Holy Cross Recognizes Alumni for Outstanding Professional Achievements and Service

Sanctae Crucis Awards presented to five graduates

May 6th, 2013 by 


From left, Kevin Condron, chairman of the College’s Board of Trustees, award winners Mary Cahoon McGinnity '77, Peter J. Deckers, '62, Kara C. Dallman '87, Richard F. Connolly, Jr. '61, Katherine T. Volk '00, and Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president of the College. Image by John Gillooly Sr.

Five graduates of the College of the Holy Cross have received the Sanctae Crucis Award, the highest non-degree recognition bestowed by the College on an alumnus or alumna. The 16th annual presentation of the awards took place at the College on Friday, May 3.

This year’s recipients are:

Richard F. Connolly, Jr. ’61, philanthropist; financial advisor at Morgan Stanley; considered one of nation’s most successful stockbrokers

Recognized in financial circles as one of the nation’s most successful stockbrokers and currently overseeing an estimated $3.7 billion in assets through Morgan Stanley, Connolly has vast and varied involvement in educational and philanthropic causes—raising millions of dollars for scholarships, medical research, direct service, and operational costs.  He has served in leadership positions and chaired countless fundraising events ranging from the American Stroke Association to the New England Province of the Society of Jesus. His contributions on behalf of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Children’s Medical Research Foundation, Francis Ouimet Annual Golf Tournament, Catholic Charities, Inner City Catholic Schools, Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Children’s Hospital in Boston and scores of other educational, medical and social service organizations have made the world of difference to families and individuals, neighborhoods and cities.  He lives in Concord, Mass.

Kara C. Dallman ’87, retired naval commander; director of business development at United Through Reading

After her Holy Cross graduation, where she was the recipient of the O’Callahan Award and received the Distinguished Military Graduate honor upon her commissioning in the U.S. Navy, Dallman served as an officer and reservist until her retirement as a commander in 2008.  As an officer, she distinguished herself as a leader with every assignment—from undersea surveillance in Bermuda and Hawaii to teaching in San Diego to a posting at the NATO base in Naples, Italy.  She became involved in United Through Reading as a part-time USO liaison in 2006.  Now, as director of business development, she works to advance the mission of this unique nonprofit dedicated to uniting military families who are physically separated by sharing the experience of reading aloud together. Since its founding in 1989, more than 1.5 million children, parents and other caring adults have participated in the program. She leads a team working directly with the Department of Defense service branches, military medical facilities serving Wounded Warriors, program partners like the USO, and with volunteers to provide training and support.  She holds an M.B.A. from San Diego State University, and lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

Peter J. Deckers, M.D., ’62, surgeon, teacher, and former dean of the University of Connecticut’s School of Medicine

A surgeon and teacher, Dr. Deckers is dean emeritus of the University of Connecticut’s School of Medicine and former executive vice president of the university’s Health Center. Dr. Deckers facilitated a major transformation of the way the medical school taught by supporting the development of a new forward-thinking curriculum that won national recognition for the Health Center.  During his remarkable tenure, Dr. Deckers was adamant that the Health Center’s special strength came from its combined mission of research, education and clinical care—propelling the School of Dental Medicine to a No. 1 ranking; building new facilities, developing signature programs, and nearly doubling research expenditures.  He published more than 150 scholarly contributions and served as president of the New England Cancer and New England Surgical societies.  He is a Boston University School of Medicine graduate who completed his fellowship training in the surgical branch of the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. He lives in Avon, Conn.

Mary Cahoon McGinnity ’77, executive director of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps

Currently the executive director of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC), Cahoon McGinnity has spent her entire career in the service of faith and the promotion of justice.  After a post-Holy Cross stint with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, she became a teacher and mental health clinician working with underserved populations. She continued her vocation by developing social service nonprofits, and providing leadership in furthering the social justice outreach of the Church in faith formation, Catholic social teaching, direct service and legislative advocacy.   She served the Archdiocese of Washington as executive director for service and justice, and served as Diocesan Director of both Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.  Now, as leader of IVC, she helps provide men and women over age 50 with opportunities to serve the needs of people who are poor, to work for a more just society, and to grow deeper in Christian faith by reflecting and praying in the Ignatian tradition.  She is a 2009 recipient of the Benemerenti Papal Award, and is cofounder of Rosaria Communities, Inc., and president of Prison Outreach Ministry Inc. She lives in Rockville, Md.

Katherine T. Volk ’00, advocate for the homeless, victims of violence and those dealing with trauma; managing director of t3 (think.teach.transform) and a senior associate at the Center for Social Innovation

A leader in her field, Volk trains thousands of people around the world each year on the best practices of assisting men and women who are homeless, children who are victims of violence, and anyone dealing with trauma.  She is managing director of t3 (think.teach.transform) and a senior associate at the Center for Social Innovation in Needham, Mass., where she leads a training institute committed to improving the knowledge and skills of people working in human services.   Prior to joining the Center, she spent seven years at the National Center on Family Homelessness, where she worked with communities in the post-Katrina Gulf, was lead author of a Homelessness and Traumatic Stress Training Package, and developed the PEACH Initiative, a physical and emotional awareness program for children living in transitional settings.  She was co-author of “Homelessness: Minimizing the Impact, Ending the Epidemic.”  In addition to writing and leading training programs, she is frequently called upon to lecture at and lead programs around the world.  She has a joint master’s degree from Tufts University in child development and urban policy.  She lives in Arlington, Mass.

ABOUT THE SANCTAE CRUCIS AWARDS: The Sanctae Crucis Awards were established in 1998 to recognize the distinguished achievements of alumni. “The primary goals of the Sanctae Crucis Awards are to honor outstanding alumni and in so doing recognize and celebrate the distinctive mission of Holy Cross,” says Frank Vellaccio, senior vice president, who presents the awards to recipients. The Holy Cross Mission Statement is the foundation for the awards program, which honors alumni who are leaders in business, professional or civic life, who live by the highest intellectual and ethical standards, and who are committed to the service of faith and promotion of justice.

Past recipients have included: Erin Boyd ’99, a nutritionist and humanitarian relief worker with USAID and UNICEF; Jay A. Clarke ’88, a curator at the Chicago Institute of Art and the Clark Art Institute; John Higgins ’76, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Sun-Times; Paul La Camera ’64, former general manager WBUR Radio in Boston; John A. Zaia, M.D. ’64, a pioneering researcher and physician, City of Hope National Medical Center; and Francis M. Carroll ’60, legendary figure skating coach.

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