With all the uncertainty swirling around back to school this year, welcoming students with a rousing — if virtual — event sounds like a great idea. Especially when Bruce Springsteen is the headliner.
That’s what members of the Boston College Class of 2024 have in store Thursday night. The Boss himself will speak at the university’s First Year Academic Convocation, which begins tonight at 7 p.m. The event will be livestreamed on BC’s YouTube site. Though the school had initially hoped the event would take place in person, the pandemic put an end to such plans.
Over the summer, incoming BC freshman received a copy of Springsteen’s 2016 memoir “Born to Run” as well as a reading guide to examine the book’s themes, according to the school’s website. The Grammy-winning performer, who Thursday morning announced his next album, “Letter to You,” will be released Oct. 23, will speak about the book and the myriad issues and personal challenges it touches on.
Springsteen isn’t the first big name to welcome incoming freshman at BC convocation. Previous authors have included National Book Award winner Colum McCann, PEN/Faulkner winner Ann Patchett, Senator John McCain, and former President Barack Obama.
Springsteen has a special relationship with Boston College -- and with the city of Boston. His son Evan is a BC grad, and just last November, Springsteen played a private 2-hour show at the historic Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ, as a fundraiser for the school. In May, he joined forces with Dropkick Murphys for “Streaming Outta Fenway,” a livestreamed concert to benefit Habitat for Humanity, Feeding America, and the Boston Resiliency Fund, which helps provides food and other supports for residents and frontline workers during the COVID crisis.
Hayley Kaufman can be reached at email@example.com.