The indelible imprint of BC: Kenneth D. Pierce '79
During the Blizzard of 1978, Ken Pierce looked out the window of his Cleveland Circle apartment and wondered if it would ever stop snowing. "I remember watching people ski down Commonwealth Avenue," he recalls. "The snow was so deep that they skied on top of the cars. I even watched the National Guard roll into town. It was such a surreal experience."
Today, Pierce calls the Blizzard of '78 his "second favorite" BC memory. The first? That would be the day he met his future wife, Kathleen O'Connor '80. Now married for more than 23 years, the Pierces live in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, with their two sons, Will, age 13, and Matty, 11. They remain closely tied to Boston College, socializing and attending church with other BC couples. "I am most grateful to BC for introducing me to my wife and then introducing the two of us to so many wonderful people who became our lifelong friends," says Pierce, who is an attorney with Monaghan Leahy, LLP, in Portland. "Our BC friendships are very important to both Kathleen and me."
A longtime admissions volunteer, Pierce talks about those same BC ties during interviews with prospective students and the dinner he hosts for new freshmen and their parents each fall. "When I meet incoming students, I tell them, 'You are now a lifelong member of an extraordinary community.'"
The president-elect of the Boston College Alumni Association, Pierce will soon have a unique perspective on that community. Of his tenure, he says, "It's an honor, a privilege, and very humbling at the same time. My highest priority will be to increase the participation of alumni in all facets of the University."
Pierce will be leading the Alumni Association through a period of reorganization and revitalization. "The catalyst for this change was a survey BC recently conducted showing that more than 90 percent of all graduates have positive feelings about the University-a number that is off the charts when you compare it to any other school. But there's a disconnect between these positive feelings and the number of alumni attending events, volunteering, and making a gift. My goal is to strengthen those connections."
Pierce says that he is particularly excited about the way the BC community has grown in recent years. "My wife was from Indiana, and she might have met two other students from Indiana during her entire time at BC. Today, there are BC alumni across the country and around the world. It may be a challenge in terms of keeping them connected, but it's much more an opportunity. BC has a presence in the world like never before."
What inspires Pierce to give back so much to Boston College? He says it's the very lessons he learned as a student himself. "BC's Jesuit traditions instill the desire to give back to your community, to serve. That's something I've strived to do since graduation. The values that BC teaches have really left an indelible imprint on my life."