Boston College Light the World Campaign Presents Transformative Vision
Boston College’s ascent has been guided by an entrepreneurial quality inherent in its Jesuit mission—a zeal to acquire knowledge, a desire to pursue ambitious and worthy goals, and the courage to move confidently from aspiration to action.
This assured spirit continued with the October 11 public launch of Light the World, a comprehensive $1.5 billion campaign that will propel Boston College toward its 150th anniversary in 2013 and beyond.
Light the World—unprecedented in scope and scale in BC's history—will boldly advance the University in partnership with alumni, parents, friends, and the Boston College community of students, faculty, and staff. The campaign title is derived from St. Ignatius's charge to Francis Xavier to "Go set the world aflame," and reflects the Christian teaching that Christ is "the light of the world."
"Light the World is true to our mission," said University President William P. Leahy, S.J., to alumni gathered on the new Brighton Campus for the campaign launch. “It will help secure a Boston College education for talented poor and middle class students who seek to be members of our community. It will renew and strengthen liberal arts education. It will fund model student formation programs. It will establish research capabilities that address needs of society. It will help establish Boston College as the world’s leading Catholic university and theological center.”
Quite simply, the campaign will make BC one of a handful of American universities positioned to exercise profound influence upon culture and society. It will ensure that Boston College's 150th anniversary celebration not only commemorates the past, but confers a new legacy of uncommon excellence for the future.
Light the World's four campaign initiatives will provide the means to fulfill BC’s bold vision:
$1.5 Billion for Vital Priorities
Light the World is the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the history of Jesuit, Catholic education—in terms of both its financial goal and the impact that support will have on the University’s future.
In many ways, the campaign is an investment in the Boston College student experience, allowing the University to expand its endowment for financial aid; to erect new classroom buildings, residence halls, and other facilities; and to establish new structures that will benefit undergraduates, such as an Institute for Liberal Arts and a Center for Student Formation, among others.
Light the World will also enable the University to hire 100 new faculty members; to expand research initiatives, especially those that seek interdisciplinary solutions to pressing societal needs; and to become the worldwide leader in Catholic higher education. Boston College’s new School of Theology and Ministry, launched in June, is one of many steps toward the fulfillment of this goal.
Expanding Volunteer Service to Boston College
Boston College has always benefited from alumni who have remained committed to the Heights long after graduation. However, to achieve its lofty goals, BC must draw more of its alumni and parents to volunteer roles that have a tangible impact on the University’s advancement.
There are opportunities to provide networking connections for students and recent graduates, to host faculty and Jesuits at events nationwide, to plan reunions and alumni chapter gatherings, and to support the ministry of Boston College.
By playing an important role in these areas, among others, alumni and parents continue the service tradition of Boston College and ensure its success well into the future.
40,000 Alumni Giving Each and Every Year
Boston College graduates understand the strength in numbers. From freshman convocation to commencement day and from football games to reunions, BC alumni wear their maroon and gold on their sleeves. To be successful, Light the World seeks to utilize this power and to inspire record numbers of alumni to give back to the University each year. The campaign’s specific goal is 40,000 annual donors and a participation rate of at least 35 percent.
While this goal may seem ambitious, it remains within reach, especially when alumni consider the positive impact each and every gift has upon BC's mission. In fact, gifts of $100 or less last year totaled $1.8 million. Nicole DeBlois ’99, cochair of the Maroon and GOLD initiative for graduates of the last decade, is one of many young alums who give annually, and she encourages others to do the same. "To compete effectively, to serve society, to support the work of its faculty and students, Boston College must draw on the collective power of all of our gifts—the resources, energy, and confidence we provide cannot be overstated," she says.
Providing for Future Generations
While current investments are critical to the University’s success in the coming decade, it is no less important to guarantee BC’s wider future. Therefore, the last campaign initiative is to secure from 5,000 Boston College alumni, parents, and friends an estate provision for the University. These gifts ensure that Boston College will be prepared for future growth and allow alumni to leave a legacy at BC. Among the many who have already taken up the challenge are Dave ’68 and Janet Griffith, who view their bequest intention as “our message to future generations of BC students; our way of ensuring that what we care about will be passed on.”