Members of Boston College’s staff serve as the heartbeat of this institution. Our community is incredibly fortunate to have this team of “Men and Women for Others,” tirelessly working to ensure the standard of living we have become so accustomed to on this campus. We hope to recognize their impact through their stories. This is Bobby Breen’s story. Check out the others here.
lmost 40 years ago, Boston College was leasing a property in Brighton. On Dec. 28, 1978, it brought one of the property’s maintenance staff members onto its own staff as a third-shift custodian.
Around 10 years later, Bobby Breen was promoted to lead custodian, and he’s held that position ever since. He describes his position as a foreman for the custodial staff. He works alongside them despite his seniority—a leadership style he says he picked up from the second lead he ever worked under at BC.
Breen has made it a priority to make sure those who work with him are treated the same way. Gerard Boyle, director of custodial and facilities services, described Breen as a hard worker who never calls in sick despite being such a long-time employee, always going the extra mile for the custodial staff he works with while serving as their link to the supervisors.
Breen’s job is to run the custodial staff on Lower Campus, subbing in for any members who need a day off, and takes care of work orders that come across his desk as well.
No matter what, according to Boyle, Breen is always taking on extra work to ease the burden on his coworkers. His kindness and attention to detail are what have made the humble man such an important part of the department that serves as BC’s backbone.
Breen feels like the love has gone both ways.
“When my mother passed away, I kept getting fruit baskets from members of the administration, and then from housekeeping and condolences from all around,” he said.
Ultimately, Breen thinks the most important part of his job is building off BC’s family atmosphere to make sure facilities has the same attitude. Teamwork makes the dream work: Breen believes that whenever his team is working together—or whenever he has worked as a part of a larger team for that matter—facilities has worked better and more effectively than they have on their own. The reason Breen and his custodial staff are able to cover so much ground and keep Lower Campus as clean as possible is that they’ve taken BC’s values and directly to how they approach keeping the campus looking as good as possible.
Breen also also references how other departments look out for him and his fellow staffers as being a key aspect of facilities’ excellent work. In the winters, Breen and others work to shovel out campus, they aren’t responsible for buying shovels and jackets that get worn into some of the worst weather in the northeast. Luckily, BC’s charitable attitude means Breen and Co. get access to the best shovels and jackets available so they’re more prepared to fight storms. That way, when students wake up in the morning after a foot of snow falls on the ground, they don’t have to worry about running over to a dining hall only to open the door into a foot of snow they can’t get through.
“[BC] is run like a family,” Breen said. “I’ve seen people get sick and they try to take care of you. It’s been a good place to work.”
Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Editor