BC lacrosse players join Baldwin and Alison Crowther (third from right) to promote the virtual Red Bandanna 5k in September. Photo by Peter Julian.

2020 will always be remembered for the challenges it brought, but just as worthy of recall are the moments of generosity, kindness, and creativity it helped to nurture. Below, a look back at 14 stories that made us smile this year (from behind our masks, of course):

1. BC graduate student makes a life-changing donation

Seven years after donating the bone marrow that saved her life, Lynch School doctoral candidate Eric Williamson visits Thaiza, now 10 years old and thriving, in her hometown of Sao Paulo. “Meeting Thiaza changed my life,” says Williamson. "I felt such overwhelming joy from an entire extended family I didn’t realize I had."

2. BC biologists answer the call

After learning about a shortage of protective equipment for healthcare workers in March, Professor of Biology Daniel Kirschner puts out a call for supplies. His colleagues step up to the plate, donating eight cartons of gear—including disposable lab coats, surgical masks, and eye protection—which Kirschner delivers to a local hospital. 

3. Nova Wang '21 plays 'For Boston'

Stuck at home in April, violinist Nova Wang '21 films himself playing all eight parts of his original arrangement of the BC fight song, "For Boston." The resulting video goes viral, bringing joy and school spirit to Eagles around the globe. 

4. 'Alice and Wonderland' production moves online

Forced to cancel their live performances of 'Alice in Wonderland' for local schoolchildren, BC theatre students switch gears, creating home videos of themselves telling their favorite fairy tales. The videos, which feature creative props and costumes, are shared with teachers at nine local schools, to use in their online classes. 

5. The Mods turn 50

In its spring issue, Boston College Magazine celebrates half a century of "everyone's favorite temporary housing" with a feature on the Mods, including photos and #modmemories submitted by alumni.

6. Bruce Springsteen addresses Class of 2024

Incoming Boston College students are treated to a virtual evening with 'The Boss,' as Bruce Springsteen headlines the First Year Academic Convocation. A live stream of the event, made available to the BC community, is viewed more than 68,000 times after its airing in September.

7. Jerry York is named to U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

BC's beloved men's hockey coach joins the U.S. Hall of Fame's Class of 2020, becoming the 10th Eagle and third head coach to be so honored. York is currently college hockey's all-time winningest coach, with 1,091 career victories. 

8. Innocence Program secures another release

Thomas Rosa, Jr., a client of the Boston College Innocence Program, is released from prison in October after serving 34 years for a crime he did not commit. Rosa represents the third successful case taken on this year by the Innocence Program: Frances Choy and Ronnie Qualls were released in September after serving 17 and 27 years, respectively. 

9. AeroK & Marching Band colab goes viral

In October, the Screaming Eagles Marching Band experiments with its first socially distant collaboration, teaming up with the AEROdynamiK Dance Crew to produce a high-energy music video featuring "ON" by the K-pop group BTS. Filmed in the historic Waterworks Museum, the two-minute video is an immediate hit, garnering 90,000 views across BC’s social media platforms.

10. Red Bandanna 5k turns virtual

A beloved tradition gets a virtual makeover, and reaches more people in the process. More than 1,800 runners lace up their sneakers to honor 9/11 hero Welles Remy Crowther '99, completing the 5k race wherever they please—from backyard trails to basement treadmills—and sharing photos and videos on social media. 

12. BC helps neighbors in need

Recognizing the strain of the pandemic on local residents, BC's Office of Governmental and Community Affairs sets up regular deliveries of food, diapers, and baby formula to aid organizations in the Allston-Brighton area. “We’re part of the community," says Vice President Thomas Keady. "We should be doing this; it’s who we are.”

12. Local alumna feeds thousands

Torry Katsiroubas Stamm ’03 uses her wholesale company Katsiroubas Bros., which normally distributes produce to restaurants, to create boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables for individuals and food pantries in Eastern Massachusetts. “Everyone eats and we have food here,” she says. “How do we get it to people who need it the most?"

13. BC Dining serves up 'Friendsgiving' feast

Students who opt to remain on campus for the holiday are treated to a turkey dinner with all the fixings—from sausage stuffing to pumpkin pie—in a festively decorated Carney Dining Room. Later, Trustee Susan Martinelli Shea announces she will cover the cost of the meal for all students. 

14. Student athletes tour newly finished Frates Center

Softball and baseball players get their first peek at the hitting tunnels, indoor turf field, and new locker rooms that make up the 31,000-square-foot space, named in honor of ALS hero Pete Frates '07.

Alix Hackett | University Communications | December 2020