On Jan. 7, 1997, I sat down for the first time in the Crossroads editor’s chair. A few weeks ago, on Sept. 16, 2008, I rose from that same chair and left the editor’s office of Holy Cross Magazine for the last time.
Leaving HCM and the employ of the College was a bittersweet decision. I have learned so much and made so many dear friends during my tenure on Mount St. James. But all good things, we are told, must come to an end. And the time has arrived to begin a new chapter. I am leaving to devote more time to novel-writing.
While tying up loose ends and dismantling my office, I’ve been asked which issues are my favorites of the 48 editions of HCM that we have produced over the last 12 years. I do have a few that I continue to treasure.
The winter 2002 issue was a memorial edition dedicated to the alumni lost on 9/11. It was an emotionally grueling project, but, in the end, one that seems to have touched the Holy Cross family in a lasting manner. Six years after publication, we continue to receive notes from readers about our coverage of this tragedy.
On a lighter note, our summer 2003 issue, “24 Hours: A Day at Holy Cross,” proved true the chestnut that a single photo is worth a multitude of words. With the help of six terrific and tireless photographers, we attempted to chronicle one day in the life of the College. The day began with a surprise, late April snow squall, but by its end, we had accumulated a photographic narrative that—according to many of our readers—managed to convey the special ethos of life on The Hill.
Perhaps my favorite issue was our winter 2006 edition, “Myths and Legends of Holy Cross.” Certainly, it was the most fun to compile. Research for this one began a full year before publication and, over the course of production, alumni from across the decades shared with me the “secret history” of the College.
But more than memories of any particular issue, what I take as I depart Holy Cross is an enduring sense of gratitude for the opportunity to be part of this unique and sustaining community. I am utterly indebted to those with whom I have worked, especially Fr. McFarland and Frank Vellaccio—both of whom were endlessly supportive, encouraging and, truly, inspiring.
I also want to thank my friends and colleagues in the Public Affairs department, and, especially, the rest of the staff of HCM—Ellen Ryder, Karen Shilad, Pam Reponen and Joyce O’Connor Davidson.
Lastly, I thank the readers of HCM for your interest in our magazine and the College it serves.