BC Chronology

1847Father John McElroy and 4 other Jesuits arrive in Boston to assume duties in St. Mary’s church, North End; begin planning to open school 
1853McElroy purchases land in North End for school; building blocked by anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic political sentiment; site abandoned 4 years later
1857McElroy purchases land in South End for school and church; ground broken 1858
1860College building completed; used as Jesuit seminary with Father John Bapst as rector
1861Immaculate Conception church, adjacent to college building, completed and dedicated
1863Massachusetts legislature passes bill granting charter to Boston College; Governor John Andrew signs charter, April 1; trustees meet for first time, July 8; Bapst chosen president
1864Classes open, September 5; 22 students enrolled on first day; Father Robert Fulton “prefect of studies” (dean)
1865First “exhibition” of student accomplishments at end of school year; no graduates
1868Debating teams organized; senior team named Fulton Debating Society 1890; dramatic scenes from Shakespeare presented as part of annual exhibition
1869Father Robert Brady succeeds Bapst as president; serves only one year
1870Fulton succeeds Brady as president; militia company formed for physical training of students
1875Fulton organizes Young Men’s Catholic Association to help support school
1877First commencement ceremony, June 28; undergraduate degrees awarded to 12 students
1880Father Jeremiah O’Connor succeeds Fulton as president
1883Boston College Athletic Club formed to support baseball team; Stylus appears as first student publication, combining school news and literary essays
1884Father Edward Boursaud succeeds O’Connor as president
1885Maroon and gold adopted as school colors
1886Boston College alumni organize and hold first annual banquet
1887Father Thomas Stack appointed president; dies after only 3 weeks in office; succeeded by Father Nicholas Russo as interim president
1888Fulton returns for second term as president
1889School building in South End expanded
1891Father Edward Devitt succeeds Fulton as president
1893First intercollegiate football game: Boston College loses to Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1894Father Timothy Brosnahan succeeds Devitt as president; beginning of dispute with Harvard over admission of Boston College graduates to Harvard Law School
1895First intercollegiate debate: Boston College loses to Georgetown
1896Beginning of football rivalry with Holy Cross
1898Father Read Mullan succeeds Brosnahan as president; begins planning for enhancement of collegiate program
1903Father William Gannon succeeds Mullan as president
1904Separation of college and high school divisions; Boston College High School holds separate graduation for first time
1907Father Thomas Gasson succeeds Gannon as president; purchases site in Chestnut Hill for new college campus
1909Ground broken for “Recitation Building,” later to be called Gasson Hall
1913Senior class rides trolleys to new campus and takes possession of new building, March 28; cornerstone laid in June; graduation at Chestnut Hill for first time; all college classes held there beginning that fall; first issue of yearbook, Sub Turri
1914Father Charles Lyons succeeds Gasson as president
1915Philomatheia Club formed to organize local women in support of Boston College
1917Construction of St. Mary’s Hall as house for Jesuit faculty
1918Students’ Army Training Corps organized to prepare students for service in World War I; temporary barracks constructed on campus to house them; program continues after war as Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC)
1919Father William Devlin succeeds Lyons as president; first issue of student newspaper, The Heights, November 17; first education classes offered
1920Adoption of eagle as school mascot
1921Fundraising campaign to support construction of new buildings; ground broken for science building, later named Devlin Hall; building completed 1924
1922Ground broken for Bapst Library; Weston College, the Jesuit seminary, opens
1924Summer school classes begin; these are first classes on campus to admit women
1925Father James Dolan succeeds Devlin as president; organization of Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
1928Bapst Library opened; Weston seismological observatory opened
1929Opening of Law School; classes held in Lawyers’ Building in downtown Boston; undergraduate evening “extension” classes begin at original South End site
1932Father Louis Gallagher succeeds Dolan as president; bleachers installed in angle formed by College Road and Beacon Street, called “Alumni Field”
1935Greek requirement for undergraduates dropped
1936Graduate School of Social Work opened at Intown Center on Newbury Street, Boston; school moves to McGuinn Hall on campus 1968
1937Father William McGarry succeeds Gallagher as president
1938College of Business Administration opens at Intown Center; later renamed School of Management; college entrance examinations (SAT) become requirement for all undergraduates
1939Father William Murphy succeeds McGarry as president; Order of the Cross and Crown established as student honor society
1940Football team wins national championship
1941Acquisition of estate adjacent to campus, renamed O’Connell Hall; enrollment shrinks as students leave for military service in World War II
1945Father William Keleher succeeds Murphy as president
1946Student body swells with returning veterans, assisted by G. I. Bill; Newton College of the Sacred Heart established, will consolidate with Boston College, 1974
1947School of Nursing opened; classes are held at Intown Center; will move to Cushing Hall on campus, 1960; annual Candlemas Lecture begun
1948Fulton Hall opened as home for business school
1950Standards for faculty promotion and tenure formalized
1951Father Joseph Maxwell succeeds Keleher as president; Lyons Hall constructed
1952School of Education established; building for school, Campion Hall, completed 1955
1954More Hall opened as home of law school; beginnings of Boston College Citizen Seminars, part of planning for urban renewal in Boston
1955First upper campus dormitories (Claver, Loyola, Xavier) opened for resident students
1957Patricia Goler and Sister Josephena Concannon become first women to receive Ph.D. from Boston College; new Alumni Stadium constructed
1958Father Michael Walsh succeeds Maxwell as president; Humanities Series begins; Arts and Sciences Honors Program begins; Latin requirement for undergraduates dropped
1959Six women students admitted to School of Education but take classes in College of Arts and Sciences: first women in A&S
1961McElroy Commons opens as student center
1962Bob Cousy, former star of the Boston Celtics, hired as basketball coach
1963Centennial celebration; President John Kennedy addresses convocation in April

Carney Hall opened as classroom and faculty office building


Higgins Hall built to expand science facilities; building renovated 1997-1998

1967Four Boston College undergraduates win championship on “G.E. College Bowl,” television quiz show; student government reorganized as Undergraduate Government of Boston College (UGBC)
1968Father Seavey Joyce succeeds Walsh as president; dispute over tenure of Prof. Mary Daly of theology department; establishment of Black Talent Program, precursor to AHANA Student Programs
1970Students go out on strike in April in response to proposed 25% increase in tuition; in September, women admitted for first time as freshmen in A&S and business school; Mods housing opened
1971Phi Beta Kappa chapter established; student RecPlex opens
1972Father Donald Monan succeeds Joyce as president; board of trustees reorganized include lay and Jesuit members
1973New academic calendar adopted, with first semester exams before Christmas; Boston College Women’s Center opens
1974Merger of Boston College and Newton College of the Sacred Heart
1976Applications top 10,000 for the first time; New Heights Advancement Campaign raises record $25 million
1979Vice President Walter Mondale commencement speaker; Vice President George H. W. Bush will be speaker in 1982
1980Gasson Chair established for distinguished visiting Jesuit scholar
1981Robsham Theater opens
1982Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Scholarship established; Father William Neenan begins annual “Dean’s List” of recommended reading
1984O’Neill Library opens
1986Bapst Library renovated; Burns Library for Rare Books and Special Collections opens
1987Jesuit Institute established
1988Conte Forum replaces former basketball (Roberts Center) and hockey (McHugh Forum) facilities; McMullen Museum of Art opens
1991Merkert Chemistry Center opens
1996Father William Leahy succeeds Monan as president
1998Center for Retirement Research opens
1999First annual Arts Festival; Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life opens
2001Center for Christian-Jewish Learning opens
2002Church in the Twenty-First Century initiative begins; becomes permanent Center, 2004; Council for Women of Boston College established
2004Acquisition of Brighton Campus from Archdiocese of Boston
2005Undergraduate research journal, Elements, begins publication; Connors Family Retreat Center, Dover, opens
2006Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics established; Clough Colloquium inaugurated; author and historian David McCullough gives first lecture; McCullough commencement speaker
2008School of Theology and Ministry established
2012-2013University celebrates sesquicentennial