Lynch School Celebrates 50th

Lynch School Celebrates 50th

Reunion chatter shared the stage with professional seminars last Thursday as more than 700 Lynch School of Education graduates joined former and present faculty members and administrators in celebrating the school's 50th anniversary.

Lynch School alumna Pamela Mellon Siguler '76, '77 MEd offers some recollections for an interviewer at the school's 50th anniversary celebration last week.
The day's events ranged from a symposium on "The Centrality of Respect," featuring Harvard University Fisher Professor of Education Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, chairwoman of the MacArthur Foundation and a 2002 BC honorary degree recipient, to an informal reunion luncheon that brought together alumni from virtually all of LSOE's 46 graduating classes.

"The first thing I remember about coming to Boston College was how awe-inspiring the school was," said Carolyn Kenney Foley '56, a member of the first class to enroll in the school. "It was something that I never could have dreamed of at the time, and I was - and still am - just delighted to have had the opportunity to have been here."

Following the morning's faculty and alumni professional panels and the luncheon reunion event, alumni were offered guided tours of Campion Hall led by current LSOE undergraduates.

Auxiliary Bishop of Boston John Boles MEd '59, EdD '65 was principal celebrant of a Mass for alumni in St. Ignatius Church, and the Lynch School Symposium on educational excellence and equity and the formal anniversary commemoration completed the day's program.

Foley, who remains active in alumni affairs as class president, said the 117 female members who enrolled in September of 1952 did not always find an overly receptive atmosphere on the previously all-male campus.

"All students used to have lunch in the basement of Lyons Hall," she said, "but women weren't allowed to go upstairs until they were juniors, and only then if you happened to be taking secondary education courses in English or History.

"I was an elementary education major and never made it to the second floor of Lyons Hall," she laughed. "It's a big difference now from those days."

Foley, who taught first-grade classes in Billerica before leaving the profession to start a family, said many in her class went on to successful teaching careers, as well as achievements in other professions. "One of our classmates, Phil Dawson, was elected mayor of Portland, Me., and Rear Admiral Roberta Hazard was the highest-ranking woman in the entire American military when she retired," Foley said.

Young and old graduates took advantage of the anniversary event to purchase a book written for the occasion by LSOE Prof. Emeritus Mary T. Kinnane, A Dynamic Era in the History of Boston College. Kinnane's book, which chronicles the school during its formative years from 1952 through 1965, is also on sale in the Boston College Bookstore.


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