Skip to main content

Breadcrumb navigation:

A Point of Pride

Legacy Donors Make Financial Aid a Priority

students with calculators working together

Higher education can be a numbers game—rankings, test scores, championships—all areas where Eagles excel. But there’s another number that inspires a special pride in the Boston College family: 1 of 19.

That’s because BC is one of only 19 national private universities that remains need-blind—accepting students based on their potential to succeed rather than their ability to pay—and meets the full demonstrated need of U.S. undergraduates.

This commitment to educational access is an integral part of BC’s Light the World campaign, which seeks to raise $1.5 billion for life-changing financial aid, academic excellence, and other vital priorities. It is also a driving force for the alumni, parents, and friends who make legacy gifts to BC, many of whom support student aid.

“My husband was able to work and put himself through school, but today’s students cannot do that,” explains Billie Shea Raher, who with her late husband, Richard ’51, established the Raher-Shea Endowed Scholarship Fund in memory of their parents and has since created a second fund to benefit student-athletes.

“We wanted to help students who would really value a Jesuit education and who would put their education to good use,” she adds.

James Littleton ’69 also cites the rising cost of higher education as the reason he includes BC in his will. As a reunion legacy chair, he encouraged fellow Eagles to consider bequests and other gifts as a simple and effective way to support BC students.

“Even middle-class families fear their children can no longer afford to attend college or, if they do, they graduate with crushing student loans,” says Littleton.

“BC not only provided me with a great education, it helped me to grow both socially and spiritually. I am happy to give back so that other students can have that same experience.”

Financial aid has long been a top priority for legacy donors, and their gifts help hundreds of students attend BC each year.

Sophomore Alyssa Marques ’17 says she would not be at the Heights were it not for Nicholas Sottile ’41 and his sister, Mary, whose bequest established the Sottile Family Scholarship.

“Their kindness set me on a path to an excellent education and to achieving my most important life goals,” says Marques, an aspiring journalist from Cranston, R.I. “I will always remember their support and their generosity.”

Light the World Campaign