March 17, 2005 • Volume 13 Number 13
The Boston College Neighborhood Center recently presented 14 Allston-Brighton community organizations with grant awards that will fund beautification projects in Oak Square, an educational venue and support group for parents of at-risk children, language instruction for children preparing to become American citizens and other educational, recreational and community service activities.
The Allston/Brighton-Boston College Community Fund grants are awarded twice a year. A committee that includes representatives of Boston College and the neighborhood determine which proposals receive awards.
Groups receiving the most recent round of grants included The Literacy Connection, the Allston-Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force, Caritas St. Elizabeth's Adult Day Health Center, Friends of the Oak Square Common, the Open Door Ministry, the Winship School and the Oak Square YMCA.
The legacy of Archbishop Oscar Romero will be celebrated this Saturday with the presentation of the 13th annual Romero Scholarship Award at a banquet to be held in the Welch Dining Room of Lyons Hall at 7 p.m.
Each year, the Romero Scholarship is given to a Boston College junior who exemplifies the values and ideals of the Salvadoran Archbishop, an advocate for the poor and disenfranchised during El Salvador's civil war who was assassinated while celebrating Mass in 1980.
Criteria for the scholarship award includes dedication to learning as evidenced by academic record, service on and off campus and financial need. The scholarship represents 75 percent of the student's senior-year tuition.
Arivee Vargas '05, a sociology major, was the winner of the 2004 Romero Scholarship. The Lynn native was recognized for her participation in a number of international and local service programs throughout her undergraduate career, including the Organization for Latin American Affairs.
In addition to the Romero Scholarship, the Rev. John A. Dinneen, SJ, Hispanic Alumni Community Service Award will be presented to Alexander M. Sanchez '90.
Entertainment at the March 19 event will capture the spirit of Brazil with traditional Bossa Nova performed by Nando Michelin Brazilian Project and a Capoeira demonstration by the United Teen Equality Center of Lowell.
Further details about the Archbishop Romero Award are available at www.bc.edu/romero.
Michael Jednak has been named director of Facilities Services, the Facilities Management unit responsible for maintaining the University's buildings and grounds.
Jednak, currently associate vice president for facilities at St. Joseph's College in West Haven, Conn., will assume his new post at Boston College on April 4.
Announcing Jednak's appointment, Associate Vice President for Facilities Management Michael P. Dwyer said, "Mike possesses proven leadership skills, a balanced personality and commitment to excellence in all necessary skills to help the Facilities Management Department reach its goal of becoming the best facilities management organization in higher education."
Jednak is a 1988 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, where he was a standout football player for the Crusaders. After six years in the real estate management business, he joined St. Joseph's in 1994 as the school's physical plant director.
In 2000, he was promoted to associate vice president where he served as the institution's general contractor and facility planner as well as supervising the maintenance, housekeeping, grounds, mailroom, document center and campus safety operations.
At Boston College, Jednak will oversee the facility management department's administrative, auxiliary and technical services areas.
Opening the doors
This promises to be a watershed week for the recently christened Boston College Retreat Center, located at the former site of St. Stephen's Priory in Dover.
Yesterday, the center welcomed guests at its official open house, and tomorrow will hold its first over-night retreat, hosting some 60 students and staff for the weekend as part of the Campus Ministry's KAIROS program. The center had a dry run of sorts last month when the office of Financial Vice President Peter McKenzie held a day retreat.
Boston College acquired St. Stephen's Priory last fall from the Dominican Fathers Province of St. Joseph. The priory is a 78.5-acre property situated on the Charles River and includes buildings totaling 68,792 square feet.
University Auxiliary Services Executive Director Linda Riley, who is overseeing the retreat center's operations, says the next several weeks will be a period of "testing the waters. We've done some minor maintenance and aesthetic work on the property, so we want to get different groups in to see how everything goes."
At the end of this month, she notes, will be a weekend retreat on Ignatian pedagogy for BC, Holy Cross and Fairfield University faculty and staff, who will be joined by University President William P. Leahy, SJ, and his counterparts at Holy Cross and Fairfield. Next month will see retreats for the Intersections program and the Graduate School of Social Work, among others.
"Yes, the heat's working," said Riley with a laugh. "The catering's squared away, too. It's really beginning to feel like a Boston College place here, and we're looking forward to showing the BC community how wonderful the center is."
All in the wrist
Boston College Bookstore sales of maroon "Boston College" wrist bracelets will benefit a number of campus-based charities and outreach service programs.
BC Bookstore Director Thomas McKenna said proceeds from the sales of the popular and colorful wrist accessories will provide financial assistance to a number of student fund-raising projects, such as the Campus School and spring break service trips.
"The Bookstore already provides donations to all kinds of good programs," McKenna said. "But I thought that we might be able to provide some additional visibility for these groups by using the bracelets as a fund-raising item. It will benefit all of the groups that we support. The bracelets are a great vehicle to tie all these things together."
Rubber wrist bracelets have become successful fund-raising symbols for a variety of charitable campaigns in the past year, starting with the yellow bands first introduced by champion cyclist Lance Armstrong as a fund-raiser for his "Livestrong" cancer survivor foundation. Other bracelets of various hues have followed, each representing a favored cause such as AIDS awareness, breast cancer research or support of US soldiers serving overseas.
The new maroon bracelets, which went on sale this week for $2.95 each, have "Boston College" etched on the outside of the wristband.
For Elijah's sake
More than 300 members and friends of the University community turned out in Gasson 100 on Feb. 28 to sign up as a potential bone marrow donor for a special member of the Boston College family member, nine-year-old Elijah Norbert of Portland, Me. Elijah is the son of Stephen '84 and Kim Norbert and the nephew of Mary '81, Karen Norbert Sprague '84, Maggie '92, Chris '79 and former BC Campus Minister Paula Norbert.
Paula Norbert and Karen Norbert Sprague expressed their appreciation to BC in a column for the March 3 edition of The Heights: "We were truly overwhelmed by the wonderful turnout on Monday. People came early and stayed late. Many people waited over two hours in line to be processed and donate their blood to be tested to see if they might be a match for our Elijah or for some other family. In the week before vacation, many told us how much work they had ahead of them, but still they stayed and waited without complaint," the sisters wrote.
"It may be more than three weeks before it is determined whether any matches come from this drive," the letter concluded. "We hope so much for our nephew, Elijah, but we are also hoping that some other family may get a call that they have been waiting for that may truly save someone they love. We can never express enough how truly grateful we are to so many in the BC community who turned out to help us make this happen. You will never know how moved we have been."