The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) today announced the recipient of the annual scholarship honoring the memory of Tommy Butler, the long-time Massport Director of Government and Community Affairs and son of South Boston. The $5,000 Thomas J. Butler Memorial Scholarship was awarded to South Boston resident Matthew McDonnell.


The Thomas J. Butler Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a student who resides in South Boston, is graduating from high school and has been accepted to an accredited college or university. McDonnell is a graduate of BC High, volunteers his time with the Curley Rec Center, and was a member of BC High hockey team since his freshman year. He will be attending UMass Amherst and is interested in Criminal Justice. In his essay, McDonnell said he wants to pursue criminal justice and to one day become a detective in order to “make the world a better place and protect all my fellow Bostonians.”


“Matthew was completely dedicated to his duties and is a very mature, responsible young man. His commitment to our Youth and Teen program immensely fulfilled a need in our young kids,” said Program Supervisor for the Condon Community Center, Barbara Kelly. “Matthew is a positive and vibrant addition to his college and his classmates.”


Butler was the former mayor of the South Boston Boys Club, Youth Counselor and then Director of Little City Hall in Charlestown and former president of the South Boston Citizens Association and member of the South Boston Irish American Society. When he arrived at Massport in 1987 as a manager of intergovernmental relations, he was a licensed social worker who had worked in the Boston Juvenile Court, and for the City of Boston.


“We are very pleased to award Matthew with the Thomas J. Butler Scholarship. He has shown a commitment to following in Tommy’s footsteps with his community service and we wish him the best of luck. His commitment to his community as a volunteer and a mentor epitomizes what we were looking for when we established the scholarship in memory of our friend and colleague Tommy Butler,” said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn.


To be considered for the Thomas J. Butler Scholarship, students are required to have a minimum 3.0 grade point average and submit an essay of 1,000 words describing their career interests or how their community service has affected their outlook on life. Scholarship essays are judged by a committee made up of Massport employees and a representative of the Butler family. Students interested in applying for the 2017 scholarship should visit for eligibilityrequirements.