By P. Kevin Condron ’67
Bishop McManus, fellow alumni and members of the Board of Trustees, distinguished guests, members of the faculty, administration and staff, parents, students, neighbors and friends of the College. Welcome to this special occasion marking the installation of our 32nd president, the Reverend Philip L. Boroughs, of the Society of Jesus.
What an opportunity and privilege we have today. On this day of great celebration—on this feast day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross—we have the opportunity to look at our shared history, to reflect on the foundation that brought us to this moment, to offer our prayers of support to Father Boroughs, and to look together—with optimism and hope—into our future.
From its inception, inspirational leaders and members of the Society of Jesus have served Holy Cross and built it into a community that for nearly 170 years has educated men and women in service to our world. From Boston Bishop Benedict Joseph Fenwick, who purchased the land where we gather today and announced his ‘bold ambition’ to create the first Catholic college in New England in 1843… to Father Anthony Ciampi who worked tirelessly to rebuild Holy Cross after fire devastated the young College in 1852 … to Father Joseph Hanselman, the principal architect of the modern Holy Cross in the early 1900s.. to presidents Carlin, Dinand, and Healy – such familiar names on this campus – and others who shepherded Holy Cross through the dark years of depression and wars… to Father John Brooks whose vision brought greater diversity to the primarily white and all-male institution, and helped establish a national, indeed international reputation for academic excellence in undergraduate teaching. And most recently to Father Michael McFarland, who led us through the nation’s economic turbulence, transformed the campus landscape with new buildings and improvements, and championed even greater diversity within our community.
The inauguration of any president is a historic moment, but the inauguration of Father Philip Boroughs is affirmation of the vision of the leaders who came before him, of our Catholic and Jesuit identity, and our shared mission of academic excellence, community, faith and justice.
Today, higher education in America faces unprecedented challenges. College costs continue to escalate. Questions abound about the value of investing in what we offer. Access and affordability are on the minds of students, families, our elected representatives in Congress, and our own leadership. Holy Cross has long prided itself on rigorously evaluating how we plan our future, serve our students, support our faculty and employees, and live out our mission. Going forward, our work requires us to maintain that rigor—and still more. We must explore innovative solutions, and communicate to all our audiences with wisdom and strength. We are fortunate to have a leader who has the skill and talent to face the challenges ahead. With Father Boroughs, we have a leader whose intimate knowledge of higher education—and specifically Jesuit higher education… profound faith and commitment to Ignatian spirituality… ability to communicate effectively to diverse audiences… and perspectives on today’s complex global issues will serve us very, very well.
This afternoon, you will hear messages delivered to our new president from elected leaders on behalf of residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Worcester. You will hear from a faculty member, students, a staff member, and president of our alumni association. You will also hear from two Provincials from the Society of Jesus, and from our friends in higher education, who bring greetings and wisdom from their schools.
Throughout this program, you will hear our shared aspirations, our collective endorsement and enthusiasm for Father Boroughs as the College’s new leader, and our challenge to him to lead us forward into new terrain, where we will build upon our unshakable foundation of academic excellence, educating men and women for others, in the service of faith, the promotion of justice, and in the spirit of St. Ignatius Loyola.
Thank you for joining in this celebration of our history and of our common quest to define and create a wonderful future together, ably guided by our remarkable new president.
P. Kevin Condron ’67 is chair of the Board of Trustees.
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