Holy Cross alumnus Mark Shriver ’86, senior vice president for U.S. programs for Save the Children, will give a talk about his father, the subject of his recent memoir “A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver” (Henry Holt & Co., 2012), on Thursday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hogan Campus Center Ballroom at the College of the Holy Cross. Following his talk, which is free and open to the public, Shriver will be available to sign copies of his book.
R. Sargent Shriver, who served in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, founded the Peace Corps, Jobs Corps and Head Start; and was the architect of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. He was married to Eunice Kennedy Shriver (founder of the Special Olympics) and passed away in 2011 after a 10-year struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Eunice Shriver was a former Holy Cross trustee and honorary degree recipient in 1979 and Sargent Shriver received an honorary degree from the College in 1986.
Since its publication in June, “A Good Man,” has received strong reviews. Recalling his father, Shriver writes:
“The great man is recognized for his civic achievements. The good man can be great in that arena, too, but even greater at home, on the sidewalk, at the diner, with his grandkids, at the supermarket, at church—wherever human interaction requires integrity and compassion. Dad was good because he was great in the smaller, unseen corners of life. He insisted on greatness in every facet of the daily grind. Nowhere was this clearer than in his role as our father.”
Shriver leads the U.S. programs for Save the Children, an independent organization that works in rural communities in Appalachia, the Southeast, the Mississippi River Delta, the Gulf Coast, the Southwest and California’s Central Valley, providing early childhood development, literacy, physical activity, and nutrition programming as well as emergency relief.
Shriver’s career pays tribute to his family’s legacy of social justice. “My father and mother exposed us kids to people who were much less fortunate than we were,” he says. “And that showed us it was important to help.”
A history major at Holy Cross, Shriver has devoted his career to social and public service. Soon after graduation, he became a member of the Maryland Juvenile Justice Advisory Council, and also served on the Board of Directors of the Public Justice Center, the Maryland Governor’s Task Force on Alternative Sanctions to Incarceration, and the Maryland Governor’s Commission on Service. In 1994, he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates, the lower house of the Maryland state legislature, representing Montgomery County, Maryland, District 15, and was reelected in 1998. In addition to serving as a delegate, he worked on the Task Force on the Maryland Prepaid-Tuition Savings Program in 1996, and on the Task Force to Study the Governance, Coordination, and Funding of the University System of Maryland.
He also founded The Choice Program in 1988, which helps at-risk and delinquent youth make choices that strengthen their families and communities.
Shriver is married to Jeanne Ripp Shriver ’87. He delivered the Commencement address and received an honorary degree from Holy Cross in 2010.
At the event, which is sponsored by the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture, Rev. Anthony Kuzniewski, S.J., professor of history at Holy Cross, will offer a historical account of Sargent Shriver’s legacy, as part of the formal introduction to his former student.
About the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture:
Established in 2001 and housed in Smith Hall, the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture provides resources for faculty and course development, sponsors conferences and college-wide teaching events, hosts visiting fellows, and coordinates a number of campus lecture series. Rooted in the College’s commitment to invite conversation about basic human questions, the Center welcomes persons of all faiths and seeks to foster dialogue that acknowledges and respects differences, providing a forum for intellectual exchange that is interreligious, interdisciplinary, intercultural, and international in scope. The Center also brings members of the Holy Cross community into conversation with the Greater Worcester community, the academic community, and the wider