A new series of online “fireside chats” hosted by Boston College administrators, faculty, and students will focus on a wide range of critical contemporary topics and issues, discussed through the lens of the common good.
Beginning May 19, "The Show @6: BC and the Common Good" will be broadcast at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesdays and Fridays via a Zoom platform capable of hosting 1,000 viewers. Nine shows are already booked.
Appearing on the debut episode will be TV and film star Chris O'Donnell '92, H'17, who will speak on “Forming Men and Women for Others.” Canisius Professor of Theology James F. Keenan, S.J., the University’s vice provost for global engagement, and junior Tiffany Brooks will serve as hosts.
To register for the first four segments, go to bc.edu/showat6.
Revolving around the theme of the common good, topics on “The Show” will include how the world is dealing with the effects of COVID-19; alumni and undergraduate experiences; resiliency; and what can be done to help various marginalized populations.
The idea for “The Show” grew out of an April 21 seminar hosted by the Jesuit Institute—of which Fr. Keenan is director—titled “Catholicism and the University.” According to Fr. Keenan, the seminar touched on the idea of accompaniment, a quintessential aspect of the Jesuits' ministry and worldview, characterized by "living and walking beside those whom we serve."
Amy Yancey, the University’s vice president for development, posed the question, "How could we accompany BC students from the end of the spring semester until the beginning of fall semester in the face of coronavirus and the present lockdown? Is there a way to address the vulnerability experienced throughout the University community that a crisis of this magnitude causes?”
The concept that emerged was a virtual "talk show" that would be available via Zoom, and Fr. Keenan and four other members of the seminar volunteered to develop it: Vice Provost for Research and Academic Planning Tom Chiles, Vice Provost for Faculties Billy Soo, Intersections Program Director Burt Howell, and Associate Dean for the Core Curriculum Brian Gareau.
"In addition to faculty, we hope to have special guests who would be an additional draw, with the goal of getting as many BC community members and friends engaged as possible, and to keep our viewers coming back,” said Fr. Keenan.
Four years ago, Fr. Keenan had written about the importance of accompaniment in Jesuit Magazine. "We make it our mission to accompany them on their journey, to literally meet them where they are, offering compassion, respect and companionship that transcend physical or spiritual needs," he wrote in the introduction to the issue titled "A Spirituality of Accompaniment." "We form communities and relationships at the heart of our mission."
At the time he crafted those words, Fr. Keenan said, he could not have envisioned the global pandemic that has ensued, the diaspora of current BC students to their homes throughout the world, or that a video teleconferencing tool could make accompaniment possible.
"This is what accompaniment is all about—meeting our brothers and sisters wherever they are, and giving them hope and support," he said.
Phil Gloudemans | University Communications | May 2020