Flagg Praised For Building Foreign Study Program

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

In his 24 years as director of the Foreign Study Program, Adj. Assoc. Prof. James "Jeff" Flagg (Romance Languages) recalls "waving a lot of goodbyes" to students who decided to broaden their education by spending a semester or year abroad.

This year, Flagg made a farewell of his own. With the recent consolidation of the Foreign Study Program and the Office of International Programs into one office, Flagg has returned to the faculty on a full-time basis. The transition has prompted wide-spread praise for Flagg's years as director from administrators, who credit him with helping build the strong interest in international study that now exists at Boston College.

"Jeff Flagg has been thoughtful, concerned about the well-being of BC students and completely dedicated to the mission of the University," said Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties William B. Neenan, SJ, "He has accumulated great experience, wisdom and understanding of external foreign study programs, and we are grateful to have his expertise."

"He paved the way toward the new sense of international awareness we have on campus," said College of Arts and Sciences Dean J. Robert Barth, SJ. "Jeff has done an extraordinary job, over many years, in bringing us to an understanding of the need for international study. He has opened new doors for our students and increased significantly the number who study abroad."

Flagg, who joined the faculty in 1964, said he has been heartened by "the growth and support international studies have enjoyed."
Adj. Assoc. Prof. James Flagg (Romance Languages).
(Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

When Flagg took over the FSP reins in 1973, approximately 40 studied abroad by applying directly or indirectly to foreign universities or through independent programs, and then transferred out of BC for a year. As interest in foreign study grew, the Office of International Programs began forging direct relationships between BC and several foreign universities. Most of the 400 BC students now studying abroad utilize the OIP.

Flagg, who teaches French and is assistant chairman of Romance Languages, will serve the new Center for International Studies as a member of its advisory committee. He also will work to boost proficiency in foreign languages as part of a campaign to improve the competitiveness of BC students and faculty for Fulbright awards and other prestigious international fellowships.

Even as technology makes the world smaller, Flagg believes there is no substitute for travel.

"You're never going to know the people or speak the language as well - or have any of the fun," he said. "These students are going to have to function in a global economy, and to do that they have to see what it looks like for themselves."

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