Accomplished Members of the Class of 2017 Arrive on Campus Aug. 24

Students who graduated at top of their high school classes headed to Mount St. James

August 9th, 2013 by 


Image by Patrick O’Connor

The Class of 2017 will arrive at the College of the Holy Cross on Aug. 24 for move-in day with strong academic credentials. Of the 7,115 applicants, 33 percent (or 2,344) were accepted. About 87 percent of students graduated in the top 20 percent of their high school class.

The Class of 2017 represents 36 states and three countries, with 24 percent African-American, Latin American, Asian-American, and Native American heritage (ALANA) representation.

Fall Gateways Orientation
As soon as they arrive on campus, the newest Holy Cross students will participate in a three-and-one-half day program of welcoming events, known as Fall Gateways Orientation. The events are designed to ease transition to college life by introducing students to the wide variety of academic, spiritual, community-building, and social programs available at the College. Students also have the chance to meet members of the faculty, administrators, and fellow classmates before classes begin on Aug. 28.

Mass of the Holy Spirit
Members of the new class and their parents will gather for the formal inauguration of the new academic year at the Mass of the Holy Spirit on Aug. 24 at 4 p.m. on the Hart Center Lawn (rain location: Hart Center basketball arena). Rev. Philip Boroughs, S.J., president of Holy Cross, will preside and preach. In 2010, Newsweek.com was on campus to capture the Mass and the accompanying emotions as students are welcomed and their families bid farewell.

First-Year Summer Reading
Over the summer, first-year students were asked to read “An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny” by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski. It is the story of the unlikely friendship between 11-year-od Maurice and sales executive Laura that began in the 1980s and continues to today, explains Patricia Kramer, dean for the class of 2017. The book describes how a chance meeting changed the lives of these two people forever and it raises many issues that impact each of us daily. The title of the book reflects the bonds that connect us to one another and comes from an ancient Chinese proverb: “An invisible thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, and circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.”

“I hope that, when reading the book, students will think about the bonds that they have that connect them to their friends, family, and others,” says Kramer. “The role of a mentor is a central theme of the book. I would like everyone who reads the book to reflect upon who has been a mentor to them. Further, students should consider what kind of mentors they will seek out at during their time at Holy Cross. I look forward to discussing the book with the class.”

Incoming Students Make Headlines
Here are some incoming students who have made headlines in their hometown newspapers over the past several months.

Elizabeth Amaro Gonzalez, of Springfield, Mass., will major in biology with a concentration in biochemistry in the premed track, reports The Republican (video included). She credits her interest in the health profession to an internship she experienced at Baystate Health in Springfield. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen this year. more »

Mallory Chila, of Weston, Conn., “created Mallory’s Children’s Cancer Foundation, a non-profit foundation to help children pay uncovered medical care costs,” according to The Weston Forum. “Mallory had a special interest in starting the foundation, because she is in remission from stage 3 diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects lymph organs.” more »

Summer Search Boston honored 1,000 of its alumni, including Kelley Ferreira, of Dorchester, Mass. The program offers “a potent mix of year-round mentoring, life-changing summer experiences and college advising that helps turn low-income high school students into responsible and altruistic leaders,” according to the Boston Herald. more »

Hannah Gabriel, of Forty Fort, Penn., has learned Spanish and Latin, taught herself Italian and is working on learning German, according to The Times Leader. She plans to major in classics and theatre at Holy Cross. more »

A separate story in the Carbondale News also details Gabriel’s love of languages. more »

Shannon Ganley, of Colchester, Conn., graduated as salutatorian from Bacon Academy, reported the Norwich Bulletin. more »

Jeffrey Liang, of Boston, received $1,000 for academic achievement and community service from the Blackstone/Franklin Square Neighborhood Association, according to the Boston Globe. He plans to study languages and environmental sciences at Holy Cross. more »

The South End News also reported the news. more »

Meghan McCarthy, of Danvers, Mass., graduated as salutatorian from St. Mary’s High School. In an address she encouraged her classmates to embrace what lies ahead, according to the Lynn Journal. more »

Jennifer Nash, of Long Beach, N.Y., who graduated as valedictorian of Long Beach High School, has “a passion for politics and a desire to make the world a better place,” according to the Long Beach Patch. more »

Benjamin T. Nicholson, of Lancaster, Mass., graduated as valedictorian from Nashoba Regional High School, reported the Telegram & Gazette. He plans to study biology and join the premed program. more »

Nikiander Pelari, of West Roxbury, Mass., received a “Future Leaders of Boston” scholarship award from the University Club of Boston, according to the Beacon Hill Times. more »

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