June 9, 2014
As we end one academic year and move into the summer foundation for the next, let's reflect on the activities circling Boston College Athletics.
- In 2013, 62 percent of our graduating seniors had a job or were already accepted to graduate school, which is good compared to national averages but not where we aspire. After a year of initiatives (most led by Student-Athlete Development Director Alison Quandt) we surpassed our goal of 70 percent and look forward to realizing our objective of 80 percent in May of 2015.
- In a case that has the potential to dramatically change the way we administer collegiate athletics in the future, all eyes will be watching the O'Bannon vs. the NCAA trial which begins tomorrow.
- What an amazing achievement to have four of the very best student-athletes in the nation in their sport on our campus simultaneously: Heisman finalist Andre Williams, Hobey Baker winner Johnny Gaudreau, two-time national sailing champion Erika Reinke and Olympic ice hockey silver medalist Alex Carpenter.
- Although summer has finally arrived, activity on The Heights has not slowed down as a significantly number of our students are attending summer classes and working on their fitness, strength, flexibility and game skills. Their commitment is inspiring and their daily efforts give great optimism for the coming seasons.
- Like our students, summer provides a very busy time of year. With a football schedule featuring four non-conference games in Boston (three at Alumni Stadium) and a game that has already been selected as a featured, prime-time Saturday night (USC), our staff is extremely busy with enthusiastic requests. The USC game is tracking toward an early sell-out and when the basketball and hockey schedules are released we anticipate our ticket staff schedules will continue to be hectic.
- We are focusing on more communications this summer: From our webpage to our correspondence with stakeholders. We have grown substantially in contact with constituents but are not near where we hope to be in the near future.
- Reunion weekend reminded me of the profound closeness within the Boston College community. I have been privileged to work at some very prideful institutions but I have never seen or felt the power and breadth of intimate connectivity of the BC family: it is truly inspiring!
Speaking of Reunion Weekend, my personal highlight was listening to a panel discussion of five BC alums in the Murray Room at Yawkey: Head baseball coach Mike Gambino
, head softball coach Ashley Obrest
, 2014 graduates Danielle Doherty
(ice hockey) and Harris Williams
(football), who will both be master's degree students while completing their final year of eligibility this fall, and Mark Herzlich, whose story is one of the most inspiring in all of sports.
While we are not close to where we envision BC Athletics in the near future and collectively have an enormous amount to accomplish this summer, it is always good to reflect on the accomplishments of the past academic year. From having four outstanding individuals in their sport to another great year of retention and graduation to post-season invitations, including our first bowl game in three years, to conference and Beanpot championships to the Frozen Four to an abundance of community service hours by our students to graduating two double Eagles in their final year of eligibility, there are many highlights to celebrate.
Just as our students are preparing for the upcoming academic year, we are motivated by the lofty standards of those before us - even as recently as last year - yet striving to establish new standards for others to live by.