April 1, 2004 • Volume 12 Number 14

Joseph Halli

Junior Extends BC's Success in Truman Scholarships

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer
Presidential Scholar Joseph Halli '05, of Northport, Ala., who as a volunteer at a South End soup kitchen and tutor at the Suffolk County Jail has taken to heart the Ignatian challenge to be a man for others, has won a Truman Scholarship.

The Truman carries $3,000 for the senior year and $27,000 for graduate study, and is awarded on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability, and likelihood of "making a difference."

Halli, an English major and Faith, Peace and Justice minor in the College of Arts and Sciences Honors program, is the fifth BC student in seven years to win a Truman. He plans to put the award toward graduate studies in law and social work.

Family and Jesuit tradition carried Halli to the Heights. His father, Robert '68, a product of Loyola High School in Baltimore who won the Gargan Medal for debate at BC in 1965 and 1966, is an English professor and director of the Honors Program at the University of Alabama. His sister, Anne '02, preceded him as a Presidential Scholar at BC, and now is studying medicine at the University of Alabama.

"I come from a tradition of fellow Eagles," he said. "BC is a Halli family legacy. For me, it was the Jesuit identity of Boston College that made me brave the snow and the cold. I wanted to be a part of an institution that saw creating 'men and women for others' as a core value.

"I was asked in my Truman interview, 'How would I like to be introduced if I were giving a speech at Boston College in 25 years?' My response was simple: 'Joe Halli is a man who has lived up to our ideal of being a man for others.'

"To be at a school that fundamentally integrates education with empathy is the reason I am here in Chestnut Hill."

Halli said his studies in the Faith, Peace and Justice minor directed by Adj. Lect. Matthew Mullane (Theology) have strongly influenced his career goal to combine a law degree with a master's in social work.

His greatest inspiration, he said, has come from his experiences as a 4Boston volunteer.

"The work I have done in this service program, for the first two years at Haley House, a soup kitchen in the South End, and now at the Suffolk County House of Corrections, has been the most important thing I have done here at BC," he said.

"Classroom experience can only go so far as a motivator for social change. My interactions with the guests at Haley and my students at the House of Corrections have provided an education I could never have imagined.

"This program, with its emphasis not only on service but on the ideas of spirituality, social justice, and community, has transformed me to be the person I am today, a person who is wholeheartedly committed to public change."

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