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Jesuit Ivy

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Title: Jesuit Ivy  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Boston College, Ivies, John F. Kennedy, Deletion review/Log/2007 February 26, Ivy (disambiguation)
Collection: Boston College, John F. Kennedy, Speeches
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Jesuit Ivy

"Jesuit Ivy" is the title of a commencement speech delivered at Boston College, a Jesuit university in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, United States. The term was coined in a 1956 commencement address by then-Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy. Speaking at the Jesuit university, he was likely making reference to the Ivy League, an athletic conference established in 1954. The term "Jesuit Ivy" was somewhat of a contradiction in terms. The Ivy League's members were generally Protestant-founded institutions; Boston College had itself been founded in part because Catholics were being denied admission to Harvard University in the nineteenth century. The nickname suggested both Boston College's rising stature and the declining prevalence of discrimination at elite American universities. Kennedy, a Catholic whose family were longtime Boston College benefactors, graduated from Harvard in 1940; as did his father in 1912, and his brothers Joe Jr, Robert and Edward in 1938, 1948 and 1956 respectively.

The term has been used as a nickname for the school.


  • JFK at BC 1
  • The Jesuit Ivy Address 2
  • The Kennedys and Boston College 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


John F. Kennedy visited Boston College in an official capacity seven times during his tenures as Massachusetts Senator and President of the United States—more frequently than he visited any other university, including his own alma mater, Harvard. In addition to commencement and convocation speeches, Kennedy addressed BC's Alumni Association, Varsity Club, and College of Business Administration (forerunner to the Carroll School of Management), and offered a series of seminars in the spring semester of 1958. While the Jesuit Ivy speech is perhaps his most well-known address at Boston College, Kennedy's 1963 Convocation Address would prove to be the most historic. It was both the inaugural event of BC's centennial commemoration and one of Kennedy's last public appearances before his assassination.

The Jesuit Ivy Address

The following is an excerpt of the address given by Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy at the Boston College commencement exercises in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts on 26 June 1956.

The Kennedys and Boston College

The ties between the Kennedy family and Boston College date to John F. Kennedy's grandfather, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., former director of BC's Watershed Institute.

See also


  1. ^ "Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy at the Commencement Exercises of Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts".  
  2. ^ "Joseph P. Kennedy: The Patriarch & Maker of the Dream". 

External links

  • Works related to Jesuit Ivy at Wikisource
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