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Graduating, with a Big Assist from Dad

BU custodian uses University benefit to give his son an education

Last Thursday, Eddie Almeida arrived at the George Sherman Union at 11 pm to begin his regular overnight shift as lead custodian. He mopped floors, emptied trash, and neatly tucked chairs under tables. But instead of heading home to Malden, Mass., at the end of his shift at 7 am Friday as he usually does, Eddie changed into a suit and walked the three blocks to Agganis Arena to his son’s College of Communication Convocation. Andrew Almeida, Eddie’s son, received a bachelor’s degree in cinematography and film and video production. It was the culmination of years of hard work for both father and son.

Throughout the semester, BU Today video producer Bill Politis has followed Andrew (COM’18) and 10-year BU employee Eddie, focusing on their close relationship.

Andrew often calls his dad before his shift starts or meets up with him for a late dinner. He says it’s been great having his dad so close. “If things got too hectic at school or I was under too much stress, I could just wait ’til nighttime, walk down to the GSU, talk to him, and put all of that behind me. And he taught me a lot, like no matter how hard my day is, to just wake up tomorrow and keep doing my best.” Andrew plans to spend the summer working in BU’s 10-week Los Angeles Internship-Only Program.

Eddie took advantage of BU’s employee tuition remission program, which allowed him to send his daughter, Monica Almeida (COM’15), and Andrew to BU at a 90 percent discount.

“I don’t think I’d be here without him,” Andrew says. “We aren’t in a financial spot to attend a University like this. But as a student, I see firsthand how people often take for granted how messy the GSU can become and all the hard work it takes to get it clean and back to new each night. I think the men and women doing this shift don’t get as much praise because there are no students around at night to see them doing the hard work.”

Waiting with Andrew’s mother for their son outside Agganis Arena after COM’s Convocation ceremony Friday morning, Eddie kept brushing away tears. “It feels great,” he said. “I’m not tired—I’m excited. I didn’t go to college so I’m very proud.” As Andrew filed out with the rest of his classmates, he made a beeline straight to his dad and gave him a big hug.

Bill Politis can be reached at bpolitis@bu.edu. Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

25 Comments

25 Comments on Graduating, with a Big Assist from Dad

  • Dr. Thomas A. Underwood on 05.21.2018 at 5:17 am

    A moving tribute. Congratulations to you both!

  • Pedro on 05.21.2018 at 7:03 am

    Thank you to Eddie and Andrew, both of whom have given and continue to give BU so much. Congrats, Andrew!

    Another great feature by Bill Politis.

  • Barbara McKenna on 05.21.2018 at 7:55 am

    What a wonderful family and such a grateful son, something that I think is very rare these days. I wish the Almeida family a lifetime of closeness!

  • Katharine on 05.21.2018 at 7:58 am

    Thank you for sharing your stories with us, Eddie and Andrew! I loved this.

  • Carla on 05.21.2018 at 9:08 am

    Such a beautiful story. And beautifully captured. Congratulations to both Eddie and Andrew!

  • John Hall on 05.21.2018 at 9:16 am

    Congrats, Andrew, to you and your family. This is a really touching video. You did him and BU proud.

  • squigley on 05.21.2018 at 11:08 am

    Such a sweet story of love and dignity. Thanks and congratulations to Eddie and Andrew.

  • Gabby on 05.21.2018 at 11:12 am

    The ending made me cry!!! This is so beautiful!

  • Naomi on 05.21.2018 at 12:31 pm

    I’ve seen first hand how hard so many people have worked to make it possible for their children to attend BU. Really wonderful to see this sacrifice portrayed so lovingly in this segment. Many congratulations to Andrew and Eddie, and your family. Best wishes to you Andrew in your career.

  • Kim R on 05.21.2018 at 12:41 pm

    Great film Bill. Eddie you are an amazing father (and handsome too!). COM is proud of Andrew, and Eddie, you’re my hero. Congratulations to you both. You inspire us.

  • Trindade M DaSilva on 05.21.2018 at 1:02 pm

    Congratulations it’s a very proud moment, My son also graduated from BU it’s great when you work so hard and then see your children get there diploma. It brought back a lot of memories. Congratulations Eddie and Andrew.

  • Lillian on 05.21.2018 at 1:53 pm

    A beautiful story. I’m crying at my desk.
    So inspiring and touching.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  • Pauline on 05.21.2018 at 4:42 pm

    Quite a moving tribute, thank you for sharing this story. Congratulations to Andrew and his Dad!

  • Dr Rao Varada on 05.21.2018 at 7:38 pm

    Congratulations to Eddie and Andrew! You both make a great story that touched my heart. I was never able to attend any of my convocations (on three occasions). I always read convocation stories with lot of interest. Best wishes to Andrew in his future endeavors!

  • Tricia on 05.21.2018 at 7:56 pm

    Congratulations & well done to Mr. Almeida! You raised a wonderful boy. What a great story. All the best to the Almeida family!

  • Matt Rodenhiser on 05.21.2018 at 8:43 pm

    We done Andrew! You made your family and Area 2 proud. Wish I could’ve been there for graduation. It was also a pleasure to work with you and your crew at Student Productions throughout the last 2 Years.
    Your dad is a good man and I am very happy to have him as the overnight lead at the GSU and rest of the area, real team player and organizer.
    All the best in your bright new future! Bill and Amy, great video!

  • Judi Burgess on 05.22.2018 at 2:48 pm

    Congratulations to you both! This is a moving tribute. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Betty Adams on 05.23.2018 at 12:16 am

    A wonderful story, well told. Congratulations Andrew and Eddie, what a great model of support and sacrifice.

  • GM on 05.24.2018 at 11:52 am

    A wonderful tribute, and congratulations to you both — I’ve been recounting this story to people far and wide this week, well beyond BU!

  • Maureen Dacey Nevers on 05.24.2018 at 9:00 pm

    Proud to have shared a part of your lives many years ago. You are both amazing men, part of an amazing family.

  • Terry Wang on 05.29.2018 at 2:02 am

    Congratulations! This video makes think about my dad.

  • Martin on 05.31.2018 at 3:44 pm

    Congratulations. Your dad is an incredible individual.

  • Celine on 06.01.2018 at 11:56 am

    It’s so beautiful. Thank you both for inspiring us.

  • Liz on 06.01.2018 at 12:12 pm

    So beautiful!

  • Jewel on 06.02.2018 at 4:33 am

    Thanks for sharing such an inspirational story so many take for granted the service that employees around us are doing for us and their children. Too often we forget who they are and that each is an Intercal part in our success in Minden. We love like you work hard make you Pray with high expectations for our children like you and wish the best for our next generation which is you! Let us all work as a global village to And support each other to succeed!

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