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Frequently Asked Questions

about boston college


Where is Boston College?

BC's main campus is located on Commonwealth Avenue in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. It has an additional campus, known as Newton Campus, located approximately 1.5 miles away on Centre Street in Newton, Massachusetts. Maps & Directions

When was Boston College founded?

BC was founded 1863, making it one of the oldest Jesuit, Catholic universities in the United States.


BC is a Jesuit university. What does that mean?

Boston College was founded by the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic religious order whose members are known as the Jesuits.

The order grew out of the activities of its founder St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) and six others, all of whom were students at the University of Paris when they met in 1534 in a chapel at Montmarte and vowed their lives to the service of God and the well-being of their fellow men and women. They were the first Jesuits, an order of religious men who did not choose monastic life but instead went out to encounter and transform the world, committed to "finding God in all things."

The Jesuits worked wherever intelligence, talent and the need of the Church took them -- as missionaries, explorers, scientists, artists, diplomats and writers. When they turned to education, they developed an approach that sought to integrate intellectual excellence and religious commitment, that was concerned with character as well as mind, and that embraced knowledge, values, community and service to others.

As a Jesuit, Catholic university, Boston College holds fast to the ideals that inspired its Jesuit founders. It remains focused on its mission of helping students to develop their minds and talents while encouraging them to use their gifts and abilities in the service of others.

There are 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States

For more information:
BC Office of University Mission & Ministry
Society of Jesus USA

I've heard that Boston College is "not a college and not in Boston." What does that mean?

While it was founded as an undergraduate college, BC has been a university--offering graduate as well as undergraduate education--since 1925.

BC originally was located on Harrison Avenue in the South End of Boston, sharing quarters with Boston College High School. When it began to outgrow its urban setting, then-president Rev. Thomas I. Gasson, SJ purchased 31 acres in suburban Chestnut Hill, Mass. BC's first classes were held at the new location in 1913. While part of BC's current campus is still located in Boston, the lion's share is in Chestnut Hill.

When did BC begin admitting women?

In 1927 Boston College conferred one earned bachelor's degree and fifteen master's degrees on women through its Extension Division, the precursor of the current Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and College of Advancing Studies. By 1970, all undergraduate programs had become coeducational. Today, women students comprise more than half of the University's enrollment.


What is the significance of the BC seal?

The Boston College seal is the official logo of the university. The current seal has been in use since 1934. At its center is a shield that contains the seal's major elements: two crowns and a badge, a book and three mountains. The crowns are derived from the three crowns in the coat of arms of Boston, England, for which Boston, Massachusetts is named. In the BC seal, two crowns are used, with the traditional badge of the Society of Jesus replacing the third crown. Below the crowns is an open book.

Boston College's motto, "ever to excel," is written in Greek on the pages of the open book. The three mountains are the "trimount," which comes from Tremont, the early name for Boston. Below the shield, a scroll appears inscribed with the Latin words "Religioni et Bonis Artibus." The outside ring of the seal includes the name of the university in Latin and the date of its founding, 1863.


What are BC's school colors and mascot?

BC's colors are maroon and gold.

Its mascot is the eagle, considered a powerful symbol capable of soaring to great heights. The mascot officially was adopted in the early 1920s. Currently, BC is home to two official athletics mascots: 'Baldwin' and 'Baldwin Jr.'-- names derived from a blending of 'bald eagle' with the word that reflects the aspirations of Boston College athletics: 'win.' 'Baldwin' is a 6 1/2-ft. tall mascot whose 'real' identity is generally a closely guarded secret. 'Baldwin Jr.' a 9 1/2-ft.tall inflatable mascot, capable of performing many entertaining feats.

What is the school motto?

"Ever to Excel."

What is BC's fight song and where can I find the lyrics?

BC's fight song is "For Boston"

Is Boston College affiliated with Boston College High School?

While BC originally shared quarters with BC High, the two schools are not formally affiliated.

What is a "triple Eagle"?

A triple Eagle refers to a graduate of Boston College High School, Boston College and Boston College Law School. A double Eagle refers to a graduate of two of the three.

Where can I learn more about BC's history?

Read an essay by University Historian Thomas O'Connor.

Also, the book History of Boston College: from the Beginnings to 1990 by former University Historian Charles Donovan, SJ with David R. Dunigan, SJ and Paul A. FitzGerald, SJ is available at the Boston College Bookstore.