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November 5, 2004 • Volume 13 Number 5

John F. Kerry sits with fellow classmates during his 1976 graduation from Boston College Law School. (Photo courtesy of University Archives)

An Alum's Presidential Bid Falls Short

The 2004 election drew special scrutiny at Boston College, the alma mater of Democratic nominee US Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), a 1976 graduate of BC Law School. Kerry's old moot-court coach was following this week's vote closely to see if his former charge, impressive in the presidential debates, would seal the final argument at the ballot box.

"He's the first student of mine to run for the presidency, so I'm watching with great interest," BC Law Advocacy Programs Director Thomas Carey JD '65, who coached 1976 grad Kerry on BC's National Moot Court Team, said last week.

The skill Kerry showed in the presidential debates he honed at BC Law as a winner of the Grimes Moot Court Competition in his second year, and as a 3L on the National Moot Court Team that won the New England regional championships, said Carey, who teaches appellate advocacy as a part-time member of the BC Law faculty.

"Certainly his effectiveness as an advocate was quite apparent," said Carey. "You could see that when he was here at the law school."

The faculty advisor to the National Moot Court Team recalled Kerry as a standout on the squad of third-year students that argued a mock Supreme Court case in one of the country's most prestigious competitions among law schools.

"When I say John had a flair for advocacy, I don't mean mere debater's tricks," said Carey. "I mean advocacy in the classic sense.

"Cicero described the best orator as one who by speaking 'teaches, delights, and moves the minds of his hearers.' The aim of forensic advocacy is to educate oneself and one's audience about an issue, to demonstrate the wisdom of a proposed course of action, and to move listeners to act on it.

"True eloquence can only be achieved with honesty, integrity, strength of intellect, and character. This is a high calling, and John heard the call."

Kerry has long been a Boston College ally as well as a loyal graduate, says Senior Vice President James P. McIntyre.

"Senator Kerry has always been very responsive to Boston College. Whenever we were looking for help in Washington, he has always been quite willing to step up to bat for us, especially when we have been looking for assistance with various kinds of programs or needed help in Washington, DC.

"Even more specifically," McIntyre said, "John and Teresa hosted a dinner for Fr. Leahy and me and for a small group of alumni in Washington a few years ago at his home in Georgetown. It was a relatively small group, maybe 20 or 25 people, but it was very, very cordial and warm event. John spoke about Boston College and Teresa spoke about her and her family's association with the Jesuits over the years starting in South Africa."

Teresa Heinz Kerry's eldest son, H. John Heinz, is a 1989 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences.

"We have also had John as our guest to several Boston College games over the years," McIntyre noted. "He has always been close to us."

-Mark Sullivan and Reid Oslin

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