Editor's Note

Surprise!

I love surprises. And as surprises go, the Feb. 13 announcement of a $25 million gift to the College was a doozie.

The campus was buzzing the day before about a mysterious gathering Fr. Boroughs had called in Rehm Library. The invitation used the words "exciting" and "special," so no one suspected bad news, and that made the speculating all the more interesting. I overheard a few people in Crossroads saying, "I'll bet it's about a big gift!" But I don't think anyone realized how big.

And so the hour arrived. Rehm was filled to capacity, and many stood outside the heavy double glass doors to at least catch a glimpse of whatever was happening inside. From my vantage point in the wings, I could see students and faculty filing in, along with staff, Jesuits, administrators and alumni-everyone whispering about what might be going on. It was Ash Wednesday, so many had just come from lunch-hour services with ashes on their foreheads.

The buzz quieted as the program began. When Fr. Boroughs shared the big news-Neil Prior '56 was donating $25 million to enhance the arts at Holy Cross-there was a collective gasp followed by a round of breathless "wows." Then, a thundercloud of applause.

"Neil's gift is a reflection of his unwavering belief in the importance of a Holy Cross education-and how the study and experience of the arts are essential to that education," Fr. Boroughs commented. "His generosity will have a transformative effect on our work and is a tremendous statement of support in our mission and leadership."

Now the buzz is about the new arts center that the Prior gift will help fund. Where will it be? What will it look like? When will it be open? All these questions will be answered in time, of course. For now, the campus community seems to be coasting on a wave of happy anticipation, and perhaps a renewed appreciation for the arts at Holy Cross.

Please read more about the Prior gift on Page 4 in the Campus Notebook section, and then enjoy our feature by New York Times arts reporter Daniel J. Wakin about renowned composer, musical alchemist and Loyola Professor of Music Osvaldo Golijov.

All the best from Mount St. James,

Suzanne Morrissey

hcmag@holycross.edu