50 Years of Inspiring Dreams

50 Years of Inspiring Dreams

BHCC celebrates half a century of academic excellence, community engagement, and the lifelong pursuit of knowledge


This year, we proudly celebrate half a century of academic excellence, community engagement, and the lifelong pursuit of knowledge at BHCC. As we embark on A Year of Celebration, a series of monthly events commemorating the milestone, we aim to capture the spirit and resilience that has empowered BHCC students to imagine their possibilities and turn their dreams into reality.

A Legacy Beyond Good Will Hunting

BHCC holds a unique place in cinematic history as the backdrop of the iconic film Good Will Hunting. This narrative introduced us to the inspirational figure of Professor Sean Maguire, portrayed by the legendary Robin Williams. Professor Maguire's choice to work at Bunker Hill was driven by a deep commitment to making a profound difference in the lives of his students.

Behind the scenes, Professor Sean Maguire's character found inspiration in the real-life heroes of BHCC, including the dedicated Professor John Reeves. Robin Williams sought insights from Professor Reeves, gaining a deeper understanding of the impactful work done by educators at the College. This collaboration strengthened the bond between BHCC and the film.

Good Cod Hunting

As part of a millennium event celebrating Y2K, Boston sponsored an art exhibit called the “Cavalcade of Cod.” This exhibit paid tribute to the Commonwealth’s fishing industry and the state fish by featuring larger-than-life codfish sculptures adorned by various artists. Subsequently, these sculptures were auctioned off, with the proceeds directed toward charitable causes.

Among the entries in this remarkable exhibit was Good Cod Hunting, a sculpture that prominently featured the mathematical equation from the renowned film Good Will Hunting. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, the screenwriters and actors of the movie, designed this artwork.

The 50th Year BHCC Cod with Good Will Hunting math formula on it

During the auction, the Oskowitz family acquired this sculpture, and in a generous gesture, they chose to donate it to the College. The presentation of Good Cod Hunting took place at BHCC’s 2002 Honors and Awards Ceremony. This choice of home for the sculpture was highly appropriate, given the College’s role in the film as the institution where a caring faculty member profoundly impacted the main character’s life.

The arrival of Good Cod Hunting at Bunker Hill Community College symbolizes the enduring connection between the institution and the iconic film. You can find this sculpture at the Charlestown Campus, on the second floor of the E-Building Hallway at BHCC.

Beyond Hollywood: The True Story

While Good Will Hunting will forever be a part of BHCC's legacy, the actual narrative lies in the students who have walked its halls, the faculty who have guided them, and the institution's unwavering dedication to transforming lives.

Michael Costello of Student Central poses for photo with student employee Ranu Khatri at 50th Anniversary Celebration.Michael Costello of Student Central poses for photo with student employee Ranu Khatri at 50th Anniversary Celebration

The Unsung Heroes

The dedication of our faculty and staff underpins every success story at BHCC. These educators are the unsung heroes of BHCC's journey, in their commitment to delivering quality education and providing unwavering support. The achievements of BHCC alumni stand as a testament to this dedication. Graduates have gone on to excel in diverse fields, from healthcare to entrepreneurship, carrying the College's legacy with pride.

A Legacy of Transformation and Inclusion

In 1973, BHCC primarily served a predominantly white student population within a five-mile radius of the College. Today, BHCC is one of Massachusetts’ most diverse higher education institutions. With 65% of students identifying as people of color and more than half being women, BHCC is a beacon of inclusivity. The College is also home to 600 international students from nearly 100 countries, collectively speaking more than 75 languages.

BHCC's growth has been nothing short of remarkable. From its modest beginnings with a dozen programs, it now boasts over 100 programs in associate degrees and certificates across a wide range of fields. The College has expanded to multiple locations, ensuring education is within reach both in-person and online and meeting students where they are.

Student Jonathan Lubin and HOPE Initiative Access Navigator Ahnastasia Kielar celebrate the College’s Birthday Week in September. Student Jonathan Lubin and HOPE Initiative Access Navigator Ahnastasia Kielar celebrate the College's Birthday Week in September.

Investing in Success: Grants and Programs

Grants have been instrumental in shaping BHCC’s remarkable journey, serving as catalysts for innovative programs, services, and initiatives that have not only elevated the educational experience for students but also enriched the broader community.

These grants, highlighted by three multi-million-dollar federal allocations in the past decade, have enhanced digital infrastructures across our campuses. They have solidified the College’s standing as an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) and a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). The infusion of a $3 million grant from the Smith Family Foundation in 2018 spearheaded the expansion of Early College, significantly broadening BHCC’s impact and enhancing the overall quality of education.

From driving workforce development initiatives to spearheading projects championing diversity and inclusion, BHCC has adeptly harnessed the transformative power of grants to create a meaningful and lasting impact. These investments have positioned BHCC at the forefront of educational innovation, showcasing a commitment to excellence that defines the College’s 50-year legacy.

A Bright Future Beckons

As BHCC celebrates its 50th anniversary, we invite everyone to join us in cherishing the memories and anticipating a promising future. BHCC's golden jubilee is not just a look back at our accomplishments but a declaration of our unwavering commitment to shaping tomorrow's leaders, thinkers, and visionaries.