Letters to the Editor

Lucky Alum

I LOVE the magazine—I read it cover to cover, often twice. Makes me realize how lucky I am to be an alum, and to have had such an amazing experience as a Crusader. ■

Phil O’Donnell ’91

New Canaan, Conn.


Proud Reader

Just wanted to drop a line and say thank you. When I opened the Winter 2016 issue, I found articles about Professor Andrew Futterman (who taught me psychodiagnosis and was my honors thesis adviser my senior year) and Professor Mark Freeman (one of my honors thesis readers), and I learned that Rev. Michael Rogers, S.J., ’02 (known to me as Mike, sophomore mentor in Hanselman, home of our FYP class) was becoming a new chaplain at our alma mater. I also loved the article about Kimball Hall (where I spent many hours “breaking trays” as a freshman) and an article about Ted Lombardi ’01 and Val Geary ’01, who were in College Choir with me for my first two years. The day after I received this issue, I caught an interview on NPR with Jon Favreau ’03, former speechwriter for President Obama—and also my class valedictorian. Never felt prouder to be a Crusader. Thanks for bringing back such great memories. Hoiah, Holy Cross! ■

Emily Hunter Bacon ’03



Why He Said Yes to Holy Cross

Editor’s Note: In connection with our cover story on the College’s admissions process, we asked alumni readers to tell us why they said “yes” to Holy Cross. Adam Cohn ’99 replied with an interesting spin on his acceptance story. Still want to share yours?
Email us at hcmag@holycross. edu.

Holy Cross has been part of our family for decades. My brother, Brendan, is an ’03 grad, and our father, Rick, is a member of the Class of 1968. I attended football games and tailgates on campus since I was very young. But funny enough, I said “yes” to my acceptance letter from admissions for the year I wouldn’t be at Holy Cross. I knew as a high school senior that I wanted to major in Spanish and study abroad. When I was looking for colleges, it was the study abroad programs that were my main draw. Holy Cross’ program was heads and tails above the rest. After sitting in on a presentation by the study abroad department, where we were told that Holy Cross students go away for a full year, and mostly to places where there weren’t other American programs running, I was sold. My family has always loved Holy Cross, but what really sealed the deal for me and made it my decision to say “yes” was the study abroad program. Three years later I was spending my junior year abroad in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and I’ve been back numerous times since. My first job after Holy Cross was in sales for an international education and cultural exchange company, and I’m now living in London managing marketing and business development for a global law firm. My partner is British and works in human rights law, so as a result, we spend as much of our time traveling, exploring and learning as possible. Holy Cross set me on a global track and instilled in me a true mindset of “men and women for others” for which I’m eternally grateful. ■

Adam Cohn ’99



Kimball Memories

I loved the article on Kimball Hall in the Winter 2016 issue (“Mother Kimball,” Page 78), and I’m sure it brought back great memories to anyone who ate there. For most in my class, eating “institutional food” was a comedown from home- cooked meals. For me, thanks to my mother’s terrible cooking and not much money, eating at Kimball was a big upgrade in both quantity and quality. It was my first exposure to swordfish steak! Two memories stand out for me: 1. I was in Kimball (with 800 other guys) when the lights dimmed and then went out in the Great Blackout of 1965. The ensuing food fight in the dark was worthy of Animal House. 2. At the Christmas banquet in 1964, the Holy Cross Glee Club was joined by the Newton College Glee Club singing standard Christmas songs. For the last song, the complete audience joined in singing “Noel.” I’m sure most of us couldn’t sing well, but hearing 800 male voices with the glee clubs gave me chills. It was probably the Kimball acoustics. ■

William E. Neagle ’69

Seaford, N.Y.


First Food Fight

I was a waiter in Kimball and therefore was interested in the “Mother Kimball” feature in the latest issue—it brought back some fun memories. Elvis Presley was pretty popular in the 1950s, and because of that a near riot erupted long before the movie  Animal House came out. We had a record player in Kimball, and usually classical music was played. But one day, “Hound Dog” was put on. The first food fight in my memory started up with people throwing bread and rolls. Eventually, of course, the Jesuits had to step in. ■

Robert J. Blanch ’59 P85, 84

Ashland, Mass.


Jesuit Wisdom

I truly enjoyed your recent article about Kimball Hall. One memory of Kimball came back—one that truly embodies the essence of the Jesuits’ inventive approach to education. When Lower Kimball opened it was not called that by the students. We knew it as the Senior Dining Hall, for only seniors or those invited by them could enter. IDs were checked. Undergraduates need not apply. In 1968-69, we seniors reveled in our exclusivity. Only years later did I realize what a master stroke Lower Kimball had been. For several years before this I had seen the chaos and havoc that was the Hundred Days Party, more accurately described as a free- for-all food fight celebrating the fact that graduation was 100 days away. Food, plates and even those heavy metal pitchers grew wings. It was a great release for all, but was as dangerous as it was expensive. Even the presence of the dean of students, who, rumor had it, had made the final cut with the Boston Patriots, could not slow it down. But in the Senior Dining Hall, Hundred Days Party was celebrated with a menu of filet mignon and baked Alaska for dessert. Even a group of all-male students  in the ’60s wouldn’t throw filet mignon around. Problem solved. In four decades of teaching in higher education,
I never again encountered such a clever way to address a behavioral problem. Jesuits rule! ■

Kenneth Kitchell ’69

professor emeritus, LSU and UMass Amherst Signal Mountain, Tenn.


The Winter Cover

Thank you, readers, for your great feedback on the Winter issue cover story about the College’s admissions process. Many of you enjoyed the cover image, which depicts a student “putting on the purple” over a high school jersey, indicating she is coming to Holy Cross. Two students stepped up to be our models for that cover shoot, our fall intern Claire McMahon ’16 and her friend Eddie Gibbons ’16, top left. We also conscripted senior interviewer Elizabeth Cohn ’16, who happened to be in the admissions office the day we were shooting. Cohn agreed to walk through the scene photographer Rob Carlin had set up in the hallway for a potential cover image dozens of times and her smile never waivered. Special thanks to our enthusiastic student model volunteers!  ■

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Letters to the editor are edited for space and content. Letters should not exceed 250 words and must include the writer’s full name, address, phone number, email and class year, if applicable.