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The University celebrated its 137th Commencement on May 20, awarding degrees to 2,199 undergraduates and 1,355 graduate students. Enda Kenny, prime minister of Ireland, addressed the Class of 2013 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Other honorands included Wayne Budd ’63, former U.S. attorney and member of the University’s Board of Trustees; Mary Lou DeLong NC’71, recently retired University Secretary; Cornelia Kelley NC’69, headmaster emerita of Boston Latin School; and James A. Woods, SJ, ’54, M.A.T.’61, S.T.B.’ 62, founding dean and namesake of the University’s Woods College of Advancing Studies. Claire Geruson ’13, an elementary education and theology major from the Lynch School of Education, received the Edward H. Finnegan, SJ, Memorial Award, the University’s highest undergraduate honor, given to the student who best exemplifies the motto, “Ever to Excel.” On May 21, red construction fencing went up around the Gasson Quad—the open area framed by Gasson, Lyons, Devlin, and Fulton halls—as workers began a summer-long renovation of the space, to include a new grade, new plantings (the large linden at the southern corner, in front of Lyons Hall, will be spared), and new pathways that will link O’Neill Plaza and Stokes Hall. On the north side of Gasson, the lawn outside Bapst Library was the setting for Gladiator Day, a project for students in the classical studies class Ancient Athletics. Students chose a character from the Roman spectacles and fashioned costumes and backstories to match. There was arena-style combat for those willing to sign a liability form. Three undergraduate journals published new editions: Dianoia (philosophy), Al Noor (Middle Eastern and Islamic studies), and the Laughing Medusa (women’s literature and arts). Articles included, respectively, “Free Will as a Natural Law in a Mechanist World,” “China’s Uyghurs: Insecurity and Instability,” and “Never Trust Anyone Who Drives a White Hummer.” The 25th anniversary Wall Street Council tribute dinner was held at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. More than 1,000 attendees, including council cofounder Geoffrey T. Boisi ’69, P’11, who was honored with the President’s Medal for Excellence, raised $2.7 million for the Presidential Scholars Program. After five months and seven cities, the Sesquicentennial service project “150 On the Road,” which prepared ready-to-cook meals for shipment to Burkina Faso, concluded in Chicago on June 15 with some 2,000 volunteers in all having packed a total of 451,077 meals. A team of scientists from Boston College and Nagoya University has synthesized a new form of carbon. According to Lawrence Scott, Louise and Jim Vanderslice and Family Professor of Chemistry, “Our new grossly warped nanographene is dramatically more soluble than a planar nanogrphene of comparable size.” Boston College topped a ranking of “The 40 Most Popular American Universities on Instagram,” with @bostoncollege beating out the offering of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Having distributed 7,000 LED lightbulbs to students and replaced 700 refrigerators across campus, among other moves that helped save more than 4 million kilowatt hours last year, the University was declared a 2013 “state champion” by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships. Joseph Manning ’14 was among 50 awardees nationally of a Udall Scholarship, recognizing commitment to an environmental career. Twenty-two undergraduates received Fulbright Scholarships, for work and study in Germany, Jordan, Mexico, the Philippines, and Turkey, among other destinations. In more news from the foreign desk, five undergraduates were awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships, which will fund study in Ecuador, France, South Africa, and Scotland; and two students received U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarships (for study in Suzhow, China, and Kazan, Russia). Rantsports.com called the Boston College Eagles football team the “surprise darlings” of college football recruiting for 2014. Mathematics professor Solomon Friedberg was appointed the James P. McIntyre Professor of Mathematics, and chemistry professor Udayan Mohanty was named a fellow of Britain’s Royal Society of Chemistry. Fellow chemistry professor and vice provost for research Larry McLaughlin and his restored 1954 Austin Healy M-100 traveled (separately) to Italy to compete in the Mille Miglia, a 1,000-mile rally for vintage autos manufactured between 1927 and 1957. The car was sidelined in Rome with a broken left rear axle after 670 miles. Séamus Connolly, Sullivan-Artist-in-Residence at the Center for Irish Programs was among nine recipients of a 2013 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship. Zach Braff, star of Garden State and Scrubs, took the stage at Robsham Theater to host the Baldwin Film Awards. “Conscious,” written and directed by James Pettigrew ’13, was the overall winner. Digest was not invited to the gala after-party thrown by the Heights. At its season-ending meeting, the men’s crew team christened two racing sculls in honor of Denis Moran, SJ, former member of the theater department, and T. Frank Kennedy, SJ, director of the Jesuit Institute of Boston College. Fr. Kennedy, who describes himself as a “totally unathletic Jesuit,” blessed the boats.
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