John B. “Jack” Dunn ’79

Jack has spent his entire career in the service of others, with a lifelong commitment to supporting Jesuit education and the Church’s outreach to the poor.
Jack has spent his entire career in the service of others, with a lifelong commitment to supporting Jesuit education and the Church’s outreach to the poor.

After graduating with high honors from Boston College in 1983 with degrees in political science and romance languages, Jack returned to the classroom as a teacher at his alma mater, BC High, where he taught government, history and Spanish. During this time he coached the freshman hockey team, refereed Division I Ice Hockey for the NCAA, and was recognized with a Klingenstein Summer Intern Scholarship at Columbia University for teaching excellence.

In 1988, he was named Director of Development and Public Relations at BC High, succeeding his mentor, Bill MacNeill, upon his retirement. In this role, he served as chief fundraiser and media relations director and organized all Advancement- related events. He earned a master’s degree in public relations from Boston University in 1990. His dedication to his community was also reflected in a more personal manner, as he served for 10 years as a “Big Brother” to a fatherless boy from Dorchester through the Big Brother Association of Boston. 
 
In 1994, Jack was named the Vice President for External Affairs at Catholic Charities of Boston, the largest non-profit human services agency in the Commonwealth. His work in media and government relations and fundraising supported the organization’s mission in helping the poorest children and families of all faiths. In recognition of his efforts on behalf of the community, he was awarded the prestigious Ten Outstanding Young Leaders Award by the Boston Jaycees in 1998.
 
Jack’s keen intellect, boundless energy, and strong work ethic could easily have led him to a lucrative career in the private sector.  Instead, Jack continued his work on behalf of organizations close to his heart when he assumed the role of Director of News & Public Affairs and University Spokesman at Boston College in 1998. At BC, Jack oversees all of the University’s public and media relations and serves as its spokesman and communications strategist. In addition, he teaches a popular undergraduate course in Advanced Public Relations. During this time he has also served three terms on BC High’s Board of Trustees, serving as chairman of the board in 2006.
 
Jack’s proudest achievement, however, is his loving family.  He and his wife Hazel are the parents of four children, Siobhan, John '16, Sinead and Brian. Jack is a dedicated son, husband and father, and his warmth and sense of humor are a constant gift to his friends, colleagues, and students. In his career and in his personal life, Jack has exhibited steadfast commitment to the values of community, compassion, integrity, and service.
 
Notably, Jack conceived the idea of honoring the BC High community by creating the Saint Ignatius Award in 1991. He and then BC High President Reverend Joseph Fahey SJ, ‘53 began the tradition 25 years ago in recognition of the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Ignatius. This event has given generations of BC High students living examples of how followers of Ignatius may lead a life in the service of others.  It is most fitting that Jack, along with his fellow recipients, is now recognized with this, the school’s highest honor.  
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