With a dazzling weekend of performances, discussions, and events that showcased both the history and future of the Jesuit liberal arts college, the College of the Holy Cross celebrated the public launch of “Become More: Campaign for the Future of Holy Cross” from April 29 to May 1. “Become More” is the most ambitious, comprehensive fundraising campaign in the history of the College, with the goal of raising $400 million by June 30, 2020.
An estimated 1,000 faculty, staff, students, alumni from across the country, and members of the local community converged on the campus and participated in a series of events throughout the weekend that highlighted the breadth of campaign initiatives: from the performing and creative arts to scientific research; from discussions of access and affordability issues to the impact of Jesuit education on emerging leaders; and from the place of competitive athletics to the commitment to educate the “whole person” — mind, body, spirit — during the course of a student’s four years on Mount St. James.
At a gala on Saturday evening in Kimball Hall, hosted by Mark Shriver ’86, president of the Save the Children Action Network, the history of Holy Cross was brought to life through a series of dramatic readings of first-person accounts from the College’s archives. “I will surrender the valuable Fitton Farm, which I have just purchased and on which I immediately intend to erect a College,” read one student from an 1843 diary entry by founder Bishop Joseph Fenwick. Later in the evening Tracy Barlok P19, vice president for advancement, and the campaign volunteer leadership team announced that the midway point of the campaign goal has been surpassed in just 34 months.
“It’s been a thrilling two-and-one-half years. And it has been a privilege working with deeply committed volunteers and donors who have put us in this wonderful position of strength,” said Barlok. “Where we stand today, at $240 million, speaks to the extraordinary level of leadership and generosity with which we have been blessed. It is this group of early investors gathered in this room tonight who have created the momentum and set the tone that has led to this historic moment.”
When asked to reflect on the importance of the weekend-long celebration, Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president of the College, highlighted how the celebration brought to life the overarching goal of the campaign, one very much grounded in the history of the College: to strengthen every dimension of the Holy Cross experience while continuing to educate thoughtful, imaginative, and ethical leaders.
“For almost two centuries now, the alumni and friends of Holy Cross have sustained and expanded Bishop Fenwick’s dream for this college on a hill,” said Fr. Boroughs. “The name of our new campaign is ‘Become More,’ which reflects St. Ignatius of Loyola’s concept of the ‘magis,’ his desire that in the choices we make in our lives, we choose that which reflects more effectively the power of God’s love in the world. Consequently, in our teaching, our study, our service, and our creativity, we are called to choose that which reflects that greater good, that which has the greater effect, that which addresses more pressing needs. And in doing so, we become more as individuals, as a community, and as an institution in service to God’s world.”
The weekend-long celebration was headlined Friday evening with “A Jookin’ Jam Session with Lil Buck, Cristina Pato & Friends,” featuring dance phenomenon Lil Buck, former Arts Transcending Borders artist-in-residence Galician gaita player Cristina Pato, and student performers Carmela Clave ’19, Hannah Comeau ’18, Ameer Phillips ’17, and Kalif Raymond ’16.
A community beam-signing event was held on campus on Saturday, April 30, in front of the Hart Center at the Luth Athletic Complex with John E. Luth ’74 and his wife, Dr. Joanne Chouinard-Luth, who gave $32.5 million towards the facility in 2015, the largest gift in College history. Joining the Luths to sign the beam, which will be part of the completed facility, were Athletic Director Nathan Pine; members of the Holy Cross men’s basketball team, Patriot League Champions; members of the women’s ice hockey team, NEHC champions; and hundreds of students.
A series of talks and panel discussions taking place around the campus on Saturday afternoon introduced alumni, parents, and friends to “today’s Holy Cross,” and included conversations with faculty and the College’s senior leadership about financial aid, the visual and performing arts, and academic offerings.
Saturday afternoon also featured a symposium with alumni CEOs and leaders titled “The Value and Relevancy of a Jesuit Education in the 21st Century.” Panelists included Douglas M. Baker Jr. ’81, chairman of the board and CEO, Ecolab Inc.; AnnMaura Connolly ’86, chief strategy officer and executive VP, City Year; Brian P. Kelley ’83, president and CEO, Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.; and Mary Agnes “Maggie” Wilderotter ’77, executive chairman, Frontier Communications. The symposium, moderated by Stephanie Yuhl, professor of history, featured a lively discussion by the panelists on how their Jesuit education has shaped their lives and work and why such a foundation continues to be dynamic and beneficial.
The weekend concluded with a mass on the morning of Sunday, May 1, at which Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president of the College, presided and preached. The mass was concelebrated by members of the Holy Cross alumni community, and the liturgy featured music by the College Choirs, Chapel Choir, and Schola Cantorum. James David Christie, Distinguished Artist-in-Residence, and organ scholars Abraham Ross ’16 and Lorraine Mihaliak ’19 served as organists. Brooks scholars Adam Ouellet ’16 and Teresa Murphy ’19 served as cantors.
More information on the “Become More” campaign and the campaign kickoff weekend can be found at: http://www.holycross.edu/becomemore
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