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Boston College A to Z: The Spirit of the Heights

By Thomas H. O'connor

In this A to Z guide to Boston College, University Historian Thomas H. O’Connor shares a treasure trove of stories, legends, and memories that imbue the spirit of the Heights. O’Connor invites readers to look anew at Boston College, "an exceptional place where amusing things happen, where important events are taken seriously, where the best of the future has been combined with the best of the past, and where memories of Linden Lane, Gasson Tower, the Golden Eagle, and the sound of the bells chiming the hours of the day are among recollections, large and small, that give this University a very special place in our hearts."

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Transforming Light: The Stained Glass Windows of Boston College

Essays by Virginia Raguin, photography by Gary Wayne Gilbert

“A university campus is more than the shell of an institution; it is a record of growth and ideals, shaped by the historical era in which it was constructed, and reflecting ideas about aesthetics, institutional identity, and campus planning,” writes Jeffery Howe, Professor of Fine Arts at Boston College, in his introduction to Transforming Light. On this broad canvass, Virginia Raguin illuminates the story of Boston College’s stained glass windows—exhibited here through the compelling photography of Gary Wayne Gilbert. The story, in turn, leads toward a wider illumination of this major decorative art, and of collegiate-gothic architecture in general. “The windows of Boston College constitute a remarkable ensemble that testifies to the vigor of historic revivals when they are in the hands of capable creative artists,” Raguin, an art historian at College of the Holy Cross, writes in this work, scheduled to release in May 2009.

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Echoes of a University Presidency

By J. Donald Monan, S.J.

As President of Boston College through an extraordinary 24-year tenure, J. Donald Monan, S.J., led the University from the brink of bankruptcy into the company of the nation’s academic leaders, a period of growth and revival hailed by the Boston Globe as “the Monan Renaissance.” A hands-on President both on campus and off, from the beginning he was and remained his own speechwriter. This volume gathers together, in Fr. Monan’s own words, the ideas and ideals, the motivations and sensitive appreciation of colleagues, through which, as Geoffrey Boisi writes in the Foreword, “Boston College found its authentic voice.”

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Ascending the Heights

By Thomas H. O’Connor

In this concise and highly readable work, Thomas O’Connor tells the extraordinary story of Boston College. He takes us back to the beginnings of this institution as a small “streetcar” college in the South End of Boston, founded to educate the children of Irish immigrants, and he traces the transformation of Boston College into a major national university.

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Founding Fathers

Edited by Ben Birnbaum

From the introduction by William P. Leahy, S.J.:
Leadership at its most profound is a form of ministry, a form of service personified by the six “Founding Fathers” profiled in this book—Jesuit presidents who appeared at pivotal moments in the history of Boston College and helped build and rebuild the University.

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The Heights: An Illustrated History of Boston College, 1863-2013

By Ben Birnbaum and Seth Meehan
Photography Gray Wayne Gilbert

Exhaustively researched and exquisitely illustrated, The Heights tells a story of Boston College through well-chosen essays, profiles, and seldom-seen images drawn from archives in Boston, Washington, D.C., Rome, and elsewhere.

Coauthors Ben Birnbaum and Seth Meehan bring to life historic figures such as the University’s founding fathers—starting with “opinionated, obdurate, wily, inexhaustible” John McElroy, S.J.— as well as “individuals who entered the scene innocently, bit players, extras, never imagining they were making memory, much less history,” as Birnbaum writes in his introduction.