The Power of One: David E. Harris ’96

Hometown: Orlando, Fla.

What he did at Holy Cross: “I played football and was team captain in 1995. I was a political science major, and a member of the Purple Key Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.”

The impression it left: “I spent two days on campus during my first visit and, when I left, I knew Holy Cross was home. The most striking aspect of that visit was the sense of community I felt on campus. The community attracted me to the College and, during my tenure, challenged me spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. It instilled in me the belief that, through pushing to reach our potential, we have an opportunity to affect positively those within our own community and beyond. I take this philosophy with me into each new personal and professional experience life grants me.”

The working life: “While I spent most of my early career in financial services, I recently moved into health care. I work with very talented people trying to bring to market health care technologies that will, hopefully, improve the way care is provided throughout the world.”

Memorable Holy Cross moments:  “The positive impact Dean Mark Freeman [professor of psychology] had on me is still with me daily. During my third year, I was going through a particularly difficult time, doubting my ability to succeed at the level I expected of myself. I went to talk to Dean Freeman. While we had a lengthy conversation, and more visits took place, it was one simple quote that turned my perspective around. Dean Freeman looked at me and said, ‘You belong here.’ It meant the world to me at that time that someone of his stature believed not only in my potential, but that I could add value to the community. From that day on, whenever I find myself in a particularly challenging situation and that sense of doubt creeps in, I remember those words and stand confidently as I face the challenge head on.”

Why he believes in Holy Cross: “Holy Cross is about education, but it goes well beyond textbooks. It’s about challenging your own beliefs until you understand what you stand for and why. The personal growth that is realized between freshman and senior year is amazing. The women and men that graduate from Holy Cross possess a unique ability to create amazing positive change in the communities they touch.”

Why he stays connected to Holy Cross: “Holy Cross provided me with a first-rate education, and the friends I took away from my four years on campus are still very much in my life today.”

Why he gives to Holy Cross: “An institution that exists to teach students to be positive beacons in their communities is one that deserves to be preserved.”