Nine Fun, Free Things to Do at Alumni Weekend 2019
A guide to great events open to students and staff, as well as alums
From a quarter-century of women’s soccer to a new slate of Distinguished Alumni Award winners, Terriers have plenty to celebrate at Alumni Weekend 2019. More than 3,000 alumni are expected on campus and of the 150-plus events planned for them, many are free and open to current students and staff.
Here are nine events to check out this weekend—including the celebratory conclusion to the Campaign for Boston University.
BU’s newest Instagrammable spot is a bench near the BU Beach. Wrap an arm around the bronze likeness of Rhett, smile, and snap away—then hashtag your shot with #RhettBench to be entered in a prize raffle.
When: Any time. Where: next to BU Admissions’ Alan and Sherry Leventhal Center, 233 Bay State Road. Cost: free.
Join BU archivists for a talk (held on both Friday and Saturday) about the University’s history, BU Then & Now: The Evolution of Our University. Guests will learn how the school evolved into an international research institution. Can’t make one of the two talks? Some of the Gotlieb Archival Research Center’s documents and artifacts—which include papers from distinguished alums such as Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59), former faculty, including the late Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel (Hon.’74) and Howard Thurman (Hon.’67), the first black dean at a predominantly white US university, and many others—are always on display on the first floor of Mugar Memorial Library.
When: Friday, September 20, 11 am, and Saturday, September 21, 11 am. Where: Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Mugar Memorial Library, 771 Commonwealth Ave. Cost: free.
In what has become a traditional kickoff event for Alumni Weekend festivities, the BU Symphony Orchestra will perform a free lunchtime concert, with selections from its upcoming October concert (Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Britten), under the direction of conductor Joshua Gersen, a College of Fine Arts lecturer.
When: Friday, September 20, 12:30 to 1:30 pm. Where: Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Ave. Cost: free.
Join Brother Lawrence Whitney (STH’09,’18), a University chaplain, for a fascinating architecture tour of BU’s historic Marsh Chapel, where religious figures, educational reformers, and social justice warriors are honored in the stained glass windows. Learn about the central role that Marsh Chapel has played in University life. The tour ends with a wine and cheese reception on Marsh Plaza.
When: Friday, September 20, 4 to 6 pm. Where: Marsh Chapel, 735 Commonwealth Ave. Cost: free.
Young Alumni Award recipients Erica V. Mosca (CGS’06, COM’08), founder and executive director of Leaders in Training, and Andy X. Vargas (CAS’15, Pardee’15), a Massachusetts state representative (D-Third Essex), discuss their careers and advice for the next generation in A Conversation on Leadership and Inspiration.
When: Saturday, September 21, 12:30 to 1:30 pm. Where: LAW Auditorium, 765 Comm Ave. Cost: free.
During his tenure as US poet laureate (1997–2000), Robert Pinsky launched the Favorite Poem Project, an effort to collect Americans’ favorite poems. The project’s archive, including thousands of letters, emails, and videos, is housed at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center. Hear Pinsky, a William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor and a College of Arts & Sciences professor of English, and a group of notable BU alumni and faculty read their favorite poems at this special event.
When: Saturday, September 21, 1 to 2:15 pm. Where: Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre, 820 Commonwealth Ave. Cost: free.
The BU women’s soccer team celebrates its 25th season this fall. Head coach Nancy Feldman and the Terriers have won more than 300 games during that span. Cheer the defending Patriot League champs as they face American University on Saturday afternoon.
When: September 21, 1 pm. Where: Nickerson Field. Cost: free.
Other BU Athletics games:
Women’s Field Hockey vs. Bucknell—When: September 21, 1 pm. Where: New Balance Field. Cost: free.
Women’s Lacrosse vs. Vermont—When: September 21, 4 pm. Where: Nickerson Field. Cost: free.
Each year, BU honors some of its most illustrious alumni with the Distinguished Alumni Award. This year’s recipients are Sandra L. Lynch (LAW’71, Hon.’12), the first woman appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, Carol Jenkins (Wheelock’66), journalist and media consultant, Pete Souza (COM’76), White House photographer for President Ronald Reagan and President Barack Obama, and Dennis L. Via (Wheelock’88), a retired US Army general and a Booz Allen executive. Erica V. Mosca (CGS’06, COM’08), founder and executive director of Leaders in Training, and Andy X. Vargas (CAS’15, Pardee’15), a Massachusetts state representative (D-Third Essex), will receive Young Alumni Awards. The Distinguished Alumni Award recipients will discuss their accomplishments with moderator Allison Davis (CGS’72, COM’75) following the presentation.
When: September 21, 3 to 5 pm. Where: Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Ave. Cost: free.
Capping Alumni Weekend is a celebration of the historic Campaign for Boston University. Join the BU community for an announcement of the final fundraising total—which has exceeded the $1.5 billion target—and enjoy a performance by the world-renowned Boston Pops, a light show, figure skating from Feld Entertainment, producers of Disney on Ice, and performances by BU’s Inner Strength Gospel Choir and Opera Institute.
When: September 21, 8 pm (doors open at 7). Where: Agganis Arena, 925 Commonwealth Ave. Cost: $20 per person; free for students with a valid BU ID.