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Boston College Kicks off 150th Anniversary Celebration with Fenway Park Mass

The 18-month-long celebration will include a speakers series, academic symposia and a Founders Day celebration.

Although the Yankees had left town and the Red Sox were on the road, the stands at Fenway Park were packed last Saturday. 

It wasn't a ball game that drew the crowd of roughly 20,000 but a historic Mass with Boston College students, alumni, family, faculty and staff, according to a story in the Boston College Chronicle. 

Boston Archbishop Cardinal Sean O’Malley presided over the Mass, which included music and prayers from Boston College students.

Check out a video of the Mass from the Boston Globe in the media section to the right. 

The Fenway Mass marked the start of Boston College's 18-month-long Sesquicentennial Celebration, which will include a Sesquicentennial Speakers Series, a Founders Day Celebration, a student concert at Symphony Hall and a convocation of leading Catholic college presidents, the Chronicle reported. 

The celebration will also include seven academic symposia over the next three semesters. The first symposium, “Public Education and the Future of Democracy,” will be held on Oct. 5.

Boston College was founded in 1863 and opened its doors in the South End on Sept. 5, 1864 with three teachers and 22 students. After outgrowing the urban setting, the school broke ground on a new school in 1909 and eventually relocated to the Chestnut Hill campus in 1913. 

Boston College acquired its Newton Centre campus in 1974 from the Newton College of the Sacred Heart and three years later, the school acquired the Brighton campus from the Boston Archdiocese.

The school now has a student body of 14,600 and more than 750 full-time faculty. 

“The Sesquicentennial Celebration gives us an opportunity to celebrate Boston College’s first 150 years, to reflect on how Boston College has evolved over the decades, and to rededicate ourselves to the educational and religious vision that has animated BC since its founding in 1863,” University President William P. Leahy told the Chronicle. 

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