The Power of One

Suzanne Buchta '95


New York City

Family connections

Charles Buchta '63 (father)

What she did at Holy Cross

"I closed down the science library most nights, cheered for football and basketball, organized Math Club meetings and participated in SPUD and the Appalachian Service Project."

The impact Holy Cross had  

"Some significant experiences at Holy Cross opened my eyes to key issues related to diversity. Jean Desrosiers, a classmate from Modern Dance, wrote a poem about what it's like to be a 'raisin in milk' and permanently changed my point of view. Maria Marranzini, my first-year roommate, taught us how to merengue and invited us to the LASO (Latin American Student Organization) dances. Sally Rodriguez, a friend from the Calculus Workshop, showed me the salsa and the trick to straightening my hair. Juan Acosta, after one of our many long drives home to New York City, introduced me to his mother and her delicious rice and beans. Jorge Alves and other fellow Karate Club instructors introduced me to the wonderful world of Cape Verdean food, dance and music. I am very thankful to these friends for opening my mind to another way of seeing and experiencing the world."

The working life

"I work in finance and am interested in all things related to the environment and alternative energy. I have been fortunate to have had an exciting career."

Memorable Holy Cross professors

"Teachers at Holy Cross literally chased me down and encouraged me to pursue opportunities. Professor David Damiano, my Fenwick project adviser, taught us how to construct math theory from scratch; this technique later became a helpful tool in building a business from scratch. Dean Margaret Freije was a force to be reckoned with in the traditionally male profession of mathematics. Her example inspired me that I could beat the odds, too. Professor Mauri Ditzler showed me both my potential for success and for failure: I received 100 percent on his first exam and a 52 percent on his second! He hunted me down in the hallway after the failure to find out what happened and encourage me to get back on track. Professor Tom Lawler suggested I apply for this thing called a Fulbright, about which I had no prior knowledge. My dream of studying math in Australia came true, thanks to him."

Why she believes in Holy Cross

"Holy Cross teaches its would-be doctors, lawyers, teachers and business people to be excellent and ethical. 'Men and women for others' sets Holy Cross apart."

Why she gives to Holy Cross

"I give so that others may have similar opportunities and to promote ideas that can change the world. One year I donated a summer internship at Women's World Banking to Holy Cross. The student intern learned about microfinance-a process for making small loans (mostly to women) in the poorest regions, empowering the people to start businesses and take care of themselves and their families."   ■