A Student Affairs Summit for the Ages

A Student Affairs Summit for the Ages

Vice presidents past and present gather to share notes on work and BC

Boston College commemorated a recent but significant part of its history on Nov. 9 when all four persons to ever hold the title of vice president for student affairs at the University met for the first time in one room.

Vice President for Student Affairs Cheryl Presley meets with her three predecessors on Nov. 9: (L-R) Rev. George Drury, SJ, James McIntyre and Kevin Duffy. (Photo By Lee Pelligrini)
At her Donaldson House office, current Student Affairs VP Cheryl Presley hosted her three predecessors: Rev. George Drury, SJ, who created the Student Affairs division in 1965 and was its first vice president; Senior Vice President James McIntyre, who succeeded Fr. Drury in 1968; and Kevin Duffy, who served from 1976-2000 and is now an assistant professor in the Lynch School of Education.

Interviewed afterwards, the four described the meeting as an enjoyable sharing of experiences and observations formed through their many years in the student affairs field. While their combined tenure extended more than 35 years, and coincided with a succession of tremendous changes at BC, the VPs found they had much in common.

"All of us have loved having the opportunity to work with students," said Duffy. "We also felt very strongly about Boston College being a community, in every sense of the word. Cheryl, even in her comparatively short time here, has seen that and she said it's one of the reasons she is so happy to be here."

Recalling the first years of the Student Affairs organization, Fr. Drury said, "It started in a difficult context. There was the Vietnam War, of course, which was having an effect on much of the country. Within BC, the idea of a vice president for Student Affairs was so new; everyone was used to dealing with the president on such matters.

"But there was a lot that needed attending to, and having a separate administrative office to concentrate on student affairs was an important step for the University. It's been an example of how one brings together, in such a wonderful way, the great resources we have here at BC - our people."

McIntyre said the four vice presidents "reflect the transition of the University itself, in ways that have been very exciting and fruitful.
"The whole formation of a Student Affairs division was, and remains, very appropriate in the context of Jesuit education," he continued. "It demonstrates how BC, as a Catholic and Jesuit institution, looks beyond the classroom in the development of our young men and women."

-Sean Smith


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