President's Letter

Along with Holy Cross students, faculty and staff, I am spending these early spring weeks preparing for the Commencement of the Class of 2016. As we polish speeches, prepare the campus, finalize plans for the DCU Center and attend to details of events that will help launch our seniors into the world, two things are on my mind: the extraordinary transformation these young women and men have experienced during their four years on the Hill and the impact they will make in the years ahead.

They have, of course, already made an impact on the Holy Cross community in ways that they may have never imagined when they were in high school. They have excelled academically, assumed leadership roles, created art, undertaken original research, performed on stage, studied abroad, stood in solidarity with the poor and marginalized, been part of a championship team…the list goes on and on. Yet their collegiate accomplishments are only the beginning. As I hand them their diplomas at graduation this year,
I will be thinking of the gifts, nurtured here, that they will now bring to the places they will go throughout their lives and careers–to their neighborhoods and parishes, to our cities and industries, to our civic lives and global communities, to medicine, business, schools and universities. This is what Holy Cross graduates have done for generations.

Fittingly, the overarching theme of this edition of Holy Cross Magazine is a wide- ranging exploration of what comes after four years on Mount St. James. You will read several highly personal stories of unexpected new careers, including that of Kate Ginsbach ’11, who overcame a couple of early setbacks to find an entirely new passion that is changing the lives of others; and those of four alumni who reinvented themselves and found successful and productive second careers. You will discover how conversations about classroom teaching today are shaping the careers of Holy Cross students and alumni. And you will learn more about two distinctive Holy Cross programs—the Washington Semester and the Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies—that are providing a solid foundation for students to explore their passions, no matter what their major.

Every Holy Cross graduate has a distinctive story of what came after he or she crossed the graduation stage, and I wish we could tell every story in a single issue. The Holy Cross stories of changing careers and changing lives span the decades. The great men in the 60th Reunion Class of 1956 will gather at a special panel during their upcoming reunion to discuss their “second acts”–men like Tom Beecher ’56, who combines a thriving law career with board membership in the Buffalo health care sector that has revolutionized the industry in the city. Or women like Kate Curran ’85, who, inspired by her parents’ lives of public service, traded her job as a GE executive to create School the World, a nonprofit that builds schools and brings education to Central America. Or John Keenan ’71, who, after a career as a public school teacher, used that knowledge and experience to create a company that works to increase literacy among low-income children. Not only does he write curricula for summer programs on the topic, but he even found himself in a recording studio, where, alongside his wife, Jo-Anne, he writes and records children’s songs about literacy and the environment.

I want to extend thanks to Suzanne Morrissey for shepherding the articles in this issue into print, and for her work on the 28 issues that preceded this one. The Holy Cross community is grateful to her for telling our stories during her tenure as editor.

Finally, I close with a note of congratulations to our men’s basketball team. Their Patriot League championship triumph led to our first win in NCAA play in 63 years. And as befits our theme this season of what comes after Holy

Cross, I hope you saw the article posted the week before the Final Four. ranked the teams in the NCAA tournament by performance in the classroom—focusing on each school’s most recent basketball “graduation success rate,” which measures how many students leave their institution in good academic standing. Holy Cross men’s basketball has a 100 percent graduation success rate. “If the men’s hoops brackets mimicked academic performance … Holy Cross would be cutting down the nets,” reports. “[Holy Cross] had the strongest academic ranking of all 68 teams in the men’s tournament.”

It is yet another indication of how Holy Cross students—and alumni—are using their gifts, their liberal arts education and their commitment to excellence in and out of the classroom to accomplish great things throughout their careers.

Ad majorem Dei gloriam,

Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J.