Photo: Billie Wiess/Boston Red Sox

Campus Digest: Fall 2020

Happenings from around Boston College.

The Boston Red Sox held a moment of silence for Pete Frates ’07 on opening day in July. The former BC baseball captain’s fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised $220 million for ALS research. Frates died in December at 34.

Human-centered engineering program

  Photo: Kynny/iStock

BC is recruiting the first-ever class for its Human-Centered Engineering program, which is set to launch in fall 2021. “Drawing upon our liberal arts offerings and our professional schools will allow us to offer a broad-based, interdisciplinary program of human-centered engineering, which many traditional engineering programs have struggled to develop,” said Thomas Chiles, vice provost for research.


Stefano Anzellotti

  Photo: Lee Pellegrini

Stefano Anzellotti, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience, won the National Science Foundation CAREER award. The five-year, $600,000 prize will fund Anzellotti’s research on the brain functions that allow people to recognize and understand others. “If we have models that approximate social perception and social behavior,” Anzellotti said, “then we can address the question of how we need to change the models to capture the differences between different individuals.”

Allison and Amy Ferreira ’20, Carroll School of Management graduates and identical twins, were both named to Poets & Quants’ list of Best and Brightest Business Majors of 2020. The Marshfield, Massachusetts, natives—who were among 100 seniors selected from the top fifty undergraduate business schools in the country—credit their father for their work ethic and interest in the stock market. “Each day I continue to be inspired by my dad’s persistence, hard work, and humility,” Amy Ferreira told the publication.

Several BC undergraduate majors were found to be in the top five nationally by the college-ranking service GradReports: accounting (no. 4), communication (3), marketing (3), philosophy (4), and sociology (4). GradReports uses outcome-based data from the Department of Education, such as graduates’ median salaries and debt levels, to rank the top twenty-five colleges in the country.

Boston College has gone completely tobacco- and smoke-free. On August 1, a new ban on smoking, vaping, and the use of tobacco products went into effect.

The Lowell Humanities Series, a long-standing lecture series showcasing artists, writers, and scholars, is going virtual this fall. Speakers include Dr. M Jackson, a geographer, glaciologist, and TED Fellow (October 7); Bridgett M. Davis, author of The World According To Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers (October 21); and Stephan Wolfert, a military officer who left the service for a life in theater (November 4). All events are free and open to the public. Register at

To document life during the coronavirus pandemic, the John J. Burns Library invites Boston College community members to share their stories and photographs—important primary sources that could enlighten future researchers. Contribute by filling out the online form at, email, or call 617-552-3282.


Patrick F. Cadigan ’57, the namesake and benefactor of the Cadigan Alumni Center, died in April. He was 85. “I was fortunate enough to benefit from Pat’s friendship and wisdom over his many years of thoughtful engagement with the University,” Senior Vice President for University Advancement Jim Husson said of the real estate investor and former tech CEO. “And like anyone who knew him, I was both inspired and impressed by his love for his family and friends, his deep affection for BC High and Boston College, and his genuine character.”

Mary A. Armstrong, a painter who taught at BC for almost thirty years before retiring in 2019, died in May. She was 71. “Every day I stare wide-eyed at the changing light, and perceive, more and more deeply, the symbiotic connection of earth and sky,” Armstrong wrote on her website. “I see how the forces shape each other and I strive to create a painted space that will express the ineffable beauty of this dynamic ‘sandwich’ of atmosphere and earth.”