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Posted by bender 03/31/2009 @ 21:15

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News headlines
No love lost for Francona, Metrodome -
By Thor Nystrom / Special to MINNEAPOLIS -- Unless Boston and Minnesota hook up in the postseason, the Red Sox played their last game in the Metrodome on Thursday afternoon. Manager Terry Francona isn't weepy with sentiment....
Lawyer: 'Rockefeller' insane when he took daughter - The Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Prosecutors and defense lawyers offered similar portraits of the man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller as his kidnapping trial opened Thursday: a German-born man who has spent decades making up fantastic lies about himself....
Postseason NBA Schedule - The Associated Press
Chicago Saturday, April 18 Chicago 105, Boston 103, OT Monday, April 20 Boston 118, Chicago 115 Thursday, April 23 Boston 107, Chicago 86 Sunday, April 26 Chicago 121, Boston 118, 2OT Tuesday, April 28 Boston 106, Chicago 104, OT Thursday,...
NYC, Boston May See Even Higher Sea Level Rise - FOXNews
New York, Boston, Halifax and other cities in the northeastern United States and Canada could come under greater threat from sea level rise due to melting of the Greenland ice sheet this century, a new study suggests. Greenland is the world's largest...
TIMELINE: Jay Leno, from Boston to Hollywood - Reuters
1973: Graduates from Boston's Emerson College with a degree in speech therapy. 1977: Makes his TV debut as a stand-up comic on "The Merv Griffin Show." 1977: Makes his first appearance on "The Tonight Show" as a comic. 1977: Appears as a regular on...
Paper handlers union is fourth to approve concessions at Globe - Boston Globe
A fourth Boston Globe union last night approved concessions that the Globe's owner, The New York Times Co., says it needs to continue to operate the money losing newspaper. The union representing 26 full- and 35 part-time paper handlers, who move rolls...
Geithner unveils stimulus tax credits in Boston - The Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner announced Wednesday that organizations working in 33 states would receive $1.5 billion in business tax credits fueled with federal stimulus money and aimed at creating and saving jobs in areas hit hard by...
Boston Scientific Back in an Atomic Way - Motley Fool
Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) used to be the big man on campus. It stormed the US drug-eluting stent market, capturing more than half of Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE: JNJ) market share. But its market share slipped to 45% in the third quarter of last year...
IMPACT PLAYER: Jason Varitek, Boston - Minneapolis Star Tribune
22 Consecutive games with a hit for Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, before he went 0-for-3. The Twins open a three-game series at Tampa Bay tonight before returning home for three against Cleveland. That homestand is followed by a 10-game road trip to...
Boston and the Case-Shiller numbers - Boston Globe
But buried in the Case-Shiller indices' first quarter report was some pretty interesting news about the health of the Boston area market. And how you view it depends where you stand on the spectrum from housing market bear to housing market bull....


Flag of City of Boston

Boston (pronounced /ˈbɒstən/ (help·info)) is the capital and largest city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is considered the economic and cultural center of the region, and is sometimes regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England." Boston city proper had a 2007 estimated population of 608,352, making it the twenty-first largest in the country. Boston is also the anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area called Greater Boston, home to 4.4 million people and the tenth-largest metropolitan area in the country. Greater Boston as a commuting region includes parts of Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine; it includes 7.4 million people, making it the fifth-largest Combined Statistical Area in the United States.

In 1630, Puritan colonists from England founded the city on the Shawmut Peninsula. During the late 18th century Boston was the location of several major events during the American Revolution, including the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. Several early battles of the American Revolution, such as the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Siege of Boston, occurred within the city and surrounding areas. Through land reclamation and municipal annexation, Boston has expanded beyond the peninsula. After American independence was attained Boston became a major shipping port and manufacturing center, and its rich history now attracts 16.3 million visitors annually. The city was the site of several firsts, including America's first public school, Boston Latin School (1635), and first college, Harvard College (1636), in neighboring Cambridge. Boston was also home to the first subway system in the United States.

With many colleges and universities within the city and surrounding area, Boston is a center of higher education and a center for medicine. The city's economy is also based on research, finance, and technology – principally biotechnology. Boston ranks first in the country in jobs per square mile ahead of New York City and Washington, DC. The city has been experiencing gentrification and has one of the highest costs of living in the United States, though it remains high on world livability rankings.

Boston was founded on September 17, 1630, by Puritan colonists from England. The Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony are sometimes confused with the Pilgrims, who founded Plymouth Colony ten years earlier in what is today Bristol County, Plymouth County, and Barnstable County, Massachusetts. The two groups, which differed in religious practice, are historically distinct. The separate colonies were not united until the formation of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in 1691.

The Shawmut peninsula was connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus and was surrounded by the waters of Massachusetts Bay and the Back Bay, an estuary of the Charles River. Several prehistoric Native American archaeological sites that were excavated in the city have shown that the peninsula was inhabited as early as 5,000 BC. Boston's early European settlers first called the area Trimountaine, but later renamed the town after Boston, Lincolnshire, England, from which several prominent colonists had emigrated. Massachusetts Bay Colony's original governor, John Winthrop, gave a famous sermon entitled "A Model of Christian Charity," popularly known as the "City on a Hill" sermon, which captured the idea that Boston had a special covenant with God. (Winthrop also led the signing of the Cambridge Agreement, which is regarded as a key founding document of the city.) Puritan ethics molded a stable and well-structured society in Boston. For example, shortly after Boston's settlement, Puritans founded America's first public school, Boston Latin School (1635), and America's first college, Harvard College (1636). Boston was the largest town in British North America until Philadelphia grew larger in the mid-18th century.

Boston's first "criminal" was English outdoorsman, attorney, man of letters, and colonial adventurer Thomas Morton (c. 1588–1647), whose prosperous 1620s fur-trading post at "Ma-Re Mount" or Merrymount, near Wollaston Beach in Quincy, was a non-Puritan commercial plantation centered around an English Maypole. Morton, a "Renaissance man" with respect for Native Americans already abused by Plimoth Colony, with passion for its natural landscapes and belief in its trade potentials, plus a scathing sense of satirical humor, raised a Maypole there in May 1627, inviting "all comers" to celebrate spring and in the process improve their trade connections, which included guns. After his arrest by Plimoth's Myles Standish and his return to New England in 1629, Boston's magistrates took over Morton's removal by arresting him, burning his plantation to the ground, and exiling him (the summary-judgment transcript of these proceedings, which were not a trial, constitute the first entry for Mass. Bay Colony's prosecutions of religious, economic, and cultural rivals and "troublemakers"). Historians generally confirmed the Puritans' "moral" cursing of Morton the man, his ways, and his 1637 book "New English Canaan," until the late 20th century began to see a marked turn in historians' opinions of Morton and Merrymount's place in colonial history. Scholarly research indicates that Morton was America's first poet in English. Maypole raisings, feasting, drumming, music, song, and dance celebrate Morton's Merrymount adventures today at the site of his plantation.

In the 1770s, British attempts to exert more-stringent control on the thirteen colonies—primarily via taxation—prompted Bostonians to initiate the American Revolution. The Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and several early battles—including the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston—occurred in or near the city. During this period, Paul Revere made his famous midnight ride.

After the Revolution, Boston had become one of the world's wealthiest international trading ports because of the city's consolidated seafaring tradition—exports included rum, fish, salt, and tobacco. During this era, descendants of old Boston families were regarded as the nation's social and cultural elites; they were later dubbed the Boston Brahmins. In 1822, Boston was chartered as a city.

The Embargo Act of 1807, adopted during the Napoleonic Wars, and the War of 1812 significantly curtailed Boston's harbor activity. Although foreign trade returned after these hostilities, Boston's merchants had found alternatives for their capital investments in the interim. Manufacturing became an important component of the city's economy, and by the mid-1800s, the city's industrial manufacturing overtook international trade in economic importance. Until the early 1900s, Boston remained one of the nation's largest manufacturing centers and was notable for its garment production and leather-goods industries. A network of small rivers bordering the city and connecting it to the surrounding region made for easy shipment of goods and led to a proliferation of mills and factories. Later, a dense network of railroads facilitated the region's industry and commerce. From the mid-19th to late 19th century, Boston flourished culturally; it became renowned for its rarefied literary culture and lavish artistic patronage. It also became a center of the abolitionist movement. The city reacted strongly to the Fugitive Slave Law, which contributed to President Franklin Pierce's attempt to make an example of Boston after the Burns Fugitive Slave Case.

In the 1820s, Boston's population began to swell, and the city's ethnic composition changed dramatically with the first wave of European immigrants. Irish immigrants dominated the first wave of newcomers during this period. By 1850, about 35,000 Irish lived in Boston. In the latter half of the 19th century, the city saw increasing numbers of Irish, Germans, Lebanese, Syrians, French Canadians, and Russian and Polish Jews settle in the city. By the end of the 19th century, Boston's core neighborhoods had become enclaves of ethnically distinct immigrants—Italians inhabited the North End, Irish dominated South Boston & Charlestown, and Russian Jews lived in the West End.

Irish and Italian immigrants brought with them Roman Catholicism. Currently, Catholics make up Boston's largest religious community, and since the early 20th century, the Irish have played a major role in Boston politics—prominent figures include the Kennedys, Tip O'Neill, and John F. Fitzgerald.

Between 1631 and 1890, the city tripled its physical size by land reclamation—by filling in marshes, mud flats, and gaps between wharves along the waterfront—a process that Walter Muir Whitehill called "cutting down the hills to fill the coves." The largest reclamation efforts took place during the 1800s. Beginning in 1807, the crown of Beacon Hill was used to fill in a 50-acre (20 ha) mill pond that later became the Haymarket Square area. The present-day State House sits atop this lowered Beacon Hill. Reclamation projects in the middle of the century created significant parts of the South End, the West End, the Financial District, and Chinatown. After The Great Boston Fire of 1872, workers used building rubble as landfill along the downtown waterfront. During the mid-to-late 19th century, workers filled almost 600 acres (2.4 km²) of brackish Charles River marshlands west of the Boston Common with gravel brought by rail from the hills of Needham Heights. Also, the city annexed the adjacent towns of Roxbury (1868), Dorchester (1870), Brighton, West Roxbury (including present day Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, and West Roxbury), and Charlestown. The last three towns were annexed in 1874. Other towns include Hyde Park, Mattapan, and East Boston.

The first community health center in the United States was the Columbia Point Health Center in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. It was opened in December 1965 and served mostly the massive Columbia Point public housing complex adjoining it. It was founded by two medical doctors—Jack Geiger of Harvard University and Count Gibson of Tufts University. It is still in operation and was re-dedicated in 1990 as the Geiger-Gibson Community Health Center.

By the early 20th and mid-20th century, the city was in decline as factories became old and obsolete, and businesses moved out of the region for cheaper labor elsewhere. Boston responded by initiating various urban renewal projects under the direction of the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), which was established in 1957. In 1958, BRA initiated a project to improve the historic West End neighborhood. Extensive demolition was met with vociferous public opposition to the new agency. BRA subsequently reevaluated its approach to urban renewal in its future projects, including the construction of Government Center. By the 1970s, the city's economy boomed after 30 years of economic downturn. Hospitals such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Brigham and Women's Hospital led the nation in medical innovation and patient care. Schools such as Harvard University, MIT, Tufts University, Boston University, Boston College, and Northeastern University attracted students to the Boston area. Nevertheless, the city experienced conflict starting in 1974 over desegregation busing, which resulted in unrest and violence around public schools throughout the mid-1970s.

The Columbia Point housing projects, built in 1953 on the Dorchester peninsula, had gone through bad times until there were only 350 families living in them in 1988. They were run down and dangerous. In 1984, the city of Boston gave control of these projects to a private developer, Corcoran-Mullins-Jennison, who re-developed and revitalized the property into an attractive residential mixed-income community called Harbor Point Apartments, which was opened in 1988 and was completed by 1990. It is a very significant example of revitalization and re-development, was the first federal housing project to be converted to private, mixed-income housing in the United States, and was used as a model for the federal HUD HOPE VI public housing revitalization program begun in 1992.

In the early 21st century, the city has become an intellectual, technological, and political center. It has, however, experienced a loss of regional institutions, which included the acquisition of the Boston Globe by The New York Times, and the loss to mergers and acquisitions of local financial institutions such as FleetBoston Financial, which was acquired by Charlotte-based Bank of America in 2004. Boston based department stores Jordan Marsh and Filene's have both been merged into the New York based Macy's The city also had to tackle gentrification issues and rising living expenses, with housing prices increasing sharply since the 1990s.

Owing to its early founding, Boston is very compact. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 89.6 square miles (232.1 km²)—48.4 square miles (125.4 km²) (54.0%) of land and 41.2 square miles (106.7 km²) (46.0%) of water. Boston is the country's fourth most densely populated city that is not a part of a larger city's metropolitan area. Of United States cities with more than 600,000 people, only San Francisco is smaller in land area.

Boston is surrounded by the "Greater Boston" region and is bordered by the cities and towns of Winthrop, Revere, Chelsea, Everett, Somerville, Cambridge, Watertown, Newton, Brookline, Needham, Dedham, Canton, Milton, and Quincy.

Boston's official elevation, as measured at Logan International Airport, is 19 ft (5.8 m) above sea level. The highest point in Boston is Bellevue Hill at 330 ft (101 m) above sea level, and the lowest point is at sea level.

Much of the Back Bay and South End neighborhoods are built on reclaimed land—all of the earth from two of Boston's three original hills, the "trimount," was used as landfill material. Only Beacon Hill—the smallest of the three original hills—remains partially intact; only half of its height was cut down for landfill. The downtown area and immediate surroundings consist mostly of low-rise brick or stone buildings, with many older buildings in the Federal style. Several of these buildings mix in with modern high-rises, notably in the Financial District, Government Center, the South Boston waterfront, and Back Bay, which includes many prominent landmarks such as the Boston Public Library, Christian Science Center, Copley Square, Newbury Street, and New England's two tallest buildings—the John Hancock Tower and the Prudential Center. Near the John Hancock Tower is the old John Hancock Building with its prominent weather forecast beacon—the color of the illuminated light gives an indication of weather to come: "steady blue, clear view; flashing blue, clouds are due; steady red, rain ahead; flashing red, snow instead." (In the summer, flashing red indicates instead that a Red Sox game has been rained out.) Smaller commercial areas are interspersed among single-family homes and wooden/brick multi-family row houses. Currently, the South End Historic District remains the largest surviving contiguous Victorian-era neighborhood in the U.S.

Along with downtown, the geography of South Boston was particularly impacted by the Central Artery/Tunnel (CA/T) Project (or the "Big Dig"). The unstable reclaimed land in South Boston posed special problems for the project's tunnels. In the downtown area, the CA/T Project allowed for the removal of the unsightly elevated Central Artery and the incorporation of new green spaces and open areas.

Boston Common, located near the Financial District and Beacon Hill, is the oldest public park in the U.S. Along with the adjacent Boston Public Garden, it is part of the Emerald Necklace, a string of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted to encircle the city. Franklin Park, which is also part of the Emerald Necklace, is the city's largest park and houses a zoo. Another major park is the Esplanade, located along the banks of the Charles River. Other parks are scattered throughout the city, with the major parks and beaches located near Castle Island; in Charlestown; and along the Dorchester, South Boston, and East Boston shorelines.

The Charles River separates Boston proper from Cambridge, Watertown, and the neighborhood of Charlestown. To the east lies Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. The Neponset River forms the boundary between Boston's southern neighborhoods and the city of Quincy and the town of Milton. The Mystic River separates Charlestown from Chelsea and Everett, and Chelsea Creek and Boston Harbor separate East Boston from Boston proper.

Boston has what may basically be described as something between a humid continental climate and a humid subtropical climate, such as is very common in coastal southern New England. Summers are typically warm and humid, while winters are cold, windy, and snowy. Prevailing wind patterns that blow offshore affect Boston, minimizing the influence of the Atlantic Ocean.

Spring in Boston can be warm, with temperatures as high as the 90s when winds are offshore, although it is just as possible for a day in late May to remain in the lower 40s because of cool ocean waters. The hottest month is July, with an average high of 82 °F (28 °C) and an average low of 66 °F (18 °C), with conditions usually humid. The coldest month is January, with an average high of 36 °F (2 °C) and an average low of 22 °F (−6 °C). Periods exceeding 90 °F (32 °C) in summer and below 10 °F (−12 °C) in winter are not uncommon but are rarely prolonged. The record high temperature is 104 °F (40 °C), recorded on July 4, 1911. The record low temperature is −18 °F (−28 °C), recorded on February 9, 1934. February in Boston has seen 70 °F (21 °C) only once in recorded history, on February 24, 1985. The highest temperature recorded in March was 89 °F (31 °C), on March 31, 1998.

The city averages about 43 in (108 cm) of precipitation a year, with 40.9 in (104 cm) of snowfall a year. Snowfall increases dramatically as one goes inland away from the city (Especially north and west of the city)—away from the warming influence of the ocean. Most snowfall occurs from December through March. There is usually little or no snow in April and November, and snow is rare in May and October.

Boston's coastal location on the North Atlantic, although it moderates temperatures, also makes the city very prone to Nor'easter weather systems that can produce much snow and rain. Fog is prevalent, particularly in spring and early summer, and the occasional tropical storm or hurricane can threaten the region, especially in early autumn.

According to the census of 2000, there were 589,141 people (the population estimate of 2006 was 596,638 people), 239,528 households, and 115,212 families residing in the city. The population density was 12,166 people per square mile (4,697/km²). Of major US cities, only New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago have a greater population density than Boston. There were 251,935 housing units at an average density of 5,203 per square mile (2,009/km²).

During weekdays, the population of Boston can grow during the daytime to about 1.2 million. This fluctuation of people is caused by hundreds of thousands of suburban residents who travel to the city for work, education, health care and special events.

According to the 2007 American Community Survey, the city's population was 58.4% White (50.0% non-Hispanic White alone), 25.3% Black or African American (22.2% non-Hispanic Black or African American alone), 0.8% American Indian and Alaska Native, 8.7% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 9.4% from some other race and 2.6% from two or more races. 15.6% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

According to a 2006 estimate, the White population comprises 53.5% of the population, and Hispanics make up 15.5%. People of Irish descent form the largest single ethnic group in the city, making up 15.8% of the population, followed by Italians, accounting for 8.3% of the population. People of West Indian ancestry are another sizeable group, at 6.4%, about half of whom are of Haitian ancestry. Some neighborhoods, such as Dorchester, have received an influx of people of Vietnamese ancestry in recent decades. Neighborhoods such as Jamaica Plain and Roslindale have experienced a growing number of Dominican Americans.

The city of Boston also has one of the largest LGBT populations per capita. It ranks 5th of all major cities in the country (behind San Francisco, and slightly behind Seattle, Atlanta, and Minneapolis respectively), with 12.3% of the city recognizing themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

There were 239,528 households, of which 22.7% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 27.4% were married couples living together, 16.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.9% were non-families. 37.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city, the population was spread out with 19.8% under the age of 18, 16.2% from 18 to 24, 35.8% from 25 to 44, 17.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,629, and the median income for a family was $44,151. Males had a median income of $37,435 versus $32,421 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,353. 19.5% of the population and 15.3% of families are below the poverty line. Of the total population, 25.6% of those under the age of 18 and 18.2% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

The "Boston accent" is widely parodied in the U.S. as the speech of the Kennedys and Harvard graduates. It is non-rhotic (i.e., drops the "r" sound at the end of syllables unless the next syllable starts with a vowel) and uses a "broad a" so words like "bath" sound like "baath." Boston English has many dialect words like "wicked", meaning "very", and "frappe", meaning "milkshake." The accent originated in the non-rhotic speech of 17th century East Anglia and Lincolnshire, where many of the first Bostonians originated.

The city has seen a great reduction in violent crime since the early 1990s. Boston's low crime rate in the last years of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century has been credited to its police department's collaboration with neighborhood groups and church parishes to prevent youths from joining gangs, as well as involvement from the United States Attorney and District Attorney's offices. This helped lead in part to what has been touted as the "Boston Miracle." Murders in the city dropped from 152 in 1990 (for a murder rate of 26.5 per 100,000 people) to just 31  — not one of them a juvenile  — in 1999 (for a murder rate of 5.26 per 100,000).

In more recent years, however, the annual murder count has fluctuated by as much as 50% compared with the year before, with 60 murders in 2002, followed by just 39 in 2003, 64 in 2004, and 75 in 2005. Although the figures are nowhere near the high-water mark set in 1990, the aberrations in the murder rate have been unsettling for many Bostonians and have prompted discussion over whether the Boston Police Department should reevaluate its approach to fighting crime.

Boston's colleges and universities have a major impact on the city and region's economy. Not only are they major employers, but they also attract high-tech industries to the city and surrounding region. Boston is home to technology companies such as EMC Corp. and Analog Devices as well as E-Commerce companies VistaPrint and CSN Stores. Boston is also a major hub for biotechnology companies, including Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Merck & Co., Millipore, Genzyme, and Biogen Idec. According to a 2003 report by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, students enrolled in Boston's colleges and universities contribute $4.8 billion annually to the city's economy. Boston also receives the highest amount of annual funding from the National Institutes of Health of all cities in the United States.

Tourism comprises a large part of Boston's economy. In 2004, tourists spent $7.9 billion and made the city one of the ten-most-popular tourist locations in the country. Some of the other important industries are financial services, especially mutual funds and insurance. Boston-based Fidelity Investments helped popularize the mutual fund in the 1980s and has made Boston one of the top financial cities in the United States. The city is also the regional headquarters of major banks such as Bank of America and Sovereign Bank, and it is a center for venture capital. State Street Corporation, which specializes in asset management and custody services, is headquartered in the city. Boston is also a printing and publishing center—Houghton Mifflin is headquartered within the city, along with Bedford-St. Martin's Press, Beacon Press, and Little, Brown and Company. Pearson PLC publishing units also employ several hundred people in Boston. The city is home to four major convention centers—the Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay, the Bayside Expo Center in Dorchester, and the World Trade Center Boston and Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on the South Boston waterfront. Because of Boston's status as a state capital and the regional home of federal agencies, law and government are another major component of the city's economy.

Some of the major companies headquartered within the city are the Liberty Mutual insurance company; Gillette (now owned by Procter & Gamble); and Teradyne, one of the world's leading manufacturers of semiconductor and other electronic test equipment. New Balance has its headquarters in the city. Boston is also home to management consulting firms The Boston Consulting Group, Monitor Group, and Bain & Company, as well as the private equity group Bain Capital. Other major companies are located outside the city, especially along Route 128. Route 128 serves as the center of the region's high-tech industry. In 2006, Boston and its metropolitan area ranked as the fourth-largest cybercity in the United States with 191,700 high-tech jobs. Only NYC Metro, DC Metro, and Silicon Valley had bigger high-tech sectors. The Port of Boston is a major seaport along the United States' East Coast and is also the oldest continuously operated industrial and fishing port in the Western Hemisphere. Boston is classified as a "Gamma world city" by a study group at Loughborough University in England.

Boston shares many cultural roots with greater New England, including a dialect of the non-rhotic Eastern New England accent known as Boston English, and a regional cuisine with a large emphasis on seafood, rum, salt, and dairy products. Irish Americans are a major influence on Boston's politics and religious institutions. Boston also has its own collection of neologisms known as Boston slang.

Many consider Boston to have a strong sense of cultural identity, perhaps as a result of its intellectual reputation; much of Boston's culture originates at its universities. The city has several ornate theatres, including the Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston Opera House, Citi Performing Arts Center, and the Orpheum Theatre. Renowned performing-arts organizations include the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Ballet, Boston Early Music Festival, Boston Lyric Opera Company, and the Handel and Haydn Society (one of the oldest choral companies in the United States). There are also many major annual events such as First Night, which occurs on New Year's Eve, the annual Boston Arts Festival at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, Italian summer feasts in the North End honoring Catholic saints, and several events during the Fourth of July period. These events include the week-long Harborfest festivities and a Boston Pops concert accompanied by fireworks on the banks of the Charles River.

Because of the city's prominent role in the American Revolution, several historic sites relating to that period are preserved as part of the Boston National Historical Park. Many are found along the Freedom Trail, which is marked by a red line of bricks embedded in the ground. The city is also home to several prominent art museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. In December 2006, the Institute of Contemporary Art moved from its Back Bay location to a new contemporary building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro located in the Seaport District. The University of Massachusetts campus at Columbia Point houses the John F. Kennedy Library. The Boston Athenaeum (one of the oldest independent libraries in the United States), Boston Children's Museum, Bull & Finch Pub (whose building is known from the television show Cheers), Museum of Science, and the New England Aquarium are within the city.

Boston is also one of the birthplaces of the hardcore punk genre of music. Boston musicians have contributed greatly to this music scene over the years (see also Boston hardcore). Boston neighborhoods were home to one of the leading local third wave ska and ska punk scenes in the 1990s, led by bands such as The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and the The Allstonians. The 1980s' hardcore punk-rock compilation This Is Boston, Not L.A. highlights some of the bands that built the genre. Several nightclubs, such as The Channel, Bunnratty's in Allston, and The Rathskeller, were renowned for showcasing both local punk-rock bands and those from farther afield. All of these clubs are now closed. Many were razed during recent gentrification.

The Boston Globe (owned by The New York Times Company) and the Boston Herald are Boston's two major daily newspapers. The Christian Science Monitor, a third daily, is edited in Boston and printed in a series of regional presses across the U.S. The city is also served by other publications such as The Boston Phoenix, Boston magazine, The Improper Bostonian, Boston's Weekly Dig, and the Boston edition of Metro. The Boston Globe also releases a teen publication to the city's public high schools. The newspaper Teens in Print or T.i.P. is written by the city's teens and delivered quarterly within the school year.

Boston has the largest broadcasting market in New England, with the Boston radio market being the eleventh largest in the United States. Several major AM stations include talk radio WRKO 680 AM, sports/talk station WEEI 850 AM, and news radio WBZ 1030 AM. A variety of FM radio formats serve the area, as do NPR stations WBUR and WGBH. College and university radio stations include WERS (Emerson), WHRB (Harvard), WUMB (UMass Boston), WMBR (M.I.T.), WZBC (Boston College), WMFO (Tufts University), WBRS (Brandeis University), WTBU (Boston University, campus and web only), WRBB (Northeastern University) and WMLN (Curry College).

The Boston television DMA, which also includes Manchester, New Hampshire, is the seventh largest in the United States. The city is served by stations representing every major American network including WBZ 4 (CBS), WCVB 5 (ABC), WHDH 7 (NBC), WFXT 25 (Fox), WUNI 27 (Univision), and WLVI 56 (The CW). Boston is also home to PBS station WGBH 2, a major producer of PBS programs, which also operates WGBX 44. Most Boston television stations have their transmitters in nearby Needham and Newton.

The Boston Red Sox, a founding member of the American League of Major League Baseball in 1901, play their home games at Fenway Park, near Kenmore Square in the Fenway section of Boston. Built in 1912, it is the oldest sports arena or stadium in active use in the United States among the four major professional sports . Boston was also the site of the first game of the first modern World Series, in 1903. The series was played between the AL Champion Boston Americans and the NL champion Pittsburgh Pirates. Persistent reports that the team was known in 1903 as the "Boston Pilgrims" appear to be unfounded. Boston's first professional baseball team was the Red Stockings, one of the charter members of the National League in 1871. The team played under that name until 1883, under the name Beaneaters until 1911, and under the name Braves from 1912 until they moved to Milwaukee after the 1952 season. Since 1966 they have played in Atlanta as the Atlanta Braves.

The TD Banknorth Garden (formerly called the Fleet Center and the Shawmut Center) is adjoined to North Station and is the home of three major league teams: the Boston Blazers of the National Lacrosse League, the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League; and the Boston Celtics, the 2008 National Basketball Association champions. The arena seats 18,624 for basketball games and 17,565 for ice hockey venues. The Bruins were the first American member of the National Hockey League and an Original Six franchise. The Boston Celtics were founding members of the Basketball Association of America, one of the two leagues that merged to form the NBA. The Celtics have the distinction of having won more championships than any other NBA team, with seventeen .

While they have played in suburban Foxborough since 1971, the New England Patriots were founded in 1960 as the Boston Patriots. A charter member of the American Football League, the team joined the National Football League in 1970. The team has won the Super Bowl three times, in 2001, 2003, and 2004. They share Gillette Stadium with the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer.

Boston's many colleges and universities are active in college athletics. There are four NCAA Division I members in the city—Boston College (member of the Atlantic Coast Conference), Boston University (America East Conference), Northeastern University (Colonial Athletic Association), and Harvard University (Ivy League). All except Harvard, which belongs to ECAC Hockey, belong to the Hockey East conference. The hockey teams of these four universities meet every year in a four-team tournament known as the "Beanpot Tournament," which is played at the TD Banknorth Garden over two Monday nights in February.

One of the most-famous sporting events in the city is the Boston Marathon, the 26.2 mile (42.2 km) run from Hopkinton to Copley Square in the Back Bay. The Marathon, the world's oldest, is popular and heavily attended. It is run on Patriots' Day in April and always coincides with a Red Sox home baseball game that starts at 11:05 AM, the only MLB game all year to start before noon local time. Another major event held in the city is the Head of the Charles Regatta rowing competition on the Charles River.

Boston has a strong mayor system in which the mayor is vested with extensive executive powers. The mayor is elected to a four-year term by plurality voting. The current mayor of Boston is Thomas Menino. The city council is elected every two years. There are nine district seats, each elected by the residents of that district through plurality voting, and four at-large seats. Each voter casts up to four votes for at-large councilors, with no more than one vote per candidate. The candidates with the four highest vote totals are elected. The president of the city council is elected by the councilors from within themselves. The school committee for the Boston Public Schools is appointed by the mayor. The Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Zoning Board of Appeals (a seven-person body appointed by the mayor) share responsibility for land-use planning.

In addition to city government, numerous commissions and state authorities—including the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Boston Public Health Commission, and the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport)—play a role in the life of Bostonians. As the capital of Massachusetts, Boston plays a major role in state politics. The city has several properties relating to the United States federal government, including the John F. Kennedy Federal Office Building and the Thomas P. O'Neill Federal Building. Boston also serves as the home of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts; Boston is the headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (the First District of the Federal Reserve). The city is in the Eighth and Ninth Congressional districts.

Boston's reputation as the Athens of America derives in large part from the teaching and research activities of more than 100 colleges and universities located in the Greater Boston Area, with more than 250,000 students attending college in Boston and Cambridge alone. Within the city, Boston University exudes a large presence as the city's fourth-largest employer, and maintains a campus along the Charles River on Commonwealth Avenue and its medical campus in the South End. Northeastern University, another large private university, is located in the Fenway area, and is particularly known for its Business and Health Science schools and cooperative education program. Wheelock College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Simmons College, Emmanuel College, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Wentworth Institute of Technology, founding members of the Colleges of the Fenway, are adjacent to Northeastern University. Suffolk University, a small private university known for its law school, maintains a campus on Beacon Hill. New England School of Law, a small private law school located in the theater district, was originally established as America's only all female law school. Emerson College, a small private college with a strong reputation in the fields of performing arts, journalism, writing, and film, is located nearby on Boston Common. Boston College, whose original campus was located in South Boston, moved its campus west to a site that straddles the Boston(Brighton)-Newton border. Boston College is expanding further into the Brighton neighborhood following the purchase of adjacent land from the Boston Catholic Archdiocese.

Boston is also home to several conservatories and art schools, including the Art Institute of Boston, Massachusetts College of Art, New England School of Art and Design (part of Suffolk University), and the New England Conservatory of Music (the oldest independent conservatory in the United States). Other conservatories include the Boston Conservatory, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Berklee College of Music. Boston has one major public university, the University of Massachusetts Boston, located on Columbia Point in Dorchester, while Roxbury Community College and Bunker Hill Community College are the city's two community colleges.

Several major national universities located outside Boston have a major presence in the city. Harvard University, the nation's oldest, and arguably best known institution of higher learning, is located across the Charles River in Cambridge. The business and medical schools are in Boston, and there are plans for additional expansion into Boston's Allston neighborhood. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which originated in Boston and was long known as "Boston Tech," moved across the river to Cambridge in 1916. Tufts University administers its medical and dental school adjacent to the Tufts Medical Center, a 451-bed academic medical institution that is home to both a full-service hospital for adults and the Floating Hospital for Children. Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, is the only evangelical Christian college in metropolitan Boston and is active in Christian ministry in the City of Boston.

Boston Public Schools, the oldest public school system in the U.S., enrolls 57,000 students from kindergarten to grade 12. The system operates 145 schools, which includes Boston Latin School (the oldest public school in the United States, established in 1635; which, along with Boston Latin Academy, is a highly prestigious public exam school admitting students in the 7th and 9th grades only and serving grades 7–12), English High (the oldest public high school, established 1821), and the Mather School (the oldest public elementary school, established in 1639). The city also has private, parochial, and charter schools. 3000 students of racial minorities attend participating suburban schools through the Metropolitan Educational Opportunity Council, or METCO. It also operates Boston High School. In 2002, Forbes Magazine ranked the Boston Public Schools as the best large city school system in the country, with a graduation rate of 82%. In 2005, the student population within the school system was 45.5% Black or African American, 31.2% Hispanic or Latino, 14% White, and 9% Asian, as compared with 24%, 14%, 49%, and 8% respectively for the city as a whole. High school age students have the opportunity to participate in the Boston Youth Fund which provides summer placement jobs for those who qualify.

The Longwood Medical Area is a region of Boston with a concentration of medical and research facilities, including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is near the Beacon Hill neighborhood, with the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital nearby. St. Elizabeth's Medical Center (St. E's) is in Brighton Center of Boston's Brighton neighborhood. New England Baptist Hospital (NEBH) is in Mission Hill. Boston also has VA medical centers in the Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury neighborhoods.

Many of Boston's major medical facilities are associated with universities. The facilities in the Longwood Medical Area and MGH are well-known research medical centers affiliated with Harvard Medical School. Tufts Medical Center (formerly Tufts-New England Medical Center), located in the southern portion of the Chinatown neighborhood, is affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine. Boston Medical Center, located in the South End neighborhood, is the primary teaching facility for the Boston University School of Medicine as well as the largest trauma center in the Boston area; it was formed by the merger of Boston University Hospital and Boston City Hospital, which was the first municipal hospital in the U.S.

Water supply and sewage-disposal services are provided by the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. The Commission in turn purchases wholesale water and sewage disposal from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). The city's water comes from the Quabbin Reservoir and the Wachusett Reservoir, which are about 65 miles (105 km) and 35 miles (56 km) west of the city respectively. NSTAR is the exclusive distributor of electric power to the city, though due to deregulation, customers now have a choice of electric generation companies. Natural gas is distributed by National Grid plc (Originally Keyspan the successor company to Boston Gas); only commercial and industrial customers may choose an alternate natural gas supplier.

Verizon, successor to New England Telephone, NYNEX, Bell Atlantic and earlier, the Bell System, is the primary wired telephone service provider for the area. Phone service is also available from various national wireless companies. Cable television is available from Comcast and RCN, with Broadband Internet access provided by the same companies in certain areas. A variety of DSL providers and resellers are able to provide broadband Internet over Verizon-owned phone lines.

Logan International Airport, located in the East Boston neighborhood, handles most of the scheduled passenger service for Boston. Surrounding the city are three major general aviation relievers: Beverly Municipal Airport to the north, Hanscom Field in Bedford, to the west, and Norwood Memorial Airport to the south. T. F. Green Airport serving Providence, Rhode Island, and Manchester-Boston Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire, also provide scheduled passenger service to the Boston area.

Downtown Boston's streets are not organized on a grid, but grew in a meandering organic pattern beginning early in the seventeenth century. They were created as needed, and as wharves and landfill expanded the area of the small Boston peninsula. Along with several rotaries, roads change names and lose and add lanes seemingly at random. On the other hand, streets in the Back Bay, East Boston, the South End, and South Boston do follow a grid system.

Boston is the eastern terminus of I-90, which in Massachusetts runs along the Mass Pike. I-95, which surrounds the city, is locally referred to as Route 128, its historical state route numbering. U.S. 1 and I-93 and Massachusetts Route 3 run north to south through the city forming the elevated Central Artery, which ran through downtown Boston and was constantly prone to heavy traffic, was replaced with an underground tunnel through the Big Dig.

Nearly a third of Bostonians use public transit for their commute to work. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operates what was the first underground rapid transit system in the United States and is now the fourth busiest rapid transit system in the country, having been expanded to 65.5 miles (105 km) of track, reaching as far north as Malden, as far south as Braintree, and as far west as Newton – collectively known as the "T." The MBTA also operates the nation's sixth busiest bus network, as well as water shuttles, and the nation's fifth-busiest commuter rail network, totaling over 200 miles (321 km), extending north to the Merrimack Valley, west to Worcester, and south to Providence. Nicknamed "The Walking City", pedestrian commutes play a larger role than in comparably populated cities. Owing to factors such as the compactness of the city and large student population, 13% of the population commutes by foot, making it the highest percentage of pedestrian commuters in the country out of the major American cities. In its March 2006 issue, Bicycling magazine named Boston as one of the worst cities in the U.S. for cycling; regardless, it has one of the highest rates of bicycle commuting. In September 2007, Mayor Menino started a bicycle program called Boston Bikes with a goal of making Boston a world class bicycling city by creating safe and inviting conditions for all residents and visitors. As of January 2009 some steps have been achieved and are ongoing. 250 bike racks have been installed since the start of the program, as well as adding city bike lanes on Commonwealth Avenue from the Boston University Bridge to Kenmore Square (1 mile), Turtle Pond Parkway (2 miles), and Perkins Street (1/2 mile, restriped). Bennington Street has been given bike accommodations for 2 miles as a shared road. Mayor Menino’s bicycle program has a principle goal of practicing smart growth by providing residents with a viable alternative to the single occupancy vehicle. Other strategies Boston Bikes is implementing are Bike Share, Bike Friday, and creating complete streets using urban design.

Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and Chicago lines originate at South Station and stop at Back Bay. Fast Northeast Corridor trains, which service New York City, Washington, D.C., and points in between, also stop at Route 128 Station in the southwestern suburbs of Boston. Meanwhile, Amtrak's Downeaster service to Maine originates at North Station.

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Greater Boston

Map of the Greater Boston

Greater Boston is the area of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts surrounding the city of Boston, Massachusetts. Due to ambiguity in usage, the size of the area referred to can be anywhere between that of the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) of Boston to that of the city's combined statistical area (CSA) which includes the metro areas of Providence, Rhode Island and Worcester, Massachusetts.

By contrast, Metro Boston is usually reserved to signify the "Inner Core" surrounding the City of Boston, while "Greater Boston" usually at least overlaps the North and South Shores, as well as MetroWest and the Merrimack Valley.

Greater Boston includes the tenth-largest metropolitan area in the United States, home to over 4.4 million people, while the CSA is the nation's fifth largest and includes over 7.4 million people. It is also the 51st most populous metropolitan area in the world. Greater Boston contains more urbanized area than the other regions of Massachusetts, such as the more rural Western Massachusetts and the beach communities of Cape Cod. There are a decreasing number of working class communities within Greater Boston. The area features many universities.

Greater Boston encompasses many significant locations in American history and culture. Examples include the Paul Revere House, the Old North Church, the Old Granary Burying Ground, the site of the Boston Tea Party and that of the Battle of Bunker Hill, the USS Constitution, Lexington and Concord, Walden Pond, the site of the Salem witch trials, and the Christian Science Mother Church. Former Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams were born in Quincy, Massachusetts, as was John Hancock. Frederick Douglass began his career as an abolitionist in Boston. Former President John F. Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. Former President George H. W. Bush was born in Milton. Malcolm X spent a significant part of his young adulthood in Roxbury, and joined the Nation of Islam while in prison in Charlestown. The National Archives has a regional center in Waltham.

The most restrictive definition of the Greater Boston area is the region administered by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). The MAPC is a regional planning organization created by the Massachusetts legislature to oversee transportation infrastructure and economic development concerns in the Boston area. The MAPC includes 101 cities and towns that are grouped into eight subregions. These include most of the area within the region's outer circumferential highway, I-495. The population of the MAPC is 3,066,394 (as of 2000), in an area of 1,422 square miles (3,680 km2), of which 39% is forested and an additional 11% is water, wetland, or other open space.

The eight subregions and their principal towns are: Inner Core (Boston), Minuteman (Route 2 corridor), MetroWest (Framingham), North Shore (Peabody), North Suburban (Woburn), South Shore (Route 3 corridor), SouthWest (Franklin), and Three Rivers (Norwood).

Notably excluded from the MAPC and its partner transportation-planning body, the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization, are the Merrimack Valley cities of Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill, much of Plymouth County, and all of Bristol County; these areas have their own regional planning bodies.

The urbanized area surrounding Boston serves as the core of a definition used by the U.S. Census Bureau known as the New England city and town area. The set of towns containing the core urbanized area plus surrounding towns with strong social and economic ties to the core area is defined as the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH Metropolitan NECTA. The Boston NECTA is further subdivided into several NECTA divisions, which are listed below. The Boston, Framingham, and Peabody NECTA divisions together correspond roughly to the MAPC area. The total population of the Boston NECTA was 4,540,941 (as of 2000).

An alternative definition used by the U.S. Census Bureau, using counties as building blocks instead of towns, is the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is further subdivided into four metropolitan divisions. The metropolitan statistical area has a total population of about 4.4 million and is the eleventh-largest in the United States. The components of the metropolitan area with their 2005 populations are listed below.

This list has been provided by the Census based on commuter populations, and is generally not what a resident of the area would consider the principal cities of the region.

A long time center of higher education, the area includes many community colleges, two-year schools, and internationally prominent undergraduate and graduate institutions. The graduate schools include highly regarded schools of law, medicine, business, technology, international relations, public health, education, and religion. Additionally, Phillips Academy, one of the country's premier prep schools, is located in Andover, and boasts several famous alumni including former Chief Justice of the United States Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and former U.S. President George H. W. Bush.

The first railway line in the United States was in Quincy. See Neponset River.

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Boston University

Seal of Boston University

Boston University (BU) is a private nonsectarian university located in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Although chartered by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1869, Boston University traces its roots to the establishment of the Newbury Biblical Institute in Newbury, Vermont in 1839. The University organized formal Centennial observances both in 1939 and 1969.

With nearly 4,000 faculty members and more than 30,000 students, Boston University is the fourth-largest private university in the country and the city's fourth-largest employer. The University offers bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees, and medical & dental degrees through 18 schools and colleges and operates two urban campuses. The main campus is situated along the Charles River in Boston's Fenway-Kenmore and Allston neighborhoods, while the Boston University Medical Campus is in Boston's South End neighborhood.

On 24–25 April 1839 a group of Methodist ministers and laymen at the Old Bromfield Street Church in Boston elected to establish a Methodist theological school. Set up in Newbury, Vermont, the school was named the Newbury Biblical Institute.

In 1869, three Trustees of the Boston Theological Institute obtained from the Massachusetts Legislature a charter for a university by name of "Boston University." These three were successful Boston businessmen and Methodist laymen, with a history of involvement in educational enterprises and became the Founders of Boston University. They were Isaac Rich (1801–1872), Lee Claflin (1791–1871), and Jacob Sleeper (1802–1889), for whom Boston University's three West Campus dormitories are named. Lee Claflin's son, William, was then Governor of Massachusetts and signed the University Charter on 26 May 1869 after it was passed by the Legislature.

Every department of the new University was also open to all on an equal footing regardless of sex, race or (with the exception of the School of Theology) religion.

The Boston Theological Institute was absorbed into Boston University in 1871 as the BU School of Theology.

In January 1872 Isaac Rich died, leaving the vast bulk of his estate to a trust that would go to Boston University after ten years of growth while the University was organized. Most of this bequest consisted of real estate throughout the core of the city of Boston and was appraised at more than $1.5 million. Kilgore describes this as the largest single donation to an American college or university to that time.

By December, the Great Boston Fire of 1872 had destroyed all but one of the buildings Rich had left to the University, and the insurance companies with which they had been insured were bankrupt. The value of his estate, when turned over to the University in 1882, was half what it had been in 1872. As a result, the University was unable to build its contemplated campus on Aspinwall Hill and the land was sold piecemeal as development sites. Street names in the area, including Claflin Road, Claflin Path, and University Road, are the only remaining evidence of University ownership in this area.

Boston University established its facilities in buildings scattered through the less fashionable parts of Beacon Hill, and later expanded into the Boylston Street and Copley Square area before building the Charles River Campus after 1937.

Seeking to unify a geographically scattered school and enable it to participate in the development of the city, school president Lemuel Murlin arranged that the school buy the present campus along the Charles River. Between 1920 and 1928, the school bought the 15 acres (61,000 m2) of land that had been reclaimed from the river by the Riverfront Improvement Association. Plans for a riverside quadrangle with a multistory administrative tower modeled on the "Old Boston Stump" in Boston, England were scaled back in the late 1920s when the State Metropolitan District Commission used eminent domain to seize riverfront land for Storrow Drive. Through a series of fundraising campaigns by Murlin, the school slowly filled in its new campus.

In 1951, Harold Case became the school's fifth president and under his direction the character of the campus changed dramatically, as he sought to transform the school into a national research university. The campus tripled in size to 45 acres (180,000 m2), and added 68 new buildings before Case retired in 1967. The first large dorms, Claflin, Rich and Sleeper Halls in West Campus were built, and in 1965 construction began on 700 Commonwealth Avenue, later named Warren Towers, designed to house 1800 students. Between 1961 and 1966, the BU Law Tower, the George Sherman Union, and the Mugar Memorial Library were constructed in the Brutalist style, a departure from the school's traditional architecture. The College of Engineering and College of Communication were housed in a former stable building and auto-show room, respectively.

In the late 90s, concerns over lack of a "campusy" feel and the physical divide between the east and the western portion of campus triggered another wave of development. The John Hancock Student Village or StuVi was constructed with the intent of unifying the two campuses. This facility includes a new Fitness and Recreation Center (FitRec), a large multipurpose arena, and three new dormitories, one of which opened in 2000 while the other two, including a 26-story new tallest on-campus building, are scheduled for completion in 2009.

As the expanding school grows skyward, hemmed in by a narrow footprint, BU declared intentions to procure air rights over the Mass Pike. In addition to freeing up land, it's hoped the move will unify the Charles River area with South Campus, as well as bring width to a long narrow campus.

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) was formerly named the College of Liberal Arts (CLA). The College of Communication was formerly named the School of Public Communication (SPC). The School of Management (SMG) was formerly named the College of Business Administration (CBA). The College of General Studies (CGS) was formerly named the College of Basic Studies (CBS). The School of Nursing (SON) and the College of Practical Arts and Letters (PAL) are units that have been discontinued.

The University offers a large number of degree programs for bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees. There are also numerous opportunities for students to travel and study abroad, with internships overseas and in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.. As of 2005 it has a 15:1 student-teacher ratio despite its large size. The College of Arts and Sciences also offers a great books-style Core Curriculum that satisfies the general education or divisionl requirements with small classes in classical liberal arts topics.

The University Professors Program (UNI) is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to pursue a broad range of academic interests. With a student to faculty ratio of 4:1, UNI offers students a broad education in a more personalized atmosphere. Students take a common, intimate, "Core" program consisting of liberal arts courses taught by University Professors in small seminar settings. They then work closely with an advisor to craft a course of study which will lead them to an interdisciplinary degree, culminating in a senior thesis. Based upon the report of an academic review committee, a new University-wide honors program will be developed and the UNI program will be gradually phased out. Students currently enrolled will continue in the program.

Offered in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Core Curriculum offers an intensive great books program for any incoming freshmen who choose to participate. Occupying two classes a semester during freshman and sophomore years, the program has four humanities sections which start with Gilgamesh and work their way through Plato, Aristotle, Aeschylus, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Milton, Dante, Bach and many more. The Social Sciences part of the program includes Hobbes, John Locke, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Marx, and continues through contemporary works. Lastly, the science aspect of the program deals with major ideas such as big bang theory, evolution, quantum mechanics and more. Ultimately, the program seeks to combine science, math, humanities, art, and the social sciences into a cohesive program to give students insight into their world and help them become more refined writers and scholars.

The independently-run student newspaper at Boston University, The Daily Free Press, as well as the The New York Times, have published articles exploring the existence of grade deflation. The Times discovered that administrators have suggested to faculty members deflated ideal grade distributions. Though an article in the staff's BU Today asserted that "the GPAs of BU undergrads and the percentage of As and Bs have both risen over the last two decades," the New York Times has found BU grades rising more slowly with respect to many other schools.

Currently, the average GPA of a BU undergraduate is 3.04, with about 81 percent of all grades earned in either the A or B range." The article went on to note that although the university attempted to curb grade inflation and inconsistency in the late 1990s both the percentage of "A's" and GPAs have been rising since. They attributed the grade inflation not to teacher's grading policies, but to the increasing quality of each incoming class which leads to more top grades.

U.S. News & World Report ranks Boston University 60th among national universities. Boston University was also ranked 21st among U.S. law schools, 34th among medical schools, 41st among business schools, and 68th among education schools. The Biomedical Engineering Graduate and Undergraduate Programs are ranked #7 and #8 respectively in the nation and rising by U.S. News and World Report. The undergraduate program is also the sixth largest ABET-accredited program in the nation. Additionally, most of the graduate programs in the Boston University College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (Sargent College) ranked within the top 15% in the country. The Occupational Therapy Program ranked #1 (tied at the #1 spot) out of 152 programs; the Physical Therapy Program ranked #24 out of 199 programs; and the Speech-Language Pathology Program ranked #25 out of 244 programs.

The Financial Times ranks Boston University's MBA program as the #45 U.S. School for Career Progress.

The Times Higher Education Supplement ranks Boston University the 20th best university in the United States, and the 46th best university in the world, in its 2008 list of the Top 200 universities in the world.

Business Week ranks Boston University's MBA program #15, and its undergraduate business program #37.

Newsweek (International Edition), in its August 2006 list of the Top 100 Global Universities, ranked Boston University the 35th best university in the United States, and 65th best in the world.

The Institute of Higher Education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranks Boston University 47th best overall university, and 45th best undergraduate university in the United States (two schools ranked above BU are graduate schools only; UCSF and Rockefeller), as well as 81st best in the world, on its list of the Top 500 universities in the world.

The Center for Measuring University Performance. ranks Boston University among the top 50 research universities in the country.

The Wall Street Journal ranks Boston University's MBA program 41st nationally and the Information Technology department is ranked 10th in the world for academic excellence (September 2005).

Forbes ranks Boston University's MBA program 46th among domestic MBA programs (August 2005). They also ranked Boston University as the 25th most Entrepreneurial college in America.

The School of Management is ranked among the top 25 programs in the US by Entrepreneur magazine (April 2005).

BU is one of 96 American universities receiving the highest research classification ("RU/VH") by the Carnegie Foundation.

The 2007–2008 school year tuition totaled $34,930, with total costs (including room and board) averaging $45,880. The total estimated cost of attendance for the 2008–2009 school year will be $47,958 for on-campus students.

Admission statistics for the Class of 2012 have reached a modern high with an increase of 4070 student applicants over a previous high of 33,894.

The incoming freshman class for 2007 was 68% white, 15% Asian, 7% international students, 7% Hispanic, and 2% black. The plurality of registrants were from Massachusetts (21%), followed by New York (15%), New Jersey (9%), California (8.5%), Connecticut (6%), Pennsylvania (4%), and Texas (2.7%).

The University's main Charles River Campus follows Commonwealth Avenue and the Green Line, beginning near Kenmore Square and continuing for over a mile and a half to its end near the border of Boston's Allston neighborhood. The Boston University Bridge over the Charles River into Cambridge represents the dividing line between Main Campus, where most schools and classroom buildings are concentrated, and West Campus, home to several athletic facilities and playing fields, the large West Campus dorm, and the new John Hancock Student Village complex.

As a result of its continual expansion, the Charles River campus contains an array of architecturally diverse buildings. The College of Arts and Science, Marsh Chapel (site of the Marsh Chapel Experiment), and the School of Theology buildings are the university's most recognizable and were built in the late-1930s and 1940s in collegiate gothic style. A sizable amount of the campus is traditional Boston brownstone, especially at Bay State Road and South Campus where BU has acquired almost every townhouse those areas offer. The buildings are primarily dormitories but many also serve as various institutes as well as department offices. From the 1960s-1980s many contemporary buildings were constructed including the Mugar Library, BU Law School and Warren Towers, all of which were built in the brutalist style of architecture. The Metcalf Science Center for Science and Engineering, constructed in 1983, might more accurately be described as Structural Expressionism. Morse Auditorium, adjacent, stands in stark architectrual contrast, as it was constructed as a Jewish temple. The most recent additions to BU's campus are the Photonics Center, Life Science and Engineering Building, The Student Village (which includes the FitRec Center and Agganis Arena), and the School of Management. All these buildings were built in brick, a few with a substantial amount of brownstone.

Located at the junction of Fenway-Kenmore, Allston, and Brookline, the university has long enjoyed these neighborhood's cultural offerings. In the Fenway-Kenmore area are the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Landsdowne Street. Allston has been Boston's largest bohemian neighborhood since the 1960s. Nicknamed "Allston Rock City," the neighborhood is home to many artists and musicians, as well as a variety of cafés, and many of Boston's small music halls. Beyond the southern border of the campus in Brookline, Harvard Avenue offers independent and foreign films at Coolidge Corner Theatre, and readings by esteemed authors at the Brookline Booksmith. Other local destinations for campus intellectuals and culture lovers include Symphony Hall, the Beacon Book Annex, Jordan Hall, the main branch of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square, the art and commerce of Newbury Street, and, across the river, the museums, shops, and galleries in Harvard Square and elsewhere in Cambridge. The combined proximity of so many cultural institutions, colleges, public spaces, and performance outlets, with the University's own College of Fine Arts, College of Communication, University Professors Program, and other on-campus sources for cultural energy, has enabled BU to cultivate a thriving creative community. The George Sherman Student Union on Commonwealth Avenue hosts concerts and performers at "BU Central" and Metcalf Hall. BU is home to the Huntington Theater Company at the BU Theater (called the Huntington Theatre before its purchase by the University) as well as Boston Playwrights' Theatre, and hosts campus and non-campus performances in the Tsai Performance Center. Visiting artists' work are displayed in rotating exhibitions in the University's three galleries.

Boston University's housing system is the nation's 10th largest among four year colleges. BU was originally a commuter school, but the university now guarantees the option of on-campus housing for four years for all undergraduate students. Currently, 76% of the undergraduate population lives on campus. Boston University requires that all students living in dormitories be enrolled in a year-long meal plan with several combinations of meals and dining points which can be used as cash in on-campus facilities.

Housing at BU is an unusually diverse melange, ranging from individual 19th-century brownstone town houses and apartment buildings acquired by the school to large-scale high-rises built in the 60s and 2000s. Because the university has so many students and is quickly running out of space to house them, the Hyatt Regency Cambridge across the river serves as a temporary dorm for some students during the fall semester.

The large dormitories include the 1800-student Warren Towers, the largest on campus, as well as West Campus and The Towers. The smaller dormitory and apartment style housing are mainly located in two parts of campus: Bay State Road and the South Campus residential area. Bay State Road is a tree-lined street that runs parallel to Commonwealth Avenue and is home to the majority of BUs town houses, often called "brownstones". South Campus is a student residential area south of Commonwealth Avenue and separated from the main campus by the Massachusetts Turnpike. Some of the larger buildings in that area have been converted into dormitories, while the rest of the South Campus buildings are apartments.

Boston University's newest residence and principal apartment-style housing area is officially called 10 Buick Street, a part of The John Hancock Student Village project. The apartments at 10 Buick Street are open to juniors and seniors only, and house more than 800 students in suite-style apartments.

Aside from these main residential areas, smaller residential dormitories are scattered along Commonwealth Avenue.

Boston University also provides specialty houses or specialty floors to students who have particular interests.

All large dormitories have 24/7 security and require all students to swipe and show their school identification before entering.

At least one dorm, Shelton Hall, is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of playwright Eugene O'Neill. O'Neill lived in what was originally room 401 (now 419) while the building was a residential hotel. He died in a hospital on November 27, 1953, and his ghost is rumored to haunt both the room and the floor. The fourth floor is now a specialty floor called the Writers' Corridor.

Boston University and surrounding areas are continuously patrolled by the Boston University Police Department. All officers are certified Special State Police Officers and have full arrest authority.

Prior to September 2007, Boston University had a rather restrictive visitor policy, which limited the ability of students from different dormitories to visit each other at night. This changed when a new policy approved by Brown took effect.. The new policy allows for students living on campus to swipe into any on-campus dormitory between the hours of 7a.m. and 2a.m. using their ID cards Student residents can also sign in guests with photo identification at any time, day or night. Overnight visitors of the opposite sex are no longer required to seek a same-sex "co-host".. However during the week before final exams no guests are permitted in the halls overnight, and are expected to be out of the hall by 2 am.

The Student Village is a large new residential and recreational complex covering 10 acres (40,000 m2) between Buick Street and Nickerson Field, ground formerly occupied by a National Guard Armory, which had been used by the University primarily (but not exclusively) as a storage facility prior to its demolition and the start of construction. The Student Village was designed with the intention of fostering community and bridging the divide between the eastern and western portions of campus.

The dormitory of apartment suites at 10 Buick Street (often abbreviated to "StuVi" by students or simply "The Village") opened to juniors and seniors in the fall of 2000. In 2002, John Hancock Insurance announced its sponsorship of the multi-million dollar project. The Agganis Arena, named after Harry Agganis, was opened to concerts and hockey games in January 2005. The Agganis Arena is capable of housing 6,224 spectators for Terrier hockey games, replacing the smaller Walter Brown Arena. It can also be used for concerts and shows.

In March 2005, the final element of phase II of the Student Village complex, the Fitness and Recreation (FitRec) Center, was opened, drawing large crowds from the student body. Construction is underway on the third phase of the complex, two more residential facilities. Currently, completion of the first half of this section is due in September 2009.

The Mugar Memorial Library is the central academic library for the Charles River Campus. It also houses the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, formerly called the Twentieth Century Archive, where documents belonging to thousands of eminent figures in literature, journalism, diplomacy, the arts, and other fields are housed. Among them are Isaac Asimov's personal papers from 1965 onward, documents from distinguished alumnus Martin Luther King Jr, and the recent addition of Mary Louise Parker's personal papers.

The George Sherman Union (GSU) located next to Mugar Memorial Library provides students with an expansive food court featuring many popular fast-food chains, including Panda Express (which opened Fall 2006), Starbucks and Jamba Juice. The GSU also provides comfortable lounge areas in which to study. The basement of the George Sherman Union is home to the BU Central lounge, which hosts concerts and other activities and events. There is also a United States Post Office in the basement of the GSU.

Parts of the 2008 film 21 were filmed at The Castle after undisclosed legal reasons prevented Robert Luketic from filming at MIT. Other areas around the Boston University campus, including Mugar Library and FitRec, also provided production locations for the film.

Boston University School of Education located at 605 Commonwealth Avenue is housed in the original location of the Lahey Clinic. It was the merger of two pre-existing buildings, which explains its half floors (3 1/2, 4 1/2, 5 1/2, etc.).

The recently opened Florence and Chafetz Hillel House on Bay State Road is the Hillel facility for the university. With four floors and a basement, the facility includes lounges, study rooms and a kosher dining hall, open during the academic year (including Passover) to students and walk-ins from the community. The first floor also includes the Granby St.Cafe as well as TV's and ping-pong, pool and foosball tables. The Hillel serves as a focal point for BU's large and active Jewish community. It hosts approximately 30 student groups, including social, cultural and religious groups and BU Students for Israel (BUSI), Holocaust Education and the Center for Jewish Learning and Experience. It hosts a plethora of programs and speakers as well as Friday and Saturday shabbat services and meals.

Weld House, the office of the president of Boston University, is the former home of Charles Goddard Weld, a member of the wealthy Weld family of Massachusetts. The adjoining Dunn House contains the Office of the Chancellor.

Barnes and Noble at Boston University is the university's bookstore, which is located on Kenmore Square. Consisting of five floors the bookstore holds all BU students' needs ranging from books to clothes to coffee. Materials for others schools such as the Boston Architecture Center are also sold through the store.

Boston University's largest study abroad program is located in London, England. Boston University British Programmes offers a semester of study and work in London through their London Internship Program (LIP), as well as an adjunct non-internship program at Oxford University, St. Anne's College. Starting in Fall 2008, the programme at Oxford will only be a full academic year term, not just one semester as its been structured in the past. The LIP program combines a professional internship with coursework that examines a particular academic area in the context of Britain’s history, culture, and society and its role in modern Europe. Courses in each academic area are taught by selected British faculty exclusively to students enrolled in the Boston University program. Upon successful completion of a semester, students earn 16 Boston University credits. BU British Programmes are headquartered in South Kensington, London. The campus consists of the main building at 43 Harrington Gardens, as well as five flats that have been converted to house students. This program is open to Boston University students, as well as students at other American colleges, and enrolls between 650 to 850 students across Fall, Spring and Summer terms each year.

Most of the buildings of the main campus are located on or near Commonwealth Avenue. The Kenmore Square area of campus (including the Boston University Bookstore, Shelton Hall and Myles Standish Hall) may be accessed using the Kenmore Station Stop on the MBTA Green Line B, C and D trains. Most of the rest of the main campus may be accessed using the B trains of the Green Line between the Blandford Street and Pleasant Street stops. The 57 Bus runs along Commonwealth Avenue and into Allston and Brighton. The MBTA Commuter Rail Framingham/Worcester Line also stops near campus at Yawkey Station.

The Medical Campus is served by the 1 and CT1 Buses which runs along Massachusetts Avenue as well as the 47 and CT3 buses which connect the Boston University Medical Center with the Longwood Medical Area. The Silver Line Washington Street Branch runs the entire length of the campus, one block north of most parts of the campus; it connects Boston University Medical Center with Tufts/New England Medical Center and downtown Boston. The nearest underground T station is the Massachusetts Avenue station on the Orange Line, located 3 blocks north of the Medical Center.

The Boston University Shuttle (BUS) serves to connect the Main Campus, Boston University Theatre, and the Medical Campus.

Boston University's NCAA Division I Terriers compete in basketball, cross country, golf, ice hockey, rowing, soccer, swimming, tennis, track, and wrestling, while the Lady Terriers compete in basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, and track. Boston University athletics teams compete in the America East, Hockey East, and Colonial Athletic Association conferences, and their mascot is Rhett the Boston Terrier. Boston University recently constructed the new Agganis Arena, which opened on January 3, 2005 with a men's hockey game between the Terriers and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Boston University has won 29 Beanpot titles, over half of all 56 Beanpot Championships thus far. The annual tournament includes Harvard University, Boston College, and Northeastern University.

Boston University disbanded its football team in 1997. The university used the nearly $3 million from its football program to build the multimillion-dollar John Hancock Student Village and athletic complex. Among the biggest benefactors of the decision was BU women, who saw the funding for their teams increased. "By implementing the total plan, we can achieve a much more balanced set of sports programs for both men and women, which is consistent with the philosophy underlying Title IX," said former BU athletic director Gary Strickler.

Go BU, Go BU! Sing her praises loud and true! We'll fight for our alma mater, On to sure victory!! Fight! Fight! Fight! Go BU, Go BU! Down the field to score anew! Our hearts are with you as you meet the foe. We hail you, Ole BU!

Due to the lack of a football team since 1997, some students use the word "ice" instead of "field" in the seventh line.

Also it is common, when singing the fight song in sporting events, for students to replace the fifth line ("Fight! Fight! Fight!") with "B-C sucks!" referring to crosstown rival Boston College.

Boston University students also compete in athletics at the club level. Thirty four club sports are recognized by the university, including: Synchronized Skating, Baseball; Inline Hockey; Volleyball; Men's Lacrosse; Paintball; Snowboard; Ultimate; Kung Fu; Fencing; Rugby Football; Synchronized Swimming; Tennis; Table Tennis; Women's Water Polo; Men's Water Polo; Women's Rugby; Alpine Ski Racing; Cycling; Badminton; Ballroom Dance; Cheerleading; Figure Skating; Golf; Gymnastics; Jiu Jitsu; Kendo; Shotokan Karate; Sailing; Triathalon; Dance Team; Dance Theater Group; and Equestrian Team.

The BU Table Tennis team has won the divisional championships a number of times this decade, most recently in 2006 (Men's) and 2007 (Women's). Both Men's and Women's Intervarsity Table Tennis Teams have attended the National Collegiate Table Tennis Tournaments and ranked as high as the top 10 nationwide.

The BU Dinghy Sailors are the most recent BU team to win a national championship for the school at the varsity level, having won the ICSA Collegiate Nationals in 1999.

Despite a Student Activities policy which prohibits student-run publications from receiving University funding for printing costs, student journals continue to thrive at Boston University as department-sponsored publications, edited by students under the supervision of faculty and staff advisors. The coordinator for undergraduate publications, responsible for acquainting new editors with University guidelines and directing publications staff to campus production and financial resources, has been Zachary Bos of the Core Curriculum since 2006.

The Brownstone Journal is the longest-running campus publication, having been publishing undergraduate research, scholarly articles and essays, and literary work in translation, since 1982. The Brownstone is currently sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, but was originally a departmental publication of the University Professors Program. The staff operates from their offices in the former yearbook space in the basement of 10 Lenox Street, beneath the editorial offices of Bostonia.

The literary arts magazine Clarion has been printed since 1998. The first issue, titled "?", was published by the group Students for Literary Awareness with the sponsorship of the Department of English; subsequent issues have been issued by the BU Literary Society. Burn Magazine is a younger literary magazine, advised by Professor Susan Mizruchi of the Department of English and published biannually.

In 2006, the first issue of Pusteblume journal of translation was published by a group of former and current students of a co-curricular poetry seminar run by Professor George Kalogeris of the Core Curriculum. The journal, jointly sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages, the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literatures, and the Core Curriculum, publishes literature in translation and articles concerning translation.

The Journal of the Core Curriculum has been published continuously since 1992 by the College of Arts and Sciences Core Curriculum. Produced by a student editorial staff with the guidance of a faculty advisor, the very interdisciplinary Core Journal publishes academic prose, literary imitations, fictitious encounters between figures from the 'great works', original poetry and creative writing, essays, artwork, translations, and even -- in Vol. XVI, Spring 2007 -- original musical compositions.

The Back Bay Review is a student-run journal of literary and critical writing sponsored by the University Professors Program.

Arché is an annual journal of undergraduate work in philosophy, whose first issue was released in the summer of 2007. It is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and published by the Undergraduate Philosophy Association.

Although officially and entirely independent from the University, The Daily Free Press (often referred to as The FreeP), is the campus student newspaper, and the fourth largest daily newspaper in Boston. Since 1970, it has provided students with campus news, city and state news, sports coverage, editorials, arts and entertainment, and special feature stories. The Daily Free Press is published every regular instruction day of the University year and is available at BU dorms, classroom buildings and commercial locations frequented by students.

Even more independent, The Student Underground, focuses on alternative political and cultural activity. Since 1997, issues have been published roughly monthly by a "not-for-profit collective" composed mostly of BU students. In 2007, the paper began operating under the name The Boston Underground; the original editorial focus on campus issues has over the years weakened as the founding editors graduated from BU or left Boston altogether.

The Sam Adams Review was a short-lived monthly student newspaper "providing news for the American Spirit," geared toward a conservative readership. Its staff was not officially recognized as a registed student activity group but, like the Underground, was entirely student-run.

Boink was launched in February 2005 by a group of undergrads led by Alecia Oleyourryk, who was then a senior at the College of Communications. The magazine features BU students posing nude, as well as articles on sexuality. At the time of its first issue, the Dean of Students issued a statement explaining that "the University does not endorse, nor welcome, the prospective publication Boink." The magazine was then, and remains, unaffiliated with the University.

In September 2005, the student paper The Source began to appear weekly, and was characterized by a predominance of arts and entertainment coverage. No new issues were printed after November 2006, and it appears the publisher Greenline Media is now defunct.

The Boston University Community Service Center (CSC) is almost entirely student-run. Each semester, the CSC runs 13 volunteer programs related to issues of local, national, or global concern, including hunger, children, elders, disabilities, homelessness and affordable housing, human rights, AIDS awareness, gender issues, and the environment.

The CSC also runs two immensely popular one-week programs. During the First Year Student Outreach Project (FYSOP), upperclassmen lead groups of new freshmen in volunteer activities throughout Boston before the start of first semester. For Alternative Spring Break (ASB), hundreds of students travel by 14-passenger van to locations throughout the country to do service projects in a variety of areas of need. This program has gotten so popular that students camp out, starting the day before signups, to get spots on trips.

The CSC boast the most student involvement of any organization on campus.

Willing Suspension Productions provides graduate English students the opportunity to present rare Early modern drama before a Boston audience. The program was founded in 1993 and produces one play per year.

ROTC at BU traces its origins back to August 16, 1919 when the U.S. War Department stood up the Students’ Army Training Corps at Boston University, the predecessor to the current Army ROTC program. Today, BU is one of the relatively few colleges and universities in the country to host ROTC units from all three Armed Services – Army, Navy, and Air Force. Students wishing to commission into the Marine Corps study as Navy Midshipmen.

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Boston College (United States)

Boston College seal.png

Boston College (BC) is a private university located in the Newton, Massachusetts village of Chestnut Hill. Its historic campus, one of the earliest examples of Collegiate Gothic architecture in North America, is set on a hilltop six miles (10 km) west of downtown Boston. Although chartered as a university by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1863, Boston College's name reflects its early history as a liberal arts college and preparatory school in Boston's South End. It was the first institution of higher education established in Boston, though it later outgrew its original location and moved to Chestnut Hill. Boston College is one of the oldest Jesuit, Catholic universities in the United States and is home to one of the largest Jesuit communities in the world.

Boston College is called The Heights, a reference to both its lofty aspirations — the college motto is "Ever to Excel" — and its elevated location on Chestnut Hill, or "University Heights" as the area was initially designated. The name has lent itself to a number of campus organizations — including the principal student newspaper, The Heights — and to those affiliated with the university: BC students were universally called "Heightsmen" until 1925 when Mary C. Mellyn became the first "Heightswoman" to receive a BC degree. Today, the university's legacy includes over 143,000 alumni in over 120 countries around the world.

Boston College students have enjoyed success in winning prestigious post-graduate fellowships and awards, including recent Rhodes, Marshall, Mellon, Fulbright, Truman, Churchill, and Goldwater scholarships, among others. BC's yield rate for Fulbright awardees is the highest in the country. In 2007, the German department was awarded a record 13 Fulbright scholarships, five more than the previous number from a single department. Though formal numbers are not kept, the number of awardees from one department to study in a specific country is thought by academic scholars to be the largest in the 60-year history of the Fulbright program.

At US$1.83 billion, BC's endowment is among the largest in American higher education and the largest of any Jesuit university in the world. Its annual operating budget is approximately $667 million.

AHANA is a term coined (and trademarked) by BC students in 1979 to refer to students of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American descent. In 2006-07, AHANA students comprised 24% of BC undergraduates. International students make up an additional 5.3% of the student population.

The paper also noted that the program would involve replacing the 800 beds in Edmond's Hall with 400-person residence halls on Shea Field and near Moore Hall, overlooking Commonwealth Avenue. BC hopes to relocate the McMullen Museum of Art from Devlin Hall to a newly constructed building on the north side of Commonwealth Avenue, which will include additional open space in favor of a 1,000 to 1,200-person auditorium attached to it. Taking advantage of BC's location on Commonwealth Avenue, the designs will shift the MBTA station to the median in the center of the street. The school is also considering a sky bridge linking the new residence hall and museum. The baseball fields will be moved to the recently acquired St. John's Seminary property in the Brighton section of Boston to free up additional open areas on the main campus. The Brighton property will also be home to new parking structures, tennis courts, an indoor track, and a conference center. More recent plans also call for the construction of student housing on the Brighton campus, a fact which has caused some controversy in the local neighborhoods.

Its most dramatic features, however, are a set of academic buildings that anchor a center for the humanities alongside the Dustbowl; a recasting of the Lower Campus as a polished center of intellectual and community life, including a new recreation complex and a University center; a set of science buildings in a quad built on the memories of Cushing and portions of Campion halls; a reef of performing arts facilities on the near edge of the Brighton Campus and an “athletics and recreation district” at the far end; and a knitting together of the Lower and Brighton campuses by means of a footbridge and several blocks of mixed-use development.

On the main campus, the first new building to go up will be named Stokes Commons, in honor of former board of trustees chairman Pat Stokes, whose gift will fund the construction. The new building will replace McElroy as central point of student life and will include dining facilities, meeting space, practice space, and offices. Stokes Commons will be located adjacent to Lyons Hall. It is expected that construction may begin as early as 2009, with the building currently under design.

Funds raised will be used to support the strategic priorities of the University, including academic programs, financial aid, Jesuit Catholic identity, athletics, student programming, and capital construction projects.

Admission to Boston College is among the most selective in the United States. For the class of 2012, BC received a record 31,000 applications from prospective undergraduates, admitting 26%, making it the most selective class in the school's history. BC ranks fifth (after NYU, USC, BU, and Northeastern) among private American universities in the number of applications it receives annually, though it is less than half the size of the four schools that rank above it. The middle half of the class of 2012 had test scores that ranged from 1950-2220 on the SAT and 30-33 on the ACT.

BC placed 11th in a ranking of national universities (published in Forbes Magazine) by the Center for College Affordability & Productivity, a research group in Washington, D.C..

The undergraduate school of business, the Carroll School of Management, placed 14th in an annual survey of US undergraduate business schools by BusinessWeek, which noted that "Alumni and professors love helping students find jobs, making BC's campus networking an invaluable resource." BC ranked 34th among national universities in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges 2009" rankings.

A study by Carnegie Communications in 2004 ranked BC 17th among national universities. The same study cited BC as the 8th "most popular" choice among U.S. high school seniors.

A Princeton Review survey of parents that asked “What ‘dream college’ would you most like to see your child attend were prospects of acceptance or cost not issues?” placed BC 6th.

In 2008 U.S. News & World Report ranked the full time BC MBA program 34th in the nation, and the evening MBA program climbed to 15th, the 5th year it has been in the top 20 nationwide.

The history of Boston College is traced to the founding of the Society of Jesus in 1534 and the early activity of Jesuits in New England in the 17th and 18th centuries. Jesuit founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola, imagined a distinct mission that sought to engage intellectual inquiry, faith, and cultural contributions "in conversation with the city." His Society established colleges and universities in almost every part of the known world, and its members were among the great explorers of the Age of Discovery. In 1825, Benedict Joseph Fenwick, S.J., a Jesuit from Maryland, became the second Bishop of Boston. He was the first to articulate a vision for a "College in the City of Boston" that would raise a new generation of leaders to serve both the civic and spiritual needs of his fledgling diocese.

In 1827, Bishop Fenwick opened a school in the basement of his cathedral and took to the personal instruction of the city's youth. His efforts to attract other Jesuits to the faculty were hampered both by Boston's distance from the center of Jesuit activity in Maryland and by suspicion on the part of the city's Protestant elite. Relations with Boston's civic leaders worsened such that, when a Jesuit faculty was finally secured in 1843, Fenwick decided to leave the Boston school and instead opened the College of the Holy Cross 45 miles (72 km) west of the city in Worcester, Massachusetts where he felt the Jesuits could operate with greater autonomy. Meanwhile, the vision for a college in Boston was sustained by ], who saw an even greater need for such an institution in light of Boston's growing immigrant population. With the approval of his Jesuit superiors, McElroy went about raising funds and in 1857 purchased land for "The Boston College" on Harrison Street in Boston's South End. With little fanfare, the college's two buildings — a schoolhouse and a church — welcomed their first class of scholastics in 1859. Two years later, with as little fanfare, BC closed again. Its short-lived second incarnation was plagued by the outbreak of Civil War and disagreement within the Society over the college's governance and finances. BC's inability to obtain a charter from the anti-Catholic Massachusetts legislature only compounded its troubles.

Boston College's enrollment reached nearly 500 by the turn of the 20th century. Expansion of the South End buildings onto James Street enabled increased separation between the high school and college divisions, though Boston College High School remained a constituent part of Boston College until 1927 when it was separately incorporated. In 1907, newly-installed President Thomas I. Gasson, S.J., determined that BC's cramped, urban quarters in Boston's South End were inadequate and unsuited for significant expansion. Inspired by John Winthrop's early vision of Boston as a "city upon a hill," he re-imagined Boston College as world-renowned university and a beacon of Jesuit scholarship. Less than a year after taking office, he purchased Amos Adams Lawrence's farm on Chestnut Hill, six miles (10 km) west of the city. He organized an international competition for the design of a campus master plan and set about raising funds for the construction of the "new" university. Proposals were solicited from distinguished architects, and Charles Donagh Maginnis' ambitious proposal for twenty buildings in English Collegiate Gothic style, called "Oxford in America", was selected.

By 1913, construction costs had surpassed available funds, and as a result Gasson Hall, "New BC's" main building, stood alone on Chestnut Hill for its first three years. Buildings of the former Lawrence farm, including a barn and gatehouse, were temporarily adapted for college use while a massive fundraising effort was underway. While Maginnis' ambitious plans were never fully realized, BC's first "capital campaign" — which included a large replica of Gasson Hall's clock tower set up on Boston Common to measure the fundraising progress — ensured that President Gasson's vision survived. By the 1920s BC began to fill out the dimensions of its university charter, establishing the Boston College Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the Boston College Law School, and the Woods College of Advancing Studies, followed successively by the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, the Carroll School of Management, the Connell School of Nursing, and the Lynch School of Education. In 1926, Boston College conferred its first degrees on women (though it did not become fully coeducational until 1970). With the rising prominence of its graduates, this was also the period in which Boston College and its powerful Alumni Association began to establish themselves among the city's leading institutions. At the city, state and federal levels, BC graduates would come to dominate Massachusetts politics for much of the 20th century.

Cultural changes in American society and in the church following the Second Vatican Council forced BC to question its purpose and mission. Meanwhile, poor financial management lead to deteriorating facilities and resources and rising tuition costs. Student outrage, combined with growing protests over Vietnam and the bombings in Cambodia, culminated in student strikes, including demonstrations at Gasson Hall in April 1970.

By the time J. Donald Monan, S.J. assumed the presidency on September 5, 1972, BC was approximately $30 million in debt, its endowment totaled just under $6 million, and faculty and staff salaries had been frozen during the previous year. Rumors about the university's future were rampant, including speculation that BC would be acquired by Harvard University. Monan's first order of business was to reconfigure the Boston College Board of Trustees. By separating it from the Society of Jesus, Monan was able to bring in the talents of lay alumni and business leaders who helped turn around the university's fortunes. This same restructuring had been accomplished first at the University of Notre Dame in 1967 by Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, CSC with many other Catholic colleges following suit in the ensuing years. In 1974, Boston College acquired Newton College of the Sacred Heart, a 40-acre (160,000 m2) campus 1.5 miles (2.4 km) away that enabled it to expand the law school and provide more housing for a student population that was increasingly residential and geographically diverse. No less than the university's rescue is credited to Monan who set into motion the university's upward trajectory in finances, reputation, and global scope. In 1996, Monan's 24 year presidency, the longest in the university's history, came to an end when he was named University Chancellor and succeeded by President William P. Leahy, S.J..

Recent plans to merge with the Weston Jesuit School of Theology were followed by an article in The New York Times claiming "such a merger would further Boston College's quest to become the nation's Catholic intellectual powerhouse" and that, once approved by the Vatican and Jesuit authorities in Rome, BC "would become the center for the study of Roman Catholic theology in the United States." On February 16, 2006, the merger was authorized by the Jesuit Conference.

In 2003, after years of student-led discussions and efforts, the University approved a Gay-Straight Alliance, the first University-funded gay support group on campus. In 2004, between 1,000 and 1,200 students rallied behind a student-led campaign to expand the school's non-discrimination statement to include equal protection for gays and lesbians. Earlier that year 84% of the student body voted in favor of a student referendum calling for a change in policy. After several months of discussion the university's policy was changed in May 2005.

The plan has been criticized by Boston city officials. On February 21, 2008, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino warned the school to construct new dormitory building on its main campus, rather than on the former St. John's Seminary property acquired from the Archdiocese of Boston. Student misbehavior in the neighborhoods around the school has been a problem for area residents.

Alma Mater was written by T.J. Hurley, who also wrote For Boston (the Boston College Fight Song) and was a member of the Class of 1885.

Hail! Alma Mater! Thy praise we sing. Fondly thy mem'ries round our heart still cling. Guide of our youth, thro' thee we shall prevail! Hail! Alma Mater! Hail! All Hail!

Hail! Alma Mater! Lo, on the height, Proudly thy tow'rs are raised for the Right God is thy Master, His law thy sole avail!

Hail! Alma Mater! Hail! All Hail!

For Boston, for Boston, We sing our proud refrain! For Boston, for Boston, 'Tis Wisdom's earthly fane. For here all are one And their hearts are true, And the towers on the Heights Reach to Heav'ns own blue. For Boston, for Boston, Till the echoes ring again!

For Boston, for Boston, Thy glory is our own! For Boston, for Boston, 'Tis here that Truth is known. And ever with the Right Shall thy heirs be found, Till time shall be no more And thy work is crown'd. For Boston, for Boston, For Thee and Thine alone.

Set on a hilltop overlooking the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and the distant Boston skyline (see live webcam), Boston College's 175-acre (710,000 m2) Chestnut Hill campus includes over 120 buildings in addition to athletic fields, rolling hills, wooded areas, three formal gardens, an orchard, and over 100 species of trees. The campus creates an almost rural setting, only 6 miles (9.7 km) west of downtown Boston. A "Boston College" "T"-station, located at St. Ignatius Gate, is the western terminus of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Green Line's B-branch (also known as the "Boston College" line) and provides transit to the city center. Travel time is approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Travel time to Boston can be reduced by taking a shuttle bus to the "Reservoir" station and riding the faster D line into the city.

Due largely to its location and architecture, the Boston College campus is known affectionately as the "Heights", the "Crowned Hilltop". The main campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Designed by Charles Donagh Maginnis and his firm Maginnis & Walsh in 1908, the Boston College campus is a seminal example of Collegiate Gothic architecture. Publication of its design in 1909 — and praise from influential American Gothicist Ralph Adams Cram — helped establish Collegiate Gothic as the prevailing architectural style on American university campuses for much of the 20th Century. Combining Gothic Revival architecture with principles of Beaux-Arts planning, Maginnis proposed a vast complex of academic buildings set in a cruciform plan. The design suggested an enormous outdoor cathedral, with a long entry drive at the "nave," the main quadrangle at the "apse" and secondary quadrangles at the "transepts". At the "crossing," Maginnis placed the university's main building, which he called "Recitation Hall". Using stone quarried on the site, the building was constructed at the highest point on Chestnut Hill, commanding a view of the surrounding landscape and the city to the east. Dominated by a soaring 200-foot (61 m) bell tower, Recitation Hall was known simply as the "Tower Building" when it finally opened in 1913. Maginnis' design broke from the traditional Oxbridge models that had inspired it — and that had till then characterized Gothic architecture on American campuses. In its unprecedented scale, Gasson Tower was conceived not as the belfry of a singular building, but as the crowning campanile of Maginnis' new "city upon a hill".

Though Maginnis' ambitious Gothic project never saw full completion, its central portion was built according to plan and forms the core of what is now BC's iconic middle campus. Among these, the Bapst Library has been called the "finest example of Collegiate Gothic architecture in America" and Devlin Hall won the Harleston Parker Medal for "most beautiful building in Boston". Subsequent campus expansions exceeded even President Gasson's vision and brought with them a new set of architectural vocabulary: Georgian, Neoclassical, Richardsonian Romanesque, and others. The 1895 Louis K. Liggett Estate was acquired in 1941 and developed into a Tudor style upper campus, while an architecturally eclectic lower campus took shape on land acquired by filling in part of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. Around this time, a Seattle newspaper ranked Boston College second in a list of "America's Most Beautiful Campuses" (the University of Washington ranked first). Notions of "beauty" meanwhile were challenged by the advent of modernism. The 1940 design for St. Ignatius Church is an important hybrid of this period and is an example of what has been called "Modern Gothic". Modernism had an enormous impact on development after the 1940s, though most modernist buildings at BC maintained decidedly un-modern rough stone facades in keeping with Maginnis' original designs. By the 1960s, BC's severe space demands and poor financial health began to leave their mark, as evidenced by the construction of prefabricated modular apartments on the lower campus. Originally intended as temporary housing, the "Mods" have survived in large part because of their popularity among upperclassmen. Other legacies of this era include the hyperbolic-roofed Flynn Recreation Complex, constructed using laminated wood beams, and the later International Style O'Neill Library, designed by The Architects Collaborative. More recent campus development signals a return to Maginnis & Walsh's Collegiate Gothic designs, as reflected in the renovations of Fulton Hall (1997) and Higgins Hall (2002), and in the construction of Campanella Hall (2003) and the St. Ignatius Gate Residence Hall (2004). Campanella houses a small bookstore, the Hillside Cafe, the Undergraduate Government of Boston College (UGBC), and the Theology, History, Philosophy, Computer Science, and Economics departments. The building is connected via a causeway to Middle Campus through the O'Neill Library entrance. The Hillside Cafe operates a food-service Starbucks; meaning that it is not company owned, operated, or branded but students can still enjoy Starbucks beverages.

In June 2004, Boston College acquired 43 acres (170,000 m2) of land from the Archdiocese of Boston. The new grounds, adjacent to the main campus (on the opposite side of Commonwealth Avenue), include the historic mansion that served as the Cardinal's residence until 2002. The new grounds are referred to as Brighton Campus, after Brighton, the area in Boston where it is located.

In addition to the main campus at Chestnut Hill, BC's 40-acre (160,000 m2) Newton Campus is located 1-mile (1.6 km) to the west and houses the law school and residential housing for roughly one third of the freshman class. Other BC properties include a 20-acre (81,000 m2) seismology research observatory and field station in Weston, Massachusetts, an 80-acre (320,000 m2) retreat center in Dover, Massachusetts, and the Centre for Irish Programmes: Dublin on St. Stephen's Green in Dublin, Ireland.

Boston College's eight research libraries contain over two million printed volumes. Including manuscripts, journals, government documents and microform items, ranging from ancient papyrus scrolls to digital databases, the collections have some twelve million items. Together with the university's museums, they include original manuscripts and prints by Galileo, Ignatius of Loyola, and Francis Xavier as well as world renowned collections in Jesuitana, Irish literature, sixteenth century Flemish tapestries, ancient Greek pottery, Caribbean folk art and literature, Japanese prints, U.S. government documents, Congressional Archives, and paintings that span the history of art from Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

BC's central research library, the Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Library is named for the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, a member of the Boston College Class of 1936. Opened in 1984, it houses approximately two million volumes in the humanities, the natural sciences and the social sciences. It also contains U.S. government documents, administrative offices of the Boston College Libraries, and a museum dedicated to "Tip" O'Neill on the second floor, whose papers are housed in the Burns Library. A glass-enclosed atrium on the library's fourth and fifth floors offers sweeping views of the Boston skyline. The CTRC, Computer Technology Research Center (formerly SLSC, the Student Learning and Support Center), the largest computer lab on campus, and the Connors Family Learning Center (formerly ADC, the Academic Development Center), the student tutoring area, are located on the second floor.

Opened in 1928, Bapst Library was named for the first president of Boston College (Johannes Bapst, S.J., 1815 to 1887) and it was one of the few structures built according to Charles Donagh Maginnis' original "Oxford in America" master plan. Bapst served as the university's main library until 1984. It has been widely praised as the "finest example of Collegiate Gothic architecture in America." In 1987, it reopened after a two-year, multimillion dollar restoration and now houses the university's fine arts collection. Designed as a "cathedral to learning," it is the most elaborate of the original Collegiate Gothic buildings on campus with extensive stained glass windows, vaulted ceilings and carved wood paneling. Gargan Hall, the soaring reading room on the library's upper floor, has been named the most beautiful room in Boston. Also on the upper floor are the Chancellor's office and the Lonergan Institute. The reading room on the ground floor features a gold-leaf and wood-beamed ceiling that was carefully restored with funds from the Kresge Foundation. A guide to the building's famous stained glass windows is available online.

The Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections is home to more than 150,000 volumes, some 15 million manuscripts and other important works, including a world-renowned collection of Irish literature. A rare facsimile of the Book of Kells is on public display in the library's Irish Room, and each day one page of the illuminated manuscript is turned. Other significant holdings include original works by Sir Isaac Newton, Samuel Beckett, T. S. Eliot, Graham Greene, Seamus Heaney, Gerard Manley Hopkins, James Joyce, Francis Thompson, George Bernard Shaw, and William Butler Yeats, among others. It also houses the papers of prominent Boston College alumni, including House of Representatives Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Jr.; legal scholar and former U.S. Congressman Robert F. Drinan, S.J.; US Representative Edward P. Boland; and Margaret Heckler, Congresswoman, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, and U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. The library is named after the Honorable John. J. Burns (1901 to 1957), Massachusetts Superior Court Justice and a member of the Boston College Class of 1921. The library's lofty Ford Memorial Tower is considerably more elaborate than Gasson Tower, though not as tall. Inside, the Thompson Room features a magnificent oriel window depicting epic poetry, while the Trustee Room includes stained glass depictions of 54 Jesuit armorial crests. Exhibits are held frequently on the library's main level and guided tours are available on request.

In a new building opened in 1996, the Law Library is located on the Boston College Law School campus in Newton, Massachusetts and contains approximately 500,000 volumes covering all major areas of American law and primary legal materials from the federal government, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the European Union. The library also features a substantial treatise and periodical collection and a growing collection of international and comparative law material. The library's Coquillette Rare Book Room houses works from the 15th through 19th centuries, including works by and about Saint Thomas More.

Located in Devlin Hall, the McMullen Museum of Art houses a prominent permanent collection and organizes exhibits from all periods and cultures of art history. Recent exhibits and acquisitions, including works by Edvard Munch, Amedeo Modigliani, Frank Stella, Françoise Gilot, John LaFarge, and Jackson Pollock have widened both the scope of the collection and its audience. Saints and Sinners, a 1999 exhibition on the work of Caravaggio, attracted the largest audience of any university museum up to that time. Related museum activities include musical and theatrical performances, films, gallery talks, symposia, lectures, readings, and receptions that draw students, faculty, alumni and visitors from around the world. Admission to the Museum is free and open to the general public.

Located in Campion Hall, the Education Resource Center (ERC) houses a prominent permanent collection of education materials for the next generation of teachers. The ERC is the special library devoted to the Lynch School of Education and one of the few libraries at BC to have its own cataloguing department. Recent renovations include a new technology room with state of the art equipment, such as SMARTboard and plasma television, to prepare students for their roles as teachers. Related museum activities include its own classroom, viewing areas, and computer lab with Macs and PCs. Like all BC libraries the ERC is a member of the Boston Consortium but its materials are only for the BC community.

The Newton Resource Center (NRC) is an undergraduate resource library situated in the center of Boston College’s satellite Newton Campus accessible through Trinity Chapel. A converted theater, it is nicknamed "the morgue" both because of its absolute silence and its location in the former crypt beneath the chapel. As of the fall of 2006, the NRC is closed to student access, though the NRC continues to house a large portion of O’Neill’s overflow books, journals, and periodicals. Although there were problems with mold and water in the NRC, extensive work has been done to rectify these issues. Currently there are books being stored there, which can be requested through the O'Neill Library.

The Kenny-Cottle Library is located on south side of the Newton Campus. At present, the building is being refitted to be used as office space, but the core of the building remains a closed-to-the-public overflow archive for the O’Neill library, housing more than 200,000 volumes available for request through the main library system.

Other BC libraries include dedicated facilities for the schools social work and education, and a geophysics library at the Weston Observatory. Additional exhibition spaces include a student art gallery on the Bapst Library's mezzanine level as well as exhibition space in the Robsham Theater and Campanella Hall. Items related to BC history and athletics are on display at the Hall of Fame in Conte Forum and the BC Football Museum in the Yawkey Athletics Center.

The unofficial chapel for the university is the Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. The church is named after Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order. Although not technically the university's church, St. Ignatius enjoys a special relationship with Boston College through which the university provides the parish with Internet access, e-mail service, telephone and voice mail service, parking, and dormitory space for the religious education program. Each year, several Boston College students teach in the religious education program. Jesuits priests from Boston College occasionally preside at the church's liturgies. On their part, St. Ignatius provides a spiritual home for many students during their time at Boston College and for many alumni on their wedding day. The church building is also used by the college for some of their larger events.

St. Columbkille's is a Roman Catholic Church and elementary school in Brighton, Massachusetts which has made an alliance with BC. Under the agreement, the school (founded in 1901) is to be governed by a board of members and a board of trustees comprising representatives from the Archdiocese of Boston, Boston College, St. Columbkille Parish and the greater Boston community. The board of trustees will authorize an audit of the school's curriculum, faculty, finances, and facilities before creating a strategic plan to guide the school in the future. Lynch School of Education faculty will work directly with the school's teachers on faculty and curriculum development, presenting new approaches to education and working to establish best practices in the classroom.

The agreement, announced in March 2006 by University President William P. Leahy, S.J., and Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM, Cap., represents the first such collaboration between a Catholic university and a parochial school in the United States.

Since its inception St. Columbkille School has had a strong relationship with Boston College, with thousands of its graduates and parishioners having attended the University. Over the years, the Lynch School has been actively involved in St. Columbkille through its Extended Services Program, which offers after-school and summer programs for children and families focused on learning and healthy development, and its Carnegie Foundation-sponsored "Teachers for a New Era" program, which provides professional development and teacher training at the school.

In addition, Boston College students tutor at the school on a weekly basis and teach confirmation classes throughout the school year. BC employees also volunteer in the Read Aloud Program at St. Columbkille, reading to kindergarten, first, and second grade pupils during their lunch breaks.

BC's Jesuit-Catholic identity is rooted in the distinct vision of Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, who believed in "finding God in all things." Jesuits are characterized by a dedication to both "the life of the mind and the encounter with the world," a mission distinguished by their intellectual and humanitarian activities — notably in the fields of higher education, human rights, and social justice. As explorers, scientists, artists, diplomats, and writers, Jesuits have historically been at the forefront of scientific discovery and cultural expression. As a result, they have had a sometimes tumultuous relationship with the Catholic Church — and were officially suppressed by the Vatican from 1773 to 1814 — though their work has always been dedicated Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, or "to the greater glory of God." The 112 Jesuits living on the Boston College campus make up one of the largest Jesuit communities in the world and include members of the faculty and administration, graduate students and visiting international scholars.

The synthesis between faith and reason, coupled with BC's inclusive founding mission, attracts students and faculty from diverse religious traditions and a broad range of convictions. Campus spiritual activities are open to all, though entirely optional and include Catholic liturgies as well as religious services in various Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and other traditions. The Jesuit call to justice is evident in work across religious boundaries in community service, reflection retreats, and immersion programs both on campus and abroad. Alumni also reflect this commitment to humanitarian work: BC ranks eleventh among Peace Corps volunteer-producing colleges.

The mascot for all Boston College athletic teams is the Eagle, generally referred to in the plural, i.e., "The Eagles". The character representing the mascot at football, hockey, and basketball games is an American bald eagle named Baldwin, derived from the "bald" head of the American bald eagle and the word "win".

The school colors are maroon and gold. The fight song, For Boston, was composed by T.J. Hurley, class of 1885.

The Eagles compete in NCAA Division I-A as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference in all sports offered by the ACC. The men's and women's ice hockey teams compete in Hockey East. (Skiing, fencing, and sailing are also non-ACC.) Boston College is one of only thirteen universities in the country offering NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (Formerly, I-A) football, Division I men's and women's basketball, and Division I hockey.

In hockey and (less famously) baseball, Boston College participates in the annual Beanpot tournaments held at TD Banknorth Garden and Fenway Park, respectively. Boston College competes in the Beanpot against the three other major sports colleges in Boston: the Northeastern University Huskies, Harvard University Crimson, and Boston University Terriers. BC has reached the championship game 29 times and has won the Beanpot 14 times, including the 2008 championship. The less renowned baseball tournament, was first played in 1990 and out of seventeen baseball Beanpots, Boston College has won nine, last winning in 2008. The baseball team also plays an exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox at City Of Palms Park in Ft. Myers, Florida during Major League Baseball's spring training.

The Men's Hockey Team won the 2008 NCAA Championship on April 12 with a 4-1 victory over the University of Notre Dame in Denver, Colorado.

Principal athletic facilities include Alumni Stadium (capacity: 44,500), Conte Forum (8,606), Kelley Rink (7,884), Shea Field (1,000), the Newton Soccer Complex (1,000), and the Flynn Recreation Complex. The Yawkey Athletics Center opened in the spring of 2005. BC students compete in 31 varsity sports as well as a number of club and intramural teams. On March 18, 2002, Boston College's Athletics program was named to the College Sports Honor Roll as one of the nation's top 20 athletic programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Although a founding member of the Big East Conference, the Eagles left the Big East and joined the Atlantic Coast Conference on July 1, 2005.

Boston College athletes are among the most academically successful in the nation, according to the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate (APR). In 2006 Boston College received Public Recognition Awards with fourteen of its sports in the top 10% of the nation academically. The Eagles tied Notre Dame for the highest total of any Division I-A university. Other schools having ten or more sports honored included Navy (12), Stanford (11), and Duke (11). Teams honored were football, men's fencing, men's outdoor track, men's skiing, women's rowing, women's cross country, women's fencing, women's field hockey, women's indoor track, women's outdoor track, women's skiing, women's swimming, women's soccer, women's tennis, and women's volleyball. Boston College's football program was one of only five Division I-A teams that were so honored. The other four were Auburn, Navy, Stanford, and Duke.

The Boston College Eagles basketball program has achieved recent and prolonged success under head coach Al Skinner. The team has recently reached the sweet sixteen of the NCAA tournament (2006) and has made the transition to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Boston College Eagles have achieved much success in college football. On November 16, 1940, BC's Frank Leahy-coached championship team took a win from two-season undefeated Georgetown in the final seconds in a game that renowned sportswriter Grantland Rice called the greatest ever played. The Eagles completed their only undefeated season with a bowl victory over Tennessee that year, and many historians argue that the Eagles deserved a share of the national championship. In 1942, the team spent three weeks ranked at #3 in the nation and one week at #1, but they were upset by a then-dominant Holy Cross, 55-12. As a result, the team canceled a party at the Cocoanut Grove, which ended up as a wise thing to do because that night the club caught fire.

An additional nine years later, BC again thwarted a potential Notre Dame perfect season, defeating the #2 Fighting Irish in South Bend, 14-7. Boston College ran their football winning streak over Notre Dame to five games in 2007 with a 27-14 victory, helping the Eagles rise to #2 in the BCS rankings.

Two of Boston College's alumni hold special places in the NFL record-books. Mike Woicik, a history major, holds the record for most Super Bowl rings won by a non-head NFL coach. Having gained (as a strength and conditioning coach) three with the New England Patriots and three with the Dallas Cowboys. Bill Romanowski, a business major, holds the defensive record as an NFL player for most consecutive games played at 243, is the only linebacker in history to start in 5 Super Bowls, and also shares a record as one of only three players in NFL history to win back to back Super Bowls with two different organizations, the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos.

On October 21, 2007, Boston College received its highest ranking since 1942, coming in at #2 nationally in both the AP Poll and in the USA Today/Coaches' Poll.

The Eagles beat Virginia Tech on October 25, 2007, led by Matt Ryan with two touchdown passes in the final 2:11 of the game. This win solidified their spot at #2 in both the AP and Coaches' Poll as well as the BCS rankings. The team faced Virginia Tech again on December 1, 2007 in Jacksonville, Florida in the 2007 ACC Championship Game as Atlantic Division champions, but lost 30-16. Boston College won the Atlantic Division for the second consecutive year in 2008 but would again fall to Virginia Tech in the conference championship game.

The Eagles won the 2007 Champs Sports Bowl over Michigan State, extending their bowl winning streak to eight consecutive victories -- at the time the longest active bowl win streak in the nation. The streak ended the following year with their loss to Vanderbilt in the 2008 Music City Bowl.

Ryan broke the Boston College single-season touchdown record previously held by College Hall of Famer, Doug Flutie. He was awarded the 2007 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given annually in the United States to the nation's most outstanding senior quarterback in college football and was selected third in the NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons, making him the highest-chosen BC player in NFL draft history.

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Source : Wikipedia