Join us on September 29, 2023 for the 31st annual Pops on the Heights.

Cheers to 30 years!

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Pops on the Heights Scholarship Gala raises a record-breaking $14.5 million for student scholarships

From the first note to the final balloon drop, September 30 was a night to remember as talented Eagles, renowned musicians, and special guest artist Jon Batiste took the stage in Conte Forum. Pops on the Heights: The Barbara and Jim Cleary Scholarship Gala, now in its 30th year, raised a record $14,508,000—resulting in 342 BC students receiving Pops Scholarships this year.

University Trustee Patti Kraft and her husband, Jonathan, BC parents, co-chaired the 2022 event. The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra headlined the program under the direction of Keith Lockhart. Joining the Pops for performances were tenor Maxwell Korman ’23; the “Screaming Eagles” Marching Band led by David P. Healey; and BC’s University Chorale, under the direction of John Finney. Additionally, some of BC’s best student vocalists and groups were featured in an extended pre-show concert. 

For three decades, Pops on the Heights has brought out the best in the Boston College community,” said Patti Kraft. “It has become a cornerstone of Family Weekend and has shaped the future for thousands of BC students. If Pops founders Jim and Barbara Cleary were with us here tonight, they would see the legacy they have created—from an impressive night of performances, to the incredible Pops Scholars who are using their talents to set the world aflame.”

The Cleary Legacy

Deeply passionate about philanthropy, higher education, and the arts, the late Barbara and James F. Cleary ’50, H’93, founded the annual Pops on the Heights BC scholarship gala in 1993. Jim—a BC Trustee and founder of the Fides and President’s Circle annual giving societies—and Barbara worked tirelessly to help grow the event to become the University’s largest annual fundraiser, which has raised nearly $130 million in Pops scholarships. Today, Jim and Barbara’s children (Kara ’84, MA’91; Kristin ’89, JD’93; and James Jr., P’18) continue their legacy as Pops benefactors.

Media: Boston College Pops on the Heights

Read more about how one epic night can impact the lives of so many.

BC’s Grace Collins ’22 sings Garland

Wearing ruby red shoes, Grace Collins ’22 channeled Judy Garland when she sang “The Man That Got Away” at the 29th annual Pops on the Heights scholarship gala in 2021.

Hitting a High Note

At the 29th annual gala, Pops on the Heights raises a record $14.5 million for student support.

Pops on the Heights

Featuring ‘Hamilton’ Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr., BC’s largest fundraising event for financial aid this year raises more than $12.3 million for student scholarships.

A stellar Pops

BC's 25th annual Pops on the Heights gala featured the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, guest soloist Jennifer Hudson, a tribute to John Williams, and a record $14M raised for student scholarships.

Parents and Pops

A highlight of this year's Parents' Weekend is Pops on the Heights, with guest artist Kristin Chenoweth.

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Tag #BCPops and @BCAlumni in your Boston College Pops on the Heights moments and memories!