Rev. Philp L. Boroughs, S.J, president of Holy Cross, and Cymetra Williams ’03, who received the Young Alumni Leadership award during the annual Holy Cross Alumni Association Dinner.
During the weekend of Oct. 4-5, the Holy Cross Alumni Association welcomed hundreds of alumni, families and friends back to campus for one of its most popular events — Fall Homecoming. The weekend provided an opportunity to honor outstanding alumni volunteer achievement and to showcase an abundance of Purple Pride.
The weekend kicked off with Today’s Holy Cross Classroom. Select classrooms opened their doors to alumni and friends, allowing them to sit in and experience what today’s Holy Cross students are learning. Many left with a sense of nostalgia and the desire to be a student once again.
The evening was reserved for gratitude and recognition. The annual HCAA Dinner provided the backdrop for the College to express its respect and admiration for those alumni who have distinguished themselves through their dedicated, outstanding and lengthy service to the College, regional clubs, or their class — often all three.
This year’s award recipients were Connie Eagan ’81, Dave Martel ’65, Brian O’Connell ’71 and Frank Stankard ’53, who received In Hoc Signo awards, and Cymetra Williams ’03, who received the Young Alumni Leadership award.
The evening culminated in an old-fashioned Sader Nation Pep Rally sponsored by the Purple Key Society. Alumni and students filled the Hoval to show their Purple Pride. Crusader athletes joined football legend Gordie Lockbaum ‘88 in firing up the crowd in anticipation of Saturday’s football game against Harvard.
The event inspired Gregory Lyddy ’52 to recall his own pep rally experience on the Alumni Facebook page. “The 1950 rally was held on the steps in front of Dinand Library and was subsequently called the ‘March on Worcester’ because, at the end of the rally, the band refused to disperse and marched to downtown Worcester followed by the entire student body with the Jesuits in pursuit.” Lyddy, the band’s drum major, was nearly expelled for his participation, but fondly recalls, “We had spirit.”
Saturday, the Crusader football team hosted the Harvard Crimson. Pregame activities included the ever popular tailgate. The Black Student Union, which celebrated its 45th anniversary back on the Hill, hosted a tent at the event.
At halftime, fans were treated to the Crusader spirit songs “Chu, Chu, Rah, Rah!” and “Alma Mater” by the “Goodtime” Marching Band. Both current student musicians and alumni make up the Homecoming band. One student overheard a member of the alumni band tell his daughter, “This is the place where I fell in love with your mother.”
Although the game did not end the way Crusader fans would have liked, it was a hard fought contest. The game hung in the balance for more than three hours. Each team scored crucial touchdowns in the closing minutes of play, with the Crimson claiming the win with a 41-35 final score.
Many other teams held games over the weekend, including women’s and men’s soccer and a men’s hockey exhibition game.
In addition to the sporting events, alumni and friends were treated to a host of panel discussions and exhibits, including an engaging presentation by published alumni authors. Participants included Michael Harvey ’80, who discussed his visits to state penitentiaries to interview death row inmates; Tom Vogel ’88 weighed in on his visits to Peru; and Rebecca Edwards ’90 portrayed a woman from the 19th century.
All the authors credited their Holy Cross professors as lighting a spark in them that remained lit and ultimately flourished in their books.
On Saturday evening, the O’Callahan Society held its annual Homecoming dinner. More than 100 alumni, parents, friends and midshipmen from the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corp (NROTC) listened to keynote speaker, Vice Adm. Barry Costello, USN (Ret.) ’73 talk about the value of a Holy Cross education in today’s Navy.
One of the last weekend gatherings was a spiritual one with Mass celebrated in St. Joseph Memorial Chapel.