The Illuminating Effects of Financial Aid
BC BENEFACTORS ANSWER CALL TO STRENGTHEN CORE UNIVERSITY VALUE
The Light the World campaign's $300-million commitment to undergraduate financial aid is much more than a fundraising goal—it is an affirmation of one of the University's most deeply held Jesuit, Catholic ideals.
As other universities grapple with budget pressures and market difficulties, they are often forced to turn away deserving applicants because of their financial situations. But Boston College—founded out of a deep sense of social justice to educate a poor, largely immigrant population—maintains its commitment to providing financial aid on the broadest scale possible.
To this day, BC accepts students based on their qualifications alone, with no consideration to their ability to pay tuition—a policy of "need-blind admission." Once a student is accepted, the University will meet his or her full demonstrated financial need. BC is one of only 21 private institutions to do so. The result is an extraordinary student body, chosen for its excellence and richly diverse in its socioeconomic background.
Since the campaign's inception, more than 16,580 alumni, parents, and friends have given to financial aid in some way, including these BC community members who have demonstrated extraordinary support of this vital priority.
Meghan and Michael Caponiti '90, MA'90
Michael Caponiti '90, MA'90, had a great experience as a Boston College student. Today, he's the owner of Archimedes Capital Group and a loyal BC volunteer who co-chaired his 20th Reunion Gift Committee. But his greatest motivation to support financial aid at BC was shaped by someone who didn't attend the University at all.
"Fifty years ago, my father received a full-ride scholarship to Villanova University. Somebody helped him out when he needed it," says Caponiti. "We were always very proud of that scholarship. It broadened him, and it made a big difference for our family."
Compelled to pay that kindness forward, Caponiti and his wife, Meghan, have endowed the Caponiti Family Scholarship Fund to provide financial aid for a deserving BC undergraduate.
The couple believe that Catholic education will play an increasing role in 21st century America and that BC is poised to lead the way. "Catholic schools offer structure and a moral framework that is needed," he says. "BC emphasizes morality, and that comes across in the student experience."
They hope many—or all—of their five children will someday attend the University and bring them to football games each fall. The Caponitis are teaching their children about service through their BC philanthropy—and creating future Superfans in the process.
"I have been at BC for only a short time, but I can already tell that there are many driven and enthusiastic young people here with diverse interests. I feel very fortunate to be able to learn from and associate with them."
—Narintohn Luangrath '14 was one of only 20 freshmen selected for BC's Shaw Leadership Program, a student formation initiative focused on community service and peer education. A political science major from Tigard, Ore., Luangrath loves to teach and hopes to become a college professor one day.
Claudia '85 and Carlos de la Cruz, Jr. '85
Key Biscayne, fla.
Claudia '85 and Carlos de la Cruz, Jr. '85 fell in love at Boston College and, while they remember BC with great fondness, they appreciate the University for more than its role in their own romance. "BC has that Jesuit social conscience, that commitment to helping out, which is so important," says Carlos de la Cruz.
Today, both the de la Cruzes have made service to children central to their lives and are particularly concerned with at-risk youths.
Claudia serves on the board of the Centro Mater Foundation, which provides day care, education, nourishment, health services, and after-school programs to Miami-area children in need. Carlos, president and CEO of The de la Cruz Companies, chairs the board of Our Kids, an agency committed to caring for abused, neglected, and abandoned children. "You dream of having these kids going to a place like BC," he muses as he talks about the difficult issues Our Kids and Centro Mater confront daily.
By underwriting a BC Fund Scholarship, the de la Cruz family has made it possible for a deserving student to benefit from a BC education. They are also supporting BC's commitment to educating leaders with a social conscience—leaders not unlike themselves.
"There are so many doors open to me right now, and it is largely due to the philanthropy of the de la Cruz family. They are making dreams come true for me."
—Marlena Papavaritis '11 of Miami, Fla., is in her third year as the de la Cruz BC Fund Scholar. Currently, she is contemplating a host of appealing opportunities after graduation, applying to a variety of law schools and graduate programs in public administration and Eastern European studies.
The chairman and CEO of Boston-based Suffolk Construction Company, John Fish is an expert on a well-laid foundation—and the Fish Cornerstone Scholarship that he and his wife, Cynthia, have endowed with their gift of $1 million will help talented student-athletes build bright futures for years to come.
A strong advocate for Catholic education, John was struck by how many of his colleagues in the Boston business community were BC alumni. In Boston College, he saw his own values made tangible: a University grounded in principles of faith and service, dedicated to the highest academic standards, and committed to providing an education for every deserving student.
Fish has been a BC trustee and supporter for several years, but his newest role at BC is that of parent—his daughter Christina is a first-year law student. "The quality of her education and overall experience is simply the finest it could be," he says. "She is being exposed to truly brilliant faculty members who are leaders in the community, as well as talented students who contribute a great deal to the shared learning experience."
During his own school days, Fish struggled with undiagnosed dyslexia, which led him to pour his intense drive into athletics. "I used sports to bolster my performance and focus," he explains. "I continue to have a strong interest in the value of education and sports. BC has an impressive reputation in both arenas." So it was a natural choice for the Fishes to direct their scholarship to a member of the varsity football team. The Fish Cornerstone Scholarship will further strengthen the University and its Eagles; but, most importantly, it will enable generations of talented young people to lay the foundations for their own success at Boston College.
"Being a student-athlete at BC means being a talented athlete and being able to succeed in academics. I'm grateful for the opportunity to do both."
—Thomas Claiborne '10 studied communication at BC and was the Fish Cornerstone Scholar for two years. The Wellesley, Mass., native played 10 games at offensive tackle in the 2010 season, helping lead the way for a running attack that averaged 133 yards per game.
Judith and Edward Crane, P'09, '11, '12
Before Judith and Edward Crane's oldest son, Michael, began looking at colleges, the Cranes had no connection with BC. But their initial visit to the Heights made a lasting impact.
"We were extraordinarily impressed," recalls Edward Crane, who leads the litigation practice in the Chicago office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP. "We could see that Boston College was a place of academic excellence, but was also committed to Catholicism; truly, a living-faith community. That was evident in so many aspects of the University."
Michael Crane went on to earn a degree in psychology from the College of Arts and Sciences, and his two siblings followed him to Chestnut Hill. Mary Crane will graduate from the Lynch School of Education in May and return for her master's degree, while Eddie Crane is a finance major at the Carroll School of Management.
The University has exceeded the Cranes' high expectations. The couple have found that no matter their area of study, BC students are intellectually curious and service oriented. "The leadership of the Jesuit community, and the talent of the faculty and staff, is incredible," says Edward Crane.
The couple established the Matthew E. Crane Memorial Scholarship to celebrate the experiences of Michael, Mary, and Eddie, while also honoring the memory of their youngest son, who died shortly after birth. "Endowing this scholarship was a way for our family to make a contribution to BC consistent with our values," explains Edward Crane. "We're delighted to empower students to attend BC who otherwise might be unable to do so."
"I'm still discovering all that BC has to offer—and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be here. I can't thank the Cranes enough for my scholarship."
—Kayla Morse '14 of Dousman, Wis., is the 2010–11 Crane Scholar, majoring in political science. She came to BC a violinist, an athlete (track and soccer), and a lover of the sciences, and she is finding new ways to pursue her many passions here.