From College Hill to Beacon Hill

By Rebecca Smith '99

If you live in—or visit—the commonwealth of Massachusetts, you have likely been affected by the work of (from left) Robert Mulligan ’65, David Perini ’59, Rachel Kaprielian ’90, Thomas Kelley ’60 and Daniel Grabauskas ’85.

These five  alumni hold (or recently held) the top posts at several Massachusetts government agencies. So whether you have served in the military or on a jury, traveled by car or by subway, or utilized a public building or park in Massachusetts, your experience was shaped by their dedication to improving the quality of life in the Bay State.

Motivated by a passion to serve others, Mulligan, Perini, Kaprielian, Kelley and Grabauskas answered the Jesuit call to devote one’s self to the greater good. And, although each faces unique social, political and financial challenges, all rely on the critical thinking skills acquired through their liberal arts education to overcome hardships and leave a legacy of service.

Robert A. Mulligan ’65

As chief justice for administration and management of the Massachusetts Trial Court, Robert Mulligan works to ensure that justice is delivered throughout the commonwealth.

This self-described “CEO” of the Trial Court directs policy and oversees seven Trial Court departments and more than 7,000 court staff. During his six-year tenure in this role, Mulligan has initiated reforms that focus on the fast and effective delivery of and access to quality, substantive justice.

In no small way, Mulligan has an impact on the lives of the more than 4,000 people who come to  the state’s courthouses in search of equity and legality every day. This influential figure in the legal community points to his experiences on Mount St. James with instilling in him many of his values and principles.

“Holy Cross taught me what’s important and essential and what’s ephemeral and trivial,” Mulligan recalls. “The student body was made up of very high-minded, high-caliber men whose character, integrity and morality rubbed off on me.”

David B. Perini ’59

David Perini attended Holy Cross at a time when 7 a.m. church services were a required element of the curriculum. Looking back, he credits the formality of daily Mass—coupled with his rigorous academic and athletic responsibilities—with teaching him valuable lessons about discipline, responsibility and prioritization.

“Although we grumbled about it at the time, daily Mass built a spiritual base for our lives,” Perini says. “I don’t know anyone who was harmed by it.”

As commissioner of the Division of Capital Asset Management, the state agency responsible for major public building construction and real estate services, Perini handles all the oversight, construction, renovation, sales and leases of public buildings and land in the commonwealth. It is a fitting position for Perini, who spent 27 years as chief executive officer of Perini Corp., his family’s construction and real estate business.

By building facilities such as courthouses and hospitals for public agencies, Perini has realized a level of personal satisfaction that he says was missing in the private sector.
“Our work has a tremendous impact on people’s morale,” he explains. “We’re fulfilling a social need.”