Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president, tours the Worcester Art Museum with students. Photo by Rob Carlin
For decades Holy Cross students and alumni have embraced the city of Worcester and all it has to offer. “Worcester has been Holy Cross’ hometown since 1843,” says Holy Cross Magazine (HCM) editor Suzanne Morrissey. “In our summer issue, we decided to examine how our students engage their city, and what makes ‘The Woo’ such a great place for college students. The story showcases Worcester’s hidden gems, which are definitely coming out of hiding, as well as the City’s plans for expansion and enrichment downtown.”
From eating at the Miss Woo Diner, to viewing displays at the Worcester Art Museum to students volunteering in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, HCM leaves no stone unturned.
“In working on this story with our writer, I was surprised—and heartened—to discover that Holy Cross students really get out into the community to enjoy local flavor and fun. They make the city their own,” Morrissey notes. “I knew they gave a lot of volunteer hours to various city organizations, but they also get down off the Hill for salsa dancing on Thursdays at Bocado, to poke around local shops, to hear concerts at Mechanics Hall and to explore WAM. Our students don’t have cars until their junior year, but the underclassmen certainly take advantage of great shuttle services, carpools and other transportation options to make sure they get out into Worcester.”
Holy Cross students, especially athletes, are known for being very active in large numbers in Worcester’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program. “We really lucked out that as we were prepping this story, the Holy Cross ‘Bigs’ hosted all their “Littles” at the annual field day in our Field House,” Morrissey says. “I was able to send a photographer over there and capture some heart-melting images of these happy pairs. We asked one little girl why she liked being a Little Sister and she said, ‘I like the feeling of being noticed.’ It really made me realize how important the program is, and how devoted the Holy Cross students are to the kids.”
Morrissey says it was important for Holy Cross Magazine to capture the voices of students, local alumni and City officials. “Happily, we were able to do that, and that gives the story a well-rounded point of view. Michael Collins ’77, chancellor of UMass Medical School, and Fred Eppinger ’81, president and CEO of The Hanover Insurance Group, were kind enough to give us in-depth interviews about their visions for Worcester in our sidebar ‘What Can Our City Become?’”
Morrissey says their insights were fascinating and exciting, “Especially Mr. Eppinger’s assertion that Worcester is not a city with a handful of super-wealthy families who donate to all the local causes. Instead, we’re a city with a strong base of everyday donors and people who simply want to make improvements to their neighborhoods. Worcester runs on the power of its people. And that is a point of pride we were proud to highlight,” she says.
HCM also polled Holy Cross students on their favorite Worcester ‘hot spots,’ including best place to take the folks on Parents Weekend and best restaurant for a special date. (The answers? The Sole Proprietor and Via, respectively.) View the entire list of winners