2021 was billed as a return to normalcy, but as the COVID-19 pandemic lingered, Eagles found creative ways to engage in dialogue, create art, network, and give back. Below, a look back at 14 stories that capture the resilience, kindness, and generosity of the Boston College community this year:

1. Gregory Boyle '84, S.J. honored for service

The author and founder of Homeboy Industries (the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world) speaks about the power of tenderness after receiving the School of Theology and Ministry’s Alumni Distinguished Service Award at a virtual event in March.  

2. Irish Dance Club wins virtual competition

The talented step dancers take home first place in the Collegiate Irish Dance Association’s Spring Video Competition with their Harry Potter-themed entry, filmed in a darkened Conte Forum.  

3. Women’s Lacrosse takes home first NCAA title

In May, Eagles fans everywhere celebrate BC’s first-ever women’s national championship after senior attacker Charlotte North leads her team to a 16-10 victory over ACC rival Syracuse. North, now a graduate student in the Woods College of Advancing Studies, goes on to receive the 2021 Tewaaraton Award, given to the best men’s and women’s lacrosse player in the country. 

4. Samrath Singh ’22 keeps the faith

The lefty pitcher, who is an observant Sikh, speaks candidly about his faith and sport in an interview and video for Boston College Magazine. Singh, who pitches while wearing a turban, is thought to be the first observant Sikh to ever play in a Division I baseball game. 

5. Class of 2020 finds their footing

Despite an uncertain job market, 93 percent of the Class of 2020 report being employed, enrolled in graduate school, or engaged in a fellowship or volunteer experience according to survey data released by the Career Center in June. 

6. Eagles head to the Olympics

Soccer standout Kristie Mewis ’12 takes home a bronze medal as part of Team USA, while Swimming Volunteer Assistant Coach Alex Sobers competes for Barbados and even acts as a flag bearer during the Opening Ceremonies. Swimming Head Coach Mike Stephens ’12 is tapped as Team Barbados’ assistant coach. 

7. BC welcomes inaugural engineering class

Thirty-one students from 19 states are admitted to BC’s new Human-Centered Engineering Program, which combines liberal arts courses with a rigorous engineering curriculum that emphasizes experiential learning and equips students to address pressing societal problems like climate change. 

8. Dying tree is transformed into art

When an ailing oak tree on the Brighton Campus is deemed unsafe by arborists, BC commissions local artist Ken Packie to carve its trunk into a stunning sculpture of the Holy Family.  

9. BC launches TikTok channel

Just in time for the fall semester, BC joins more than 1 billion users on the short-form video app. In October, a video asking students, “What are you listening to?” is viewed more than 135,000 times. 

10. Video captures ‘that BC feeling’

Dozens of students, faculty, and staff (and Baldwin, of course) come together to film a music video set to Justin Timberlake’s hit song “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” Shot in various locations across campus, the video brings the spirit of the Heights to BC alumni around the world via Facebook and Twitter, collecting nearly 18,000 impressions in five hours. 

11. Nursing student helps save a life

While watching the Boston Marathon with friends, Cameron Howe '18, DNP '23 rushes to the aid of an elite runner suffering from cardiac arrest. His heroic response is reported on by local and national media outlets.

12. Class of 2020 comes together for Commencement

A long-awaited celebration for the Class of 2020 is held in October after original plans are delayed due to COVID-19. More than 1,600 graduates don caps and gowns for a traditional Commencement ceremony, featuring remarks by alumnus and trustee Steve Pemberton '89, M.A. '19, H'15. 

13. BC sends delegation to COP26

Eight faculty and five students are among BC’s first accredited delegation to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland in November, where they observe negotiations and meet delegates from all over the world.

14. Generosity of University supporters continues

The year ends on a high note after trustee associate Peter Lynch '65, H'95 announces he will donate artwork from his private collection worth more than $20 million to the McMullen Museum of Art, including works by Pablo Picasso and Winslow Homer. The donation comes on the heels of a record-setting gift of $75 million from the estate of longtime BC supporters Joyce L. and E. Paul Robsham M.Ed. '83 in September, which will fund a range of core University priorities including student scholarships, academic programming, and facilities improvements.

Alix Hackett | University Communications | December 2021