Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Sesquicentennial Events and Commemorations


upcoming Events


Sesquicentennial Closing Mass
December 12, 2013, 4:00 p.m., Saint Ignatius Church

The Sesquicentennial Celebration will conclude at December’s Mid-Year Commencement Mass. Learn more



past Events


Mass at Fenway Park
September 15, 2012, 4:00 p.m.

The Sesquicentennial Celebration officially began with a Mass at Fenway Park in Boston. The Mass was open to all members of the Boston College community—students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and their families—and was concelebrated by members of the Jesuit community and alumni priests. It was followed by a reception and activities in the ballpark. This event was cosponsored by Boston College High School.



Academic Symposium
Education and Its Role in Democratic Societies
October 5, 2012

Led by Lynch School of Education professors Marilyn Cochran-Smith and Dennis Shirley, this symposium addressed issues related to education and its role in democratic societies. Learn more



Sesquicentennial Speakers Series
Drew Gilpin Faust
October 10, 2012

Harvard University President Drew Faust addressed the Boston College community on the topic of scholarship. A noted Civil War historian, President Faust was awarded a Sesquicentennial Medal in recognition of her commitment to teaching and scholarship. Learn more



Academic Symposium
Religion and the Liberal Aims of Higher Education
November 8–9, 2012

This conference examined the unique contributions that religiously affiliated colleges and universities can offer to the educational enterprise. Learn more



Academic Symposium
Migration: Past, Present, and Future

March 21–22, 2013

Sponsored by the Center for Human Rights and International Justice, this symposium explored the changing patterns of migration and what needs to be done to address the plight of international refugees. Learn more


American flag with people

Naturalization Ceremony
March 21, 2013, 3:00 p.m., Robsham Theater

One hundred immigrants took the Oath of Allegiance to become citizens of the United States in a naturalization ceremony hosted by Boston College’s School of Social Work. U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. ’69, P ’09 P ’11 presided at the ceremony. Boston College’s ROTC and BC bOp! Jazz Ensemble also participated. Learn more



Boston College Sesquicentennial Concert at Symphony Hall
March 23, 2013, 2:00 p.m.

The University Chorale, the Boston College Symphony Orchestra, BC bOp!, and the University Wind Ensemble took the stage in Boston’s Symphony Hall for a concert open to Boston College students, parents, alumni, friends, faculty, and staff. Actor and special guest Chris O’Donnell ’92 provided the narration for Aaron Copland’s “A Lincoln Portrait.”



Law Schools and the Education of Democratic Citizens
April 2, 2013, 10 a.m.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor joined deans of distinguished law schools at an academic symposium sponsored by Boston College Law School.



Founders Day Student Celebration
April 30, 2013, 5:30 p.m.

Students celebrated Boston College’s birthday with cake and song. Birthday cake was served in all three dining commons and student a cappella groups sang Happy Birthday and other songs in Corcoran Commons.



Academic Symposium
The Legacy of Vatican II
September 26, 2013

Sponsored by the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, this symposium marked the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the 150th anniversary of the founding of Boston College. The symposium was composed of distinguished scholars from around the world who have studied Vatican II from theological, historical, and cultural standpoints. Learn more



Public Lecture
Coworkers in the Vineyard:
The Role of the Catholic Laity in the Life of Public Service and Scholarship

September 26, 2013, 7:15 p.m., Robsham Theater

Panelists discussed the role faith plays in their public service work during this conversation, sponsored by the School of Theology and Ministry. Learn more



Catholic Higher Education Symposium
October 22–24, 2013

This gathering of Catholic educational leaders will address issues facing American Catholic higher education.




Academic Symposium
Energy: From the Last to the Next 150 Years
October 25, 2013

This symposium will explore the science of energy generation and the politics and policies of energy use. Scientists today concur that human dependence on fossil fuels has changed our climate, particularly over the past 150 years. Some of our greatest challenges in the future will involve discovering new forms of energy, finding efficient routes to energy conversion, and developing national and global agreements on energy management.

Massachusetts Senator Edward J. Markey ’68, J.D. ’72, a congressional leader on energy and climate change, and Dr. Susan Tierney, energy policy expert with the Analysis Group and former Assistant Secretary for Policy in the U.S. Department of Energy and Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs, will give keynote addresses. Panel discussions will focus on energy research, energy conversion, and energy’s future in an uncertain age. Learn more Register



Academic Symposium
Religious Diversity and the Common Good
November 13, 2013

How can people of different faiths share the same values?
From the days of the founding to the present, that question has preoccupied American thinkers of every religious and non-religious persuasion. The answer may lie not in abstract theory but in the lived experience of people in their communities. Join us for Boston College’s closing Sesquicentennial Symposium, as we welcome leaders from a variety of academic, civic, and religious communities throughout the country to reflect on the nature and pursuit of the common good in a pluralistic society. Learn more



Sesquicentennial Tributes
In addition to these events, the University will unveil several features to celebrate its history, including two books: An Illustrated History of Boston College and a new History of Boston College by Professor James O'Toole; historical markers throughout campus; a virtual Tour of the Heights website and GPS-guided app available from the iTunes store; a documentary film on the history of Boston College; and a portrait gallery of the 25 University presidents. Additionally, the Church in the 21st Century Center will publish special sesquicentennial issues of C21 Resources that will mark a decade since the founding of C21.

Sesquicentennial Logos
Boston College men’s and women’s basketball and hockey teams and the football team will wear Sesquicentennial logos on their uniforms during the 2012–2013 seasons.

Volunteer Community Service
All Boston College students will be asked to perform 150 minutes of community service in either Boston or Newton during the Sesquicentennial, joining thousands of students and graduates who currently volunteer in the cities’ schools, hospitals, food pantries and social service agencies. To assist more students seeking a chance to serve, BC will sponsor a program called Eagle Volunteers, which will provide placements with local community partners such as the Epiphany School, St. Peter’s Teen Center, and the Catholic Charities Yawkey Center Food Pantry. With a quick registration at, students can reserve a ride to these locations for any week during the year. Alumni will also be asked to perform 150 minutes of service through the National Day of Service on April 13, 2013, or the more than 25 alumni service programs offered through alumni chapters.

University Library
The University Library will complete its digitization of the 41,000 pages of the Heights, published by students since 1919, and will mount an online exhibit of art and artifacts from its special collections.

The Library will also sponsor the following exhibits:

  1. 150 Years of Student Life at Boston College
    May 1 to June 30, 2012
    O'Neill Lobby

  2. St. Ignatius in Boston
    November 1, 2012, to January 15, 2013
    Burns Library Hall

  3. Interconnected Dimensions: Student Formation at Boston College
    January 24 to February 28, 2013
    O'Neill Lobby

  4. Going Pro: Introduction of Professional Schools at Boston College
    May 17 to June 17, 2013
    O'Neill Lobby

  5. Discovering Details: Unfamiliar Pieces of Boston College History
    October 7, 2013 – January 2, 2014
    O'Neill Lobby

Alumni, Parents, and Friends
The Sesquicentennial will be featured as part of these events:

  • 20th Anniversary of POPS on the Heights
  • 25th Anniversary of the Wall Street Council Tribute Dinner
  • The Senior Class Toast in May 2013, when the Golden Eagle Class of 1963 welcomes the Class of 2013 to the alumni ranks
  • Reunion Weekend, June 2013, which will feature special events for the Golden Eagle Sesquicentennial Class of 1963