Yearlong Coeducation Anniversary Celebration Continues at Holy Cross

High-profile lectures, exhibits, panel discussions, alumnae reunions, and more serve as springboard to reflection and exploration
February 1st, 2013 by 


The College of the Holy Cross will kick off the second half of “Opening Doors,” its 40th anniversary of coeducation celebration, with lectures by women who have led the way in their fields and written about personal and professional choices — including CNN journalist Soledad O’Brien and former White House director of policy planning Anne-Marie Slaughter. 

Their talks, both open to the public, are part of the College’s 40th anniversary of coeducation celebration, featuring a robust lineup of events throughout the 2012-13 academic year. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni/ae have had—and will continue to have—extensive opportunities to reflect on, acknowledge, and commemorate the moment in 1972 when the College opened its doors to women students for the first time.  Planned events span all academic disciplines—from the arts to science—and explore the impact of Holy Cross alumnae in fields ranging from business to medicine to civic life. 

CNN journalist Soledad O’Brien will deliver the 47th Hanify-Howland Memorial Lecture on March 19 at 8 p.m. in the Hogan Ballroom. O’Brien is the anchor for the CNN morning show “Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien” and a special correspondent for the network. Since joining CNN in 2003, O’Brien has reported breaking news from around the globe and has produced award-winning, record-breaking and critically acclaimed documentaries on the most important stories facing the world today.  In 2010, she wrote a critically acclaimed memoir, “The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities,” which chronicles her most significant reporting moments and how her upbringing and background have influenced these experiences. Since 1965, the Hanify-Howland lecture series has brought to the Holy Cross campus a series of distinguished speakers who have exemplified in their own work the spirit of public service that the series was established to encourage. 

Anne-Marie Slaughter, the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, will give a talk titled “Measuring Success: Women, Work and Family in the 21st Century” on Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Rehm Library. Sponsored by the economics department, the talk will be followed by a panel discussion. From 2009 to 2011, Slaughter served as director of policy planning for the United States Department of State, the first woman to hold that position. She is the author of the controversial Atlantic article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.”  Other panelists include Sheila Cavanaugh ’81, consultant and former senior vice president of Fidelity Investments, the largest mutual fund company in the United States; and Megan Fox-Kelly ’99, assistant chaplain and director of retreats at Holy Cross. 

Other events scheduled as part of the anniversary celebration include: 


  • The alumni relations office will host a panel discussion and reception for alumnae at the Time Warner Center in New York City on Thursday, March 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The panel discussion will be moderated by President Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., and panelists include Donna Winn ’76, member of the Holy Cross Board of Trustees; Theresa McBride, Holy Cross professor of history since 1973; and Melissa Montoya ’14. Register online
  • From March 14 to April 12, the Cantor Art Gallery will hold an exhibition titled Spark: Selected Alumnae Artists from Holy Cross,” with the works of alumnae artists including Margaret Lanzetta ’79, Ann Marie Kennedy ’89, Rachelle Beaudoin ’04, Elizabeth Hamilton ’04, Teresa Buscemi ’07, Amy Archambault ’08, Justine Hill ’08, and Haley Allen ’11.
  • Lily Ann Divino ’93, a social worker and rape crisis coordinator at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center in N.Y., will give a talk as part of the Katherine A. Henry ’86 Memorial Lecture Series on March 18 at 4 p.m. in Hogan 519.
  • The Brother to Brother Committee will host a Brother to Brother Salute to Women Dinner on March 20 at 5 p.m. in the Hogan Ballroom.
  • In conjunction with the Cantor Art Gallery exhibit, the visual arts department will host a reunion March 22-24 titled “Muses on the Mount.” Programming will include classes, a round table of professionals in the visual arts, dinner, a fashion show, displays, a visit to the Cantor Gallery on campus to see the SPARK exhibition, a compilation of alumnae art followed by special programs at the Worcester Art Museum. 


  • Sara Flounders ’01 will give a talk titled “Sic Itur Ad Astra: Reflections on Teaching Latin in an Urban Environment,” on April 5 at 4 p.m. in Hogan 408(09). Flounders, who is a founding faculty member the Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School, will reflect on how her education in classics here at Holy Cross “opened doors” for her career and will share her experiences teaching Latin in a single-sex, urban, charter school in Philadelphia. 
  • The English department will host two events on April 11: Margo Griffin Wilson ’76, former Holy Cross professor and visiting professor at Cambridge University, will give a talk; and a panel discussion featuring six women and men from across generations.
  • Nancy Cook ’76, professor of epidemiology at Harvard Medical School, will give the annual Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture in Mathematics on April 11.
  • Pink Revolution will host a panel as part of its Health & Wellness Series called “Advancements in Breast Cancer & Beyond,” on April 17 at 7 p.m. in the Hogan Ballroom. The Holy Cross alumni panel includes Dr. Robert M. Quinlan ’66, professor and director of the Comprehensive Breast Center at UMass Memorial Health Care; Dr. Joyce O’Shaughnessy ’78, a medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer at Texas Oncology, PA, who has conducted research at the Baylor-Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas through US Oncology, a network of 100 oncologists nationwide; and Therese M. Mulvey ’80, physician-in-chief for the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care.
  • On Saturday, April 20, the Holy Cross alumni association is hosting “Classroom Revisited.” They are offering a new twist to the 31st annual spring event by recruiting some of Holy Cross’ most respected professors, all of whom are Holy Cross graduates, to conduct the day’s “classes.” Register online


Among the events held earlier this year on campus:  

  • The Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies annual Women in Business Conference on Oct. 20.
  • Fenwick Theatre’s fall production (Nov. 1-3, 8-10) of Sophie Treadwell’s “Machinal” (1927), directed by Edward Isser of the theatre department, and considered by many critics to be one of the first great feminist dramas of the 20th century.
  • The sociology and anthropology department and women and gender studies program fishbowl discussion about feminist identity at Holy Cross on Monday, Nov. 5 at 4 p.m. in the Levis Browsing Room in Dinand Library. Jen Fraser ’09, briefly summarized her award-winning senior thesis research titled “CEOs and Secretary Ho’s? Exploring Feminist Identity and Culture at Holy Cross.”
  • Career planning event titled “Knowledge is Power: A Workshop for Female Athletes,” on Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m. in Hogan Room 408.  The panel was an opportunity for current students to learn from alumnae and former student athletes about how to transfer worth ethic, competitive mind set, and fiery determination, from the field to the office.
  • Feb. 15, Purple Pride Day, organized by the Purple Key Society, celebrated the history of coeducation at the College.
  • During Winter Homecoming on Feb. 16, former Holy Cross coaches and athletes had been invited by current coaches and athletes to discuss the rise of women’s sports at 1:30 p.m. An alumnae basketball game preceded the Holy Cross vs. American game.
  • The Bishop Healy committee hosted its Holy Cross Alumni Association ALANA Heritage Luncheon on Feb. 16 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Sonia Barbosa ’95 and Elizabeth Wambui ’09 will offered reflections.
  • The College’s Sister to Sister Collaborative hosted a reception for ALANA and international women during Winter Homecoming on Feb. 16 from 3-5 p.m. in Hogan Suites A, B & C. During the reception they recognized Ogretta V. McNeil, professor emerita of psychology and former assistant dean, and Catherine H. Reed, a Baptist minister who was the first ordained woman to serve as a chaplain at Holy Cross, for their innumerable contributions to the College.
  • Author and lawyer Susan Smith Blakely gave a talk titled Your Future in Law: What to Expect as a Law Student/Lawyer and What Will Be Expected of You?” on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in Rehm Library. The event was sponsored by prelaw and the Center for Interdisciplinary and Special Studies (CISS).

Members of 40th Anniversary of Coeducation Coordinating Committee include:  

Nancy Andrews, classics
David Chu, Ciocca entrepreneurial studies
Jacqueline Distefano ’13
Kristyn Dyer ’94, alumni relations
Ruth Ann Elias ’76, president’s office
Marybeth Kearns-Barrett ’84, chaplains’ office
Shawn Maurer, English
Theresa McBride, history
Mable Millner, student affairs
Dorisanne Ragon ’13
Ellen Ryder, public affairs
Jacqueline Peterson, student affairs
Brenda Hounsell Sullivan, student affairs
Helen Whall, English
Amy Wolfson, psychology, dean’s office
Donna Wrenn, human resources
Ann Zelesky, athletics  

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