The Veterans Alumni Network (BCVAN) sponsors several events throughout the year that bring together veterans from throughout the BC community. Their signature event is held on Veterans Day each year and includes a Mass and a Remembrance Ceremony. Other events include a gathering at Reunion each year as well as opportunities for veterans to join together socially.
Cape Cod Wreaths Across America
WHEN: December 18, 2021 | 10:00 AM EST
WHERE: Massachusetts National Cemetery
Buzzards Bay, Mass.
Each December, BC alumni, parents, and friends gather at the Massachusetts National Cemetery to pay respect to BC veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice. In conjunction with the Wreaths Across America program and in partnership with the BC Veterans Alumni Network (BCVAN), we visit several graves, share the alum's story, say their name, and remember them by saying a prayer and laying a wreath on their grave.
Afterward, please join us for a reception at the Brookside Country Club located at 11 Brigadoone Road in Buzzards Bay—just five miles from the Massachusetts National Cemetery—to warm up with some clam chowder, appetizers, and BC camaraderie.
We will gather at Section 54 at the Massachusetts National Cemetery at 10 a.m. Look for the BC flag and colors upon arrival. This is a family-friendly event, and all are welcome.
21st Annual Veterans Mass and Remembrance Ceremony
On Thursday, November 11, nearly 200 people gathered on campus for the 21st Annual Veterans Day Mass and Remembrance Ceremony, when retired Rear Admiral Raymond E. Berube ’78 gave a powerful keynote address. We honored the Redgate family as 1LT Thomas Redgate’s name was recently added to the other 210 names on the Memorial Wall after his remains were recently returned from North Korea.
A Salute to BC Veterans
WHEN: June 24, 2021
Join the Boston College Veterans Alumni Network (BCVAN) for an online event that celebrated BC veterans. The event provided updates about BC's many veterans' programs and initiatives, a toast to reunion-year alumni, and time to network in small groups online. Phil Jennings '86 will be the featured speaker. Phil highlights three unique considerations associated with peace enforcement operations in Kosovo after a NATO-led war effort halted systematic ethnic cleansing. During his deployment, Phil served as the senior pilot for the commanding general of the U.S. Forces in Kosovo, and he had a front-row seat for the diplomatic efforts by the U.S. and NATO to ensure peace and stability in the region.
Virtual Event: The Battle of Bunker Hill: A Cautionary Tale
WHEN: March 18, 2021
The Boston College Veterans Alumni Network (BCVAN) hosted its first online history lesson. Brian Cummins '82 explained how the Battle of Bunker Hill—or was it that "other" hill?—was a battle fought in error and contradiction, where the defeated won the laurels of liberty while the victorious incomprehensibly lost a colonial empire. The story of the Battle of Bunker Hill serves as a cautionary tale of great power overreach, replete with heroics, valor, incompetence, deceit, and hubris.
Convergent Leadership: The Military and Athletics
February 4, 2021
Listen in to an interactive discussion between members of the Boston College Veterans Alumni Network (BCVAN) and Boston College Athletics community. The panelists discussed what they have learned and how they utilize the skills obtained in the military and/or athletics to enhance their careers and impact their lives. Panelists include Michael Gambino ’99, BC Baseball Head Coach, David Dauphinais ’05, former Navy Seal, and Erin Flaherty Shea '10, CGSON'12, '20, Air Force Veteran.
Virtual Wreaths Across America 2020
Our annual participation in the Wreaths Across America event went virtual this year. While we honored four alumni veterans from across our nation in this online event, we honor all alumni veterans who served our country in appreciation of their service.
Since 2009 BC alumni have been gathering at Arlington National Cemetery in December to help place wreaths on every grave as part of the Wreaths Across America program. Brian Cummins ’82 started this tradition as he began identifying BC alumni buried at Arlington. Each year a group of alumni visit a number of BC graves to learn about the soldier, place a wreath, show the BC colors, and say a prayer. In 2017 a similar program was launched at Bourne National Cemetery in Massachusetts and in 2018, alumni in Florida started their own “Wreaths” tradition. In 2019 the San Diego Chapter joined in the effort by hosting their first event at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
20th Annual Veterans Mass and Remembrance Ceremony (Online)
November 11, 2020
The Boston College Veterans Alumni Network (BCVAN) invites you to join us online on Veterans Day for the 20th Annual Veterans Mass and Remembrance Ceremony. This annual tradition was held virtually this year and featured both a Mass and a ceremony to honor all veterans, especially those BC alumni who gave their lives in combat.
Boston College 20th Annual Veterans Mass
A Salute to BC Veterans
June 24, 2020
Nearly 100 people joined us online for our first virtual Salute to Veterans that featured updates about veteran’s programs for alumni and students as well as BC’s ROTC program. A highlight was a salute to Reunion-year veterans.
Wreaths Across America 2019
Since 2009 BC alumni have been gathering at Arlington National Cemetery in December to help place wreaths on every grave as part of the Wreaths Across America program. Brian Cummins ’82 started this tradition as he began identifying BC alumni buried at Arlington. Each year a group of alumni visit a number of BC graves to learn about the soldier, place a wreath, show the BC colors, and say a prayer. In 2017 a similar program was launched at Bourne National Cemetery in Massachusetts, making this the third year that we visited BC alumni graves at Bourne. In 2018, alumni in Florida started their own “Wreaths” tradition and this year the San Diego Chapter joined in the effort by hosting their first event at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. Despite rain all along the east coast, BC alumni attended and participated as we paid our respects to our veterans. In 2019 over 250 alumni registered to attend these our events to honor our veterans. #BCSTRONG
A bagpiper played Amazing Grace near the BC Alumni group at Arlington National Cemetery, a special moment for all who were there. (Left: Brian Cummins ’82)
Despite torrential rain 65 BC alumni gathered at Bourne National Cemetery. Four alumni graves were honored and wreaths were placed wreaths on a total of 40 graves of BC alumni.
BC alumni gathered at Sarasota National Cemetery and honored James W. Fitzgerald, Jr. ’49.
19th Annual Veterans Day Mass and Remembrance Ceremony – 2019
Over 200 alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends gathered on the Heights on November 11 for the 19th annual Veterans Day events. Fr. John Monahan, SJ presided at the Mass and Joseph P. Connolly ‘85 gave the keynote address at the ceremony. Boston College’s ROTC program hosted the program.
The heart of the ceremony each year is the reading of the names of all BC alumni who were killed in action. “It is said that ‘A person dies twice: once when they take their final breath, and later, the last time their name is spoken.’ Today, we will speak the names of our fallen brothers and keep them alive in our hearts.” Mary-Anne Benedict ’67 stood to remember those who fell during the Korean War.
Joseph P. Connolly ’85 gave the keynote address. Joe is the brother of David S. Connolly WCAS’94 who was killed in action in Afghanistan and whose name is the last name etched on the Veterans Memorial Wall. Joe shared memories of David and challenged every person to support all of our veterans who sacrifice so much for our country and our freedom.
Colonel (ret.) Daniel M. Arkins, Jr. ’81, BCVAN Co-Chair, awards a BC Veteran pin to William Kelley CGSOM’18 during the ceremony. BC Veteran pins were given to all veterans in attendance.
Deb Litke, widow of David S. Connolly WCAS’94, was presented with the Massachusetts Medal of Liberty which honors the ultimate sacrifice David made. He was killed in Afghanistan in 2005. Litke is surrounded by other members of the Connolly family.
Col. (ret.) George J. Harrington ’80 and Col. (ret.) Daniel M. Arkins ‘81 flank Joseph P. Connolly ’85 who gave the keynote address. They are standing in front of the Veterans Memorial Wall on main campus.
Members of the David S. Connolly WCAS’94 family were present to support Joe Connolly as he gave the keynote address and to represent the entire Connolly extended family.
BC Veterans Kickoff Event
Thursday, October 3, 2019
Join us for the third annual Veterans Kickoff event. Organized by the Student Veterans Association, this event is open to all veterans in the BC alumni, student, faculty/staff affinity, and ROTC groups. Guests are welcome. Come learn about the student veterans group as well as the BC Veterans Alumni Network (BCVAN). This is a great way to build new relationships and foster existing friendships within the BC veteran community.
18th Annual Veterans Day Mass and Remembrance Ceremony – 2018
Nearly 150 alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends joined together in St. Mary’s chapel on November 9 for the 18th annual Veterans Day events. Fr. Robert Keane, SJ presided at the Mass and Michael Dunford ’82 gave the keynote address at the ceremony. Boston College’s ROTC program hosted the program.
This was the first year that Mass was celebrated at St. Mary’s chapel and it provided a warm welcome to attendees. It’s location near the Veterans Memorial Wall was convenient for all.
Campus Ministry is a supportive partner for this Mass every year. Here, the ROTC Color guard posts the colors.
Philip Brennan ‘66 received a BC Veteran pin after he stood for those alumni killed during the Viet Nam War. Four other alumni, students and staff stood for BC alumni who lost their lives in battle during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Global War on Terror.
Michael P. Dunford ’82 gave the keynote address. Dunford, center, is flanked by George Harrington ’80 and Daniel Arkins ’81, co-chairs of BCVAN. Dunford is a retired Marine Corps Reserve Officer, a combat veteran of the Multinational Peacekeeping Force in Beirut, Lebanon, and a veteran of both Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He served for 21 years, 7 in active duty, 14 in the reserves, and retired as a Lt. Colonel.
2nd Annual Veterans Kick-Off Event - Oct. 3, 2018
Over 70 BC veterans and their guests - alumni, students, faculty and staff - joined together at Cadigan Alumni Center to network and kick off the new academic year. Guest speakers included David Cote CGSOM'19, President of the Student Veterans Association, Dan Arkins MCAS'81, BCVAN Co-Chair, and Michael Lochhead CSOM'93, CGSOM'99, P'21, Executive Vice President.
Top left: Student Veterans Group leaders Cody Queen CGSOM'19, Alex Richer CGSOM'19, Aidan Walsh WCAS'20, David Cote CGSOM'19, Michael Leone CGSOM'21
Top right: CSON Professor Ann Burgess and David Cote
Bottom: Veterans gather and network at the second annual Veterans Kick-Off event
8th Annual BC Veterans Reunion Event - June 2, 2018
On Saturday, June 2 the BC Veterans Alumni Network held its 8th annual Veterans Reception during Reunion Weekend. Michael Lochhead, BC's Executive Vice President and US Army veteran, gave the keynote address to 150 alumni and friends.
Executive Vice President Michael Lochhead '93 delivered the keynote remarks at the Reunion event
BCVAN Co-Chairs George Harrington '80 (Left) and Daniel Arkins '81 (Right) flank EVP Michael Lochhead '93.
EVP Michael Lochhead enjoys the commentary with three of his four daughters, along with Mary-Anne and Charles Benedict '67, and Fr. Robert Keane, S.J. '71, STM'78
Veterans pose with a military jeep on the side lawn of Bapst.
After the ceremony all of the BC Veterans in attendance gathered for a group photo in front of the Veterans Memorial Wall.
Veterans from the Class of 1968 - our newest Golden Eagles.
Navy veterans joined together with Robert Keane, S.J., '71, STM '78, retired Commander, Chaplain Corps, US Navy and Rector of the Jesuit community at Boston College.
Fr. Keane offered the prayer of Invocation at the ceremony.
Stephen Riordan '68 brought his cane with the dual emblems of an eagle and a fish.
Veterans Kick Off Event - September 28, 2017
With the formation of the Student Veterans Group in the Spring of 2017, BCVAN joined forces to co-host the first Student-Alumni Veteran’s Kick Off event. Over 70 people attended, including alumni, students, faculty and staff, to network and kick off the new academic year. Guest speakers included Bill Kelley CGSOM’18 and Lisa Smith SSW’18, two of the founding members of the Student Veterans Group, along with BCVAN Co-Chairs Dan Arkins ’81 and George Harrington ’80.
The inaugural leadership team of the Student Veterans Group: Matt Goggin CGSOM’18, Max Palumbo CGSOM’18 , Lisa Smith SSW’18, Hayley McElroy CGSOM’18, and Bill Kelley CGSOM’18.
Over 70 alumni, students, faculty and staff gathered at Cadigan Alumni Center for this inaugural Kick-Off event.
7th Annual BC Veterans Reunion Event - June 3, 2017
On Saturday, June 3 the BC Veterans Alumni Network held its 7th annual Veterans Reception during Reunion Weekend. Lieutenant Colonel Brian J. Cummins '82, USA (ret.) gave the keynote address to 150 alumni and friends.
Paul Delaney '66, past chair, BCVAN, and past co-chair, BC Veterans Memorial Committee, welcomed everyone to the 7th Annual Veterans Reunion event.
Col. Daniel Arkins '81 (ret.) presented Brian Cummins '82 with a commemorative gift after his speech.
Brian Cummins '82
Charles Benedict '67 with a Vietnam-era jeep.
All Golden Eagle veterans in attendance gathered near the Veterans Memorial Wall to receive their BC veteran pins.
16th Annual Veterans Day Ceremony 2016
This year all veterans in attendance were presented with a BC Veteran pin which features the American flag and the BC flag. Professor Ann Burgess from the Connell School of Nursing was the guest speaker. (Photos by Frank Curran)
Wreaths Across America, 2015
Veteran's Reception, Reunion Weekend 2015
Click the button below to read Jim Huse's speech from the Veterans Reunion Reception on May 30, 2015.
Col. George Harrington '80, LTC Blaise Gallahue, and Col. Daniel Arkins '81.
Wreaths Across America 2014
For the past several years, Brian Cummins '82, a member of the BC Veterans Alumni Network Advisory Committee has organized a group of BC alumni who have placed wreaths on the graves of BC alumni who are buried at Arlington.
BC alumni were joined by alumni from Holy Cross, Fordham and Xavier Universities.
14th Annual Veterans Remembrance Mass and Ceremony- Veterans Day 2014
Keynote speaker Larry Rawson ’63, Captain USMCR delivered his speech during the ceremony at the Veterans Memorial on Burns Lawn.
4th Annual Veterans' Reception- Reunion Weekend 2014
Keynote speaker Lieutenant Colonel Guillaume “Will” Beaurpere ’94, military assistant to the secretary of the army (Pentagon) honored the commitment and bravery of BC's men and women in service during this special spiritual celebration at Reunion Weekend 2014. To see a transcript of his speech, click the button below.
Wreaths Across America 2013
A group of Washington, DC-area Boston College graduates joined with their College of the Holy Cross counterparts to honor alumni veterans buried in Arlington National Cemetery, as part of the annual Wreaths Across America event. To see the BC Chronicle's article, click here.
13th Annual Veterans Remembrance Mass and Ceremony
On Veterans Day 2013, Capt. Robert L. Keane, S.J. '71, USN (Ret.) delivered a speech to BC Alumni following Mass at St. Ignatius Church and Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Wall on Burns Lawn. To read a transcript of the speech click the button below.
3rd Annual Veterans' Reception- Reunion Weekend 2013
Capt. Paul P. Daley, USNR (Ret.) delivered his speech to BC alumni at Reunion 2013.To see a transcript of Capt. Daley's speech click the button below.
Wreaths Across America 2012
In December 2012 Charles and Mary-Anne Benedict '67 placed a wreath on the grave site of John Coll '66 at Arlington National Cemetery, as part of the Wreaths Across American program.
12th Annual Veterans Day Remembrance Mass and Ceremony
On Veterans Day 2012, Alumni gathered for the 12th Annual Veterans Day Remembrance Mass and Ceremony. Lieutenant Colonel George J. Harrington '80, MA ARNG Commander, 79th Troop Command (Homeland Security) was the keynote speaker. Click the link below to read a transcript of the speech.