Board Prepares For Leadership Change

Trustees hear updates on construction, endowment, fund raising, admissions

By Douglas Whiting
Director of Public Affairs

Addressing his 96th and final meeting of the University's Board of Trustees on May 31, President J. Donald Monan, SJ, declared the University in "good shape" for the presidential transition that will occur later this month and said President-elect William P. Leahy, SJ, was ready to assume his responsibilities and "raring to go."

Fr. Monan said Fr. Leahy has been given a "thorough overview of the affairs of the University" and would find an institution with a "superb faculty in teaching and research, a talented and dedicated administration" and an unparalleled physical plant in one of the world's most desirable locations.

Fr. Monan called his presidency "a great privilege, a wonderful, enjoyable run" and thanked members of the board, past and present, for their leadership, guidance and dedication during his tenure.

In response, several trustees offered praise and admiration for the 24-year administration of Fr. Monan. Chairman Geoffrey T. Boisi said, "You have prepared us well to move forward," and thanked Fr. Monan for his "mentoring, teaching, guidance, leadership, eloquence and thoughtfulness."

During the final board meeting of the academic year, members also heard a special presentation on the program for the interior of the proposed student center portion of the Middle Campus Project from architects Tsoi/Kobus & Associates. The project is being reviewed by the Newton Board of Aldermen, which is expected to vote in September on whether or not the University can proceed with the project. Following the presentation, the trustees voted to "authorize the Buildings and Properties Committee of this board to exercise all powers of this board necessary and convenient to determine and approve final costs for the development and construction of the project."

Buildings and Properties Committee Chairman Patrick Carney told the board that construction on the second phase of the Law School rebuilding project was anticipated to begin in June 1997. This phase will involve the replacement of the Barry Pavilion and east wing of the Law School and include the addition of several classrooms, including two 130-seat classrooms for first-year students.

Carney also said that representatives of the Undergraduate Government of Boston College will work in the coming year with the Buildings and Grounds Department on several campus beautification projects on the Lower Campus.

Trustee Development Committee Chairman Robert Murray reported the University had raised the largest cash total in its history - nearly $25 million - during the fiscal year ended on May 31, adding that unprecedented numbers of individuals had become donors at the Fides and President's Circle levels.

Robert Morrissey, chairman of the Investment and Endowment Committee, said that nearly $100 million had been added to the University's endowment during the past fiscal year, bringing the total to approximately $600 million.

Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties William B. Neenan, SJ, told board members the University had experienced "a blockbuster year, successful beyond any reasonable expectation" in the area of undergraduate admission, noting a significant increase in the number of students accepting the University's offer of admission and the fact that for the first time "in memory" the University did not accept students from a waiting list.

Executive Vice President Frank B. Campanella advised trustees of the ongoing activities of Project Delta, including the University's decision to hire Andersen Consulting for a 12-week period to help plan the project's implementation and a series of informational meetings that have been conducted for a wide range of University personnel.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Trustee William Connell praised the work of Boisi, who will hand over the chairman's gavel to Richard Syron in September. He called Boisi's "crowning achievement" his oversight of the presidential search activities, while noting that during Boisi's three-year chairmanship the University has witnessed a substantial growth in endowment, academic achievement and athletic success both on the field and in the classroom.

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