Clear winter skies and bright sun set the tone for Winter Homecoming on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, atop Mount St. James. Kicking off with family skate and swim at the Hart Center, the weekend gave alumni and their families ample opportunities for fun and reflection.
“I was able to catch up with several friends and we shared some humongous lies about how good we look,” says Bill Sinnott ’79, who adds that campus looked “fantastic, even covered in snow.”
Two networking events and panel discussions brought alumni in the education and legal professions together. Heather Johnson ’06, director of the teacher education program at Holy Cross, helped lead the Holy Cross Alumni Educators Reception in Hogan 320, where she says the “energy and passion in the room was outstanding.”
Long Island attorney James Carter ’59 attended the Holy Cross Lawyers Association (HCLA) lunch and presentation “What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Lawyer.”
“My wife Jackie and I try to attend every year,” he says. “The HCLA puts on a fine program, and it is always a pleasure to meet the College’s aspiring lawyers, and hear why they want to enter the profession.” Carter attended Georgetown University Law School during his 15 years as a Navy SEAL before entering practice, and says he often finds himself “acting as a recruiter for the military, as well as the law.”
At the men’s basketball matchup against Bucknell, fans enjoyed a halftime presentation honoring Holy Cross basketball alumni from the 1950s through the 2010s and music from the pep band — all of which kept the purple spirit high despite the Crusaders’ 77-52 loss.
Later in the afternoon, women’s ice hockey set a new Holy Cross record at its Pink the Rink game, shooting down the Franklin Pierce Ravens and logging in its 15th straight win.
Arts offerings included a showing of Disney’s “Aladdin” in Seelos Theatre, an a cappella showcase in Crossroads, and an exhibition of photographic artwork by assistant professor of photography and new media Matthew Gamber in the Cantor Art Gallery. Many alumni took in the Alternate College Theatre’s production of “Chicago” in Fenwick Theater, directed by Christine Freije ’13. All of the weekend’s performances were sold out.
Winter Homecoming festivities coincided with the College’s “Give Purple” fundraising challenge. The Class of 1982 set the initial goal: 2,500 donations in 43 hours to match its gift of $500,000. Anonymous donors stepped in a few hours into the challenge offering additional $500,000 and $200,000 gifts if the donor numbers exceeded 4,300 before the clock ran out. The final tally exceeded even those expectations, with more than 6,200 donors and $1.94 million raised.
Caroline Cataldo ’12 says returning to campus is always special, but being on The Hill for Homecoming and the challenge brought an extra level of excitement.
“No matter the class year, each alum I spoke to was extremely aware of the campaign and just as excited as I was to watch our Crusader community shatter records left and right,” Cataldo says. “I felt so connected to alumni both on campus and social media who were donating to the challenge. I couldn’t help but remember something Fr. Boroughs told me a few years ago that has really stuck with me as the epitome of this College: ‘Holy Cross is your home no matter where you live — and you can always come home.’ ”
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