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Parting Thoughts

Retiring faculty and staff bid farewell to Boston College, and share some of their fondest memories at The Heights


By Office of News & Public Affairs |Photos by Lee Pellegrini

Published: May 23, 2013

Rev. Robert Imbelli

Associate Professor of Theology

Years at BC:
27 years

Activities/Service: director, Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry; member, Church in the 21st Century Center Steering Committee; editor, Handing on the Faith: the Church's Mission and Challenge and C21 Resources spring 2013 issue, "Exploring the Catholic Intellectual Tradition."

What’s Changed at BC: “Boston College has grown both physically and intellectually in my years here. The beauty of the new Stokes Hall is emblematic of the physical beauty of the campus. But, even more important, BC has grown to be an international university of the first rank. I'm proud to have had a very small part in that growth.”

What He’ll Miss: “I shall certainly miss the intellectual energy of the students, both undergraduate and graduate, who challenge teachers to excellence. They inspired me to strive each year for a more adequate and meaningful presentation of the subject matter, to find more effective ways of communicating what is at stake in the issue under discussion.”


Paul Spagnoli

Associate Professor of History

Years at BC: 40 full-time, three part-time

Activities/Service: chairman, director of undergraduate studies, History Department; University Task Force on the Core Curriculum; faculty athletics representative and chair of the Athletics Advisory Board.

What’s Changed at BC: “One would be the growth of BC's national reputation and the associated development of the quality of the student population.  We always had some excellent students, but now there are many more of them. The student body has greater academic depth.  The other would be the obvious, and extraordinary, development of the campus itself.  When I started at BC, the site of O'Neill Library and its plaza was the main faculty parking lot.  I have really enjoyed the atmosphere in Stokes Hall this semester, and I envy my colleagues who will get to enjoy it for years to come.”

What He’ll Miss: “The interaction with students – the chance to share with them things that I am pondering or that I think I have figured out, and just the opportunity to talk with all these bright young people.”


Sidney Holloway

Associate Director, Office for Institutional Diversity

Years at BC: 17 (also served as financial aid assistant from 1971-76 and graduate assistant in Lynch School of Education from 1982-84)

Activities/Service: coordinator, University Affiliates Program; Nicaragua immersion trip; Private Industry Council; diversity initiatives in Dining Services, Lynch School of Education and Student Affairs.

What’s Changed at BC: “If you go back to the 1970s, it’s impressive how Boston College went from being a largely regional school to a widely recognized, prestigious international institution, and in a relatively short time. And during that period, the demographics among the students have changed in this multicultural community we have.”

What He’ll Miss: “Throughout the growth and changes at BC, one thing we’ve maintained is the ‘family’ nature of the University. For me, BC is at its best when there is a personal crisis — the loss of a loved one, a medical crisis. The support you receive from the University community enables you to focus on what is truly important.”


Margaret (Peggy) Harrington

Assistant to the Vice President and University Secretary

Years at BC: 29

What She Learned: “Over 29 years, I have had four assignments: with Dr. James P. McIntyre for two years; Paul LeComte, former vice president for University Relations, for six years; Mary Lou DeLong, former vice president and University secretary, for 20 years; and Terrence Devino, SJ for the past five months. Working with Mary Lou provided me with a unique perspective from which to view the complex workings of the University, interacting with the staff of virtually every division and department, as well as contact with trustees, alumni, parents, and volunteers.

“My time at BC has involved two capital fundraising campaigns, The Council for Women of Boston College, Commencement and most recently the Sesquicentennial Celebration.  My first Commencement was in 2006.  I was truly amazed at the countless logistics that help to maintain both the dignity of the event and the hospitality extended by BC to the thousands of guests. Most recently, the Sesquicentennial Mass was another masterpiece that was a testament to both BC’s Jesuit Catholic identity and its strong bond with the people of Boston.”

What’s Changed at BC: “The biggest changes I’ve witnessed have been the rapid evolution of technology, BC’s transformation to a national and international University, and the role of women. My work with the members of the Council for Women of Boston College, and with Mary Lou allowed me to witness this first hand.”

What She’ll Miss: “I will certainly miss the routine of my trip from West Roxbury to Chestnut Hill and the daily contact with the gifted and committed people who make BC such a special place and endow it with a familial spirit that makes Boston College a remarkably supportive workplace. I truly have enjoyed my time here and hope I have made a contribution to the life of the University.”