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The Boston College USPS MAILING ADDRESS Chronicle Published by the Boston College Office of News & Public Affairs INSIDE: on campus Playground dedicated 3 Update construction projects 4 to BC students 9 ‘Parting Thoughts’ from BC retirees COMMENCEMENT 2011 MAY 26, 2011 VOL. 19 NO. 18 LaHood: ‘Strong Community, Active Civility’ ‘Take these values with you,’ Transportation Secretary tells grads BY ED HAYWARD STAFF WRITER Finnegan Award Ratz Committed to Rising Above the Challenges US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood speaks at Monday’s Commencement Exercises in Alumni Stadium. (Photo by Gary Gilbert) this afternoon, bring your dedication to strong community and active civility as well,” LaHood said. “Take these values with you. They will hold you in good stead. You will do well by them. Carry these values into your lives and careers, into your neighborhoods and churches, into your small businesses or large firms, into your city halls or state capi- BY THE OFFICE OF NEWS & PUBLIC AFFAIRS BY MELISSA BEECHER STAFF WRITER “When one of my colleagues asks about Leon Ratz,” says Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs Donald Hafner, “I usually start by saying, ‘Look, you probably are not going to believe most of what I’m about to tell you...’” The high praise from Hafner echoes what countless faculty members say about Ratz, winner of the 2011 Edward H. Finnegan, SJ, Memorial Award — Boston College’s most prestigious graduation honor, given to the student who best exemplifies the spirit of BC’s motto, “Ever to Excel.” Ratz says it’s a motto he has considered and reflected on many times during his years at BC, which have seen him pursue academic and extracurricular interests in the arms trade and its impact on human rights violations. “Growing up, my parents taught me to do the best I could, no matter what I did. When I take on a challenge, I’m personally committed to not only completing tals. Open your minds to deliberations, to give-and-take, to compromise. You’d be surprised just how often paths of common courtesy lead to unexpected places.” University President William P. Leahy, SJ, told the graduates that they would be well-served by their academic and personal growth to help address the many Tomorrow’s Boston College Law School Commencement will take place at 10:30 a.m. in Conte Forum instead of Newton Campus. For more information, see http://www. “May you be forces for good and powerful examples for those around you, and may God continue to bless you and your families,” Fr. Leahy concluded. In addition to LaHood, honorary degrees were presented to: New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. Chairman James S. Davis and Vice Chairman Anne M. Davis — who is managing trustee of the New Balance Charitable Foundation; Boston College Senior Vice President James P. McIntyre ’57, MEd ’61, EdD ’67; and BC Trustee Associate Sylvia Q. Simmons MEd’62, PhD’90, retired president of the American Student Assistance Corporation. Political science major Leon Ratz was honored with BC’s top commencement prize, the Edward H. Finnegan, SJ, Memorial Award for the student who best exemplifies the University’s motto “Ever to Excel.” [see separate story this page] A seven-term Congressman from Illinois, LaHood was named Continued on page 5 13 Fulbrights Among Fellowship Honors Lee Pellegrini Community and civility, two virtues that have helped propel American society, should remain foremost in the minds of the Boston College Class of 2011 as the new graduates chart their courses through life, United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood told more than 3,700 students receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees Monday at the University’s 135th Commencement Exercises in Alumni Stadium. LaHood, who received an honorary Doctor of Public Administration degree, asked the graduates to pursue community and civility, which he said have allowed the nation to persevere through good times and bad. “As you depart Chestnut Hill pressing issues facing the world. He noted that every generation faces complex issues and uncertainties and that each must respond to those challenges. “Your challenges today are no different from graduates in the past: Every age has had problems to face,” Fr. Leahy said. “Just as we were hopeful that your predecessors could overcome the difficulties of their times, we believe that you have the knowledge, skills, values, and determination to confront and resolve today’s problems. I am confident that God will be with you and sustain you in the future as He has in the past. Leon Ratz the challenge but to go above and beyond even my own expectations. BC really has fostered that drive,” said Ratz, a Presidential Scholar who earned his degree in political science. Born in the Ukraine, Ratz immigrated with his parents, Larry and Yelena, to the United States in 1994, eventually settling in Fairlawn, NJ. Ratz said his family history – his parents were part of a persecuted Jewish minority in the Soviet Union and many family members were killed during the Holocaust – had a profound impact on him. “Knowing about those experiences formed a deep awareness of Continued on page 7 Boston College seniors amassed an impressive trove of post-graduate fellowships and scholarships during the now completed 2010-11 academic year, highlighted by 13 Fulbrights. The prestigious grants — which support a year’s postbaccalaureate study abroad — have become a regular, and welcome, feature of the University’s academic achievements. In addition to the 13 graduating seniors who have formally received Fulbrights, at press time two others selected as alternates were awaiting confirmation of funding for their projects. Several Boston College alumni and graduate students also were selected as Fulbright recipients or alternates this year. [Graduating senior John Kost and Lynch School of Education graduate student Sarah Ash were awarded Fulbrights but declined to accept.] This year’s crop of BC Fulbright scholars will trek to such countries as Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Germany, Korea, Nepal, Spain and Vietnam. Many will teach English, and all look forward to sharing aspects of American culture even as they learn about their host countries’ language and culture. BC grads also will study Poland’s efforts to halt human trafficking, explore Spain’s arts communities, and learn about perceptions of immigration and ethnic heritage in Argentina, among other projects. NAME: Soumia Aitelhaj ’10 (Alternate) HOMETOWN: Revere, Mass. DESTINATION: Morocco PROJECT: Travel through Moroccan villages to record elder women who compose Amazigh poetry, then work with part-time English faculty member Kimberly Garcia to translate into English and publish as a book. PLANS: Pending additional funding, would continue the project by producing a documentary of Amazigh poetry and culture. NAME: Sebastian Agredo HOMETOWN: Rego Park, NY DESTINATION: Germany PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship PLANS: Work for a private emergency medical services company to gain experience in the medical field; afterwards, continue education in medical school, or pursue graduate studies with an eye toward career in philosophy. “For me, the Fulbright Program and the opportunity to teach in Germany will open new paths for cultural and personal growth.  It represents the steps I have taken throughout my academic career to establish a lasting relationship with the country in which I was born, and it will offer me new insights into the German identity, thus giving me a greater appreciation and understanding for the similarities and differences between the American and German cultures.” NAME: Lauren Blodgett HOMETOWN: Peabody, Mass. DESTINATION: Austria PROJECT: Work in conjunction with a professor at the University of Innsbruck to examine global implications of US non-participation in the International Code Council. PLANS: Attend law school, work for Habitat for Humanity International. “With my 100-page senior thesis as a springboard for my Fulbright study, I will utilize the resources in Innsbruck to contribute to the scholarly material on this relatively new institution.” NAME: Leigh Cameron ’09 (Alternate) HOMETOWN: Bedford, NH DESTINATION: New Zealand PROJECT: Through Lincoln University, will research and write case studies on initiatives in Lincoln and Christchurch to determine how the Transition Towns movement, as well as the permaculture principles it embodies, can help communities transition to social and ecological sustainability. PLANS: To advance community sustainability efforts in the US either through government work or as an educator.   NAME: Lake Coreth HOMETOWN: Mount Kisco, NY DESTINATION: Argentina Continued on page 12

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