Our mission is to promote University-Community engagement to support coalition building of Community Based Organizations to improve the education and socio-emotional development of children and families. We advocate for wrap around Out of School Time (OST) approaches to improve opportunities and outcomes for all children. An objective is to encourage a place-based coalition of organizations to increase collective impact of services delivered to children and families in underserved communities. We embrace shared leadership, shared vision, shared efforts, and shared outcomes.


The Honorable David S. Nelson Professional Chair was created in 1995 in the honor of Judge David S. Nelson for an African-American professor who “reflects the educational aspirations and human qualities” of Judge Nelson, who graduated from Boston College in 1957, from Boston College Law School in 1960, and served on the Board of Trustees for five terms.

Photo of David S. Nelson


David S. Nelson was born in 1933 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, to parents who were Jamaican natives. He received his B.S. from Boston College in 1957 and graduated from Boston College School of Law in 1960. Judge Nelson began his professional career with the Boston law firm of Crane, Inker and Oteri, where he worked until 1973. From 1968 to 1969, Judge Nelson served as a United States Commissioner for the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts. In 1971, Judge Nelson became the first African-American to serve as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Massachusetts, as Chief of the Consumer Protection Division.

In 1973, he was appointed Justice of the Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Judge Nelson received the “Judge of the Year Award” from the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys in 1977. On March 23, 1979, President Jimmy Carter appointed Judge Nelson as a judge to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, making him the first African- American to serve in this role. Judge Nelson was active in the community and at Boston College, where he served on the Board of Trustees for five terms and was its chairman from 1984–1987. In 1979, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from BC and served as the commencement speaker. In 1995, the University established the Honorable David S. Nelson Professional Chair, to be held by an African-American professor who reflects the “educational aspirations and human qualities,” which were prominent in Judge Nelson’s career and his civic involvement. Judge Nelson retired from the federal bench in 1995 and died on October 21, 1998.

Tribute to the Honorable David S. Nelson

Reverend J. Donald Monan, S.J., 24th president of Boston College, speaks on the legacy of Judge David S. Nelson at the celebration of the Honorable David S. Nelson Chair and welcome to Dr. Anderson J. Franklin on February 22nd, 2007.