At the University’s 141st Commencement Exercises on May 22, some 4,155 Boston College students received their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Here are some scenes from the day, in photographs by Gary Wayne Gilbert and Lee Pellegrini.
The graduating class gathered on Linden Lane before processing to the main Commencement ceremony in Alumni Stadium. For the undergraduate students, the route mirrored their torchlit 'First Flight' procession to academic convocation four years ago.
Below, BC Board of Trustees chair John F. Fish and University President William P. Leahy, S.J., flank this year's Commencement speaker, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.), a respected advocate for children and families and one of America’s most prominent Catholic politicians.
Above: "Give to others from the abundance that you have received, and put into practice the principles, values, and beliefs of Jesuit education that continue to shape Boston College and that challenge its graduates," Fr. Leahy said in his remarks to the Class of 2017.
Below: Film, Broadway, and television actor Chris O’Donnell, an alumnus of the Carroll School of Management, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, for his integrity, achievement, and adherence to the priorites of family and faith.
Below: 93-year-old BC School of Social Work alumna Amy Chin Guen still works tirelessly as a community activist and leader in Boston’s Chinatown – her childhood home – to oppose displacement of the neighborhood by urban renewal. She received an honorary Doctor of Social Science degree.
Above: Alumna Tiffany Cooper Gueye – chief executive officer of BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), one of the nation's leading nonprofit providers of quality expanded learning programs for children in grades pre-K-8 – received an honorary Doctor of Science in Education degree.
Below: In more than half a century with the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, Fr. Leo B. Shea, M.M., has taken his ministry to the slums of Jamaica, the barrios of Caracas, Venezuela, and the reaches of northern China. He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Above: In recognition of his principled and dedicated leadership during a complex, divisive political time, Boston College awarded U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey Jr., the degree of Doctor of Laws. Read all the degree citations, and learn more about the recipients, here.
Below: “Make a commitment [to service] and remember that your labor will give hope to those who need it, and bring the light of compassion to the darkness," Senator Casey told the graduates. Read more about his address here.
Below: Maura Lester McSweeney accepts the degree on behalf of the graduating class of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences. Boston archbishop Cardinal Seán O'Malley (far left, seated) looks on.
Above: Nazım Eryılmaz of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences graduate school accepted the degree on behalf of master's degree candidates.
Below: Carroll School of Management senior Lauren Wedell accepted the degree on behalf of her class, and, later in the ceremony, received the Edward H. Finnegan, S.J., Award as the graduating senior who best exemplified Boston College’s motto 'Ever to Excel." Read about Lauren here.
Below: Emma Ellen Adcock accepted the degree on behalf of students in the bachelor of science program in the Connell School of Nursing; Rachel Nicole Lehouillier on behalf of the master of science class.
Above: Below: Jiani Hou accepted the degree on behalf of the undergraduate class of the Lynch School of Education.
Below: Wojciech Moranski, S.J., accepted the degree on behalf of candidates for a licentiate in sacred theology at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry; Anthony M. Crowley accepted for the candidates for a bachelor of arts degree from the Woods College of Advancing Studies.
Below: At a breakout ceremony, retired faculty members Rita Olivieri of the Connell School of Nursing and Peter Olivieri of the Carroll School of Management presented the diploma to their granddaughter, Allison Olivieri, a new graduate of the Lynch School of Education. Allie is the daughter of Web Services team leader Scott Olivieri of University Communications, an alumnus of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, and Kate Olivieri, an alumna of the Connell School of Nursing.
Cool, cloudy weather prevailed, and intermittent drizzle forced the Alumni Stadium audience to huddle under umbrellas and rain gear. Many graduates on the stadium floor went off to procure ponchos provided by BC for themselves and their classmates—but the the rain did not dampen the spirits of graduates, or their family and friends.