SOCIETY OF JESUS was officially recognized as a religious order
in the Catholic Church by Pope Paul III in 1540. Unlike other religious
organizations, the Jesuits did not begin with a specific purpose,
such as teaching or nursing. Rather, St. Ignatius, the Society’s
founder, intended that his followers would identify and address
the needs of the Church and contemporary society, always striving
for the greater glory of God.
When Ignatius and his early companions gradually
recognized that the greater good would be served by educating young
men to become leaders and a leaven for good in the world, Ignatius
in the late 1540s began assigning Jesuits to the educational apostolate.
The founding of Boston College in 1863 reflects that commitment
to schools and to identifying and meeting the needs of the times.
For one hundred and forty years, Boston College has sought to be
an institution that links intellectual excellence and religious
commitment, graduating students who bring talent, integrity, and
generosity wherever they work and live. Today, Boston College is
a strong, nationally known institution of higher education, a thriving
partnership of Jesuits and lay people.
The Ever to Excel Campaign celebrated in this Annual
Report has already had a major impact on Boston College. The Campaign
has provided funds for scholarships, research and teaching, facilities,
and the religious and personal formation of our students. With these
resources, Boston College is a stronger university and more able
to achieve “the greater good” so desired by St. Ignatius.
Often during the Ever to Excel Campaign, its leaders
spoke of Boston College’s history as a set of responses to
kairos moments: places in time when
opportunity and strength meet in a unique way and call out for a
response. To each person who contributed to this kairos
moment, to each of you who helped strengthen Boston College’s
ability to meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century,
I extend my sincere gratitude.
WILLIAM P. LEAHY, S.J.
PRESIDENT, BOSTON COLLEGE
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