Slide 1. As part of the Summer Research Program, Hana Carey '13, Martha Walters '14, and Tricia Giglio '14, joined sociology and anthroplogy professor Susan Rodgers in her research into the processes of commercialization and secularization of Ikat textiles in Indonesia and Malaysia.
The College of the Holy Cross has received the Excellence in Career Related Undergraduate Education Award from the George I. Alden Trust. Selected from among more than 100 private colleges in the Northeast, Holy Cross was the recipient of a $500,000 award, which recognizes institutions that have best excelled in retaining, educating, graduating and placing students.
“We are deeply grateful for this generous gift from the Alden Trust, its continued support of our mission, and its validation of our efforts to provide an exceptional educational experience for our students,” says Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president of Holy Cross. “This award, which will be used to help fund the College’s Summer Research Program, will provide new opportunities for our students to perform cutting-edge, graduate level research in a variety of academic fields, better preparing them to make significant contributions in graduate school and in their careers.”
Taking into account the many variables that impact students’ life outcomes, beginning with the admissions process and ending well after graduation, the Alden Trustees were particularly impressed by Holy Cross’ outstanding retention and graduation rates relative to its peers, as well as the loyalty and support the College fosters in its students and alumni. Holy Cross has a 95% first-year retention rate, among the best in the country, and is consistently among the national leaders in graduation success and alumni giving rates.
“Holy Cross should take justifiable pride in this award,” says Alden trustee Douglas Q. Meystre. “The quality of the applicants made the award process a very challenging one. In addition to Holy Cross’ ‘best in class’ retention and graduation rates, the Alden Trustees were notably impressed by Holy Cross’ high placement rates in graduate schools, its longstanding policies to be need blind in admission while meeting the full need of students, and the more recent Worcester initiative to support low income students.”
In addition to the $500,000 grant awarded to Holy Cross, five other institutions, including Mount Holyoke College, Vassar College, Franklin & Marshall College, Saint Peter’s University, and St. John Fisher College, each received $100,000 awards from the Alden Trust.
“This recognition from the Alden Trust reaffirms Holy Cross’ standing as truly one of the nation’s best,” says Charles Weiss, director of the Office of Grants and Corporate & Foundation Giving. “We are truly appreciative of their generous gift, which will enhance the educational experiences of our students for years to come.”
The $500,000 award will be used by the College to establish the Alden Summer Student Research Endowment. The income from the endowment will fund George I. Alden Research Fellows, as part of the College’s Summer Research Program, beginning in 2014.
Each summer, Holy Cross provides its strongest students the opportunity to work closely with faculty mentors performing research in any discipline (natural sciences, mathematics, social sciences, arts and humanities). Last summer, 130 students participated in the highly selective Summer Research Program, conducting research, living together as a research community on campus, and participating in weekly programming that included lectures from distinguished professors and experience in research centers. Through a mix of funding sources — including contributions from alumni and parents—students are provided on-campus housing, a supply budget, and a travel allowance so they can present their research at professional conferences across the country. A growing number of students also publish their work in professional journals.
The George I. Alden Trust, located in Worcester, supports institutions that demonstrate a combination of educational excellence, exciting programming, and efficient and effective administration. Priority is given to higher education, particularly smaller, independent institutions focused on undergraduate education. The Alden trustees primarily support proposals that they feel will contribute significantly to the intellectual growth of students and will enhance an institution’s mission, with particular emphasis on Mr. Alden’s expressed desire to “do the greatest good for the greatest number of beneficiaries.”