Fr. Brooks Receives Two Military Honors

At the 11th Annual O'Callahan Society Dinner in September 2011, the group honored president emeritus  Rev. John E. Brooks, S.J., '49, with two awards. Fr. Brooks, who served in the Army during World War II, was lauded for being a staunch champion of liberal arts education for military officers and for the integral role he has played in maintaining an ROTC presence at Holy Cross.

For his efforts to support the ROTC, Fr. Brooks received the Superior Public Service Award from the Department of the Navy. He also received the O'Callahan Society's first Capt. Harry T. Moore USN Award. Capt. Moore assumed his duties as the commanding officer of the NROTC at Holy Cross in 1970, the same year Fr. Brooks became the College's president. The two men worked closely as Moore reviewed and revised the College's ROTC curriculum to ensure its "academic and professional suitability to the College and the Navy," according to the O'Callahan Society's award citation. Fr. Brooks has noted that Moore's dedication, patience and persistence saved the ROTC unit, and the Jesuit and the officer remained close until Moore's death in 2007.

After the presentation of the awards to Fr. Brooks, the crowd of more than 150 guests welcomed keynote speaker Col. Philip "P.J." Crowley, USAF (Ret.) '73, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and noted national defense expert.

The celebratory evening's program quoted a 2009 speech in which Fr. Brooks said that he supported the ROTC at Holy Cross because he saw and continues to see a need for "military officers well-versed in the liberal arts-young men and women who have developed via their collegiate years the basic mental habits, intellectual skills, qualities of mind and judgment-all commonly referred to by philosophers and our sacred authors as wisdom."