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First Year Academic Convocation

go set the world aflame!

book cover of A Backpack, A Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka

This year’s first Year Academic Convocation will take place on Thursday, September 6th, 2018.

Prior to the first flight procession, first year students will gather by residence hall on their respective campus and dine at McElory or Stuart Dining Hall.

Following dinner, students will make their way to Stokes lawn with their residence hall and at 6 PM the First Flight procession will commence, followed by the keynote address at 7 PM in Conte Forum.

As a member of the class of 2022, each of student will have the opportunity to read Designing Your Life by Stanford Professors, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. On the evening of September 6th, our University community will welcome one of the authors, Dave Evans, to Boston College to engage the first year class in a conversation about this work through his keynote address and subsequent classroom sessions.

As you read Designing Your Life, it is the hope of the University that it gives you insight into how to respond to life’s questions and seek direction as you move through your own personal journey. View the Designing Your Life Reading Guide here.

(Please note: The reading guide is an Adobe Reader® (PDF) formatted file. To view, you may need to download the free Adobe Reader.

Since 2004, Conversations in the First Year has engaged members of the incoming class in an intellectual and reflective dialogue with a common text, embodying the richness of the Catholic intellectual tradition at Boston College which calls us to examine our faith and experience in conversation with other thinkers in order to pursue the greater glory of God. This conversation among thinkers that will begin with this common text will carry over to conversations with all members of the Boston College community during your next four years.


Past Speakers : summer reading

2017 Lev Golinkin: A Backpack, A Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka

2016  Steve Pemberton: A Chance in the World

2015  David Brooks: The Road to Character

2014  Dave Eggers: The Circle

2013  Bill Strickland: Make the Impossible Possible

2012  Dan Barry: Bottom of the 33rd

2011  Colum McCann: Let the Great World Spin

2010  Daniel Wolff: How Lincoln Learned to Read

2009  Ann Patchett: Run

2008  J.R. Moehringer: The Tender Bar     

2007  Jeanette Walls: The Glass Castle        

2006  Senator John McCain: Lives of Moral Leadership by Robert Coles

2005  Senator Barack Obama: Dreams from My Father

2004  Dr. Paul Farmer and Tracy Kidder: Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder



Go set the world aflame banner
  "Go set the world aflame."
-Ignatius of Loyola

In the entrance of the Jesuit headquarters in Rome is a striking statue of Ignatius of Loyola (founder of the Jesuits) with the motto "Ite, inflammate omnia." — "Go set the world aflame,"  his parting words to Francis Xavier who was carrying the Gospel to the East. This is our charge as you begin your experience at Boston College. Take the gift of education and carry it to great places throughout the world.