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Lasting Honors

(L-R) Seniors Howie Kim, Cai Thomas and Ricardo Alberto at the unveiling of plaques honoring BC scholarship winners. (Photo by Duncan Johnson)

By Rosanne Pellegrini | Chronicle Staff

Published: Oct. 15, 2015

The O’Neill Library foyer now displays three plaques that pay tribute to Boston College’s heritage scholarship winners.

The plaques include the name and image of the scholarships’ namesakes – Martin Luther King Jr., Archbishop Oscar A. Romero, and Benigno and Corazon Aquino – and the names of all undergraduate winners since each award was established. Subsequent recipients – who receive these awards during their junior years — will be added annually.

Each plaque features an inspirational quote attributed to the scholarship namesake: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (King); “Aspire not to have more, but to be more” (Archbishop Romero); “I would rather die a meaningful death than lead a meaningless life” (Benigno and Corazon Aquino). 

Some 50 BC faculty, administrators, and students gathered on Sept. 30 for a dedication ceremony, at which the permanent tributes were unveiled by their current scholarship holders, now seniors: Cai Thomas (MLK), Ricardo Alberto (Romero) and Howie Kim (Aquino).

Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley told the group it was fitting that the University recognize in a visible way these outstanding students, both for their personal accomplishments and contributions to the BC community.

University Librarian Thomas Wall said that as the heart of the University, the library was the perfect place to honor these scholars. He noted that the plaques will been seen by all who cross the library’s threshold (last year, more than 1.5 million students and visitors passed through the O’Neill entrance), and will serve as an inspiration for future generations of students.

Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center Director Ines Maturana Sendoya emphasized the importance for students of color on campus to see this recognition of contributions to the University made by students from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Each of the scholarships’ namesakes “is from a different cultural background and heritage, but has given their life in the pursuit of social justice,” Associate Vice Provost J. Joseph Burns told Chronicle.  

“The plaques honor students who have excelled academically, but have also strengthened the different cultural communities they represent on campus and expanded the participation of those student communities in developing a fuller, richer educational experience for all Boston College students,” he said. “It is important for any community to honor the ‘stars’ of its past who helped make it what it is, but it is also important to hold these young scholars up as inspirational role models for generations of BC students to come.”