For so many people of my generation, one of the great joys of the holidays is having your grown-up children back home. But whether you’re young, old, or in between, this season is very much about happy returns and reunions. And this edition of the Carroll Connection offers several glimpses into the wonderful benefits of coming back—to an alma mater, and to a dynamic tradition of learning.
In this issue, you’ll read about Chris O’Donnell, Carroll School ’92, the actor best known for his starring roles in NCIS: Los Angeles and Grey’s Anatomy as well as in two Batman movies. He came back this fall to deliver a talk about his personal journey during what is known on campus as “Espresso Your Faith Week.”
In addition, the slideshow here features scenes of the holidays on the Heights including Winter Wonderland, a collection of festivities for alumni, family, and friends. There’s yet another item about a raft of Carroll School and Morrissey College alumni in the real estate business. They offered pointed advice to undergraduate students at a forum titled “Launching Your Real Estate Career,” sponsored by the Carroll School’s Joseph E. Corcoran Center for Real Estate and Urban Action.
What caught my eye especially was a visit by Ferit Şahenk ’89, who sits atop one of the three largest conglomerates in Turkey. He returned in October for a day as the inaugural Global Entrepreneur in Residence at our Edmund H. Shea Jr. Center for Entrepreneurship. Şahenk told of how he recently pulled out his old undergraduate texts at the Carroll School and started rereading them. The return to fundamental business principles had an immediate impact on his diverse and enormous business.
His story points up another sense in which so many of our alumni are coming back to Boston College—not only physically but intellectually as well. It begins when they’re students. More and more, our seniors realize that when they walk off the commencement stage, the rigorous learning isn’t over. It has just begun.
Our economy, our society, and our organizations today need people with ideas—people who can think deeply, broadly, and creatively as well as within a sphere of specialized knowledge. In fact, one of the feature stories in this edition is about a new course offered through the University core curriculum and team-taught by our own Spencer Harrison (Management and Organization Department) and Theatre Department Chair Crystal Tiala. The title of the course says it all—“Can Creativity Save the World? A Process for Solving Complex Problems.”
Our students and alumni are realizing that a Boston College education is not just for four years. It’s about cultivating the habits of lifelong learning, a kind of learning that is broad and diverse, in the spirit of Jesuit liberal arts higher education.
Just ask Chris O’Donnell, Ferit Şahenk, the dozen alums at the real estate careers forum, and many others. They’re coming back.