Record-Setting Night

At the 29th annual gala on Friday, September 24, Pops on the Heights raised a record $14.5 million for student support.

There was ample cause for celebration as the 29th annual Barbara and Jim Cleary Scholarship Gala—also known as Pops on the Heights—reached a new milestone: a remarkable $14.5 million raised to benefit student scholarships. In its history, donors have supported more than 3,500 BC scholarships. During the show, Pops 2021 co-chairs Patti and Jonathan Kraft, P’24 cheered the sell-out crowd of benefactors, alumni, friends, students, and their family members for their historic support. “We are so fortunate to have your enthusiasm for a timeless event that has done so much good over the years,” said Jonathan Kraft.

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 $100 million in Pops scholarships. Today, Jim and Barbara’s children (Kara ’84, MA’91; Kristin ’89, JD’93; and Jim Jr.) continue their legacy as Pops benefactors.

In honor of the Clearys, BC has since established the annual James F. Cleary ‘50, H’93, Masters Award, which is given to a fundraising volunteer who exemplifies creativity, dedication, and leadership.