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Ties that Bind

How Parents Are Strengthening the BC Experience

In 2006, reporter Bob Woodruff, H’12, P’15, suffered severe head injuries while on assignment with ABC News in Iraq. He, his wife, Lee, and their children together traveled a long road to recovery, but emerged from that trying time to turn their experience into inspiration for others.

In addition to writing books on the subject, including 2009’s Perfectly Imperfect: A Life in Progress, Lee has volunteered as a speaker at Boston College’s Connell School of Nursing, where she talks to students about the critical role health care professionals can play when families are coping with tragedy.

“Our lives were changed by incredible health care, and it’s a real honor when we get to talk to people at a crucial point in their education,” says Lee Woodruff. “Anytime you can plug the personal into a situation and illustrate it, there is a connection that makes students sit up and listen.”

Bob had the entire BC Class of 2012 at attention when he served as Commencement speaker at last year’s ceremony. During his speech, he stressed acts of service and the need to give back—something he and Lee have tried to instill in their children by example, with annual gifts to the University and their volunteer roles.

“I think there is nothing better than spending time with your child, and when you do it in the place where they are spending so much of their life, it really binds you together,” says Bob Woodruff. “It makes your child proud if you love the same place they love.”

For fellow parents or alumni who are looking to add a volunteer aspect to their relationship with Boston College, the Woodruffs advise finding an area of expertise or a passion within the University and actively searching out opportunities.

“BC makes it easy to get involved,” says Lee Woodruff. “When you go and do something outside of yourself, you feel better about everything. It’s the definition of what the University is espousing with the Light the World campaign.”

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