Carol Roberts, BB’60, is inspired by the Class of 2020 graduates of Northeastern's Bouvé College of Health Sciences. The COVID-19 pandemic upended their final semester and commencement, but through it all, they confronted challenges with agility and resilience. Delivering her annual scholarship address via video to the Bouvé Scholarship Award recipients, Carol encouraged students to "take care of yourselves, so you can take care of others."
Carol's relationship with Bouvé is as interesting as the history of the school itself, which had been affiliated with Tufts University before finding a permanent home at Northeastern in 1964. Attending Bouvé when it was known as Boston-Bouvé School of Physical Education at Tufts University, Carol was attracted to its curriculum. She always loved sports, and the school's pairing of athletics and physical education made for an easy decision when choosing her field of study.
"At Bouvé, you played different sports so that you could learn physiology, and that attracted me to it," she says, "and the faculty were supportive and inspiring."
Throughout its more than 100-year history, Bouvé students and faculty have advocated for physical wellness as an educational pursuit. Combined with a commitment to public service, lessons on exercise, body mechanics, and rehabilitation, Bouvé paved the way for physical therapy to become a popular course of study. When the school relocated in 1964, it paired well with Northeastern's mission of experiential education, and the co-op program made it a good match with Bouve's emphasis on practical education.
"Many of the faculty moved with the Bouvé School when it relocated to Northeastern," Carol says.
As physical therapy continued to emerge as a health profession, Boston Bouvé was an innovator of teaching methods and standards that make the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern a leader in physical therapy education today.
Carol has made the most of her training and experience with people during her career. From physical education teacher at Mount Holyoke College to psychology teacher to dean of social sciences at Springfield Technical Community College, she has had a lifetime of involvement with students and faculty. It's the faculty who encouraged her as a student that she remembers today.
Carol established the Boston Bouvé Faculty Scholarship to honor physical education and physical therapy faculty who taught in the 1950s and 1960s, and to support current students in the physical therapy program. As part of her charitable planning, Carol has established four charitable gift annuities with Northeastern, which provide supplemental income during her retirement, tax savings, and additional future funding for the Boston Bouvé Faculty Scholarship. She values the impact that her Bouvé teachers had on her career.
"The faculty was exceptional and encouraged students to do their best," she shares.
She'd like those values to continue for today's Bouvé students.
In her closing remarks to the Class of 2020, Carol acknowledged with admiration: "We who graduated so many years ago are inspired by your hard work, and the challenges you will face, your resilience has been tested already."
For more on the history of Bouvé School, please visit A Proud Past.