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First Year Academic Convocation

go set the world aflame!

book cover of A Backpack, A Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka

First Year Academic Convocation 2017 will take place on Thursday, September 7th.

Prior to the first flight procession, first year students will gather by residence hall on their respective campus and dine at McElory or Stuart Dining Hall. 

Following dinner, the students will make their hall to Stokes lawn with their residence hall and at 6 PM the First Flight procession will commence and followed by the keynote address at 7 PM at Conte Forum

As a member of the class of 2021, each of you will have the opportunity to read A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka and to welcome author Lev Golinkin to Boston College to discuss his work.

Lev Golinkin spent his early childhood in Kharkov, Ukraine the late 1980s in the Soviet Union. Born into a Jewish family, Lev experienced anti-Semitism and oppression under the Communist Regime. In the Fall of 1989, shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Lev’s parents heard that the United States would soon close the borders and no longer permit Soviet Jews to emigrate. This book chronicles how this looming deadline prompted Lev’s parents to begin their immigration process, and the journey that brought Lev, his parents, his sister, Lina, and his grandmother first to Austria and then on to the United States. View the Reading Guide here. (Please note: This file is an Adobe Reader® (PDF) formatted file. To view, you may need to download the free Adobe Reader.

Since the Fall of 2004, Conversations in the First Year has enriched the intellectual lives of our newest students. It begins at Orientation, where all incoming students are given a common text. This book helps to create the year's academic theme. Then, early in their first semester, all first year students gather for the First Year Academic Convocation. Each year the Convocation speaker addresses the class, inspiring the themes of the summer reading. Convocation is filled with ritual, ideas, and conversation that kick off the academic year. All first-year students are required to join us for this event.


Past Speakers : summer reading

2016  Steve Pemberton: A Chance in the World

2015  David Brooks: The Road to Character

2014  Dave Eggers: The Circle

2013  Bill Strickland: Make the Impossible Possible

2012  Dan Barry: Bottom of the 33rd

2011  Colum McCann: Let the Great World Spin

2010  Daniel Wolff: How Lincoln Learned to Read

2009  Ann Patchett: Run

2008  J.R. Moehringer: The Tender Bar     

2007  Jeanette Walls: The Glass Castle        

2006  Senator John McCain: Lives of Moral Leadership by Robert Coles

2005  Senator Barack Obama: Dreams from My Father

2004  Dr. Paul Farmer and Tracy Kidder: Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder



Go set the world aflame banner
  "Go set the world aflame."
-Ignatius of Loyola

In the entrance of the Jesuit headquarters in Rome is a striking statue of Ignatius of Loyola (founder of the Jesuits) with the motto "Ite, inflammate omnia." — "Go set the world aflame,"  his parting words to Francis Xavier who was carrying the Gospel to the East. This is our charge as you begin your experience at Boston College. Take the gift of education and carry it to great places throughout the world.