Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans Gives Leadership Advice to Honors College Junior Colloquium

Colleen Locke | June 19, 2017
Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans speaks to students in UMass Boston's Becoming a Leader class.

Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans speaks to students in UMass Boston's Becoming a Leader class.
Image by: Colleen Locke

“Becoming a Leader” Class Elevated from 200-Level Elective to Junior Colloquium

Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans gave some leadership advice to the Honors College students in the Becoming a Leader class before their final presentations last month: Use common sense, and be humble. 

“It’s not rocket science. It’s just being out there and not really thinking you are better than anyone you work with,” Evans said.

Evans was one of many leaders from the public and private sectors to speak to the class during the spring semester. Other guest lecturers included Boston City Council President Michelle Wu, City Year CEO Michael Brown, and YouthBuild USA, Inc. Founder Dorothy Stoneman. 

The Becoming a Leader class was first offered in spring 2016 as a 200-level elective, but got an upgrade this year. The class is now a 300-level junior colloquium, with a greater emphasis on research methods to generate new leadership knowledge.

Michael Metzger, special assistant to the vice chancellor for student affairs, co-taught the course along with Ira Jackson, senior vice president for communications and external relations at Brandeis University and former vice provost for economic planning/resources and special projects at UMass Boston.  

“Society needs leaders to have the courage, strength, and talent to create positive change—to lead in new directions on these issues. To lead in new ways means new knowledge must be created about leadership,” Metzger said.

Evans’s other advice to these future leaders? Find balance. He runs 6 1/2 miles every morning.

“That’s my time. I always say if I can get my run in, there’s nothing I can’t accomplish,” Evans said. “I’ve had a lot of challenges on this job, and I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve been [in law enforcement] for 37 years, and I always say there hasn’t been a day yet where I haven’t wanted to get up and go to work.”

About UMass Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 17,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit

Tags: becoming a leader , honors , honors college , leadership , leadership lessons

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