The A to Z Guide to Boston College
Whether you’re visiting campus for the first time or returning to the Heights after many years, here are 26 things to know about Boston College.
Sure, your child has four more years before you hear that word, but it’s good to know that the Boston College alumni community will be always there for them. The BC Alumni Association offers activities from lectures to chapter events, and we love having BC parents a part of our family.
Everything your child needs to know for academics now resides in one place. By logging on to Agora and going into “Blackboard Vista,” your Eagle can access class notes, class PowerPoints, homework assignments, grades, and even syllabi.
“CoRo” is a shortened (and way easier to text) form of College Road. This part of campus is adjacent to Upper Campus and consists of three dorms: Roncalli, Welch, and Williams. Typically, mainly sophomores live on CoRo.
D: Devlin 008
At some point, you and your freshman wandered into Devlin Hall and into the Admissions Office to hear firsthand how wonderful Boston College is. And now that your child has made a new nest in Chestnut Hill, Devlin continues to be a part of their experience.
One of the largest lecture halls on campus exists in Devlin: Devlin 008. There, along with 300 of their closest friends, your student will take Survey of Bio, Rhetorical Tradition, maybe a math course, and many others.
E: Eagle Escort
One of BC’s best kept safety measures is the Eagle Escort program, which helps students when traveling around campus at night. This walking service is provided from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., seven nights a week. Your student can call 617-552-8888 from anywhere on campus, and two fellow students will come and walk them to their on-campus destination.
Arguably one of BC’s most famous alumni, football legend Doug Flutie is still celebrated on campus. Check out the play that launched him onto the national stage. It’s called the “Hail Mary” pass, and it’s recreated in a statue situated in front of Alumni Stadium.
Another reason to remember Doug Flutie? Students use his name as an easy way to visualize a map of the Quad: Doug (Devlin), Flutie (Fulton), Likes (Lyons), Girls (Gasson), or “Doug Flutie Likes Girls.”
G: Gasson Hall
Gasson Hall is arguably the most iconic building on campus and a treasure. It may not be a graduation requirement, but we’re pretty sure that one needs to take at least one (if not several) photos of Gasson and its famed Golden Eagle statue while at BC.
Also, with St. Mary’s under construction for the next three years, Gasson is home to one of the several chapels on campus, with Mass offerings during the week.
H: The Heights
You might hear alumni and students, and maybe even your child, refer to BC as “The Heights.” It’s an apt nickname, as BC was built on a hill and has “a reputation for always looking up when setting goals.” One of our student newspapers is also called The Heights. There are editions every Monday and Thursday, so if you want to keep track of what’s happening at BC and your student’s life here, visit The Heights website.
I: Ice Cream
Like Gasson, White Mountain Creamery is a landmark for any Boston College student. It’s open until midnight, and BC students will often make the trek to this longtime ice cream parlor to get their favorite cold treats.
Just a short bit away in Newton Centre, J.P. Licks is a popular destination for freshmen living on Newton Campus. New Englanders know their ice cream, and your child may acquire an even greater tooth for it before they leave BC.
The Society of Jesuits at Boston College is integral to the BC experience. From teaching some of the most popular courses on campus, to assisting with retreats, to helping students discern their faith, Jesuits truly embody the Boston College mission.
BC offers some fantastic retreat programs for students. Freshmen can attend 48 Hours, which provides a way to meet new friends and reflect on the transition from high school to college. Meanwhile, HalfTime focuses on vocation and career path, asking three key questions that should help students find their way.
Kairos is one of our spiritual three-day retreats where students are called to LT4 (Live the Fourth), referring to the fourth day and encouraging students to take the virtues of the retreat with them beyond its conclusion. Students of all faiths are welcome, and remember, the waiting list can be long—so tell your student to sign up early. To learn more about Kairos and other BC retreats, go here.
Although officially known as Corcoran Commons, the name “Lower” has stuck. This dining hall located on Lower Campus is frequented by sophomores and upperclassmen. It’s also home to the Heights Room, where “Last Chance Mass” takes place every Sunday night at 10:15 p.m. Mass is led by Fr. Tony Penna and Fr. Jack Butler, and all students of all faiths are welcome; as a result, it’s usually standing room only each week.
McElroy Hall houses dining halls, including the beloved Eagles Nest, as well as the BC post office and the main BC Bookstore.
N: Newton Campus
Newton Campus is widely known as the home of freshmen as well as the BC Law School. If your student is worried about living “off campus,” it’s not so bad. Yes, they have to take the BC bus to campus, but they’ll see the familiar faces of those who are on a similar schedule and make friends with their fellow students. Newton has its own dining hall in Stuart, creating a mini-community of these 800 students. Newton is also home to our soccer and field hockey fields.
O: O’Connell House
Is it haunted? Most Eagles think so, because the castle-like brick building stands out on Upper Campus. Inside are cozy rooms packed with TVs, couches, study rooms, and even a piano, and there’s a laundry room in the basement. In the main hall, BC groups hold events such as presentations by My Mother’s Fleabag (an improv group) and Middlemarch (a dance held in March). Your student will most likely find their way into the hallowed halls of O’Connell House before they leave campus.
P: Parents’ Weekend
Parents’ Weekend is loaded with family fun. From the fabulous sounds of Pops on the Heights to the battle on the gridiron in Alumni Stadium against a visiting team, there’s a lot that you and your family can enjoy.
And, as it’s Parents’ Weekend, there are some expectations your student may already have in place: If you’d like to re-stock the food, help with the laundry, or take them out to a nice restaurant, you’ll find abundant resources in the area.
Interested in doing more? You can join the Parents’ Leadership Council.
Q: Quonset Hut
A gymnasium located on Newton Campus, the “Hut” is home to treadmills, StairMasters, and more. Think of it as a mini Rec Plex (the gymnasium complex located on Main Campus) for Newton Campus residents.
R: The Rat
The Rat is the “colorful” name of a dining hall in the basement of Lyons Hall. It’s a great place to grab a hot dog, a quick sandwich, and some grub in between classes. To see what’s on the menu at any of the BC dining halls, go here.
S: Student Services
Nothing will help your child get acclimated to BC more than getting to know Student Services. Here students can change a major, get a new BC ID, and pay their bills. The line tends to be long between classes so advise your students to go “halfway through class sessions.” This would be around the half-hour mark on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (classes are one hour long). On Tuesdays and Thursdays, course offerings are more scattered, so have them time accordingly.
T: The T
Boston is home to the first subway system in the U.S., known affectionately as the “T.” BC is the last stop on the B Line train, a branch of the Green Line subway. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) provides reloadable “Charlie Cards” at most T stations, which Bostonians use to board the T. Your student can add value to their Charlie Card when they need to head into Boston. Discounted passes are provided by Student Services. For more information, go here.
U: Upper Campus
“We walk” is the motto of the 1,200 freshmen living on Upper Campus. Walk around any gorgeous day on Upper, and you’ll see Frisbee tosses, basketball games, and students lounging on the lawn. Many students will become close with their floor mates and other residents in their building.
BC alumni, students, faculty, and staff strive to be “men and women for others,” and thankfully, Boston College has countless ways for students to give back to the community. From 4Boston (a weekly service organization at BC) to Appalachia Volunteers (a program that is committed to working with the poverty stricken populace of the U.S. and which offers an annual service trip during spring break), opportunities abound for your student to get involved. Every September, BC has a Student Activities Day, where they can find groups they’re excited to join.
W: Work Study
Is your student looking to make some extra money while on campus? BC posts job listings for students around the end of August on the Human Resources website. Simply go to bc.edu, then to “A-Z” and click “J” for Job Opportunities.
Beyond extra credit, BC offers many ways for your student to get support. The Connors Family Learning Center on the second floor of O’Neill Library is one of the best examples of this. Students can be tutored by grad students and teaching assistants for free.
The Boston College Career Center is also a gem on campus. Students can make appointments with career counselors to get advice on résumés, cover letters, networking, and more. And popping into the Career Center is never a bad idea. They’ll have postings about companies that are visiting the campus and career events.
Boston College Men’s Ice Hockey Coach Jerry York is the epitome of what it means to be a Boston College graduate. On and off the ice, he represents BC with excellence, demonstrates what it means to be a champion, and teaches our student-athletes what it means to be “men and women for others.” Our men’s ice hockey team has won four national championships under his leadership (2001, 2008, 2010, and 2012) and is poised to make a run again this season.
Our Boston College student-athletes illustrate BC’s motto “Ever to Excel” both on and off the field. With coaches like Jerry York to lead our young men and women, we truly can feel proud to be Eagles.
BC has collaborated with Zipcar to offer students a discounted annual membership. With many locations near BC, your student can pick up a car for interviews, errands, a fun day trip to New Hampshire, or a local shopping trip—there’s a Target in Watertown not far from BC if your Eagle needs to buy more snacks and detergent. Many students have hopped into a Zipcar to drive to their parents’ homes on the weekend.
Zipcar has partnered with Boston College and offers BC students a discounted annual membership of $25. To learn more about ZipCar and its benefits, visit Zipcar at BC.