By John Nucci

Vice President of Government and Community Affairs

Boston is saddened today at the loss of an exceptional leader, Thomas M. Menino, and while the city lost a mayor, I have lost a good friend, as has Suffolk University.

Thomas M. MeninoTom Menino entered public service for all the right reasons. He never enriched himself and he wasn’t seeking glory. His mission was to make life better for all the people who live in Boston.

As a city councilor he was known for constituent service and for boosting local businesses. As mayor, he put his head down and got things done, and in the process made the city a welcoming place for its residents, commercial enterprises, educational organizations, and all the other industries that keep Boston humming.

In standing up for residents of Boston neighborhoods, Mayor Menino was a tough negotiator, but he always found the path that was in the best interest of all parties. We saw that many times here at Suffolk University as we worked to fulfill the mayor’s request to provide more on-campus housing for our students. He urged us to engage with neighbors, and we established advisory groups. We planned to build a residence hall in the Theatre District, and he encouraged us to restore the façade of the historic Modern Theatre. We now take great pride in what he called this “jewel” of lower Washington Street. Suffolk considered several uses for its 20 Somerset site, and through discussions with the mayor, our neighbors, and city planners, we came up with a plan for a new academic building that already is a source of great pride to the Suffolk community.

Mayor Tom Menino knew when to push, and it was all for the greater good. We will miss his innovative ideas, his humor, his loyalty to his city, and his wonderful friendship. Rest in peace, Mr. Mayor.