forum during the next year and a half. 

At the upper echelon of authority, the executive vice president, who was 
expected by the students to support the SDS, stated that the University 
"considered [ROTC] a valid option for students, and, since some of them 
find it desirable, they should have it."^* The administration, explained 
Father Shea, had made several concessions. Arts and Sciences had dropped 
the credit it once gave for certain courses; only CBA gave these credits for 
a course to juniors and seniors, and the administration had urged CBA to 
drop even those credits. No credit was given for ROTC courses in the 

Peace in the world, but not on campus. 

A Restless Campus 349 

School of Education. So it was not an honest academic question. Facihties, 
it was true, were allocated "rent free," but that was the case with other 
extracurricular activities. The latest contract with the Army was signed on 
March 23, 1965, and could be terminated by either party with one year's 

Acting on the motion submitted by George O'Toole, the Curriculum 
Policy Committee of the UAS issued its report on December 3, 1969. The 
committee was of the opinion that the existence of the ROTC program at 
Boston College should be considered on the basis of objective criteria, not 
whether it is good or bad for students on campus. Following this line, and 
as a result of its investigation, the committee recommended that the 
program be maintained but also insisted that changes should be made in its 
relationship to the University.^' 

Basically, the committee thought it undesirable for the United States to 
have the military academies supply the entire officer corps of the armed 
services. There was a need and a place for officers broadly educated in the 
liberal arts who would add another dimension to planning and policy 
within the military complex. At the same time, the committee cautioned 
that the contract with the Department of Defense should be carefully 
worded so as to preserve the complete independence of the University in 
the decision process. Autonomous control should not be relinquished even 
to the Department of Military Science. 

The UAS, however, rejected the recommendation of the subcommittee. 
Instead, at the UAS meeting on May 6, 1970, Senator Michael Make from 
the Sociology Department introduced a resolution strongly urging the 
University "to immediately take whatever actions are necessary to sever all 
ties with the Reserve Officers Training Corps." This was subsequently 
amended "in the light of the recent direction of U.S. foreign policy in 
Southeast Asia," and the UAS instructed the subcommittee to re-examine 
the "role and propriety" of ROTC at Boston College.'" The subcommittee 
was given until the fall to report back. 

But events now moved rapidly toward a denouement. On June 1 the UAS 
overwhelmingly endorsed a proposal to end all ties with the government 
program. Since this position apparently reflected his own opinion. Father 
Joyce, on June 14, brought the UAS proposal to the Board of Directors. On 
the following day, a reluctant and pensive board declined to approve the 
UAS resolution of May and tabled the motion. The board decided, instead, 
to ask its own subcommittee on academic affairs to discuss the motion 
with the UAS. This orderly process broke down when, in early September, 
about 350 students marched on Roberts Center where the ROTC offices 
were located. Ten or fifteen broke into the offices and smashed furniture, 
scattered records, and damaged military property.' ' 

Although the board was reluctant to yield to pressure tactics, the direc- 
tors felt that, in the interest of campus peace, it would be unwise to 
continue to oppose the president, the UAS, many of the faculty, and a large 

350 History of Boston College 

segment of the student body. Though several options were open, one of 
which was off-campus programs, the board decided upon a clean break. 
On October 5, 1970, Colonel Schofield, the ranking officer of Army 
ROTC, received notification from President Joyce that the ROTC contract 
would not be renewed. He requested the Army to vacate the premises by 
Jime 1, 1971, the expiration of the academic year.^- This decision was 
denoimced in certain quarters, notably among the alumni, and was char- 
acterized as a corporate capitulation to a noisy pressure group which did 
not represent the traditional values of the Universit>'. Never entirely dor- 
mant, interest in ROTC was revived in the eighties when the campus 
enjoyed a more favorable climate of opinion. 

Extending a Hand to Blacks 

With the rise of the civil rights movement and the new emphasis on 
minorities and women, it was inevitable that colleges and universities would 
be called upon to advance the intellectual and academic opportunities of 
black students and black professionals. Boston College, like other area 
colleges, felt the pressure to develop black studies programs. As a Jesuit 
institution, Boston College was additionally obhgated to respond to Father 
General Arrupe's 1968 letter on the "hiter-Racial Apostolate."^-'' In Octo- 
ber 1967 Father \Iichael Walsh was approached by Melvin King and 
Bryant Rollins, leaders of the black communit\' in Roxbur)', to discuss what 
Boston College should be doing about black students. The meeting turned 
on such points as recruitment and admission. Accordingly, a "Black Talent 
Search" was created in February 1968 to seek out members of the black 
community who were capable of completing four years at Boston College 
but who had not had the opportunity of applying or being considered.^"* In 
seeking out and identifying these prospects. Vice President for Student 
Affairs Mclntyre decided to employ criteria which "were not culturally 
biased" and which went beyond the traditional methods employed by 
Boston College. To cite one of the innovations, t%vo members of the 
selection committee were from the Roxbur\' community.'. 

The Black Talent Search yielded 47 new black freshmen in September 
1968. These were screened from an appHcant pool of 130. Each student 
received at least SlOOO in aid from a 5100,000 special scholarship fund 
estabhshed in Februar}^ by Father Walsh just before he left office.^^' It was 
originally intended that 25 students would be accepted the first year and 
525,000 assigned for scholarships. This quota was not adhered to, and 
from the beginning more money was used than originally assigned. Admin- 
istrati%'e expenses for director, tutors, and secretarial staff were also 
assumed by the Universit}-. The class of '72, therefore, was not only the 
largest to date and the most quahfied, but it was the most culturally diverse. 
McInt\Te had correaly anticipated that these cultural initiatives would 
cause tensions, and the Black Forum had its share of growing pains on the 
Chestnut Hill campus. 

A Restless Campus 351 

Melvin King, community pro- 
poser of a program for black 
students at Boston College. 

In February 1969 Boston College staged its first Black History and 
Culture Week. Black students took this opportunity to comment on their 
reception at the Heights, and most were critical. As one student put it, "I 
found just what any other black student would have found walking on a 
white, Irish Catholic campus. "^"^ There were pockets of sympathy. The 
black community on campus had a powerful advocate in Father Robert 
Drinan, dean of the Law School and chairman of the Advisory Committee 
of Massachusetts to the National Commission for Civil Rights. He agreed 
that Boston College, as a CathoUc institution, had for too long been 
indifferent to the academic needs of the black students. ^^ This expression 
of support led to a series of demands by the Black Forum which revolved 
around the issue of black studies. The Forum wanted a survey of offerings 
in Boston area colleges, recruitment of black faculty members, cross 
registration with other schools, an increase in course offerings, and 50 
black students for September 1969. In general the demands pointed to the 
creation of a genuine black studies program. ^^ 

Yet another demand stipulated that all personnel hired for the black 
studies program would have to be approved by the Black Forum. This 
peremptory claim to competence cost the Forum sympathy and votes, and 
not even The Heights would support such an extraordinary prerogative. 

352 History of Boston College 

Basically, the Forum wanted the establishment of a black studies depart- 
ment and the right to control that department regarding offerings and 
faculty. To implement this plan, the Forum asked for a full time black 
administrator to supervise the program and a minimum of two black 
faculty members to teach core courses. And, finally, they expected the 
administration to develop plans for an endowed Black Chair. 

In voicing his reaction at a March meeting of the University Committee 
on Black Students and Studies, Father Joyce said that he was generally 
favorable to the demands of the Black Forum. He suggested, however, that 
the Forum should first begin to move its demands through the UGBC and 
the UAS. With regard to the demand that new hires be subject to Forum 
approval, Father Joyce explained that new faculty would have to go through 
normal channels for final approval by the academic vice president.^' 

New programs are normally subject to "hitches and glitches." So it was 
not surprising — although it was unfortunate — that from the beginning of 
the Black Talent Program there were several controversies.'"' In general 
terms, there were three problems, all of which revolved in one way another 
around jurisdictional privileges and prerogatives. The first controversy 
concerned the question of committees: Should there be one for admissions 
and another to supervise the students after their admission? Connected 
with this problem — and probably more serious — was the question of who 
would have ultimate authority in admissions. And the third controversy — 
which also generated heated exchanges between administrators — con- 
cerned the relaxed standards of admission for Black Talent students and 
the adjusted standards for those with deficiencies in required courses. 

In August 1968 Father Joyce appointed the Reverend Theodore L. 
Lockhart the first director of the program; he was also given the title of 
assistant dean. Flowever, he resigned in May 1969. His place as director 
was taken by A. Robert Phillips, a member of the Urban League of Greater 
Boston. The projected two committees (admissions and supervision) were 
reduced to one, and Professor Theodore Howe of the School of Social 
Work became the supervisor of the program in its day-to-day operation. 
Although administrators were in place, authority over admissions became 
the sticking point. Who would make the final decision? As time went on, it 
was more or less agreed — though many remained unhappy with it — that 
the Black Talent Program would be, for admissions purposes, distinct from 
the regular Office of Admissions. Father Edmond Walsh, S.J., dean of 
admissions, was never reconciled to this solution. Several times he pointed 
out that no other college in the Boston area allowed a separate admissions 
policy and procedure.'" 

After one year in operation, the Black Talent Program began to take 
shape. By January 1970, with three semesters completed, there emerged 
three distinctive divisions or components which made up the whole: (1) the 
Black Talent Program, which assumed responsibility for recruitment and 
admissions; (2) the Black Studies Program, which designed the academic 

A Restless Campus 353 

curriculum; and (3) the Black Forum, composed entirely of black students, 
which had a good deal of authority and — in some areas — autonomy in the 
administration of the program. The entire program, in all its parts, was 
under the overall supervision of the Committee of Black Students and 
Studies. These administrative complexities made the operation of the pro- 
gram cumbersome and irritated key personahties. 

The cost of the program to the University quickly escalated beyond the 
administration's expectations and intentions. As initially planned. Father 
Walsh's commitment of $100,000 exclusively for 25 black scholarships 
was to be disbursed in increments of $25,000 per annum over a four-year 
period until the full level was reached. This quota was never adhered to, 
and from the beginning more money was used than originally assigned. In 
a letter dated February 12, 1970, Father F. X. Shea wrote to Carl Lewis, 
President of the Black Student Forum, to make these points: 

The University is now prepared to make a commitment of five times the 
original amount: that is, increments of $125,000 each year until the four 
years of the fully operating program are complete and the $500,000 is 
reached. This is a commitment of Boston College funds, in addition to 
Federal funds."*' 

The Board of Directors confirmed this commitment and also agreed that 
10 percent minority student enrollment would be an ideal goal, although 
funds for that were not readily available. 

February 1970 was a critical month. There were 157 full-time and 29 
part-time black students, a total of 186 on campus, and problems began to 
accumulate. Although the Board of Directors had agreed on 10 percent 
minority students, the University had to operate under fiscal restraints. The 
designation of an all-black dormitory was under legal study; the decision 
on a black coed residence had to wait on further consideration. The black 
students, so it seemed, wanted more of everything, while the white students 
criticized what they saw as "excessive" funding for them. Even the faculty 
was critical of the mixed signals and confused statements coming from the 
administration. Resentment spilled over and, on March 19, 1970, black 
students took over Gasson Hall.''^ White students, in retaliation, sealed off 
the building and would allow no food to be passed to those inside. The 
occupants left the building at 5:00 p.m. 

Shortly after this incident, the University Committee on Black Students 
and Studies was dissolved, and the EPCs and UAS tried to pick up the 
pieces. In January 1971 Phillips resigned as director of the Black Talent 
Program, alluding — in an otherwise cordial letter — ^to the difficulties he had 
encountered from the "Western Man."'*'' In restructuring the program. 
Father Joyce established the Black Talent and Coordinating Committee, 
with Professor Albert Folkard as chairman. In a series of confrontations in 
the summer of 1971, the black students again insisted on autonomy in 
processing applications to the Black Talent Program, in the appointment of 

354 History of Boston College 

a black lecturer, and in a "tuition freeze" at $2000, although it had been 
raised to $2600 for all others. 

At this point the administration, in a break with the past policy of 
concessions and with the academic vice president now in control, rejected 
these demands. After this action there remained only one last major 
controversy, which revolved around the title of the administrator of the 
program. While the black students strenuously lobbied for the title of dean 
and wrote the job description, the administration favored assistant or 
associate dean. The search for a highly qualified black administrator 
continued through the fall of 1973. In February 1974 Father J. Donald 
Monan, the new president, appointed John L. Harrison associate dean in 
the College of Arts and Sciences with responsibility for the Black Talent 
Program. And in 1975 fiscal control of the program was transferred to the 
office of Francis Campanella, executive vice president. A later chapter will 
recount how, after this rather shaky start, the program for black and other 
minority students has matured as an important and enriching part of the 

Other Public Issues 

There were other signs that continued to remind the administration that 
campus activists were alive and well. Their efforts for public exposure 
reflected a national student compulsion to make headfines in local or 
campus papers. This tendency seemed to combine with a desire to test the 
limits of toleration on a Catholic campus. For example, a good deal of 
publicity was focused on Boston College when William Baird was invited 
to speak at the Heights. Because of his calculated efforts to circumvent the 
law in Massachusetts, which at that time forbade the public display or sale 
of contraceptive devices, he found himself in the toils of the law in 1967 
after an appearance at Boston University. The administration at Boston 
College made a strong effort to discourage any overtures to him from 
student organizations at University Heights. 

In late March 1969, however. The Heights editorial staff interviewed 
Baird in the paper's office and published a full account with obvious 
embellishments. A month later, against the expressed wishes of the admin- 
istration, Baird spoke to an audience in Fulton Hall. As reported by The 
Heights, "He addressed himself to the inadequacy of Massachusetts birth 
control laws, the inhumanity of illegal abortions, and the hypocrisy of 
'Humanae Vitae.' "■'^ In particular, he challenged state officials to explain 
why it was illegal for him to distribute birth control information when the 
archbishop of Boston was free to distribute pamphlets on the rhythm 
method. Apart from the merits of the arguments, the student activists had 
succeeded in embarrassing the University. 

In addition to the Baird affair there were incidents of crude language, 
offensive pictures, and journalistic bias in The Heights. The matter came 

A Restless Campus 355 

to a head in February 1970 with an article about and a purported interview 
with Paul Krassner, one of the founders of the Yippie movement. An 
alumnus who was a Boston journalist and former member of The Heights 
staff called the article "the lowest form of journalism he ever saw in his 
life."''* The article, extremely offensive in its obscene, descriptive language, 
was, according to legal counsel, open to criminal libel — that is, the trustees, 
as official publishers of the paper, would be hable in any lawsuit. The 
administration took action. In implementing the recommendation of the 
University Communication Board, the editorial staff was notified that the 
newspaper would be legally and fiscally separated from the University, 
because the latter "could no longer support patent irresponsibility."''^ 
Although use of the name was initially prohibited, the newspaper was later 
allowed to use "The Heights" on its masthead with the qualification, 
"Boston College's Independent Student Weekly." It was also given office 
space in McElroy. 

And so Boston College came through the restless years relatively un- 
scathed. But quiet would not yet return, for the worst was yet to come. 


1. William L. O'Neill, Coming Apart: An Informal History of America in the 60' s 
(Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1971), p. 279. 

2. Ibid., p. 289. See also Allen J. Matusow, Unravelling of America: A History of 
Liberalism m the 1960's (New York: Harper & Row, 1984). 

3. An editorial in The Heights (September 24, 1968) urged the removal of the 
American flag and the flagpole from the College green. 

4. The Heights (June 20, 1968) contained an excellent brief biography of Father 

5. BCA. Some students picketed the academic procession from Bapst Library to 
McHugh Forum with signs saying that the money for the elaborate inauguration 
should have been given to the poor. 

6. The Heights (October 2, 1968). 

7. Ibid. 

8. See below, Chapter 34. 

9. The Heights (October 2, 1968). 

10. In 1985 Bernard Cardinal Law, Archbishop of Boston, appointed Paul Devhn 
chancellor of the archdiocese, the first layman to hold that post. 

11. At this time there were no student representatives on SOM and SON EPCs. A&S 
had 2 students and 14 faculty members; SOE had 2 students and 9 faculty 
members. The Heights (October 2, 1968). 

12. Minutes, A&S EPC, October 2, 1969. BCA. 

13. Minutes, A&S EPC, passim, 1969. BCA. 

14. The Heights (October 2, 1968). 

15. BCA. 

16. BCA. 

17. The Heights (December 10, 1968). 

18. The Heights (September 24, 1968). 

356 History of Boston College 

19. The AAUP does not require reasons for the termination of non-tenured faculty. 

20. The Heights (July 11, 1969). 

21. Minutes, AScS Faculty Meeting, May 6, 1969. BCA. 

22. Report to the Faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences by the EPC, May 20, 
1969. BCA. 

23. W. Seavey Joyce to John R. Willis, May 22, 1969. BCA. 

24. Richard E. Hughes to Ladies and Gentlemen of the Faculty, June 3, 1969. BCA. 
Since he had been a presidential appointment, Richard Hughes resigned when 
Father Joyce left office in 1972. 

25. See The Heights (February 25, 1969). 

26. Ibid. 

27. Ibid. 

28. The Heights (March 11, 1969). 

29. Minutes, UAS Meeting, May 6, 1970. BCA. 

30. Ibid. 

31. The Heights (September 15, 1990). 

32. This arrangement allowed juniors to finish the program. See The Heights (Octo- 
ber 20, 1970). 

33. The Boston Globe (April 27, 1968) reported that of a student body of 6289 at 
Boston College, only 13 were blacks. 

34. The Heights (August 2, 1968). 

35. The Boston Globe (March 28, 1968) carried a feature article on the new 

36. The Heights (February 11, 1969). 

37. Ibid. (February 18, 1969). 

38. Ibid. (March 4, 1969). 

39. Ibid. (March 18, 1969). 

40. "Black Talent and Black Studies Program: A Summary." Hereinafter this item 
will be referred to as "A Summary." 

41. "A Summary," p. 7. 

42. Ibid., p. 8. 

43. Ibid. See The Heights (April 29, 1970). 

44. "A Summary," p. 10. 

45. The Heights (April 29, 1969). 

46. The Heights (February 24, 1970; March 18, 1970). 

47. Ibid. 



"The Strike" 
and Other Protests 

While, as previously noted, there were several student protests and building 
or office occupations during the troubled years of Father Joyce's presidency, 
none of them substantially interrupted the daily routine of the University 
as did "the strike" in the spring of 1970. While the tactic employed may 
have been suggested by student reaction elsewhere to national and interna- 
tional issues, the trigger for the strike was purely local and economic: a 
proposed tuition increase of $500. Although nonviolent and, indeed, 
almost gentlemanly in comparison with the student protests and takeovers 
on some other campuses, this strike nevertheless was a trauma of major 
proportions for a normally peaceful and rational community. As such, it 
deserves attention in some detail in this history. 

The Tuition Trauma 

During the 1950s and 1960s tuition increases had usually taken place every 
other year. Thus, a freshman arriving in September 1961 found a tuition 
of $1000. In this student's junior year, there was a $200 increase to $1200, 
where the tuition remained during the final two years. A student entering 
the University in 1965 paid a tuition of $1400, which rose to $1600 in the 
junior and senior years. In Father Walsh's final year, 1967-1968, the 


358 History of Boston College 

tuition for the following year was not raised, so that when Father Joyce 
assumed the presidency the tuition was still $1600. During his first year, a 
tuition increase of $400 was adopted for 1969-1970. There was, as the 
last chapter showed, some protest at the size of the increase, but no 
demonstration or other outbreak occurred. 

Since finances were the most serious, if not the most visible, problem that 
Father Joyce encountered, a brief explanation of the origin of the fiscal 
crisis is presented here. For nearly 90 years Boston College's budget had 
included no salaries for Jesuits. Jesuit services were contributed as a "living 
endowment" to the institution. In the 1950s it was decided to assign salaries 
to Jesuits comparable to those paid to laymen for similar service. These 
Jesuit salaries were paid back in one check to the rector of the Community. 
Each year the Jesuits tallied their accounts and calculated the excess. They 
contributed this excess to Boston College. The College set the gift aside as 
the Loyola fund, intended for building expansion. In the mid-1960s the 
University began to have an annual operating deficit, but the auditors offset 
the losses by transferring portions of the Loyola fund to balance the books. 
This method of balancing operating results had obscured the need for 
tuition increases, but when Father Joyce took office, the Loyola fund was 
running out and the reality of an operating deficit faced him. It took 
extraordinary measures, including substantial tuition increases, to move 
toward a balanced budget. 

In view of the operating deficit disclosed in the early part of the Joyce 
presidency, it was clear that during the 1950s and 1960s tuition increments 
had been too modest. Nevertheless it is understandable in the light of past 
practice that students who had absorbed a $400 raise in tuition in 1969— 
1970 would be shocked at the prospect of an additional $500 increase for 
1970-1971. The manner of announcing the increase may also have contrib- 
uted to student activism. The president's office issued a release stating that, 
at its March 20 meeting, the Board of Directors had authorized and 
recommended a $500 increase in tuition, but added, "The final determina- 
tion will be made during the week of April 6 after University officers meet 
with representatives of the undergraduate government." Thus the students, 
instead of being faced with an administrative decision, could conclude that 
the tuition issue was a matter of negotiation. The president's release 
explained that the University's financial report for the fiscal year 1969— 
1970 showed that operating expenses were expected to exceed income by 
an estimated $4.2 million. To pay current bills Boston College would have 
to borrow up to $2 million; were the tuition increase not established, 
borrowing at the end of the following fiscal year would reach about $5 
million. Even though the Budget Committee had effected cuts of more than 
a million dollars for 1970-1971, the $500 tuition increase was needed to 
stem the University's mounting indebtedness. 

On the Wednesday after the Easter break, Father Joyce addressed some 

"The Strike" and Other Protests 359 

4000 students in Roberts Center, explaining the University's financial crisis 
and the meaning of a $500, $400, or $300 tuition increase in relation to 
the deficit. As the session ended there was stamping of feet and cries of 
"Strike!" were heard. 

The following day the undergraduate government cabinet met with 
Father Joyce and agreed to a tuition increase of $300 for 1970—1971, with 
a strong likelihood that there would be another increase in 1971—1972 and 
that this increase could be in excess of $300. It was agreed that any further 
increase would involve student participation in the Budget Committee and 
other bodies determining the amount of increase. The undergraduate 
congress, however, rejected this agreement. On Sunday the student govern- 
ment announced a strike, and on Monday, April 13, it began. 

The vast majority of students were passive participants in the strike. Most 
commuting students did not come to campus. Resident students remained 
in their quarters or wandered the campus. Throughout the strike some 
classes were held quietly, particularly in the School of Management. A 
small number of activists manned the entrance to the campus, turning away 
most cars seeking entrance. Entrances to classroom and office buildings 
were also picketed. As the strike became protracted, some resident students 
went home. 

Nevertheless, at first it seemed as though the strike might be short-lived. 
On Wednesday, April 15, the administration and student negotiators 
agreed upon a 19-point package, which included a tuition increase of $240. 
The student representatives stipulated that the proposed agreement must 

Making banners for the 
first student strike in 
Boston College history. 

360 History of Boston College 

be submitted to a student referendum, which they insisted could not be 
held until the following Tuesday, April 21. Obviously they expected a 
favorable vote, but an activist group lobbied for rejection and the student 
poll rejected the agreement by a vote of 3395 to 1203. A stalemate had 
been reached. 

The faculty found themselves in the awkward position of onlookers as 
the administration and students negotiated. They were sympathetic with 
the financial plight of the students but deplored the disruption of classes. 
As a further round of administration-student negotiations was imminent, 
on April 22 the faculty voted to establish a four-member "committee of 
accountability" to monitor the discussions. John Mahoney of the College 
of Arts and Sciences, James Bowditch of the School of Management, Mary 
Griffin of the School of Education, and Dorothy Walker of the School of 
Nursing were chosen to constitute this committee. Many faculty meetings 
were held during the strike, as well as several emergency meetings of the 
University Academic Senate. Later in the decade the UAS came to seem an 
ineffectual organization, with diminished faculty and student support, but 
during the strike it was a valuable instrument for bringing all elements of 
the University together to wrestle with the crisis. At a meeting on April 22 
the senate resolved that while negotiations continued, the time would be a 
reading period, professors and students would be free to meet with one 
another, and final examinations would be held on material covered before 
the strike began on April 13. 

Some more radical students concluded that the protest was lagging, so 
on April 23rd they occupied the president's office in Botolph House. They 
remained there eight days, with the administrative activities shifted to other 
locations. At this time an article appeared in the Boston Globe under the 
headline, "Restraint Key to BC Strike." The article began: 

The tuition strike that has all but closed Boston College is unique among 
campus protests. The boycott of classes will go into its third week tomorrow, 
and the watchword is restraint. The strike has produced no violence, vandal- 
ism, or any other of the elements associated with campus unrest. Strike 
leaders have gone out of their way, in fact, to condemn a building takeover 
by a small but peaceful group of dissidents who do not have the general 
support of the 6000 undergraduates. 

None of this is surprising to anyone familiar with the academic climate at 
the Heights. The surprising thing is that the strike occurred at all on a campus 
that had long been exempt from the tensions that generate student uprisings.' 

But an editorial cartoon appeared in another Boston daily depicting a large 
eagle perched atop Gasson Hall; a huge teardrop hung from the eagle's eye. 
The sadness and shock of that cartoon surely expressed the sentiments of 
many loyal alumni and friends of the University who were unhappy that 
the administration had allowed students to bring everything to a standstill. 
One outcome of the tuition struggle was Father Joyce's formation of the 
Coalition for Aid to Private Higher Education. In this effort he had the 

"The Strike" and Other Protests 361 

Strikers manning the 
"battlements" of Gas- 
son Hall. Note the strike 
banner on the tower. 

eager support of students. Twenty-four colleges in New England joined the 
coalition, and on April 30 a group of college administrators (including 
Father Joyce) and students went to Washington, where they made presen- 
tations to congressmen and congressional committees. 

Continued negotiation between the administration and student represen- 
tatives resulted in agreement on 16 points, most of which had been 
proposed in the earlier agreement. No student would be forced to leave for 
financial reasons because of the tuition increase, and the administration 
guaranteed significant student participation in recruiting and admission 
policy, a student-faculty-administration committee to pursue federal and 
state funding, and severe curtailment of University spending. There were 
two points on which agreement was not reached: The students agreed to a 
tuition increase of $240 for 1970-1971 but wanted a promise of no 
increase for the following year — a promise the administration was unwill- 
ing to give. The administration accepted the students' suggestion that two 
students be full voting members of the Budget Committee, but rejected the 
further demand that any two members of the committee could have veto 
power on any item under discussion. 

A student referendum on the agreed and non-agreed points was sched- 
uled for May 5. At this point, on April 30, an influential faculty member, 
vice-chairman of the University Academic Senate and chairman of the 
History Department, Thomas O'Connor, sent a letter to the student body 
that expressed the issues and the gravity of the situation as viewed by the 

362 History of Boston College 

faculty. An astute and statesmanlike assessment of the University's anguish, 
it stated in part: 

Here in brief is a faculty comment and account of what has happened: When 
the $500 tuition increase was first announced, the faculty overwhelmingly 
sympathized with the students' reaction of anger and surprise. Many, or even 
most, of the faculty were clearly in sympathy with the notion of a nonviolent 
tuition boycott of classes. While we understood the serious financial problems 
which Fr. Joyce had to face, we also understood the desire of the students to 
make absolutely clear to the Administration how burdensome such an 
increase would be to them, and to insist that the Administration not settle on 
such a large tuition increase without a determined attempt to solve the 
immediate fiscal problems of B.C. in other ways, if at all possible. On this 
issue, students and faculty stood together. 

After the first negotiated settlement was rejected in the referendum, and 
the newspapers carried stories that all classes were cancelled for the remain- 
der of the term, students began to drift away from the campus. Then began a 
sequence of developments frequently observed in campus controversies else- 
where. The direction of the strike and of the negotiations came more and 
more under the influence of political activists. In particular, one faction 
gained power in and over the UGBC, the strike tactics committee, and the 
student negotiating team — power far out of proportion to their number and 
influence in the student body as a whole. Botolph House was occupied. Then 
broad political demands were introduced into the controversy, demands 
which were not part of the original tuition protest. The key demand, which 
became central to negotiations, concerns the University Budget Committee. 

Concerned alumnus and faculty 
member Thomas H. O'Connor ad- 
dressed a helpful letter to the student 
body urging an end to the strike. 

"The Strike" and Other Protests 363 

All parties agreed that there should be student members on this committee 
for the purpose of information and assurance of good faith. But now the 
issue has escalated into a demand for an absolute veto over the committee's 
decisions, a demand which the Administration, the Faculty, and many stu- 
dents as well, agree is unreasonable and unworkable. 

As a result the second phase of negotiations has been brought to an 
absolute deadlock over these political issues. There is no chance whatever 
that the strike can be resolved at the bargaining table. Our only hope, as I see 
it, is to accept those points on which both students and administration are 
agreed, and leave the long-range issues for future resolution. I can assure you 
that this will not mean allowing the Administration simply to "file and 
forget" these questions. The Faculty will stand firmly with you to see that 
this does not happen. 

On to the Next Issue: Vietnam 

The student referendum was to be held on May 5. But events external to 
the University suddenly thrust themselves into the midst of campus deci- 
sions. The Vietnam war was escalated by the United States move into 
Cambodia, and on May 4 at Kent State, protesting students were killed by 
National Guardsmen. Across America, college campuses exploded and the 
National Students' Association called for a nation-wide strike. Boston 
College students' reaction to the proposed nation-wide strike was added to 
the May 5 referendum. By a narrow margin, 1464 to 1282, the students 
rejected the administration position against a tuition cap for 1971—1972 
and a student veto on the budget committee. But continuation of the strike 
as an instrument to get the students' view accepted was overwhelmingly 
rejected. However, by a vote of 1669 to 900, what came to be called the 
"strike against Cambodia" was endorsed. So on the very same day, the 
tuition strike ended and an antiwar strike began. That same day Father 


1. Any day undergraduate who, for good reason, wishes to postpone the 
completion of his worl< for the semester, including examinations, may 
do so providing that he makes suitable arrangements with the profes- 
sor(s) involved to complete all such requirements and in fact does 
complete such requirements on or before October 1, 1970. 

2. Any student presently enrolled in any course may withdraw from that 
course without prejudice prior to May 15, 1970. 

3. All students may elect to be graded on a pass-fail basis in their present 

4. Any student may take finals if he so desires. 

5. Study projects and papers assigned before April 13 must be completed, 
or agreements made with individual professors for the completion of 
course requirements. 

364 History of Boston College 

Joyce issued an eloquent condemnation of the war in Southeast Asia and 
urged other universities along with Boston College to support the nation- 
wide strike. The following day the faculty adopted Father Joyce's statement 
as its own. The University Academic Senate adopted flexible plans to enable 
students to satisfy course and examination requirements. 

The turbulent year ended with an uneventful commencement on June 8. 
Sixteen years later a participant in the strike negotiation, Professor John 
Mahoney of the English Department, gave an address to a group of alumni 
priests. Reminiscing about the strike period, he said: 

Vietnam was a trauma. We knew what a strike was; we knew what dissent 
was; we knew what argument was; we knew what student protests were; and 
yet somehow or other we came through that phenomenon with a degree of 
what one might call soberness and a kind of wisdom. It seemed to me we 
learned from the trauma of Vietnam. We learned something about how a 
university can be resilient and strong, about how a university can continue 
its activity as a university while not isolating itself from the world. So many 
of the young men and women of that time seem so very different from the 
people sitting in my classes today, especially at the undergraduate level. They 
seemed so much more troubled, so much more angry, so much more 
disturbed. There also was a very special dimension, an enthusiasm, intellec- 
tual curiosity, a kind of idealism, a kind of interest in putting one's talents to 
use, a kind of need to build a better world. With all the negative things, and 
heaven knows there were enough of those, disruptions, disorder, a challenge 
to authority, there was a sense of growing, a sense of somehow or other 
becoming a part of the new world.- 

There was indeed, as Professor Mahoney remembers, a kind of relief 
when classes resumed quietly in September 1970. Perhaps there was, as he 
put it, a soberness and wisdom on campus. But while there was no 
repetition of any campus-wide disruption during the final two years of 
Father Joyce's presidency, there were occasional limited disturbances. 

In December representatives of the Air Force came to recruit civilian 
personnel for their Electronic Systems Division. The Placement Office 
scheduled the interviews in the old Alumni Hall building on Common- 
wealth Avenue. A group of 12 protesting students entered the interview 
room and disrupted proceedings by shouting, chanting, and banging on the 
table. The students were warned four times by University officers of their 
breach of regulations. Finally in late afternoon a temporary restraining 
order was issued in Middlesex Superior Court. A week later the injunction 
was broadened to restrain Boston College students from preventing appli- 
cants and employers from conducting placement interviews on campus. 

Coeducation and Women's Issues 

The academic year 1970—1971 was the first year of campus-wide under- 
graduate coeducation, and women students were not slow to employ the 

"The Strike" and Other Protests 365 

In occasionally turbulent sessions of 
the University Academic Senate and 
in meetings during the strike, Law 
School dean Richard G. Huber was 
a respected advocate of reason. 

demonstration methods common on American campuses to press their 
interests. No doubt, through inertia and inexperience rather than disinter- 
est, the institution was slow to make all the provisions necessary to adjust 
to the advent of a large female population. The women's protest was 
sparked by the announcement that the position of dean of women, then 
held by Ann Flynn, would be abolished in June. A Women's Action 
Coahtion was formed, in part to petition the retention of Dean Flynn but 
also to demand improved and equal treatment in a number of areas, 
including admissions, financial aid, counseUng, health services, placement 
service, courses, security, and athletic facilities. A petition on these matters 
was submitted to Father Joyce. Dissatisfied with the president's written 
response, on March 19 some 30 members of WAC and supporters occupied 
the offices of Vice President for Student Affairs Mclntyre and Dean of 
Students Father Hanrahan. The students refused to leave when requested, 
so another temporary restraining order was obtained from Middlesex 
Superior Court specifically against the occupation of administrative offices. 
The protest ended and the order was dissolved on April 2. 

Military Recruitment 

There was more intense opposition to military recruitment in 1971-1972. 
It is true that a poll by the undergraduate government in November revealed 
that on the issue of the acceptability of military recruting on campus, 1338 

366 History of Boston College 

students voted in favor, with 1192 opposed. But a small group, appealing 
sometimes to religious principles and obtaining the support of several 
Jesuits, were more adamantly than ever opposed to what they saw as 
cooperation in the war effort. Two disruptions of military recruiting 
sessions, one in October and one in December, led to disciplinary hearings 
before the University Conduct Board; to the chagrin of the administration, 
in both instances the student protesters were exonerated. Their defense 
pointed to the University's commitment in the student guide to high 
principles of Christian humanism and contended that the protests were 
precisely in support of such ideals. The conduct board was convinced and 
found the students not guilty. The tensions on this issue at Boston College 
might have been an early presage of the debate in the Catholic Church a 
decade and a half later, when the American bishops addressed themselves 
to issues of nuclear armaments. 

When the protesters were turned away from the building where military 
recruiting was taking place in December, about 30 people (not all of them 
Boston College students) occupied Hopkins House, then the offices of the 
senior vice president and dean of faculties. During the night, Boston 
College officers urged them to leave so that outside authorities would not 
have to be involved. At 5:45 in the morning they were informed that if they 
did not leave in 15 minutes Newton police would be called. Fifteen persons 
remained, eight of them Boston College students, and at 6:30 a.m. they 
were arrested and charged with criminal trespass. Later in the month they 
were found guilty and put on probation. 

The announcement of Father Joyce's resignation in January 1972, to be 
effective in June, may well have had a tempering effect on protest in the 
second semester. In April there was widespread escalation of antiwar 
activity on many American campuses because of the escalation of the air 
war over Vietnam, and locally there was some violence and arrests at 
Harvard and Boston University. A call for an academic strike at Boston 
College was rejected by a student referendum, but a large majority (1997 
to 181) felt that the University should continue to be involved in antiwar 

Intrusion by The Heights 

Father Joyce ruefully learned, as did many of his fellow presidents, that the 
1968 to 1972 period was not a time of ease or tranquility on college 
campuses. Besides the various protests recorded here, the student paper, 
The Heights, was a particular irritant for the administration, as indicated 
in the previous chapter. Representatives of The Heights also planted a 
listening device in a trustees' meeting in the president's office on February 
19, 1971. On March 2 The Heights ran the full text of the meeting, along 
with some derisive editorial comments. 

Most of the faculty queried by the staff found The Heights conduct a 

"The Strike" and Other Protests 367 

shocking invasion of privacy.^ Father Joyce issued a statement apologizing 
to the trustees and indicating that the University was undertaking a serious 
investigation of the matter. After assembhng evidence with the help of a 
private investigator, the University turned the matter over to the Attorney 
General's office, which studied the case for six weeks. Then on May 20 two 
former editors of The Heights were arrested and charged with conspiring 
to obtain information illegally and to use the information thus obtained. 
The trial was deferred until September, when the Attorney General's office 
and the judge accepted a plea of nolo contendere. The former editors were 
assessed small court costs, ending an unhappy episode in the University's 
history. Relations between The Heights and the administration remained 
strained for the remaining months of Father Joyce's presidency. 

It should be recorded that after the few years that saw the strike, the 
several protests and occupations of buildings, and the disruption of the 
customary campus routine — with occasional examples of incivility — the 
University soon returned to its accustomed academic serenity. There were 
changes, but by no means were all of them aftereffects of the protest 

Back to Normal 

Many observers thought that students now became more relaxed, more 
casual, more comfortable in their university surroundings. While it is true 
that the old dress code (ties and jackets prescribed for an all-male student 
body) had passed away, a new mode of conduct came into being. Gradually 
the extreme forms of "hippie" dress — long hair, beards, shells, sandals, 
and the like — began to disappear. Men did not return to shirts and ties, 
tending instead to dress in a relaxed and casual style. Sweaters, jerseys, 
slacks, and occasionally Levi's and jeans (although these, too, began to 
disappear) indicated that the future process of learning would take place in 
a much less rigid atmosphere. Relations between students and faculty 
became more relaxed and informal, and there was more interaction; 
students freely talked with teachers (including Jesuits) and vice versa. 

Jesuits, too, showed signs of change, presumably not motivated by the 
protest movement. Younger Jesuits, especially, began to wear civilian garb 
(shirts, ties, tweed jackets, and slacks) rather than black suits with clerical 
collar or the black habit of earher days, and some even called themselves 
and had others call them by their first names rather than "Father." On 
campus, at least, these changes in clerical attire and style were taken in 
stride. The faculty in general seemed more responsive to the needs and 
desires of the students, offering new courses, experimental seminars, and 
lively interactive tutorials that were far different from the formal type of 
lecture that had formerly been prevalent. 

Another factor that quietly but profoundly influenced the campus was 
the extension of coeducation to all four undergraduate schools in 1970. 

368 History of Boston College 

School of Nursing students had been on campus for 10 years and School of 
Education women for 18 years when coeducation was made universal, so 
the presence of women undergraduates was not an abrupt phenomenon. 
But an immediate result of universal coeducation was the doubling of an 
apphcant pool for what remained a relatively steady undergraduate enroll- 
ment after the mid-1970s, and this meant a more highly selected student 
body. In addition to this academic impact of coeducation, there is little 
doubt that the influx of a large number of women students in the 1970s 
and thereafter had a benign effect on the life and spirit of the campus. To 
give one example: The happy burgeoning of musical and artistic activity 
on campus in recent years might have happened without universal coedu- 
cation, but it probably would not have blossomed as soon or with such 

Another development simultaneous with full coeducation was the explo- 
sion of on-campus housing for students. When Father Walsh left office in 
1968, the upper campus dormitories he and Father Maxwell had built 
housed 1500 students. The next two decades would see provision for three 
times that number in campus residences. The combination of these two 
factors — increased numbers of women students and more students residing 
in dormitories — posed a new problem for University authorities in the 
1970s: the question of coeducational housing and parietal rules. It was 
clear that Boston College had left behind its simple and uncomplicated 
origins and had moved into the complex context of modern university life. 

The less pleasant aspects of Father Joyce's administration have been 
recorded in this chapter. Fortunately there were positive developments and 
achievements that call for other chapters. 


1. Boston Globe (April 26, 1970). 

2. Tape of address in the University historian's office. 

3. The Heights (March 9, 1971). 



Academic and Social 

On April 11, 1969, President Joyce addressed the Boston College faculty 
on "the contemporary university."' The traditional university, "thought of 
primarily as a reservoir of accumulated knowledge and a haven for wise 
and reflective men," was mirrored in the "shaped lindens and Gothic 
structures" of the campus which recalled a "day that valued both elegance 
and detachment and wished to provide for the faculty and students ... a 
setting that fostered such qualities of mind."- But today, he said, "all this 
is changed." He argued that new expectations call for hard, pragmatic 
action; that students call for relevance and immediacy; that there will be 
new knowledge, new forms that will respond to the needs of the day. In 
summary, "the new university is summoned to play a role in social 

In the course of his remarks, Father Joyce had referred to the objectives 
and hopes of a Catholic and Jesuit university which recognized the mystery 
of a transcendent God.' Lest there be any misunderstanding, however, a 
faculty member wanted to set the record straight. While not openly 
disagreeing with Father Joyce's comments in the context of a Catholic 
university and its value system. Professor Severyn T. Bruyn, Department of 
Sociology, subscribed to the thesis that a university has its own set of values 
expressed in the development of civilized society: "The premise that 
education must be independent of both church and state in its aims, in its 


370 History of Boston College 

rhetoric, in the pursuit of values and knowledge is fundamental to the 
future of the university."^ Expressed in various, though substantially simi- 
lar, formulae, this thesis has been expounded by many educators on 
Catholic campuses in recent years. It has always been the theme of those 
who profess to believe that a Catholic university is a "contradiction in 
terms." But Father Joyce, while he had no intention "of abandoning our 
Catholic identity, much less our Catholic heritage and tradition," was not 
going "to accept the narrowly apologetic and catechetic role in which some 
have cast the Catholic university."*' The faculty prepared itself for innova- 

The Committee on Liberal Education 

In the light of these thoughts on the new goals for the American and 
Catholic university. Father Joyce then reviewed with the faculty the pro- 
grams and proposals that were under discussion in his office and elsewhere 
on campus. Among others, the University Academic Senate Committee on 
Curriculum and Education had, in the spring of 1969, commissioned a 
blue ribbon committee on undergraduate education. With Professor Rich- 

''*t The crown jewel of the 
campus, Bapst library. 

Academic and Social Innovations 371 

ard Hughes as chairman, it was entitled University Committee on Liberal 
Education, which yielded the avuncular acronym U.N.C.L.E. (With refer- 
ence to a popular television program of the day, Professor Hughes became 
"the Man from U.N.C.L.E.") 

Shortly after he was asked to coordinate U.N.C.L.E., Hughes was 
appointed dean of Arts and Sciences amid the controversy described in a 
previous chapter. On becoming dean, he sent an open letter to students 
and faculty which was a frank assessment of the situation as he saw it. He 
wrote in part: 

I hope I can say this without sounding stuffy: There's no reason why we 
shouldn't be creating a superb educational experience in the college. Almost 
all the ingredients are here — a high-level student body, a superior faculty as 
our best resources — but somehow we're bedeviled by Aristotelian harmatia, 
we're just missing the mark. There are some grand things going on . . . but 
it's not hanging together very well. We've got dynamic enclaves but no 
community. And unless we can create a community here, we're not going to 
move very far or very fast.' 

In a sense, this was the challenge to the U.N.C.L.E. committee, at least as 
interpreted by its chairman. This committee, composed of 10 faculty 
members and students from the four undergraduate schools, went about 
its work in a businesslike way. There was a fact-finding subcommittee and 
another for inspecting programs at other universities. U.N.C.L.E. began its 
meetings in early September 1969 with a discussion of several key questions 
such as the integrity, influence, and reaction of academic departments, the 
future effects of substantive changes on the undergraduate colleges, and 
perceived faculty apprehension about a slide toward "a general college."* 

The crucial question was: What is a liberal education? Is it aristocratic 
or democratic? Is it objective or subjective? Since this question has never 
been satisfactorily resolved, though perennially posed, there was no reason 
to believe that U.N.C.L.E. would have the final answer. But the committee 
did make a vahant effort by proposing, discussing, and refining in order to 
make suggestions tailored to existing structures at Boston College. The 
most significant contribution of the committee was its proposal that there 
should be a "core curriculum," however that was defined and designed. 

U.N.C.L.E. submitted an interim report on April 27, 1970.' Working on 
a tight schedule, the committee was anxious to hear the reaction of 
departments and faculty in order to produce a final report in the fall. A 
basic premise for the committee was that "all students entering the Univer- 
sity, regardless of school or major, will participate in the liberal education 
program, and sections will be established without regard to school affilia- 
tion."'" Moreover, the program could be satisfied "either through a univer- 
sity core or alternative programs," both of which had provisions for honors 
candidacy." Although a revised list might be proposed for the final report, 
the interim report contained a core program with the following alterna- 
tives: To fulfill the core, students would take 2 courses in history, English, 

372 History of Boston College 

theology, and philosophy; 3 courses in the humanities (any approved 
courses from the above disciplines or from the classics, modern languages, 
fine arts, and speech); and 2 courses in the natural sciences (with a choice 
from mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and geology). ^- 

The interim report noted that the distribution of these courses could be 
satisfied throughout the regular four years and would not affect departmen- 
tal requirements for the major. The committee was extremely generous in 
permitting alternate programs, called "counter programs," and experimen- 
tal programs which, some thought, only served to dilute the core require- 

At the end of the semester, the EPC of Arts and Sciences appointed a 
subcommittee to seek opinions from the members of the College and the 
University on the interim report throughout the summer and into the fall.'^ 
One of the most interesting critiques came from the School of Management. 
Although it may have gone beyond the complaints of the School of Nursing 
and the School of Education, the School of Management faculty probably 
represented the general reaction of the professional schools to the interim 
report. Sympathetic to U.N.C.L.E.'s desire to provide liberal education 
programs that are "dynamic, viable, and relevant," the School of Manage- 
ment felt that it could best do this by continuing to offer an "intensive 
four-year integrated program to students having a strong professional 
orientation."'" The School of Management also reminded U.N.C.L.E. of 
requirements for accreditation by the Association of Colleges of Business. 

But that was not the real problem. The basic issue — which was not 
new — ^was that the deans and faculties of the professional schools continued 
to resent "the inequality of the education offered to students from the 
different colleges."'^ Repeating an old grievance, the School of Manage- 
ment maintained that objectives of fairness, equahty, and quality could be 
quickly obtained, "if that is what is wanted," by addressing directly the 
undergraduate admission policy, cross registration, and assignment of 
faculty. "In brief," commented the SOM representatives with candor, "we 
reject forthrightly the notion that where a course is taught in the University 
determines whether it is liberal or not."'^ This was an undisguised challenge 
to Arts and Sciences' claim as the guardian of liberal arts in the University. 
Finally, for good measure, the School of Management also hinted that 
Professor Hughes, as both dean of Arts and Sciences and chairman of 
U.N.C.L.E., could be involved in a subtle conflict of interest.'^ 

U.N.C.L.E.'s Report 

In drafting the final report, U.N.C.L.E. kept in mind two principles 
accepted by the EPCs (and always encouraged by the AAUP), namely that 
students should be permitted to arrange their schedules as freely as possible 
and that "the determination of the curriculum is the province of the 
faculty."'^ Making an honest effort to incorporate suggestions, the commit- 

Academic and Social Innovations 373 

In the era before the opening 
of O 'Neill Library there were 
few vacant chairs in Bapst's 
Gargan hall. 

tee submitted its report in October 1970. With this report and recommen- 
dations, U.N.C.L.E. considered that it had fulfilled the charge given to it by 
the Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee of the UAS in March 

Actually, this final report did not differ significantly from the first draft. 
A philosophical preamble had been added and minor changes were made 
in recommendations. Once again it stressed choice among viable alterna- 
tives and recommended a standing committee in each college to supervise 
alternatives. Certain core courses would be designated "honors" courses, 
and a student would have to include 10 such courses to be considered for 
honors. Mathematics and modern language were not required but — like 
sociology, political science, and psychology — could be taken as alternatives. 

The Arts and Sciences EPC showed no deference to the committee 
chairman (and dean) in its review of the U.N.C.L.E. report. It pointed out 

374 History of Boston College 

that U.N.C.L.E. provided no reasons for its choices; that there was nothing 
to show that U.N.C.L.E.'s core was better than the one in place;^° that 
improved advisement and more classroom space would have to be found; 
and that faculty adjustments might be difficult. The academic vice president, 
however, in a strong plea for core, underlined the argument that with 4000 
undergraduates enrolled in professional schools, there must be a liberal 
core to their education. 

The last hurdle was U.N.C.L.E.'s recommendation that the UAS estab- 
lish, by election, a university core curriculum committee. This proposal 
immediately became controversial and revived the earlier dispute between 
the UAS and the individual EPCs. The EPCs feared that the UAS or one of 
its committees would preempt responsibility for the core and, by impUca- 
tion, for liberal education at Boston College. As an example of faculty 
support, Professor Louis Kattsoff of the Mathematics and Philosophy 
departments wrote a long letter to the academic community to make a 
strong case for the UCCC. If it is to be a "University Core," he wrote, it 
should have a University committee to oversee it.^' 

The New Core Curriculum 

Tying together comments and reports of the past two years, the UAS 
Standing Committee on Curriculum and Educational PoHcy submitted its 
own report on February 17, 197L-- An excellent history of the case, it was 
especially clear on the constitution and purpose of the UCCC versus the 
authority and responsibility of the individual EPCs. Elected members of 
the UCCC would include two faculty members from each of the three 
divisions of Arts and Sciences, one faculty member from each of the 
professional schools, and three members of the student body. The dean of 
faculties would chair the committee. The purpose of the UCCC, constituted 
by the UAS, would be to request and approve courses in the core, to provide 
direction for programs, and to set controls over experiments or alternatives. 

This important question, so long debated, was finally settled in May 
1971. At that time the UAS adopted a new core curriculum in which the 
required courses were reduced from 17 (as in the old core) to 12. But 
options were increased. As approved there were two courses in philosophy, 
theology, social sciences, mathematics/natural sciences, history, and hu- 
manities. Since the underlying premise was that the "core" was a University 
program, the UAS insisted on cross-registration so that all courses would 
be open to all students, regardless of undergraduate affiUation. This would 
eliminate past inequities. There was provision for extensive advisement to 
assist students in choices.^^ 

Opposition to a core curriculum, past or present, came from UGBC. It 
preferred the system adopted by Holy Cross, which eliminated all core 
requirements in favor of electives. Timothy Anderson, who had been elected 
president of UGBC in February 1971, ran on a platform which promised 

Academic and Social Innovations 375 

an end to the core curriculum.-'' Incidentally, Anderson assumed an impor- 
tant leadership role in the protests and strike which hit the campus in that 
spring semester. 

To insure that the core curriculum would indeed provide a true frame- 
work of liberal learning, the UAS created a permanent Council of Liberal 
Education (a variation on UCCC), which was charged with approving 
courses to be included in the minimum liberal education core. This council 
is still operative. 

The Board of Directors, which had discussed the question at its April 
meeting, made its decision in May. After listening to an explanation by the 
academic vice president, the board unanimously approved "the Liberal 
Education Core Curriculum approved by the University Academic Sen- 
ate."" In a second resolution, including a Solomon-like compromise, the 
board further decreed that minimum core requirements would come under 
the jurisdiction of the UAS; "otherwise the curriculum of each college 
remains in the jurisdiction of each college. "^'^ In other words, the individual 
EPCs might add to the core, but could not delete courses from it. 

Over the years, despite occasional criticism, the University Academic 
Planning Committee has several times reaffirmed "a belief in the wisdom 
and educational value of a soundly conceived, well-taught, and skilfully 
administered core that reflects the distinctive goals of Boston CoUege."^^ 
Other models were offered, but always within the parameters drawn by the 
Board of Directors and the UAS. In 1986 there was a discussion of the core 
at a faculty day program. "Boston College has a good core curriculum, but 
there is still room for improvement," was the general consensus of those 
present at the annual meeting.-' That same year the seniors thought it 
pertinent to explain in their yearbook why and how the core courses "were 
intended to provide the cultural background, intellectual training, and 
structures of basic principles by which students could comprehend a 
complex world and cope with rapid changes as they occurred."-' Mention 
will be made later of another study of the core curriculum, ongoing in 

Participating in Societal Change: Pulse 

Father Joyce insisted that, in addition to the academic programs, Boston 
College should play a role in shaping social change. The University had 
long been involved with urban problems and inner-city issues, but these 
had been addressed by faculty and administrators. He thought it time to 
involve the students. In October 1969 the Social Action Committee of the 
UGBC was formed and charged with responsibility for establishing a social 
action agency. The Social Action Committee, now known as "Pulse," came 
from the initiative of former UGBC president Joseph Fitzpatrick and a 
group of concerned students. Two consultants were hired, a budget was set 
up, and assistance was supphed by supervisors in a work-study program. 

376 History of Boston College 

In October 1970 the Pulse program directorship was placed in the Univer- 
sity table of organization under Weston M. Jenks, University Director of 

Pulse gained instant recognition and success. The committee immediately 
identified as spheres of interest the Jamaica Plain Youth Center, a project 
concerned with drugs, dehnquency, and unemployment; housing develop- 
ment and public housing ownership; and a cerebral palsy Montessori class, 
a pilot pre-school class in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department 
of Pubhc Health. Several other projects of a similar nature followed. 

The two unique features of the program as it developed — and not 
duplicated at other area institutions — were (1) the academic accreditation 
given to social action projects and (2) the substantial financial commitment 
of the University. The support given to Pulse by the administration and 
faculty was clear proof of Boston College's intention to become involved 
with society beyond the campus gates. This endorsement was, in fact, 
envied by students at other institutions in the Boston area. 

Over the years Pulse has made an enormous contribution to social 
programs in Massachusetts, beyond the state, and even overseas. It is an 
enriching program for students, and those fortunate enough to be involved 
consider it one of the great experiences of their collegiate years. At the 
faculty level, one of the driving forces behind the program has been Joseph 
Flanagan, S.J., chairman of the Philosophy Department." There will be 

Father Joseph Flanagan, chair- 
man of the Philosophy Depart- 
ment since 1 965, was a major 
force behind the Pulse pro- 
gram and the Perspectives on 
Western Culture curriculum. 

Academic and Social Innovations 377 

occasion to mention his contribution in subsequent pages. For the past 
several years the director has been Richard Keeley who, with the Pulse 
Council, edits the program's paper and publishes the annual report. 

Another example — one of several that could be cited — of the social 
conscience of the students was, as the director put it, "an adventure in 
service and learning." In February 1970, 46 seniors and 2 graduate 
students from the School of Education went to work as reading tutors with 
children in South Boston.^- Under the direction of Professor John Savage, 
these students, in lieu of a class session each week, spent one hour every 
Monday afternoon tutoring children with reading disabilities. Although all 
had completed student teaching, few had ever worked in an intensive 
clinical or tutorial program in the inner city. According to Professor Savage, 
"For the children and youth service workers in South Boston, it was novel 
to be 'invaded' by such a large group at one time for this purpose."^^ 

The program was set up with the cooperation of the South Boston Action 
Center and consisted in tutoring disadvantaged children in the so-called 
"D Street Project," a low-income city housing development located in 
South Boston. The Boston College students worked in four adjoining 
apartments with 74 children from grades 1 through 6 who were selected 
by Action Center personnel from public and parochial schools in the area. 

This was the beginning of a number of such programs in the undergrad- 
uate colleges that reflected the growing awareness on the part of students 
and faculty alike of the potential for social action that resided within the 
academic community. Some programs were not unique to Boston College. 
However, as the projects — which ranged from reading programs to building 
houses — moved from Boston to Appalachia to Jamaica, they took on the 
added dimension of a ministry or apostolate traditionally associated with 
a Jesuit institution. More will be said of this aspect in a later chapter. 

The Academic Calendar Revised 

A revision of the academic calendar had been under discussion for some 
time at various levels. (Experimentation had also been going on at other 
institutions.) With the appointment of a university registrar, the adoption 
of new registration procedures, and a change in the format of the University 
catalog, it seemed an appropriate time to review the semester schedule. 
Consequently, the UAS Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee, 
chaired by Louis Kattsoff, took a new look at the calendar at its meeting 
in October 1971. The UAS also appointed a subcommittee on semester 
division, with Robert O'Malley of the Chemistry Department as chairman. 
A change in the term calendar, which might appear to be a simple 
adjustment, immediately provoked reactions from a number of interest 
groups, including student body, faculty, administration, advisement-orien- 
tation, food services, athletics, and plant services. Even the weather, storm 
cycles, excessive heat or cold, family vacations, and summer jobs were 

378 History of Boston College 

proposed as factors to be taken into account. Although there was talk of 
quarters and trimesters (year-round facilities for a 3-term 3-course sched- 
ule), the semester was still the most popular format at Boston College and 
other area institutions. The real question was whether the first term should 
extend beyond Christmas — that is, one or two weeks of class or, alterna- 
tively, readings, followed by examinations. In November Professor O'Mal- 
ley reported that, a result of researching calendar changes, two possibihties 
had emerged: first, there could be early semester beginnings and endings, 
or, second, there could be two 4-month semesters with a month off between 

Criticism of the plan for ending the first semester before Christmas 
holidays usually centered on insufficient time for examinations. Moreover, 
there was no unanimity on the number of required class days in a semester. 
Harvard and MIT held to 70, Boston University and Tufts to somewhat 
fewer. The academic vice president's office supplied data for the past decade 
which, although there were fluctuations, showed a median of 68 days a 
semester at Boston College." It was agreed by all that examinations before 
Christmas would necessitate classes beginning immediately after Labor 
Day, which would bring students and faculty back to campus in late 

After Professor O'Malley's explanatory article had appeared in the 
February 10, 1972, Thursday Reporter (an administration publication 
later called Biweekly), people began to take sides. Though some faculty 
expressed opposition to the early termination of the first semester, most 
favored it or were indifferent. Students expected a change and, for the most 
part, did not see the question as a big issue. In fact some felt that, in the 
traditional schedule, the time between Labor Day and the beginning of 
class was wasted." The subcommittee's proposal, therefore, was: first 
semester — 15 weeks (66 days of class, 5 examination days, and 4 days for 

1972-1973 CALENDAR 

Fall Term: 

September 5 — classes begin 

December 18-22 — examinations 

December 23-January 7 — recess 

Spring Term: 

January 8 — classes begin 

May 14-25 — examinations 

June 4 — commencement 

1973-1974 CALENDAR 

Fall Term: 

September 4 — classes begin 

December 17-22 — examinations 

December 23-January 13 — recess 

Spring Term: 

January 14 — classes begin 

May 2-10 — examinations 

May 27 — commencement 

Academic and Social Innovations 379 

Since 1970 the Campus 
School, founded by John 
Eichorn (pictured here), has 
served some 60 multihandi- 
capped pupils between the 
ages of 6 and 25. 

registration); second semester — 15.2 weeks (68 days of class, 5 examina- 
tion days, and 3 days for registration). 

Opposition to the proposed new calendar was directed mainly at the 
decision to implement the change in September 1972. This was particularly 
true of the University Orientation Committee, which needed more time to 
reorganize the freshmen assistance program. The director of athletics was, 
perhaps, the most outspoken critic, since winter and spring sports events 
had been scheduled for the next several years. While the Council for 
Counseling Services favored experimenting with a new calendar, it felt the 
adjustment could not be made for September 1972.^** Despite this opposi- 
tion, the experiment began in September for the 1972-1973 academic year. 

Expanding the Doctoral Program 

Social programs and social involvement must, indeed, be a concern to the 
modern educational institution in the United States. But many maintain 
that the classic university, in its historical origins and setting, is still 
measured largely by its scholarly contribution to knowledge in the arts and 
sciences. At American universities, given their German heritage, this is 
usually done at the highest academic level — that is, at the doctoral level, 
where research and publication are normal products of a professor's 

Over the years, the Boston College Graduate School had offered a widely 
recognized and rigorously defined master's degree in the arts, sciences, and 
education. That degree entitled recipients to apply to prestigious universi- 
ties for the pursuit of higher studies. During Father Walsh's tenure, the 
major emphasis was on the attraction of outstanding undergraduate stu- 
dents and the improvement of undergraduate programs. But the graduate 

380 History of Boston College 

offerings were not neglected. From 1960 to 1968, biology, chemistry, 
philosophy, and physics were added to the three existing doctoral programs 
(economics, education, and history) that had been inaugurated in 1952. In 
the late sixties and early seventies, chairmen from other departments, with 
pressure from vocal faculty members, felt that the time had come when 
Boston College should not only preserve the wisdom of the past but should 
add to it. This was one reason to expand doctoral programs, but the 
emphasis in proposals was on the responsibility of training future Ph.D.s 
for college and university faculties. The administration took this obhgation 
seriously, and there was a dramatic expansion of such programs. 

It is not necessary to describe each program in detail here, for the basic 
format for doctoral studies follows a prescribed design, and the reasons 
adduced for initiating a program therefore are quite similar. That depart- 
ment growth and stability are critical to the success of this kind of academic 
venture, however, is proved by an example. The first doctoral program 
inaugurated in the Joyce presidency had to be canceled. The Department of 
Germanic Studies had two internationally recognized scholars. Professor 
Heinz Bluhm, who had formerly held a chair at Yale, and Professor Joseph 
Szoverffy, an acknowledged authority in German philology. With a good 
supporting staff, the department was quite adequate to offer the Ph.D. — a 
program that had a bright future, inasmuch as its only competitor was 
Harvard. However, the sudden resignation of Professor Szoverffy, who was 
politically unhappy at Boston College, forced the department to turn away 
doctoral applicants, of whom there were many. One senior professor (as 
opposed to two at Harvard) was not sufficient to carry the program.^' (In 
addition, the Priorities Committee had recommended that the doctoral 
program in Germanic Studies be discontinued.) 

Located for nearly two dec- 
ades in Roberts Center, the 
Campus School now occupies 
quarters built for it in 1 989 in 
the former auditorium-gymna- 
sium of Campion Hall. 

Academic and Social Innovations 381 

The English Department's proposal for a doctoral program is an example 
of a mature, responsible, honest, and highly academic approach to this 
critical decision. In one sense, this department — considering its faculty 
strength — was perhaps the best prepared to offer the Ph.D., yet it was the 
most cautious in electing to do so. As the chairman wrote to the president, 
"Having, I think, established ourselves as an effective graduate department, 
we're anxious to expand but not to endanger our reputation."'"' The 
department discussed the proposed Ph.D. in 1957 and 1958, taking an 
inventory of library holdings, faculty, publications, and present and future 
course offerings. It was immediately recognized that there were deficiencies 
in hbrary resources, the most serious gaps being in reference, English 
history, medieval Latin literature, Germanic language, and — most serious 
of all for the Ph.D. — in the periodical collection.'" 

Ten years later, after much discussion, the chairman submitted a progress 
report on the Ph.D. program. This report concentrated on a review of the 
market for Ph.D.s. Noting that "the American universities produce only a 
fraction of what the field ideally requires" (with most of these granted by a 
small number of high-yield institutions), the report, with facts and figures, 
explained "the unique contribution smaller universities might make to the 
academic community."''- In discussing the competition for students and 
faculty, the department felt that Boston College's philosophy of education, 
which affected the thrust of the program, was an advantage. Moreover, 
given the newness and smallness of the program, there was ample oppor- 
tunity to try new approaches to a research degree with added emphasis on 
insight, creativity, and discovery.''^ The course requirements were necessar- 
ily traditional. The report also added an impressive list of faculty publica- 

The department was so confident of success that, in the fall of 1968 
(although the program had not been formally approved), an attractive 
brochure describing the chief features of the program was distributed. 
Confidence was based in good part on the extremely favorable evaluations 
of faculty members from distinguished universities. For the administration, 
the last hurdle was financial. In order to attract superior doctoral appli- 
cants, the chairman strongly recommended generous subsidies for their 
support— -subsidies that exceeded those of other doctoral departments. But 
this was a negotiable component, and patience was its own reward. 

Early in the second semester (1968—1969), the president communicated 
to the chairman "the good news that that Board of Directors has unani- 
mously endorsed the application of your department for permission to 
begin a program of studies leading to the Ph.D. degree."'*'' Father Joyce 
congratulated Professor Hughes for his part in "steer [ing] the proposal 
through to a successful conclusion, and your colleagues for an excellently 
structured doctoral program."''^ The first students were accepted for the 
fall term of 1969-1970. Over the years, as it was meant to do, the program 
has enhanced the academic reputation of Boston College. 

382 History of Boston College 

Other Investments in Reputation 

Although some were beginning to have second thoughts on the implications 
of the financial burden, other doctoral programs came into existence in 
quick succession at about this time. The Modern Language Department, 
which submitted its application in 1966, was an interesting case because 
its appeal to the administration was based almost entirely on the job 
opportunity market. A regional study for the years 1960—1964 revealed 
that only 111 doctoral degrees in modern languages were granted by all 
New England institutions combined, with 58 of those coming from Yale. 
Harvard had granted 17 in romance languages and 17 in German. In 
addition to the academic and commercial markets, the federal government, 
as exemplified by the establishment of the NDEA doctoral scholarships, 
was anxious to increase the pool of language experts for sensitive govern- 
ment posts and for the advantages language fluency brought to interna- 
tional business transactions. The Modern Language Department began its 
doctoral program in the late sixties. Professor Normand Cartier, Father 
Joseph D. Gauthier, Professor Maria Simonelli, and others made it an 
attractive undertaking. 

The departments of Sociology, Political Science, and Theology (which 
participates in a joint program with Andover-Newton Theological School) 
launched their doctoral programs in 1970—1971.'"^ All of these programs 
were thoroughly researched, cogently presented, and academically solid. 
The Board of Directors accepted the academic rationale of the departments. 

Departments offering the doctorate — as every dean knows — exercise a 
strong attraction for senior faculty who are oriented toward research and 
pubhcation. A graduate school with many doctoral departments, however, 
is a very expensive investment. Once the decision is made, there is a ripple 
effect: Science laboratories and instrumentation must be adequate, library 
holdings must be increased in certain fields, salaries may be higher for 
those whose schedules are reduced, and graduate assistants and fellows 
must be subsidized. But the rewards are beyond a mere price tag in terms 
of prestige and influence. Those former students who earned their Ph.D.s 
and Ed.D.s at Boston College are now senior faculty members in institu- 
tions across the country, superintendents of school systems, and research 
scientists. These scholars have carried the name of Boston College to the 
highest levels.''^ 

The University Chaplain's Team 

The Joyce years saw a change in an important aspect of student life. At a 
Jesuit college or university, the spiritual formation of students has a high 
priority. In the late sixties and early seventies the team approach to campus 
ministry was gaining advocates at Catholic schools across the country. 
Boston College was an early convert to this practice. 

Academic and Social Innovations 383 

The whole concept of a university chaplain was fairly new. For many 
years, as the four undergraduate colleges grew and developed their own 
identities, a chaplain was assigned to each one. He was responsible for the 
spiritual and personal counseling of his students and, indeed, was fre- 
quently an academic advisor as well. The system had certain advantages, 
one of which was the frequency of personal contacts. But there was no 
University policy, no collaboration, no coordination, no one person in 
charge. This situation began to change in the 1967-1968 year when Father 
"Jack" Gallagher was appointed University chaplain, although chaplains 
were still assigned to particular schools. 

Stability, and a new approach and new style, came with the appointment 
of Father Leo "Chet" McDonough in 1971. He, with the other Jesuits 
assigned to that mission, had been expelled from Iraq in 1968. A typical 
missionary, he was energetic, personable, enthusiastic, available to students, 
and totally committed to his apostolate. He was ably assisted by Fathers 
James Larkin, "Jack" Seery, Frank Lazetta, and James Halpin, all of whom 
had formerly been assigned to a particular school. Father Halpin, who was 
director of the Program for the Study of Peace, led a liturgy every day for 
the students at the Chestnut Hill Avenue apartments where he lived. These 
four members of the team were unofficially — but generously — assisted by 
Fathers David Gill of the Classics Department and Frederick Adelmann of 

As Father Halpin explained, "The chaplain has to create his office and 
make his presence felt on campus. "''^ It was in this sense that Father 
McDonough made a special difference. The students of those days will 
always remember the coffee and donut hour after the Saturday night liturgy 
at St. Joseph's chapel. Father McDonough said, "I am laughed at a lot for 

Father Leo "Chet" Mc- 
Donough, head of a team of 
chaplains in the early 1 970s. 

384 History of Boston College 

this, but we still manage to get 600 people to come together."'" For him, 
that was the point. The entire student body mourned the loss of a good 
friend when, in August 1975, Father Chet McDonough died from a 
persistent heart condition. 

Other Changes and Notes of Interest 

In the second semester of the 1971-1972 academic year — the last six 
months of the Joyce administration — there was movement on several fronts. 
Although computers had been in use for years in banks and other business 
operations, universities were just beginning to realize their potential for 
record keeping. At Boston College, the computer center — tucked away in 
the basement of Gasson — was fast becoming the nerve center of the 
campus. Financial, registration, and grade records, no longer filed in steel 
cabinets in deans' offices, were now stored in an IBM 370/145. (Of course, 
the equipment became more sophisticated as the years went by.) Father 
Joseph Pomeroy, S.J., a computer expert, commuted daily from Holy Cross 
to supervise the center. Bernard Gleason, a senior analyst at the center, 
spent much of his time training staff in the proper methods to retrieve 
information, and was also occupied in devising defenses against the theft 
of confidential information — a problem that has continued to plague the 

Computer keyboards and screens, printers, and optical scanners have, in 
recent years, become the tools of publication, as the typewriter has become 
a museum piece. To coordinate this vast endeavor for both established 
professors and those looking for recognition, Charles Flaherty ('60) was 
appointed director of research administration. A man of wide commit- 
ments, Flaherty is a state representative from Cambridge who has also 
served as state Democratic party chairman. In his work as director, he 
identifies sources for funding research projects, assists faculty members in 
preparing their proposals for foundations or federal agencies, and, when 
necessary, negotiates with a possible sponsor. As a representative in the 
Massachusetts legislature, he has often been helpful in explaining and 
interpreting for the administration education bills that have been intro- 
duced to the General Court. At the same time, of course, he is careful to 
avoid a conflict of interest in discussing issues that might affect his position 
at Boston College. While not always successful with proposals in Washing- 
ton, Boston College did receive over $5 million in federal grants for 
research in 1971, and better than $5.5 miUion from all sources — state, 
local, private.^^ 

Other people were also bringing credit to Boston College. Two members 
of the alumni added episcopal purple to their maroon and gold. In February 
1972 Lawrence J. Riley ('36) and Joseph F. Maguire ('41) were appointed 
auxiliary bishops of Boston by Pope Paul VI. Bishop Riley had been active 

Academic and Social Innovations 385 

Albert M. Folkard ('37) of the 
English Department was director 
of the honors program in the Col- 
lege of Arts and Sciences, 1964— 
1981. In 1980 the University de- 
clared Folkard a Doctor of Hu- 
mane Letters, honoris causa. 

in the Fulton Debating Society; later on he became an eloquent spokesman 
for the Church. Bishop Maguire is now the Ordinary in Springfield. 

As the semester came to a close, a search was under way for a new dean 
of Arts and Sciences. Controversial in his appointment, Dean Hughes was 
again in the news as he left office. The dean's tenure was tied to President 
Joyce's administration; when the president resigned, Hughes rightly con- 
cluded that his mandate had ended. Professor Thomas Owens of the 
Philosophy Department chaired the search committee. Since the search was 
on for a new president, the committee decided to recommend an acting 
dean in the person of Father James Skehan, chairman of Geology and 
Geophysics. ^- 

For some reason or other, the professional schools always seemed to 
escape the internal controversies that were so easily generated within Arts 
and Sciences. In April, when the campus grounds were beginning to recover 
from the winter snows, the School of Nursing celebrated its 25th anniver- 
sary with a day-long conference. Many of those present remembered the 
early days in 1947 when the school occupied cramped quarters at 126 
Newbury Street. Despite the austerities of those years before the move to 
Gushing Hall, the school had earned almost instant recognition for the 
quality of its programs and the dedication of its faculty. Rita Kelleher, in 

386 History of Boston College 

particular, who as dean had nurtured the school in its infancy, could take 
pride in the achievements of its graduates/^ 

Referring to the 1972 commencement, the Thursday Reporter summa- 
rized "Four Years of Change": 

The men and women, who this weekend will end their careers as undergrad- 
uate students at Boston College, have lived through four years unlike any 
others in the history of the University. They arrived at the tail-end of the 
rapid growth which transformed the campus from a small, commuter- 
oriented college to a university teeming with residents, and at the beginning 
of years of social unrest and financial strain which still have not run their 
entire course. 

They witnessed the inauguration of a new president, W. Seavey Joyce, S.J., 
and saw the last year of his term, experiencing with him all of the traumas 
and growing pains of an institution which was only just learning how to 
manage its new size." 

These same students now return to the campus with fond memories, like 
those who went before them and those who followed. There is, however, a 
difference. They have more to talk about. 


1. This address was later published in pamphlet form under the title, "Notes 
Toward the Idea of a Catholic University." BCA. 

2. Ibid., p. 1. 

3. Ibid., p. 6. 

4. Ibid., p. n. 

5. The Heights (April 22, 1969) carried excerpts from Professor Bruyn's comments. 

6. "Notes," p. 11. 

7. The Heights (May 6, 1969). 

8. The Heights in almost every weekly issue in 1969—1970 reported the progress of 

9. BCA. 

10. See Interim Report, p. 5. 

11. Ibid. 

12. Ibid. 

13. EPC, College of Arts and Sciences, Annual Report, 1969-1970, p. 5. BCA. 

14. Report of Curriculum Committee of SOM to U.N.C.L.E. Report of April 27, 
1970 and June 10, 1970. BCA. 

15. Ibid. 

16. Ibid. 

17. Ibid. 

18. Minutes, EPC meeting, A&S, May 12, 1969. 

19. The report is found in the archives. 

20. It should be remembered that Boston College already had a "core," but not as 
well defined as the one that replaced it. 

21. BCA. 

22. BCA. 

Academic and Social Innovations 387 

23. For an excellent account of the UAS action, see Bridge {Summer 1971). 

24. Ibid. (March 1971). 

25. Minutes, Board of Directors Meeting, April 23 and 24, 1971; also, June 18 and 
19, 1971. Botolph House file. 

26. /i)Z(f.,Junel8and 19, 1971. 

27. Memo from John L. Mahoney to All Members of UAPC. Subject: Core Curricu- 
lum, September 11, 1974. BCA. 

28. See Biweekly {May 1986). 

29. SMfcTMrn{1986), p. 268. 

30. For the early history of Pulse see "First Annual Report," November 2, 1970. 

31. See "Joseph Flanagan, S.J., Attracts National Notice for His Teaching." Biweekly 
(April 24, 1986). The article draws attention to Father Flanagan's work in 
Perspectives and Pulse. 

32. "An Informal Report on the Boston College-South Boston Tutoring Project," by 
John Savage. BCA. 

33. Ibid. 

34. Minutes, UAS Committee on Curriculum and Educational Policy, November 18, 

35. Father Donovan to R. O'Malley, December 29, 1971. 

36. Memo from R. O'Malley to Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee, 
January 13, 1972. 

37. Memo from R. O'Malley to Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee, 
February 22, 1972. 

38. Weston M. Jenks to Father Donovan, March 21, 1972. 

39. Heinz Bluhm to W. Seavey Joyce, June 14, 1971. Annual Report. BCA. 

40. R. E. Hughes to Michael P. Walsh, November 7, 1961 . BCA. 

41. "Discussion of Proposed Ph.D. Program, 1957-1958." BCA. 

42. "The Ph.D. in English." A Report, May 1969. BCA. 

43. Ibid. 

44. Father Joyce to R. E. Hughes, February 4, 1969. BCA. 

45. Ibid. 

46. For a good description of the political science doctoral program see Bridge 
(Summer 1971). 

47. As further recognition of Boston College's contribution to higher education. 
Graduate School Dean Donald J. White has served as chairman of the Council of 
Graduate Schools in the United States. Significant doctoral programs mounted by 
the Graduate School of Social Work, the School of Nursing, and the Graduate 
School of Management will be mentioned later. 

48. See "Campus Ministry: The Team Approach," Bridge (February 1972). There 
was also provision for ministry for non-Catholics and Jews. 

49. Ibid. 

50. Thursday Reporter (February 10, 1972). 

51. "The Three Lives of Charlie Flaherty," Bridge (April 1972). 

52. See Thursday Reporter (February 3, 1972; April 20, 1972). 

53. Bridge (June 1972); Thursday Reporter (April 20, 1972). 

54. June 2, 1972. 



An Overview of the Joyce Era 

Although the Joyce administration was beset by daunting financial prob- 
lems, a surprising amount of construction planning, renovation, and build- 
ing took place. Several projects carried over from the previous administra- 
tion. The finishing touches were being put on McGuinn Hall in the summer 
of 1968, and the building opened in the fall. Higgins Hall had been 
completed in 1966 and became home to the Biology and Physics depart- 
ments, which moved from Devlin. 

Renovation and Conversion 

Devlin Hall, the original science building, was in need of major renovation 
to give enlarged facifities to the Chemistry Department and the Geology 
and Geophysics Department and to accommodate a science library. Plans 
were drawn and the cost estimated at about $2.4 million. Before a contract 
was signed, Father Joyce's appointment to succeed Father Walsh was 
announced. When Father Joyce was consulted, he agreed that the project 
should go forward.' The renovation and modernization of Devlin Hall — a 
massive undertaking — was completed in the summer of 1969. 

Other significant renovations took place as well. In the spirit of Vatican 
Council II, St. Joseph's chapel in Gonzaga Hall was redone to create a 


An Overview of the Joyce Era 389 

more intimate arrangement of altar and benches to reflect the closer 
relationship of congregation and priest in celebrating the eucharistic ht- 
urgy. At the same time, however, there was a change in the time-honored 
tradition of no class on holy days of obligation. In 1970 only the civil 
holidays were recognized as legitimate interruptions of the academic pro- 
gram — which prompted some to ask if the University was becoming too 

The Bapst auditorium, which had been the scene of so many liturgical 
and academic functions, was converted into stack space. Even a superficial 
survey of Bapst, which had been dedicated in 1928, revealed the inadequa- 
cies of this building. Designed for a student body of 1200, at this time it 
was expected to serve 8000. Among other deficiencies, there was no space 
for further book acquisitions. 

The decision for conversion to stack space was made final in September 
1969, and the contract was given to John Bowen Building Contractors. The 
second floor (auditorium) was refashioned into a double stack section with 
a mezzanine (a second deck) similar to the first floor. This new facility 
provided shelving for 190,000 volumes and 70 new carrels along the walls 
for individual study. Done at a cost of $170,000, the conversion was 
completed for use in January 1970.- 

Provision of housing for resident students seems to have been a perennial 
problem for Boston College in the decades after World War II, but in the 
Joyce era the phrase "housing crisis" expressed a pressing emergency. In 
1966 Father Walsh had the architectural firm of Sasaki Associates do a 
development and feasibility study of the lower campus, with emphasis on 
dormitories.^ On Lactate Sunday 1969, Father Joyce announced to the 
alumni that ground would soon be broken for twin towers, Boston Col- 
lege's first venture in high-rise residences, on the former reservoir behind 
Alumni Hall."* But a month later it was announced that plans for the 22- 
story dormitory had to be scrapped because of engineering and financial 
problems (the interest rates for construction loans were too high). 

An interim solution to the housing problem was the purchase of a 
number of apartment properties on South Street which provided 344 beds. 
Extensive renovation was involved. The cost of the property and improve- 
ments was $1.4 million. These apartments, with the exception of the 
Greychff dormitory, were sold in 1981.^ 

Other Remedies for the Housing Crisis 

The 1969-1970 academic year was notable for a desperate remedy for the 
housing crisis. The large Jesuit house of studies in Weston had been partially 
vacated when the Jesuit theologate was moved to Cambridge. Arrangements 
were made to house 99 freshman men and four prefects in one wing of the 
great building in Weston. The students were transported to and from 

390 History of Boston College 

"Weston by bus. The frisky freshmen, however, were not compatible neigh- 
bors for the Jesuit fathers resident at Weston, some of whom were infirm. 
A number of pranks caused tensions, but the final straw was a fire set in a 
former science laboratory in the basement early in December. The best 
solution seemed to be to evacuate the students at once and send them home 
for Christmas vacation, with examinations postponed. During the vacation 
makeshift accommodations for second semester were found in upper 
campus residences — in prefects' rooms, study halls, lounges, kitchens, and 

In the spring of 1970 overtures were made for the purchase of the 
Somerset Hotel in Kenmore Square. According to a press release (April 16, 
1970), the University was prepared to make payments to the City of Boston 
in lieu of taxes. An attractive feature of the hotel, according to the release, 
was the 350-car garage that would provide parking for the resident students 
and supervisory staff. It was thought that junior and senior students would 
be assigned to the Kenmore Square residence. However, the city objected 
to the proposed purchase and the project was abandoned. 

In subsequent months a much more promising housing acquisition was 
pursued: The Towne Estates in Brighton were for sale. Acquisition of these 
apartments so close to the campus would have been a giant step toward 
solving the University's housing problems. The purchase price of $8 miUion 
was a pleasant contrast to the estimated $25 million for the abandoned 
plan for twin towers.^ Boston Mayor Kevin White led opposition to the 

The popular modular apartments, known as the "mods," were erected in the 
summer and fall of 1 970. 

An Overview of the Joyce Era 391 

Boston College plan. On July 21 in a City Hall hearing room, the Board of 
Appeals received opinions on the Boston College proposal. Father Joyce 
made a lengthy and eloquent presentation of the University's housing needs, 
stating that Boston College's survival as a major educational institution 
depended upon the Board's approval. Through the manager of the AUston- 
Brighton Little City Hall, however, Mayor White urged the board to reject 
the Boston College plan. Not unexpectedly, the mayor prevailed. 

While these negotiations were in progress, the University had engaged 
the architectural firm of Hugh Stubbins and Associates to draw plans to 
accommodate 500 students in mobile homes on the "Lawrence Basin" (the 
land made by filling the small reservoir). ^ But the architect found that there 
was not enough space for a sufficient number of mobile units, so the best 
alternative seemed to be a two-story, duplex-type modular construction. 
The proposed construction was in the City of Boston, and this time it 
proceeded with the mayor's blessing. The "mods," as the residences came 
to be known, were shipped in halves on flatbed trucks by the manufacturer. 
Arbor Homes, Inc., from Waterbury, Connecticut. Ground was broken on 
August 25, 1970. Forty-three modular apartments were erected to house 
516 students. The project proceeded through the first semester.' This 
construction was financed initially by a bank loan of $2.4 million. In 1974 
the loan balance was refinanced on more favorable terms with the Massa- 
chusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority.'" 

In September 1970 some 500 students were placed temporarily in 
apartments in Brighton and motels scattered from Brighton to the Route 
128 Holiday Inn. They were moved to campus on a weekly basis as the 
new modular apartments became available, with full occupancy of the new 
campus facilities by Christmas. Another 200 students started the academic 
year living in the Howard Johnson's Motel at Newton Corner. Also starting 
in September 1970 and continuing for two years, the University leased 25 
apartments in Byron Village on Lagrange Street in Newton, which accom- 
modated 84 students. 

Growth of the resident student population on the upper campus created 
the need for some kind of commons for entertainment and social activities. 
Although O'Connell Hall seemed ideal for this purpose, it was housing 82 
students. Plans therefore were made to construct small townhouses near 
Tudor Road to accommodate the students from O'Connell. Known origi- 
nally as the Townhouses and later as Medeiros Townhouses, these buildings 
were designed by architect Hugh Stubbins. The cost of construction was 
$948,000, financed partly with a HUD loan at 3 percent for $710,000 and 
partly from internal University resources. The new facilities, completed in 
1971, provided 98 beds." 

A more permanent solution to the housing problem was undertaken in 
what turned out to be Father Joyce's last year as president. At its December 
1971 meeting, the Board of Directors authorized the Flatley Construction 

392 History of Boston College 

The Medeiros townhouses were completed in 1 971 on the upper campus. 

Corporation to build four mid-rise dormitories behind St. Mary's Hall, 
with an eventual capacity for 724 students. ^^ Approval for this project was 
given by the City of Newton in March 1972. 

First Steps Toward a Recreation Complex 

The only nonresidential construction during the Joyce presidency was the 
first phase of the recreation complex. For years the students had lacked 
facilities for games and exercise. Indeed it is a tribute to the forbearance of 
the resident students that, especially during the 1950s and 1960s, there 
were not outbursts of animal spirits due to the absence of an outlet for 
physical activity. The closest the students came to mounting a protest was 
an announcement in an April Fool issue of The Heights in 1969, wherein 
they had Father Joyce proclaiming a $4 million athletic complex. 

But the following fall William Flynn, director of athletics, proposed a 
multipurpose athletic facility and field house that would be a bubble 
construction.'^ Flynn was told there were no University funds for such an 
undertaking. He proposed to the undergraduate students that they make 
an annual $25 contribution toward an athletic facility. The issue was put 
to the student body at the time of student elections in early 1971. Close to 
80 percent of the students voting approved the special fee. 

Flynn discovered that Daniel TuUy could provide a structure in the shape 
of a hyperbolic paraboloid which would give more style and permanence 

An Overview of the Joyce Era 393 

than the proposed double bubble. TuUy designed and engineered the 
building, and it was constructed by Creative Building Systems of Melrose, 
Massachusetts, at a cost of $1.6 million. The initial part of the ultimately 
much-expanded complex was dedicated in March of 1972. i" 

Two Opinion Polls 

Father Joyce authorized two professional studies of opinion about Boston 
College known as the Becker Report and the John Price Jones Report. The 
Becker Research Corporation of Cambridge did an in-depth interview of 
343 alumni in December 1969 and January 1970. Of this group 294 were 
from a representative sample of all Boston College alumni and 49 were 
from a group of influential alumni considered close to the University.'^ The 
Becker Report was published in April 1970. It should be noted that the 
interviews on which the report was based took place some months before 
the student strike of 1970. The most significant conclusion of the research- 
ers was that, to a considerable extent, the alumni constituted at that time a 
benign but uninformed and largely unexploited potential, and that much 
improved communication with the alumni was needed."^ 

Some individual findings were that the majority (92 percent) had positive 
feelings about Boston College. They rated its academic excellence as high, 
and they had enjoyed their undergraduate experience (especially the older 

William J. Flynn ('39), director of 
athletics since 1 957, has actively 
promoted athletics for young people. 

394 History of Boston College 

graduates). Consistently, the better-informed alumni tended to be more 
favorable. Open hostility was marginal and sprang mainly from older 
alumni who were alienated by the disappearance of cherished traditions of 
discipline, Jesuit influence, and CathoHc orientation and by the perceived 
indulgence of radical youth. '^ Noteworthy minority — and, in some cases, 
majority — opposition was registered against such things as free class atten- 
dance, tolerance of hippie dress and hair style and liquor in rooms, and a 
campus office for Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The strongest 
opposition (68 percent) was to unlimited freedom of the press; even 4 in 
10 among most-recent graduates opposed this.'^ 

The alumni wanted the University to do even more to build quality 
education,'' but at the same time they insisted that more should be done 
for the average student.-° While placing top priority on the need for a new 
library, respondents had other funding interests in addition to further 
capital construction — namely, endowments for scholarships, faculty sala- 
ries, and fellowships.-' The alumni as a whole did not place a very high 
priority on unbeaten football seasons and bowl games. Less than a third 
felt that the University should put great emphasis on varsity football.-^ 

In November 1971 the John Price Jones Company of New York submit- 
ted to the Board of Directors a study of the development potentials of 
Boston College which had been prepared over the preceding six months.-^ 
Preparation for the report had included interviews with trustees, directors, 
administrators, faculty, students, alumni, parents, foundation and corpo- 
rate executives, members of the President's Council, educators, government 
officials, and churchmen. The "bottom line," as the saying goes, was 
positive: "All of the information acquired in this study has convinced us 
that Boston College has a latent, 'dammed up' potential which is more 
than adequate for its future needs. . . ."^•' Much sound development advice 
was given in the report, most of which has been put into operation in 
subsequent years. One last piece of advice may be taken as a general 
summary of the thrust of the report. "Boston College stands on a tempo- 
rary plateau from which it can go up or down. The re-establishment of 
credibihty in its Christian and fiscal integrity will provide an upward thrust 
which will place it in the forefront of American Universities."^^ 

Presidential leadership was assessed in the report. Father Joyce's creden- 
tials were presented most favorably: 

Father W. Seavey Joyce, the 23rd President of Boston College, brought a 
wealth of experience to the post. He is one of the few Jesuit administrators 
in the country who includes both a distinguished academic record and key 
leadership in the surrounding community as parts of his credentials. The 
College of Business Administration flourished under his leadership, and he is 
well-known to all major Boston executives for his role in the Citizen Semi- 

But, perhaps inevitably, many who were dissatisfied with the way things 

An Overview of the Joyce Era 395 

James A. Woods, S.J., dean of the 
Evening College since 1 968 and 
dean of the Summer Session since 

were going at the University tended to lay much of the blame upon the 
president. As the report puts it: 

There was universal appreciation that the times, economic and social, are 
turbulent and that Father Joyce may have inherited more problems than is 
generally recognized. 

However, among alumni, faculty, administration, and the Jesuit Commu- 
nity, there was almost universal disapproval of the manner in which Univer- 
sity problems have been handled. The financial situation, "administrative 
permissiveness," the decline of Catholicity and "the Jesuit presence" — all 
were mentioned repeatedly in the interviews. ^^ 

The perception that vocal minorities were unduly influencing University 
decisions was expressed by faculty who claimed that the majority mood of 
both students and faculty did not require the decision to remove the ROTC 
unit from the campus.^' 

Administrative Changes 

As can be seen from the Becker and John Price Jones reports, there was 
some vocal opposition to the administration, and at times Father Joyce 
suffered unnerving manifestations of it. In the fall of 1970 rumors surfaced 
to the effect that the Joyce presidency was in peril with the trustees.^' The 
matter was serious enough that after the trustees' meeting of December 20, 
a press conference was held the next day at which the chairman of the 
board, Father Joseph Shea, announced that the trustees had recommended 
certain changes in the structure of the administrative office of the president 
to strengthen it, particularly in the areas of development, finance, and 

396 History of Boston College 

communication.^" It was perhaps unfortunate that at this press conference 
it was also announced that as of January 1, 1971, Father Francis Nicholson 
would succeed Father Joyce as rector of the Jesuit Community. Although 
Father Shea made it clear that a number of other Jesuit presidents were 
being relieved of the duties of rector and that this change at Boston College 
had been in the making for some time, the timing of the change was misread 
by some as a reflection on the president's leadership. 

One of the changes in the structure of the president's office had to do 
with the executive vice president. Father Francis X. Shea. Father Shea had 
been a controversial administrator. While no announcement was made 
about the elimination of his position, rumors arose to the effect that he had 
been asked to resign. ^' The actual situation was stated by Father Joyce in 
writing letters of recommendation for Father Shea for several college 
presidencies: "Since many of the functions which he originally performed 
[as executive vice-president] have been essentially phased out by the Board 
of Directors, Father Shea is very much interested in applying his academic 
ideas and programs at the highest administrative levels at other universities 
which offer challenging opportunities."^^ Father Shea had no administrative 
function in the spring semester of 1971. He submitted his resignation as 
executive vice president on July 8, the day after his appointment as 
president of St. Scholastica College in Duluth.^^ 

Francis J. Nicholson, S.J. 
('42), of the Law School 
faculty, first rector of Bos- 
ton College Jesuits after 
separation of the offices of 
rector and president. 

An Overview of the Joyce Era 397 

Genesis of the Priorities Committee 

There was some supportive student reaction to rumors of Father Joyce's 
departure. The Boston Herald account of the press conference mentioned 
above noted that Mark Shanahan, a senior "who identified himself as a 
leader of campus leftists," said that he had organized a movement in 
support of Father Joyce and that 500 students had signed the endorsement.^'' 
In an interview with The Heights concerning the same press conference, it 
was significant that Father Joyce said, "I think the faculty are worried about 
the academic priorities."" The significance was that shortly thereafter, 
Father Joyce established a Committee on University Priorities that came to 
be known simply as the Priorities Committee. A small body with a wide- 
ranging commission, membership included Robert Anzenberger ('72), Paul 
August ('73), Professor P. Albert Duhamel of the English Department, Rev. 
Charles Donovan, S.J., dean of faculties (chairman), Rev. Donald MacLean, 
S.J., of the Chemistry Department (who replaced Professor Robert O'Mal- 
ley of the Chemistry Department in June when the latter became ill). 
Professor Richard Maffei of the School of Management, Rev. Thomas 
O'Malley, S.J., of the Classics Department, and Professor Donald White of 
the Economics Department. An indication of how seriously the work of the 
Priorities Committee was taken is that when Professor White was named 
dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to replace Samuel 
Aronoff, who resigned at the end of the 1970-1971 academic year, the 
effective date of Professor White's assumption of office was after the 
submission of the Priorities Committee report, with Father Walter Feeney 
in the role of acting dean until that time. 

The Priorities Committee consulted widely and met often. As things 
turned out, however, its effectiveness was probably more a matter of 
sustaining community morale during its deliberations than in the impact of 
its report, which Father Joyce had published in full (23 pages) in the 
February 17, 1971, issue of the Thursday Reporter. Since Father Joyce had 
submitted his resignation the month before, it was clear that a new 
administration would be addressing the issues raised by the Priorities 
Committee. The Priorities Committee report became a springboard for two 
important committees, one on finance and one on academics, that Father 
Monan established in the early months of his presidency. 

A few of the concrete recommendations of the Priorities Committee were 
implemented at once — for example, closing of the Institute of Human 
Sciences, phasing out of doctoral programs in Italian and German studies, 
and centralization of registration functions. In some respects the Priorities 
Committee was understandably reacting to the traumas of the strike era — 
for instance, in its emphasis on judicial systems and the building of 
community. The Priorities Committee was the first nonfinance body to 
study University finances. It did so in depth, and this may have been one of 
its major contributions inasmuch as committee member Dean Donald 

398 History of Boston College 

John R. Smith, financial 
vice president and treas- 

White was drafted by Father J. Donald Monan to head his first major 
committee, on financial planning, shortly after assuming the presidency in 

Addressing the Fiscal Situation 

Several of Father Joyce's key appointments were made with an eye to 
turning around the fiscal situation of the University. During his second year 
in office he persuaded the dean of the Law School, Father Robert Drinan, 
to assume the new office of vice president and provost, which had as its 
responsibility leadership in development, pubhc relations, and alumni 
relations. It was felt that Father Drinan's national visibility and personal 
dynamism would energize a new development movement. How this ar- 
rangement would have prospered was never known, for Father Drinan left 
Boston College to run for, and win, a seat in Congress. His replacement as 
dean of the Law School was Richard Huber, who had been a member of 

An Overview of the Joyce Era 399 

the Law School faculty since 1957. During his 15 years as dean, Huber was 
to bring the Law School to maturity. During the early and sometimes 
turbulent days of the University Academic Senate (UAS), Ruber's was an 
influential voice of reason. 

A significant recruit to the Joyce administration was John R. Smith, who 
became financial vice president in December 1970. Smith had held top 
budgeting and management positions with the Raytheon Company and 
Bendix Aviation Corporation. With support from the Board of Directors, 
he was able to effect a positive turnaround of the financial situation of the 
University in a relatively short period. The financial vice president was 
chairman of the University Budget Committee, which in the aftermath of 
the strike included two faculty and two student members, along with 
leading administrators. With a happy combination of openness and humor. 
Smith has led the Budget Committee through its annual struggles and 
developed it into an important instrument in promoting University policy. 


Upon the retirement of Dean Donald Donley of the School of Education, 
Lester Przewlocki was appointed successor in 1970. Dean Przewlocki was 
one of several School of Education faculty to have earned a doctorate at the 
University of Chicago. He had served as a public school administrator in 
the Chicago area before moving to Chestnut Hill. When Father John V. 
Driscoll chose to move to other professional work in 1971, the deanship of 
the Graduate School of Social Work was assumed by Edmund Burke, a 
graduate of the Graduate School of Social Work in 1956, who had joined 
the faculty in 1967. After the death of Dean Margaret Foley in 1970, Eleanor 
Voorhies of the School of Nursing faculty served as acting dean until the 
appointment of Mary Dineen in 1972. Coming from a prestigious career 
with the National League for Nursing, Dean Dineen was to give the School 
of Nursing 14 years of assured professional leadership. 

Mary Dineen, dean of the School of 
Nursing, 1972-1986. 

400 History of Boston College 

The Joyce Administration Draws to a Close 

The first semester of the 1971—1972 academic year seemed somewhat 
upbeat for the Joyce administration. While protests of mihtary recruiting 
were still threatened and relations with The Heights remained strained, the 
financial posture of the University was much improved. The completion of 
the modular apartments had alleviated the most pressing residential crisis, 
a glamorous recreational facility was under construction, a new core 
curriculum was in place, and the work of the Priorities Committee was 
coming to a conclusion. Perhaps with these positive developments in mind 
the president addressed an optimistic letter to the Students of Boston 
College in September. Characterizing the academic year 1970-1971 as "a 
very difficult one," he noted their intense involvement in University affairs 
and their "moral outrage at the evils of society," which "were replaced by 
a sense of frustration and a year of student apathy." But, he wrote 
cheerfully, "all that is behind us now."^* However, Father Joyce was more 
optimistic than the times or circumstances warranted. The Heights staff 
had just been evicted from their campus office in McElroy and the editorials 
were bitter; Timothy Anderson, UGBC president, was calling for the 
abolition of the core program, the abolition of tenure, the reinstatement of 
The Heights, and the adoption of a new judicial code for campus offenses.^^ 
Unfortunately, the president was never able, even in his last year, to capture 
the high ground; in fact, a September 1971 issue of The Heights featured 
an article that had appeared in Boston After Dark which predicted the 
president's ouster. The prediction, though at the time a mere speculation, 
was correct as regarded the length of Father Joyce's term in office. On 
January 7, 1972, Father Joyce submitted his resignation, effective at the 
end of the academic year or upon the naming of a successor. 

The esteem in which Father Joyce was held in the Greater Boston 
Community was reflected in the page one editorial that appeared in the 
Boston Globe on January 24, 1972, entitled "Father Joyce Steps Down." 
The thirteen paragraphs of the editorial enumerated the major problems 
Father Joyce had faced — finances, the Daly case, the tuition strike, and 
conflict with the student newspaper. Its effort to put these in perspective is 
quoted in part: 

The role of the college president in recent years has been much like that of a 
bullfighter — exciting, certainly, and perhaps even ennobling at times, but 
fraught with possibilities for conscious pain and suffering. 

This, plainly has been the case with the Very Rev. W. Seavey Joyce, S.J., a 
modest, earnest scholar whose presidency of Jesuit-run Boston College will 
close when his resignation becomes effective at the end of the current 
academic year. 

An economic historian, Father Joyce was inaugurated in October 1968. He 
brought to his new tasks a distinguished background in urban affairs, both 
academic and actual. 

An Overview of the Joyce Era 401 

He became president of B.C. at a time when campus turmoil was at or 
near its peak around the nation, and almost from the start faced a crossfire 
of claims and pressures from students, faculty, alumni, and the virtually all- 
powerful trustees, the latter being a self-perpetuating body of ten Jesuits. 

But amid all the Sturm und Drang, there has been significant progress, for 
which Fr. Joyce deserves immense credit. The financial situation, desperate 
two years ago, has been turned around. A broadening of the base of university 
control is planned, with laymen sharing authority with the Jesuits. Doctoral 
programs have been established in a number of areas. 

As Father Joyce departs, bearing the scars of his struggles, the good wishes 
of all ought to accompany him. It is fair to say that he has faced up to the 
tasks assigned him with great patience, strength, and dedication. No more 
could be asked of any man. 

A President Not a Rector 

For the first time in Boston College's history, a president was to be 
appointed who was not rector of the Jesuit Community. The trustees 
announced {Bridge, February 1972) that an 11-member search committee 
would be established, comprised of two trustees, two directors, one alum- 
nus, one administrator, three faculty members, and two students. The 
faculty and student members were to be chosen by the respective UAS 
caucuses. The mandate of the committee was to submit five candidates to 
the trustees.'** Father James Devlin of the Boston College staff and Father 
William O'Halloran, rector of the Jesuits at Holy Cross College, repre- 
sented the trustees, with Father Devlin serving as chairman of the search 
committee. The chairman of the Board of Directors, Joseph Loscocco, and 
David Nelson, Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General for Consumer 
Affairs, represented the directors. Richard Schoenfeld of the class of 1943, 
past president of the Alumni Association, was the alumnus member. The 
administrator of the committee was Dean Lester Przewlocki of the School 
of Education. The faculty members were Professor AHce Bourneuf of 
Economics, Professor P. Albert Duhamel of English, and Professor Mary 
Griffin of Education. The student members were Thomas Flynn, president 
of UGBC, and Richard Hogan, a student in the Graduate School of Business 
Administration. There never had been a Boston College committee so 
constructed, cutting across all elements of the University community, nor 
had any committee ever had so weighty a mandate. It fulfilled its charge 
energetically and with happy results. 

Most American college presidents between 1968 and 1972 had problems 
similar to those Father Joyce faced. For reasons that need not be repeated, 
the times were troublesome in society, in academe, and in the Church. Yet 
through all the contentious episodes of his administration Father Joyce was 

402 History of Boston College 

self-possessed and uncomplaining. He served as president in an era that 
was often frustrating for the chief executive, and he served with dignity and 


1. James Devlin, S.J., former director of campus planning, to Charles Donovan, 
S.J., January 21, 1986. BCA. 

2. A good description of this project is found in The Heights (September 16, 1969). 

3. BCA. 

4. Alumni News (April 1969). 

5. Francis Mills, Director of Financial Resources, to Father Donovan, March 26, 
1986. BCA. 

6. Edward J. Hanrahan, S.J., former dean of students, to Father Donovan, April 10, 
1986. BCA. 

7. Alumni News (July-August 1970). 

8. See Budget Committee file, BCA. 

9. Alumni News (September-October 1970). 

10. Francis Mills to Father Donovan, 1986. 

11. Ibid. 

12. Bridge (February 1972). 

13. The Heights (October 14, 1969). 

14. Letter of William J. Flynn, December 30, 1985. BCA. 

15. Becker Report, p. 1. BCA. 

16. Ibid., p. v., p. viii. 

17. Ibid., p. vi. 

18. Ibid.,p.xv. 

19. Ibid.,p.xix. 

20. Ibid., p. XX. 

21. Ibid., p. xxii. 

22. Ibid., p. xvii. 

23. John Price Jones, A Study of the Development Potential of Boston College. BCA. 

24. Ibid., p. viii. 

25. Ibid., p. 328. 

26. Ibid., pp. 176-177. 

27. Ibid., p. 34. 

28. Ibid., p. 60. 

29. The Heights (December 15, 1970). 

30. Press conference transcript, December 21, 1970. BCA. 

31. The Heights (February 8, 1971). 

32. BCA. 

33. Thursday Reporter (September 23, 1971). 

34. Boston Herald (December 22, 1970). 

35. The Heights Qanuary 14, 1971). 

36. September 1971. BCA. 

37. The Heights (September 20, 1971). 
3 8 . Bridge (February 1 972) . 



The Man from New York 

J. Donald Monan, S.J., assumed the presidency of Boston College on 
September 5, 1972. A man of many talents, he was at home in the library, 
the classroom, and the board room, as well as on the hockey rink and the 
golf course. A philosopher by training and temperament, he was the co- 
author of The Philosophy of Human Knowing: A Prelude to Metaphysics 
and author of Moral Knowledge and Its Methodology in Aristotle. These 
learned publications entitled him to join the select circle of Aristotelian 
scholars who meet periodically to discuss a common interest. 

Father Monan was born in Blasdell, New York on December 31, 1924. 
He attended Canisius High School in Buffalo and at age 18 entered the 
New York Province of the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew-on-Hudson. At 
the conclusion of his philosophical studies, he taught at St. Peter's College 
in Jersey City. Following study of theology at Woodstock College, he was 
ordained to the priesthood in 1955. After earning his Ph.D. in Philosophy 
at the University of Louvain, he continued his postdoctoral research at 
Oxford, the University of Paris, and the University of Munich. In 1960 he 
joined the Philosophy Department of LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New 
York, and the next year became chairman of the department. 

In 1968 Father Monan became academic dean and vice president of 
LeMoyne, serving as director of the long-range academic and fiscal plan- 
ning committee. At this time he also observed and influenced the operation 


404 History of Boston College 

of a complex major Jesuit university as a trustee of Fordham University. 
With this preparation and these credentials, Father Monan was ready to 
meet the challenge of being the twenty-fourth president of Boston College. 

The New England Province of the Society of Jesus was established in 1926, 
separating the region from the Maryland-New York Province. Since 1926 
eight presidents of Boston College (Fathers Dolan through Joyce) were New 
Englanders. By the year of Father Monan's appointment, province lines 
were no longer barriers in the assignment of Jesuits. Individual Jesuits 
could engage in apostolic work in another province with their Provincial's 
approval. Similarly, Jesuit institutions in a given province could recruit 
Jesuits from other provinces. Thus Father William Mclnnes, formerly asso- 
ciate dean of the School of Management, served as president of the 
University of San Francisco, and Father Donald Maclean, formerly of the 
Boston College Chemistry Department, was president of St. Joseph's Col- 
lege in Philadelphia and Spring Hill College in Alabama. It was this policy 
of flexibility in recruitment of Jesuits nationally that enabled Boston College 
to secure the services of a Jesuit of the New York Province as its twenty- 
fourth president. 

Father Monan was subjected to the ritual interviews of new presidents 
by the Boston press, the Boston College community, and students. He was 
restrained, circumspect, and prudent in his responses — virtues which 
would characterize his administration. Although reporters — especially on 
campus — tried to draw him into controversial statements on Catholic 
education, student involvement, faculty appointments, ROTC, and aca- 
demic goals, his responses were designed to preserve his freedom of action.' 
In the years ahead, he would lead the University to new heights in academic 
enrichment, in renovation and construction of the physical plant, in alumni 
relations, and in fiscal solvency. He would also be sympathetic to the 
expansion of athletic programs for men and women. 

Changes in Governance 

Upon his arrival the new president was faced with a revision of the 
governance of the University which had been evolving under his two 
predecessors. At a meeting in 1967, Father Walsh had requested the Board 
of Trustees to take formal action on a proposed change in the corporate 
structure of Boston College.^ The trustees unanimously agreed that, on 
amendment of the by-laws, two boards would be established: The first, 
called the Board of Trustees, would all be Jesuits; the second, called the 
Board of Directors, would number not more than 25 Jesuits, laymen, and 
women.3 At a subsequent meeting, the Board of Trustees, in refining plans 
for the governance of the University, began to anticipate the separate 
incorporation of the Jesuit Community at Boston College.'' 

The Man from New York 405 

Rev. J. Donald Monan, S.J., twenty-fourth president. 

406 History of Boston College 

The 1967 revision of the by-laws preserved "the paramount legal author- 
ity and responsibility of the Board of Trustees" but reserved to the Board 
of Directors "all necessary and convenient powers to direct and manage 
the business and affairs of the corporation, hereinafter referred to as the 
University."^ These powers included the right to adopt all major changes in 
educational pohcies and programs, to approve the granting of degrees (in 
course and honorary), to enact and amend statutes of the University, to act 
on tenure and promotion, to establish new schools or institutes, to review 
the budget, to authorize sale of land, and to purchase property. 

At a special meeting of the trustees on September 6, 1968, Father Joyce 
stated that when he met with the Board of Regents on October 8, he would 
announce the implementation of the new Board of Trustees and the new 
Board of Directors, as approved during the year.* At the same time, letters 
were sent to the regents inviting them to accept appointment to the new 
board.^ The newly constituted Board of Directors met for the first time on 
October 8, 1968. The principal business of the meeting was the election of 
officers (Henry Leen became chairman), the appointment of an executive 
committee, and determination of the terms of office for board members. 

Since, in the revised by-laws, the president of Boston College was no 
longer chairman of the Board of Trustees, the trustees turned their attention 
to the election of a chairman. After considering Jesuit candidates from 
inside and outside the New England Province, the trustees, voting by 
written ballot, authorized the president to approach Father Joseph L. Shea, 
at that time rector of Cheverus High School in Portland, Maine. Father 
Shea accepted the invitation to serve and was duly appointed a trustee of 
Boston College.^ Consequently, by the fall of 1968, in accordance with the 
revised by-laws, two University boards were in place and functioning. 
There remained only one further legal alteration to complete the new order 
of governance. 

Separate Incorporation of the Jesuit Community 

There was a movement at this time within the Jesuit Educational Associa- 
tion to separate the office of rector from that of president in Jesuit colleges 
and universities in the United States.' A leader in this movement was Father 
Paul C. Reinert, president of St. Louis University and also of the Jesuit 
Educational Association. He had convinced several administrators, includ- 
ing Father Michael Walsh, that the separate incorporation of the Jesuit 
communities would be in the best interest of all.'° There would be several 
advantages to this approach. It would make the Board of Trustees and its 
actions better reflect the University's several constituencies; it would capi- 
talize on the emergence of the laity after Vatican II in highly responsible 
positions; and it would separate policy making from internal administra- 
tion in keeping with modern university practice. At a meeting of the board 
on January 25, 1968, Father Walsh urged the members to study documents 

The Man from New York 407 

which he provided on the separate incorporation of the Jesuit Community 
at St. Louis University. 

The creation of a separate corporation was, of course, the responsibiUty 
of the Jesuits at Boston College and the superiors of the New England 
Province of the Society. The Provincial at this time was Father William G. 
Guindon, who had served as chairman of the Boston College Physics 
Department from 1953 to 1963. He was famihar with the process because 
he had recently been involved in the separate incorporation of the Holy 
Cross community. The Jesuit Community at Chestnut Hill was fortunate 
to have as its agent in these negotiations Father Francis J. Nicholson who, 
as a professor at the Boston College Law School, had an appreciation of 
the legal issues involved in forming a separate corporation. He had been 
appointed superior of the Jesuit Community on July 1, 1968; and, when 
the offices of rector and president had been separated, he became rector on 
January 1, 1971. 

Shortly after Father Nicholson's appointment as rector, and confirming 
his status as official agent for the Community and the Province, the 
Provincial briefly outlined the issues that should receive particular atten- 
tion: residence and property; pension benefits; an estimate of annual 
revenues and expenses; hiring and retirement of Jesuits; and the continuing 
interest of the Jesuits in Boston College as an apostolate." 

Father Nicholson, now rector, accompanied by Father Ernest Foley, his 
advisor on pensions, Daniel Holland, Esq., counsel to the corporation, and 
Paul Devlin, financial advisor, made his first presentation to the board on 
June 18, 1971.'^ The rector explained that the Community had all but 
completed the legal process of incorporation. (In fact, the corporation, 
under the name of the Jesuit Community of Boston College, with all the 
powers, rights, and privileges of a corporation in Massachusetts, was 
approved on July 20, 1971, by John F. X. Davoren, Secretary of the 
Commonwealth.)" Father Nicholson then went on to review the proposed 
agreement with Boston College, which covered the following points: a 
pension plan for retired Jesuits, provision for housing arrangements for 
Jesuits in St. Mary's Hall and Bellarmine House in Cohasset, and provision 
for an annual contribution by the Jesuit Community to the University. '■• In 
brief, the basic purpose of separate incorporation was to clarify the legal 
and financial relationship of the Community to the University. 

S. Joseph Loscocco, Joseph F. Cotter, and John Lowell formed the 
subcommittee of the Board of Directors to work out an agreement with 
Father Nicholson and his advisors. Fathers Ernest Foley and John Trzaska. 
The sympathetic attitude of this committee can be measured from its 

We strongly believe that a Boston College without Jesuits is no Boston 
College, and we wish to do everything in our power to encourage a greater 
Jesuit apostolic mission at Boston College. . . . We also believe that the entire 

408 History of Boston College 

past service credit to Boston College be actuarially computed and recognized 
in a legal way as an obligation of Boston College to the Jesuit Community." 

In this atmosphere of mutual cooperation, an agreement was signed on 
June 22, 1972. 


The University agreed: 

1. To transfer to the Jesuit Community fee simple title to St. Mary's Hall 
and the Cohasset property. 

2. To remunerate Jesuit members of the faculty and staff at the same level 
as their non-Jesuit colleagues. 

3. To provide an annual pension of $2900 to retired Jesuits. (Since, in 
1971, living costs per Jesuit per annum were set at $6500, the New 
England Province agreed to pay $3600 as a pension to the same Jesuits. 
The University also agreed to pay a lump sum to fund pensions for 
those already retired in compensation for contributed services over 
the years.) 

4. To perform certain services for the Community, such as accounting 
and repairing. 

The Jesuit Community agreed: 

1. To recompense the University for resident use of University property. 

2. To supply personnel for academic, administrative, and religious needs 
of the University. 

3. To make financial contributions to the University in such amounts and 
for such purposes as may be determined by the Board of Directors of 
the Jesuit Corporation. ^'^ (In fact, as a pledge of future gifts, in early 
December 1972 Rector Father Nicholson presented a check from the 
Community for $400,000 to President ]. Donald Monan for scholarships 
to Boston College students. )i' 

At the time, many interpreted the legal incorporation of the Jesuit 
Community as a sign that the Jesuits intended to disassociate themselves 
from the University. Actually, in the years following signing of the agree- 
ment, the relationship between the two corporations has been marked by 
mutual respect and cooperation. Although a few critics still register oppo- 
sition to the separate incorporation of the Jesuit Community, this new 
form of governance has added a professionalism that was sometimes 
lacking when a more fraternal form of administration was the order of the 
day. By reason of an exception written into the by-laws (since no one 
actively involved with the University is eligible as a board member), the 
rector of the Jesuit Community sits on the Board of Trustees and represents 
the interests of the Community in those deliberations. The advantages of 
dual incorporation will become clearer as the story unfolds. 

A Reconstituted Board 

As the months went by, however, it became more difficult to determine the 

The Man from New York 409 

proper forum for particular University policy decisions. Clearly, having two 
independent boards (trustees and directors) did not solve all the problems 
of governance at Boston College. There was duplication and, indeed, 
ambiguity, in dealing with the owners of the corporation as distinct from 
those who managed its affairs. Accordingly, on September 3, 1972, Father 
Devlin (secretary) notified the Board of Trustees of a special meeting to be 
held on October 13 at which the main topic for discussion would be the 
estabhshment of a single board with an expanded membership. On Novem- 
ber 19 the trustees voted unanimously to merge both boards into one, with 
an initial membership of 35.'* 

With the ehmination of the Board of Directors, the reconstructed Board 
of Trustees met on December 8, 1972. Father Joseph Shea, chairman, 
commented on the historical significance of the first meeting of the enlarged 
board. Father Monan then introduced the new members. (Many of the 
former directors had accepted an invitation to join the expanded board.) 
The first piece of business was the election of officers: Cornelius Owens 
('36), executive vice president of AT&T, was elected chairman; Thomas 
Galligan ('41), chairman of the board of Boston Edison Co., was elected 
vice chairman; William J. O'Halloran, S.J., rector of the Jesuit Community 
at Holy Cross, was elected secretary." With Chairman Owens presiding 
over a highly qualified and enthusiastic board, Boston College began a new 
era of growth, vitality, and institutional influence. 

David S. Nelson ('57, J.D. 
'60). Judge Nelson was a 
member of the Board of Direc- 
tors under Father Joyce, be- 
came a member of the Board 
of Trustees in 1972, and has 
served as chairman of the 

410 History of Boston College 

The Commuter Center 

The 1972—1973 academic year was just getting under way when Father 
Monan moved into Botolph House. According to John Maquire, dean of 
admissions, 2555 freshmen had been admitted to the class of 1976. For 
many who had been promised campus housing, there was no room at the 
inn. As had happened on previous occasions, off-campus housing had to be 
found until the Hillside apartments were completed. In a temporary 
arrangement, 200 students lived in relative luxury from September 1972 
to March 1973 at the Howard Johnson Motel in Newton Corner. The 
theme of student housing in the Monan years will be taken up in the next 
chapter when building construction is considered. 

Resident students were not the only concern. The University was making 
a new effort to accommodate commuters who, though only a few short 
years ago the mainstay of the University, were now a minority. Indeed, they 
were beginning to feel like the proverbial poor relations. They sometimes 
spoke of seceding from UGBC — which, they thought, had not done enough 
for them — and forming their own organization. Just as hundreds of stu- 
dents before them in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, these commuters 
plodded up the hill from the Green Line in the morning and returned in the 
afternoon. Many came in cars, it is true, and thereby caused a parking 
problem. But it was nine to three, just like high school, and they felt left 
out. James Scannell, who later became director of admissions, said, "I was 
a sophomore before I knew where the infirmary was and a senior before I 
knew there were handball courts, let alone that I could use them."-° 
According to Father James Halpin, who became their advocate, the plight 
of the commuter surfaced at every student meeting: Parking was insuffi- 
cient; facilities were inadequate; campus functions, especially if scheduled 
in the evening, were difficult to attend. They were, they said, second-class 

Finally, as a result of discussions between the commuters' council and 
the administration, and with a big assist from Father Halpin and the 
cooperation of James Mclntyre, vice president for student affairs, a com- 
muter center was established at Murray House on Hammond Street. (This 
facility was named in honor of John Courtney Murray, S.J., well-known 
American theologian of the Second Vatican Council.) UGBC gave an initial 
funding of $6000, and a board of governors for the center was formed. A 
series of events was scheduled, including seminars, lectures, films; there 
was also a dining room and a large kitchen which made it possible to serve 
lunches and dinners. From the beginning, the Board of Governors insisted 
that the center was not to be used as a hangout. Although it was primarily 
for the commuters, it was open to the University at large, since it would 
defeat its purpose if it further isolated the commuters from the rest of the 
campus. So, while the center gave the commuters an identity, with a facility 
of their own, it also provided a place for resident students and faculty to 
meet the commuter population outside the formal classroom environment. 

The Man from New York 411 

Francis B. Campanella, named exec- 
utive vice president in July 1973. 

It was agreed by everyone with a sense of history that if Boston College 
lost its commuter population, it would lose an important link with the 
past — with its history, origins, traditions, and mission. Having a significant 
commuter population was also one way to avoid the charge of elitism — a 
word that was never found in the vocabulary of the founding fathers. In 
Jesuit terms, all the students were indeed select! quidem; but not elite as 
society generally understands that word today. 

The Boston College Women's Center 

In contrast to the commuter center, which had its origins in antiquity, 
another center evolved from the modern character of the University. On 
March 8, 1973, International Women's Day, the Boston College Women's 
Center was opened in McElroy 123. On that day, 200 members of the 
Boston College community dropped by to borrow books, sip coffee, chat, 
or just to satisfy their curiosity. This event took place eight months after 
Alice Jeghelian, director of affirmative action, and Ginger McCourt of the 
Placement Office, with an assist from Carole Wegman, who presented the 
budget, submitted a proposal to the Office of Campus Planning. 

The center opened under the direction of Elizabeth Wyatt, director of 
women's affairs, although it came under the larger umbrella of the Wom- 
en's Action Committee as the organization ultimately responsible for all 
functioning matters. It was programmed to serve as a multipurpose facility 
for all women on campus — that is, faculty, staff, and students. Its sponsors 
spoke of a three-fold purpose: It would provide a sense of identity, through 
common interests, for Boston College women; it would act as a resource 
center for information on jobs, medical referrals, and career counsehng; 
and it would gradually build up a specialized library of books by women 

412 History of Boston College 

for women, with an emphasis on career encouragement through illustration 
of historical accomplishments. The center was open daily in the afternoon 
from one to six.'^ 

A Foothold for the Arts 

Another acquired property, on the corner of Hammond and Beacon streets, 
was Hovey House. Originally destined for a University Art Center, it was 
given to the Fine Arts Department, which had been looking for a suitable 
home on campus. Unfortunately, the high expectations of that department 
were short-lived when the City of Newton imposed crippling restrictions 
on this structure. Citing zoning laws and fire regulations, city inspectors 
allowed offices to function but refused permission for classrooms, even on 
the first floor. The required renovations, which involved electrical work, 
new fixtures, new exits, and other safety measures, would be extensive and 
expensive. This sudden reversal of fortune forced the department, at a 
moment's notice, to find classrooms on campus wherever it could." 

In fact, it was an uphill struggle for the arts to gain support from the 
administration and to find a hospitable climate for growth on the Heights. 
For too long such a department was looked upon as a luxury, although it 
was fully compatible with the Latin inscription on the University's seal, 
religioni et bonis artibus. In a certain sense, however, the University has 
made up for a slow start by its generous support in recent years of the fine 
arts, applied arts, and performing arts. 


In applied arts, Allison Macomber, artlst-in-residence, maintained a studio 
on the top floor of Lyons, where he attracted a large group of budding 
painters and sculptors. Alexander Peloquin, well-known composer and 
conductor, brought his engaging personality, talent, and wit to his classes 
in the history of music as well as to the University Chorale, which performed 
in many cities in the United States and Europe. In her lectures on the 
Renaissance art of Italy, Josephine von Henneberg trained her students, as 
she insisted, not to practice but to intelligently enjoy art. Olga Stone, never 
far from her grand piano, is remembered for her survey of western music, 
her advanced piano instruction, and her eagerly awaited recitals in Barat 
House. Joseph Larkin, S.J., and J. Paul Marcoux communicated their enthu- 
siasm and professional competence to the students in drama and theater. 
In another category of the performing arts, Robert Ver Eecke, S.J., intro- 
duced interpretive dance to campus liturgical functions such as the always 
impressive Baccalaureate Mass. And Father Francis Sweeney, director of the 
Humanities Series, over the years brought to the campus an incredible 
range of artists — poets, dancers, writers, choristers, and musicians — to 
inspire Boston College students to profit from their example, to imitate 
their excellence, and to applaud their accomplishments. Through the 
efforts of these people, art gained a foothold at Boston College.^" 

The Man from New York 413 

Military and CIA Recruitment 

Going from sublime to more mundane matters, a brief reference should be 
made to the difficulties that developed over recruitment efforts by members 
of the military and the CIA. To the more disciplined ranks of an older 
generation of alumni, news reports of protest and demonstration were 
always distressing. The Vietnam syndrome died slowly at the Heights. In 
October 1972 Navy, Marine, and Air Force recruiters visited the campus. 
The University Academic Senate had affirmed an open policy on recruit- 
ment; UGBC decided not to interfere, since there were so many more 
important things to do. Moreover, learning from past experience, they 
considered it "hopelessly frustrating to block recruiters from entering 
buildings."^^ But a small group of students promised that there would be 

In the fourth week of October some 30 students picketed Alumni Hall 
and blocked the entrance for about 45 minutes. Dr. James Mclntyre told 
the students that the court injunction, which Boston College had requested 
in 1971 when 20 students were arrested, was still in effect. On his arrival 
at the scene, Philip Burling, University attorney, informed the protestors 
that they were "now in contempt of court." Faced with the prospect of 
arrest, the students left the scene, and recruiters entered Alumni Hall.^* The 
students tried to have the last word by showing films and providing 
information on the horrors of war, suggesting by implication the contribu- 
tion of those who succumbed to the persuasion of recruiters. In this 
connection the confrontation continues to the present day over the resto- 
ration of ROTC." 

The New Team 

Every chief executive picks his own staff — at least, those who will be his 
top advisors. Indeed, it has been said that the character of a university 
reflects to some degree the personalities of its chief officers. In an early 
interview with The Heights, Father Monan was asked if he had any present 
or future plans to appoint an executive vice president. He replied, "Not at 
the present, no. As far as the creation of new vice presidential positions or 
the changing of any other vice president, I don't contemplate it."'" 

However, new appointments were being made at the beginning of the 
second semester. In February 1973 Margaret A. Dwyer, assistant academic 
dean at Le Moyne College, was named executive assistant to the president. 
A native of Syracuse and a graduate of Le Moyne College, she had earned 
her master's degree in counseling at Boston College in 1956. Returning to 
Le Moyne, Dwyer held a number of administrative positions, including 
registrar and dean of women, which brought her into contact with students 
and faculty.^' In subsequent years, she was a key figure in negotiations 
which led to the consolidation of Boston College and Newton College, and 
was promoted to a vice presidency. 

414 History of Boston College 

Margaret A. Dwyer (M.Ed. '56), 
vice president. 

After careful deliberation and an extensive search, the president made a 
key appointment in July 1973. At that time Francis B. Campanella, an 
associate professor in the School of Management, was offered the position 
of executive vice president. His educational credentials and management 
background eminently fitted him for this post. A 1958 graduate of Rensse- 
laer Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. degree in management engineering, he 
earned an MBA at Babson Institute and a doctorate in business administra- 
tion at Harvard in 1970. A nationally recognized management consultant, 
Campanella was charged by Father Monan to introduce up-to-date man- 
agement practices in the University, which, in some areas, were sorely 
needed. His two top priorities were to develop an information system for 
the vice presidents and middle administrators and to establish management 
standards. Over the years he has worked very closely with John Smith, 
financial vice president, in shaping the University budget. While open to 
dialogue with all campus constituencies, he is well known for having the 
courage of his convictions in facing student protests over tuition increases. 
By assuming responsibility for the internal management of the University, 
the executive vice president has allowed the president to concentrate on 
academic programs, development, alumni, and the many demands of 
professional organizations in which he is an officer. 

The Man from New York 415 

A good development program was a necessity at Boston College, where 
academic programs were becoming more expensive, where new construc- 
tion was in progress, and where renovations could not be postponed. The 
hard work of James A. Hayden, Jr., director of development, was reflected 
in the increase in annual giving from $359,000 in 1972 to $500,000 in 
1973. Hayden worked closely with Robert J. Desmond, who had been 
appointed vice president of university resources in the summer of 1973.^° 
With an MBA from Syracuse University, he had experience in fund raising 
at St. Louis University, the University of Dallas, and Le Moyne College. He 
directed his attention and energies to foundation relations, the deferred 
giving program (with particular emphasis on the University's endowment), 
and favorable press coverage.^' 

To complete the team, Thomas P. O'Malley, S.J., was appointed dean of 
Arts and Sciences. He succeeded James Skehan, S.J., who had been acting 
dean from January 1972 to July 1973. Father O'Malley, a 1951 Boston 
College graduate with an M.A. from Fordham and a doctorate from the 
University of Nijemegen, Netherlands, was an administrator of proven 
experience. Former chairman of the Classics and Theology departments 
and a member of the Priorities Committee, he had a broad knowledge of 
the campus and its academic programs. He would try, he said in an 
interview, to give job coherence to his own office and to influence the 

Thomas P. O'Malley, S.J. ('51), dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, 
1973-1980. Father O'Malley left Boston College to assume the presidency of 
John Carroll University in Cleveland. 

416 History of Boston College 

quality of life at Boston College. As a personal contribution, he was for 
many years an enthusiastic member of the University Chorale. He had a 
good voice and, while a graduate student at Fordham, sang in the chorus 
with the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York. An accomplished 
and witty speaker, he brought a flamboyant style to his office which was a 
delight to those who attended his meetings. He was later elected president 
of John Carroll University in Cleveland.^^ 

In a continuing effort to establish closer and better rapport with the 
University's neighbors, Neil P. O'Keefe, S.J., was appointed director of 
community relations. A 1953 Boston College graduate, Father O'Keefe 
served as a naval officer in the post-Korean War period, then entered the 
Society of Jesus. After his ordination, he earned a Ph.D. in Political Science 
at the University of Pennsylvania. There was a growing awareness that local 
constituencies had a legitimate claim on certain University services. Coor- 
dinating the community service activities for all campus departments and 
agencies, he encouraged people to think about community problems. Many 
of his days were spent at Newton City Hall working out joint endeavors 
for Boston College and Newton." 

It should be emphasized that Boston College did not have to apologize 
for its service to the City of Newton and surrounding towns; the concern 
has always been there. In a sense Father O'Keefe was continuing the earlier 
work of Fathers Seavey Joyce and George Drury, who were vice presidents 
for community affairs.^'' 

Addressing Fiscal Matters 

It is generally conceded that the two most important areas in collegiate 
management are the fiscal and academic needs of the institution. Father 
Monan inherited a financial situation at Boston College that was at best 
precarious, at worst dangerous. In fact, if the financial officers and trustees 
had not combined to make the hard decisions, it could have been disastrous. 
When fiscal year 1971-1972 came to an end on June 30, Boston College 
had a balanced budget, reversing a deficit trend and also representing a 25 
percent reduction in the University's short-term debt. This was accom- 
plished, according to the financial vice president, through a $100 increase 
in tuition, a 1971-1972 freeze on faculty and administrative salaries, and 
fiscal frugality across the board.^^ However, a long-term liability of several 
million dollars still had to be retired. 

Father Monan was determined to improve the financial health of the 
institution which, in his set of priorities, was the first step in "developing 
an over-all academic and fiscal plan."^*^ His immediate remedy was creation 
of a long-range fiscal planning committee that would, in addition to 
balancing the budget, project both revenues and expenditures for the next 
five years. Part of his plan was to absorb the deficit with which the school 
was saddled. In November 1972 the president sent out letters of appoint- 

The Man from New York 417 

Donald J. White ('44), dean of 
the Graduate School of Arts 
and Sciences since 1971, 
headed the Long-Range Fiscal 
Planning Committee in 1972. 

ment to the Long-Range Fiscal Planning Committee. Donald J. White, 
dean of the Graduate School, was named chairman. Other members of the 
committee included vice presidents and deans; also, John Bolan, director 
of institutional research. Professor Evan Collins of the School of Education, 
Professor Mary Ann Glendon of the Law School, and two students. The 
committee held its first meeting on November 27, 1972.^^ 

The point made by the president to the committee was that sound fiscal 
planning was a necessary prerequisite for commitment to quality academic 
goals and auxifiary programs. He made the same point to a general 
gathering of faculty on March 8, 1973, when he said, "My first financial 
priority will be to maintain and improve the academic distinction of the 
University."'^ Fiscal planning and academic planning were, he said, two 
sides of the same coin. He also mentioned at that time that faculty increases 
would again be lower than they should be, but would increase the following 
year. He then informed the faculty that there were 8000 applications for 
the undergraduate colleges, with 50 percent from the top 20 percent of 
their high school class. Finally, he confided to the faculty that Boston 
College would have to find new sources of revenue to subsidize the 
advanced academic and professional programs. '^ 

In his charge to the Fiscal Planning Committee, Father Monan set May 

418 History of Boston College 

1, 1973, as a deadline for submitting its five-year plan for University 
finances. Observing the deadline, the committee turned in its report to the 
Board of Trustees and projected balanced budgets for the next five years. A 
comfortable amount of growth was built into this report, about $14 
million dollars in additional income and expenditures by academic year 
1978—1979, and a modest surplus was expected if the U.S. economy was 
sufficiently stable. At the same time, the University had to reduce costs and 
build revenues on new sources of support. The basic goals of the fiscal plan 
included: (1) reduction of the University's short-term debt, (2) building a 
reserve fund for emergency needs, (3) funding physical renovation of the 
campus, and (4) an increase in the University's endowment, which was 
embarrassingly small.'"' 

The report also called for a 2 percent increase in enrollment and an 
annual tuition increase of about 5 percent. As a result of these measures, 
the report projected income from tuition and fees at $37,178,000 by the 
academic year 1978-1979 — more than $10 million over current income. 
In addition, the report seriously recommended that auxiliary enterprises — 
housing, food services, and athletics — which for some time had been a 

A scene (Act 11, Scene IV) from Henry IV, directed in 1973 by Father Joseph 
Larkin in the challenging confines of Campion auditorium. From left to right 
are Peter }. Brash ('76) as Francis, Jay Korejko (ex-B.C.) as Bardolph, Karola 
Hillenbrand ('74) as Mistress Quickly, Gary Trabolsi ('74) as Falstaff, and 
Paul Lambert ('75) as Prince Hal. 

The Man from New York 419 

drain on the operating budget, be made self-supporting as soon as possible. 
It was anticipated that University expenses would increase by 5 percent a 
year for supplies and 6 percent for personnel. This was an added reason 
for more effective use of present and future resources.'*^ 

To begin to implement these recommendations, the Board of Trustees 
approved a $1.5 million spending cut for 1973-1974. Cuts were made 
from each category across the board, with a precise saving of $1,444,000. 
There was also a modest tuition increase of $50 which, of course, was 
protested by the UGBC.''- However, the Board of Trustees had, at their 
meeting on December 8, 1972, frozen room and board fees for 1973— 
1974. With the increase in tuition, budget cuts, and revenue from the 
recreational complex and football, John Smith, financial vice president, 
predicted a breakeven budget for 1973-1974 and a zero-based budget for 
1974—1975. The picture was looking a little brighter. 

As an integral part of this consolidated long-range plan, there was an 
accelerated effort to broaden and deepen other sources of income. For 
example, the Development Office alerted alumni who worked with firms 
with matching gift programs that a personal gift would be doubled in value 
by the company's contribution. In 1972—1973 this program amounted to 
$32,595. In the same year, corporations sympathetic to the philosophy of 
education at Boston College contributed gifts in the amount of $72,275, 
while foundation support continued to increase. The annual telethon 
carried on by devoted alumni and the Estate Planning Council also made 
substantial contributions. 

In the long term, perhaps the most important innovation has been the 
Fides banquet and its derivative receptions. As originally organized, those 
alumni who contributed $1000 during the year were given membership in 
the Fides organization. The first annual Fides banquet, a formal dinner, 
was held in the Oval Room of the Copley Plaza Hotel on the Sunday night 
before commencement in May 1973. In recent years, the format has 
changed and the banquet, now the President's Circle dinner, has been 
moved to McElroy Commons. Since the growth in numbers and the 
increase in contributions have been spectacular, there are now several 
categories within the original organization, and dinners and receptions are 
held for each group. For many members the most interesting feature of the 
banquet before commencement is the presence of the honorary degree 
candidates of that year, who make a few remarks. 

A review of figures from the late sixties into the early seventies indicates 
the steady growth of annual giving by alumni. In 1967-1968 there were 
1915 alumni donors who contributed $66,199; in 1970-1971, 3916 
donors contributed $237,845; and in 1972-1973, 6125 donors contrib- 
uted $500,166. It was encouraging for the administration to note that, in 
just four years, the annual giving fund had grown from less than $100,000 
to over half a million dollars.''^ The steady growth would continue. In 

420 History of Boston College 

1988-1989, with 28,729 donors, the annual giving fund reached 

With a soHd financial plan which promised positive results, the president 
was prepared to examine the academic programs already in place, the 
changes or substitutions that might be made, and the possibility of new 
programs that would enlarge the reputation of the University. At the end of 
his first year in office, Father Monan had the confidence of the faculty and 
had given sound leadership to the administration. With the cooperation of 
all segments of the campus community, slowly but surely he was moving 
Boston College into a new era. 


1. See The Heights (September 19, 1972). 

2. Minutes, Board of Trustees, December 14, 1967. BCA. 

3. Ibid. 

4. Minutes, Board of Trustees, January 10, 1968. 

5. Trustees of Boston College, By-Laws, 1960-1972. BCA. 

6. Minutes, Board of Trustees, September 6, 1968. BCA. 

7. Ibid. 

8. Minutes, Board of Trustees, November 8 and 23, 1968. BCA. 

9. See P. A. FitzGerald, S.J., Governance, passim. It was customary for Father 
General to appoint the rector of a given college; that person was then elected 
president by the trustees. 

10. See Paul C. Reinert, S.J., "First Meeting of the Board," Jesuit Educational 
Quarterly (January 1968). 

11. William G. Guindon, S.J., to Francis J. Nicholson, S.J., January 11, 1971. BCA. 

12. Minutes, Board of Directors, June 18, 1971. BCA. 

13. BCA. 

14. Minutes, Board of Directors, June 18, 1971. BCA. 

15. S. Joseph Loscocco to Francis J. Nicholson, S.J., October 17, 1971. JEA file, 

16. Francis J. Nicholson, S.J., "Jesuits Incorporate," Bridge (February 1973). 

17. Ibid., "A Scholarship Gift." 

18. See Minutes, Boards of Trustees, 1 960-1 972. BCA. On November 9, 1 97 1 , by 
an act of the Massachusetts Legislature, the original limitation of 10 members of 
the Board of Trustees was removed. In the composition of the new board, there 
were 33 men and 2 women; 22 laypeople and 13 Jesuits; 33 white people and 2 

19. Minutes, Board of Trustees, December 8, 1972. BCA. 

20. "Boston College Rediscovers the Commuter," Thursday Reporter (September 28, 

21. See Bridge (December 1972); also The Heights (October 10, 1972). 

22. Thursday Reporter (March 8, 1973); also The Heights (March 6, 1973). 

23. The Heights (October 17 and 31, 1972). 

24. For a good summary see Marylou Buckley, "The Arts at Boston College," Bridge 
(February 1973). 

25. The Heights {October 17, 1972). 

The Man from New York 421 

26. Ibid. (October 31, 1972). 

27. For a fuller account of these confrontations, see the papers of Edward J. Hanra- 
han, S.J., dean of students at the time. BCA. 

28. The Heights (September 19, 1972). 

29. Bridge (May-June 1973). 

30. Annual giving has increased every year, and by the mid-eighties it was well over 
$5 million. 

31. Bridge (October-November 1973). 

32. Ibid. Father Charles Donovan, John Smith, and James Mclntyre remained in their 
respective offices. 

33. The more recently established Office of Community Affairs, with Jean McKeigue 
as director and with ambitious outreach initiatives, continues the work of the 
men mentioned here. 

34. Thursday Reporter (September 28, 1972). 

35. The Heights (December 5, 1972). 

36. Thursday Reporter (November 30, 1972). 

37. Ibtd. (March 15, 1973). 

38. Ibid. 

39. Bridge (October-November 1973). 

40. Ibid. 

41. The Heights (December 5, 1972) 

42. See Annual Fund comparison chart, Bridge (October-November 1973). 

43. Figures from the office of University Development. 

44. See A Report on the Boston College Development Year 1988-1989. 



spectacular Progress 

In September 1973 Father Monan proceeded to the next phase of planning 
with the appointment of the University Academic Planning Council 
(UAPC). The president himself became titular chairman of the council and 
attended all meetings during the many months of its deliberations. The 
director of the routine operation of the council and chair of its meetings 
was Dean of Faculties Father Donovan. The council had 26 members: 4 
administrators; 12 faculty members (one from each professional school 
and seven from the College of Arts and Sciences); and 10 students (seven 
undergraduates and three students from the Graduate School of Arts and 

Two important subcommittees were established: one on University goals, 
headed by John Mahoney, and one on resources for financing academic 
plans, headed by Frank Campanella. A first draft of a goals statement was 
submitted to the community for reaction in December. At the same time 
the UAPC issued a planning document to each instructional unit — that is, 
each school and department— asking for a five-year plan including not only 
school or department goals but also a projection of the unit's contribution 
to the University goals. While the schools and departments were preparing 
their reports, the UAPC developed position papers on six broad topics: 
faculty development, quaUty of instruction and advisement, research, in- 


spectacular Progress 423 

structional workloads, the core curriculum, and undergraduate admissions 

Unless an institution decides to depart radically from its current mission, 
goals statements can sound like an assertion of the obvious. To some extent 
that was true of the UAPC goals statement, since it was an unswerving 
reaffirmation of the traditional commitments of Boston College. In view of 
the turbulent times higher education, including Boston College, had re- 
cently been through, however, the UAPC felt its reaffirmation of the 
University's historic goals necessary and significant. While many ideals 
were proposed in the nine-page goals statement, three mandates were 
fundamental for the entire document: (1) reaffirmation of the reUgious 
tradition and commitment of Boston College, calling especially for a strong 
and influential Theology Department, an assertive and effective chaplaincy, 
and a continuation of the Jesuit presence at existing levels; (2) a continuing 
commitment to quality undergraduate liberal education, with renewed 
emphasis on effective teaching; and (3) a continuing commitment to 
University status, evidenced by support for professional education, quality 
graduate programs, and emphasis on scholarship and research. 

As the story of Boston College in the 20th century unfolds, attention focuses 
on the relative numbers of Jesuit and lay faculty members. When the 
institution was exclusively a liberal arts college for under 1500, it was not 
difficult to staff it mostly with Jesuits, since the number of classes was not 
great and the disciplines were those Jesuits usually pursued. Once the 
University decided to add professional schools in law, social work, nursing, 
management, and education — subjects pursued by very few Jesuits — it was 
inevitable that the proportion of lay faculty would grow dramatically. 

The table below shows the gradual rise and then decline of Jesuit faculty 
as well as the steady growth of lay faculty: 


Jesuit Faculty 

Lay Faculty 







The above figures represent full-time Jesuit teachers. They do not show 
the much larger Jesuit presence at the University in other roles. For 
example in 1989-1990, in addition to the 32 full-time teachers, there are 
17 university administrators who are Jesuits, 15 Jesuits who teach part- 
time in retirement, 26 Jesuits from many parts of the world who are 
students, and 36 Jesuits who have ministries outside the University, 
administer the Jesuit Community, or are in retirement. The Boston 
College community of 132 Jesuits is among the largest in the world. 

424 History of Boston College 

"Jesuit Education at Boston College" 

An interesting byproduct of the UAPC planning process was a document 
produced by members of the Jesuit Community, "Jesuit Education at 
Boston College." The document was the product of a grassroots discussion 
group including Jesuits varying widely in age, experience at Boston College, 
and academic background. It was a splendid overview of the mission of 
education in Jesuit history and the postwar change at Boston College from 
a highly structured philosophical-literary education to what the document 
called the "hegemony of the departments." 

While sharing with non-Jesuit colleagues the motivation and vision of 
Jesuit education, the document was also a thinking through for the Jesuits' 
own consideration of whether the Boston College of the 1970s was an 
appropriate setting for Jesuits in an educational apostolate. After carefully 
weighing pros and cons, "Jesuit Education at Boston College" concluded 
optimistically that Boston College was an attractive setting not only for 
New England Jesuits but for national and international Jesuits as well. 
Since Jesuits at other Jesuit colleges were wrestling with similar problems 
and options at that time, this document was widely circulated, and it 
became something of a blueprint for the American Jesuit mission in higher 
education. Shaped principally by Father Joseph Appleyard, it was published 
in pamphlet form, enhanced by engaging illustrations by Professor Thomas 
O'Connor, whose talented pen has graced so many Boston College publi- 
cations. The document was reprinted in The Heights in October 1974 and 
in Boston College Focus in December of that year. 

The UAPC Report 

In February 1975 the UAPC report was completed and published. Some of 
its highhghts were a strong reaffirmation of the importance of a good core 
curriculum with a guaranteed distribution of liberal arts courses for every 
undergraduate, including courses in philosophy and theology. Particular 

Thomas F. Flynn ('74) and 
Stephen E. Fix ('74) were stu- 
dent members of the Univer- 
sity Academic Planning Coun- 
cil. That service may have 
presaged things to come, for 
both are now college deans: 
Flynn at Mt. St. Mary's Col- 
lege in Maryland and Fix at 
Williams College. 

spectacular Progress 425 

attention was paid to the kind of teaching needed for core courses and 
suggested mechanisms, such as a continuing seminar on core curriculum 
teaching, to keep facuhy attention focused on the special nature and needs 
of core instruction. The report stressed University-mindedness and collegi- 
ality, a note established in the goals statement and echoed throughout the 
report. The College of Arts and Sciences specifically was urged to develop 
comprehensive institutional goals and esprit to counteract department 
insularity — the same exhortation President Butterfield of Wesleyan had 
addressed to the A&S faculty in 1963. 

Among the report's specific responses to school and departmental plans 
was the suggestion that the Philosophy Department develop strength in 
areas traditional in Jesuit education — namely, classical and medieval phi- 
losophy — and the department was discouraged from the use of many 
teaching fellows for core courses. Two undergraduate programs, economics 
and psychology, were warned about being too pre-professional; and two 
doctoral programs, psychology and sociology, were asked to review their 
programs and resources with outside help. The report suggested that the 
School of Management consider streamlining its administrative structure 
and warned the School of Education about an apparent lessening of 
emphasis on the liberal arts component of the curriculum. 

The trustees reviewed the UAPC report and asked the president to inform 
them in a year on progress in implementation of its recommendations. One 
of the suggestions of the UAPC report was that a successor planning 
committee be established. In September 1975 Father Monan set up a 
University Planning Council composed of 15 members (8 faculty members, 
4 administrators, and 3 students).^ The principal charge the president gave 
to the UPC was to prepare the University's report preliminary to the spring 
re-evaluation visit of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. 
Much of the work of the committee was stimulation and coordination, 
because each academic unit had to prepare a statement about its own 
programs. The final report, finished by February, contained only 147 pages, 
but they were pages packed with data and tables, giving a remarkably 
comprehensive picture of the University in 1975-1976. Particularly impres- 
sive were the concise statements from the several departments and profes- 
sional schools — forthright and rather low-key expressions of achievement 
and aspiration. The New England Association's visiting team, headed by 
University of New Hampshire president Eugene S. Mills, filed a favorable 
report, and re-accreditation was granted. 

The impressive reports of the Arts and Sciences departments for the re- 
evaluation document once again reminded the administration of an on- 
going worry that had been voiced by President Butterfield in 1963 and 
repeated by the UAPC report in 1975: that self-centered disciplinary 
strength in the departments might inhibit a general vision of liberal 
education. One strategy the University adopted to minimize faculty frag- 
mentation and promote interdisciplinary dialogue was a series of faculty 

426 History of Boston College 

weekends at the Andover Inn on the campus of Andover Academy. The first 
was held in October 1974, and by January 1990 a total of 103 such faculty 
gatherings had been held. Sponsored by the University Council on Teaching, 
the Andover workshops have gathered twenty or so faculty at a time, from 
varied disciplines and professions and at diverse stages of academic and 
Boston College experience, to discuss in a relaxed and relatively unstruc- 
tured way the challenges and opportunities of the teaching profession. In 
recent years new members of the faculty have been invited to fall weekends. 
On a few occasions faculty groups have gone to Andover to focus on a 
special issue such as the core curriculum, but the principal purpose of these 
meetings has been an exchange of faculty views on teaching. Organizer and 
hostess for all of these faculty retreats has been Katharine Hastings, 
assistant to four academic vice presidents. 

The Consolidation with Newton College 

In late 1973 Father Monan and the trustees were unexpectedly faced with 
a decision that may rank in importance with Father Gasson's 1907 decision 
to move Boston College from the South End to Chestnut Hill. Newton 
College of the Sacred Heart, tragically unable to survive as an independent 
private college because of unmanageable debt, approached Boston College 
to see if the Newton College traditions and educational commitments 
could survive consohdation with Boston College. 

The Newton College of the Sacred Heart was begun by the Society of the 
Sacred Heart in 1946 at the generous and insistent invitation of then 
Archbishop Richard Cushing. In 1 944 Archbishop Cushing contacted Sister 
Eleanor Kenny, R.S.C.J., superior of the Country Day School of the Sacred 
Heart on Centre Street in Newton, to inform her that the Schrafft estate 
(now Barat House) was available. If the adjoining Harriman estate (now 
Putnam House) were purchased, the Sisters would have one of the most 
attractive sites on the East Coast for a women's college. He promised 
financial help in acquiring the properties. ^ In a short time, the estates were 
acquired, and in September 1946 a total of 41 students (11 commuters 
and 30 boarders) became freshmen in the new college. 

Because of the outstanding reputation of the Religious of the Sacred 
Heart as educators and through contact with their own preparatory schools 
around the world, Newton College prospered and very soon had an 
enrollment quite satisfactory for a small college for women: nearly 400 in 
1957, over 600 in 1961, and over 800 by the late sixties. In only its eighth 
year of existence the college was accredited by the New England Associa- 
tion of Schools and Colleges. After several intermediate accreditation 
reviews, in 1964 the college received accreditation for a 10-year period, the 
normal approval for a mature and well-functioning institution of higher 

With faith, energy, and courage the leaders of the young college em- 
barked on a remarkable schedule of building. Architects were Maginnis 

spectacular Progress All 

A dramatic setting for a liturgy, beneath the St. Patrick window in Gasson 
assembly hall. 

428 History of Boston College 

and Walsh, the firm that had beautified the Boston College campus. The 
buildings were not lavish or extravagant, but they were of high quality and 
impeccable taste. The unusual vitality of this educational enterprise is 
revealed in an impressive statistic: Between 1948 and 1969 Newton College 
erected 12 buildings that comprised a complete and gracious campus. 

Few educators in the robust 1950s foresaw — or even dreamed of — the 
changes that would shake higher education in the 1960s. One thing not 
predicted was the variety of social forces that would suddenly make the 
small college for women an endangered species. One statistic that authori- 
ties at Newton College could ruefully report to their constituencies when 
their own plight became evident was that of 300 liberal arts colleges for 
women in existence in 1960, only 146 remained in 1973. In 1969 James 
Whalen became the first lay president of Newton College.** By 1972 
President Whalen was beginning to inform the faculty and friends of the 
college that the institution's huge debt would have to be retired if the college 
was to survive.^ In 1973 a major fund drive was undertaken, with a goal of 
$6 million. But, gifts and pledges did not meet a third of the goal, and 
catastrophe faced the gallant institution. 


In the last month of 1973, we were beset by very serious problems. Our 
lending institutions, which had pledged financing through 1976, reviewed 
the results of the capital campaign and indicated that they were no longer 
able to extend unsecured credit to the college. This reduced our "survival 
time" by eighteen months and certainly created a more immediate prob- 
lem. It was clear to them we were not getting sufficient support and would 
not be able to retire the debt. Without a successful campaign the college 
was in serious financial condition. In addition, applications for admission 
were quite inadequate in terms of our budgetary needs. Applications to 
Newton had been dwindling over the past ten years in spite of a really fine 
effort on the part of our admissions staff. This decline, which would 
ultimately result in operating deficits, coupled with the huge debt, dictated 
the necessity to determine an alternative course of action. We began, at 
that time, to examine the possibilities for affiliation with another college.' 

In some respects it was natural for Newton College to turn to Boston 
College at this juncture. The Society of the Sacred Heart and the Society of 
Jesus had been allied in many parts of the world in educational and spiritual 
matters for more than a century and a half. Locally, two Boston College 
Jesuits, Father Thomas Fleming, long-time treasurer, and Father W. Seavey 
Joyce before his presidency, had been chaplains to the religious community 
at Newton College from the day it opened through the early years of 
growth. Before the erection of the Barry Science building, Newton College 
students took some of their science classes at Boston College. But besides 
such ties there was the more basic reality that the two institutions shared a 

spectacular Progress 429 

common religious impulse and ideal. Of course, the proximity of the two 
campuses was a positive factor in the consideration of a possible union. 

Discussions and negotiations between the two boards of trustees and the 
two presidents proceeded during January and February 1974.^ Father 
Monan called upon Professor Evan Collins of the School of Education, 
who had been a college president himself, and Professor John Neuhauser 
of the School of Management to help work out some of the details of the 
consolidation. At a meeting on February 28 the Newton College trustees, 
and on March 1 the Boston College trustees, approved a cooperative 
agreement leading to consolidation of Newton College into Boston College. 
It was agreed that the two presidents would speak to their respective 
constituencies at noon on Monday, March 11, and that a press conference 
making public the consolidation would take place at Newton College at 
2:00 p.m. the same day. 

Essential elements of the agreement were that Boston College would 
assume the liabilities of Newton College, which were approximately $5 
million. Boston College would also assume Newton's assets, which had a 
book value of approximately $11.5 million and an estimated replacement 
value of $25 million. Newton College agreed to transfer to Boston College 
its land and buildings and certain equipment and furnishings, effective 
June 30, 1974. Newton College would continue to function as normally as 
possible under its board of trustees through the academic year 1974-1975. 
As of June 30, 1975, Newton College was to cease to exist as an under- 
graduate college except for the purpose of conferring degrees. With the 
commencement of the class of 1976, this function would cease also. 

In 1976 Mary Kinnane (Ph.D. 
'63), professor of speech and 
higher education, was named 
an honorary Fultonian by the 
debating society. Congratulat- 
ing her with Father Monan are 
John Lawton, chairman of the 
Speech Department, and 
James Unger ('64), one of the 
stars in Fulton's history. 

430 History of Boston College 

Under the terms of the consohdation agreement, Newton College stu- 
dents in the classes of 1974 and 1975 were to receive Newton College 
academic degrees. Students of the class of 1976, who were sophomores at 
the time of the agreement, could qualify, at their option, for either a Boston 
College or a Newton College degree. Students of the class of 1977, who 
were freshmen, would receive Boston College degrees. Newton College 
would not accept a class of 1978, though Boston College would consider 
all applicants to the class of 1978 at Newton. Former Newton College 
students wishing to complete their degrees could apply to Boston College 
as transfer students, and their admittance would be automatic if they left 
Newton in good standing. 

To strengthen the consolidation and provide continuity, T. Vincent 
Learson, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Newton College, and Sister 
Jean Ford, Provincial of the Washington Province of the Society of the 
Sacred Heart and also a Newton College board member, accepted member- 
ship on the Boston College Board of Trustees.* 

The Implementation Task Force 

In announcing the consohdation to its several publics, the University listed 
pertinent facts about Newton College. The campus consisted of some 40 
acres containing 15 major buildings. There was residence hall capacity for 
735 students. There were 55 classrooms and seminar rooms, with an 
additional 32 locations equipped for laboratory or specialized use. Partic- 
ular features noted were a fully air-conditioned library with a 200,000- 
volume capacity and a seating capacity of 531; a fully air-conditioned 
chapel seating 800, with a basement function room seating 750; an air- 
conditioned faculty wing and student center; and a new air-conditioned 
science building with laboratories, rooftop greenhouse, and a 330-seat 

Father Monan set up a task force to recommend possible uses of the 
Newton facilities as well as new uses for Chestnut Hill facilities freed by 
movement across town. Director of Admissions John Maguire was named 
chairman of this important body.' In his charge to the task force in his 
letter of invitation. Father Monan prescribed that recommended uses of the 
Newton Campus be such as to provide a sense of full citizenship in the 
University on the part of students and faculty in the two locations; to 
guarantee utilization of the distinctive characteristics of Newton facilities 
to their maximum advantage; and to fulfill already identified need