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Civil Rights Pioneer Ignites Spirit of Activism at Boston College

MARCH 5, 2015

On February 19th, civil rights pioneer Claudette Colvin presented a talk on her life at the Boston College School of Social Work, remembering the day 60 years ago when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Colvin was a trailblazer in the fight for civil rights – her refusal of segregation took place nine months before Rosa Parks’ similar protest. She was only 15 years old at the time.

"Claudette spoke eloquently about how she has proactively addressed adversity throughout her life, and she encouraged our faculty and students to stand up and provide a compassionate voice when confronted with social injustice in our own lives," said BC Social Work Dean Alberto Godenzi. "She also encouraged us to strive to understand what’s happening in the world around us today, and she asked us to remember our distinct pasts as a critical means to gaining truthful perspectives on our shared futures."  More about Civil Rights Pioneer Claudette Colvin »

"Social Work is BC"

FEBRUARY 25, 2015

On November 11th, we returned to our roots, reclaiming the original name bestowed upon the school by its founders in 1936, the Boston College School of Social Work. The name change offered the school an opportunity to celebrate its history, its people, and its mission; the title of the event was "Social Work is BC." It was a title that resonated deeply with featured speaker Father Jack Butler, Boston College's Vice President for the Division of University Mission and Ministry.

"And then I saw your hashtag, 'Social Work is BC,' and I said 'There's the prophets,'" he told a packed audience in McGuinn Hall's auditorium. "They’re calling back to all of us in the administration, all of us in the separate schools, all the students here, and you are saying to us, 'Do you remember what the mission is?'"

The evening was designed to celebrate the many unique and diverse ways that BC Social Work seeks to live out its mission of social justice, and to making transformation happen. More than 20 initiatives and programs participated in a dynamic "flash mob style" presentation that included singing, dancing, inspiring remarks, quotations from people like Martin Luther King, Jr., and loud cheers. The Latino Leadership Initiative unfurled a banner displaying the school’s new name, in a new language — Spanish.  More about "Social Work is BC" »

Events

Commencement 2014

A program from Commencement.
A program from Commencement.

MAY 19, 2014
9:15 a.m. — Academic Procession
10:00 a.m. — University Commencement (main ceremony)
12:00–2:00 p.m. — Graduate School of Social Work Diploma Ceremony

The 138th Commencement of Boston College will be held on Monday, May 19, 2014. The University Commencement, which is attended by all graduates, is held in Alumni Stadium (rain or shine) and will begin with the Academic Procession at 9:15 a.m. and end after approximately two hours. U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, a Boston College Law School graduate and former senior U.S. senator from Massachusetts, will address the Class of 2014 at University Commencement.

The Graduate School of Social Work Diploma Ceremony is held following the University Commencement at approximately 12:00 p.m. on Burns Lawn (rain or shine). The ceremony will feature a welcome from Dean Alberto Godenzi and greetings from Dr. Darla Spence Coffey, President of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the U.S. This year's Student Greeter from the Class of 2014 is Corina S. Laudate. Cheryl Snyder, on behalf of the Alumni Association, will welcome the Class of 2014. The ceremony will begin with an invocation from Sr. Xuan Tho Phan and conclude with a Benediction from Shameka S. Gregory, both members of the Class of 2014. Degree Representatives are Abby Schwartz, PhD, and Victoria Pineiro, MSW.

Dr. Darla Spence Coffey is a nationally recognized author and speaker on issues associated with domestic violence. Dr. Coffey has served as a professor of social work, associate provost, and dean of graduate studies at West Chester University in Pennslyvania. She received her bachelor's degree from Eastern College, her MSW from the University of Pennslyvania, and her PhD from Bryn Mawr College. Dr. Coffey has an extensive background in social work practice in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence. After years of research on the effects of domestic violence on children, Dr. Coffey developed a curriculum for practitioners, Parenting After Violence, and trained social workers within the child welfare system in Philadelphia, PA.

Maps, parking, visitor resources, FAQs, and more about Commencement »

For Graduating Students: Resources and tips to help you with networking, finding a job, and preparing for the transition to your social work career »

Watch the highlights video from the Graduate School of Social Work Commencement ceremony »

Watch the video from the University Commencement ceremony »