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For the fifth year running, economics remained the most popular undergraduate major, enrolling 1,282 students from the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences and the Carroll School of Management. Finance (1,032), biology (888), political science (819), and communication (787) rounded out the top five. A pair of town hall meetings, hosted by administration officials and open to the Boston College community, were held in Gasson Hall in early October to review the progress on the University’s Strategic Planning Initiative, which, once approved by the Board of Trustees, will set priorities for the coming decade. The second annual Council for Women of Boston College Colloquium hosted a conversation between Donna Brazile, interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, and Mary Matalin, former Republican presidential advisor. The discussion was cordial and tweet-free. On September 29, more than 350 guests gathered in a vaulted tent beside the new McMullen Museum to celebrate the conclusion of the Light the World campaign, with $1.6 billion in gifts. In his remarks, University President William P. Leahy, SJ, said “Our world and the Catholic Church need Boston College now more than ever, and my hope and prayer is that all of us here tonight will rededicate ourselves to advancing the mission of our University in whatever way we can.” As noted in the Heights and confirmed by facilities services’ Albert Travaglini, the University’s four mailrooms have seen more than double the number of packages delivered to students—to an annual 181,922—from 2006 to 2016. Between August 15 and September 17, the mailrooms handled 32,676 packages. The surge, also reported at other colleges, is a consequence of internet shopping. The 24th Pops on the Heights Barbara and Jim Cleary Scholarship Gala raised a record $9 million for student scholarships. The event featured the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and Tony and Emmy Award–winning performer Kristin Chenoweth. The University installed its first electric vehicle charging station on the second floor of the Commonwealth Avenue garage. Also now on offer in the garage is a fleet of bicycles that are available for rent. The program, a partnership between O’Neill Library and the student group Bike BC, offers bikes of different sizes, along with a helmet, lock, and light, for three-day periods. As with Chaucer, the bikes can be checked out at the O’Neill circulation desk. Steve Pemberton ’89, H’15, vice president of diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance, returned to campus to address the First Year Academic Convocation. Pemberton also joined the University’s Board of Trustees as a new member, along with Alfred F. Kelly Jr., president and CEO of Intersection, a digital media and technology company. The Cambia Health Foundation named Susan DeSanto-Madeya, a clinical associate professor in the Connell School of Nursing, a 2016 Sojourns Scholar. She is one of 10 nurses and doctors nationwide selected for the two-year grant; hers will support the implementation of an interdisciplinary palliative care certificate program at Boston College. Twenty-one new courses were added to the core curriculum, including “A Perfect Moral Storm: The Science and Ethics of Climate Change,” cotaught by David Storey (philosophy) and Corinne Wong (earth and environmental sciences); and “Can Creativity Save the World?” taught by Crystal Tiala (theater) and Spencer Harrison (management and organization). Sportsmanship prevailed at the ACC cross country championships as two opponents stopped to carry Madeline Adams ’18 across the finish after she collapsed from exhaustion 20 yards short of the line. University President William P. Leahy, SJ, and Newton, Massachusetts, mayor Setti Warren ’93 announced the creation of Economic Growth for All, a program that will bring together Boston College faculty and Newton administrators to study issues affecting income inequality in the city, where 11 percent of schoolchildren live below the poverty level. The Roche Center for Catholic Education hosted a national conference to examine how Catholic schools can better meet the needs of Hispanic students, who represent more than 50 percent of Catholics under the age of 18, but less than three percent of Catholic school students. Some 700 students turned out for the Career Center’s inaugural Careerfest, a games-based effort to demystify the job search. At one table students were asked to match celebrities and their major (mystery author John Grisham, for instance, studied accounting before entering law school). The Office of Dining Services reported that since the semester’s start 2,000 plates have gone missing from the Corcoran Commons dining facility. The coincident switch from disposable containers as the default (they must now be requested) is a likely contributor to the problem. The Women’s Center launched Thrive, a mentorship program for sophomore women that pairs groups of eight with two seniors for weekly conversation and an off-campus retreat. More than 500 students visited the basement of Gasson Hall on October 6 for Paws for a Break, an opportunity to spend some quality downtime during mid-terms with therapy dogs Tuuka, Moly, and Chester.
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