Mission Driven

Whether he’s balancing the state’s budget or building community among recent BC grads, Chris Marino ’14 carries his formation everywhere.

Most weekends you can find Chris Marino ’14 and his wife, Cayla Gandolfo ’14, along with their golden retriever, Mac, rounding Chestnut Hill Reservoir, touring their old stomping grounds at Boston College. For the Brighton-based couple, there’s no such thing as being too close to the Heights. Well, moving into a Mod might be a bridge too far. 

“Every time we go back, a new story comes up,” says Chris. “It’s just a place unlike any other.” The couple, who met during their junior year while studying abroad in Parma, Italy, were deeply formed by their time at the Heights and remain involved with the University. 

“My time at BC strengthened my passion for teaching and helped me realize I wanted to serve our youngest learners,” says Cayla.

The formation she and Chris received at BC informs their work as a K1 teacher for Boston Public Schools and budget director of the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways and Means, respectively. Shaped profoundly by their service with the Campus School and 4Boston, Chris says he and Cayla “are both driven to public service; BC will teach you that.”

Having served on his senior class gift committee and co-chaired a reunion committee, Chris leverages that experience for his work on the GOLD (graduates of the last decade) Leadership Council, helping recent alums get reconnected with BC. “It’s great building bridges for alumni to get re-engaged in the life of the University and its community,” he says.

His work can feel like whack-a-mole at times—trying to respond to myriad issues and stretching the budget to make the most impact. “You’re not going to be able to do everything to the extent people want, but it’s crucial to remember that behind all the numbers are real people, struggling to afford healthcare, education, housing, food. Keep your focus on the people you’re trying to support.”

Chris brings a similar approach to his service and support on behalf of current and future Eagles. “I wouldn’t trade those four years for anything in the world,” he says, “and I want the same for them.”

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