President's Letter

A Season for Reflection

The slower pace and quieter days of summer on Mount St. James offer us an opportunity to pause and take stock before the cycle of another academic year begins again. I can feel it across campus, from the construction and improvement projects our facilities staff takes on each summer as they prepare campus for the new year, to professors fine-tuning their curriculum and syllabi and to coaches gearing up for their season.

Though there are fewer students on The Hill during the summer months, campus is by no means empty. We had more than 100 students engaged in summer research opportunities with their professors in a range of disciplines: history majors researching the Irish in Worcester during the age of industrialization, economics students studying whether solar energy is a viable option on campus and computer science majors creating an app for a local Worcester festival. Many of our athletes also remained on campus, training hard in the offseason, as well as the student leaders who used the quieter summer days as an opportunity to start work on programming for the fall.

And in the midst of all this preparation, there is excitement for the next chapter. It starts in late May when we send our graduates out into the world at Commencement. Not only are we proud of their achievements as Holy Cross students, but we are also confident that they will make an impact on their new communities as men and women for and with others.

Just a few weeks after that, our proud alumni return to campus for Reunion, eager to hear about what is happening on The Hill. Though the physical look of our campus is changing, there is so much about the Holy Cross experience that is the same through the generations, and the joy of Reunion resonates with everyone, from the Purple Knights to the five-year reunion class. You can see photos from the 2016 Reunion celebrations in Alumni News.

The cycle continues when the newest class arrives for Gateways orientation just a few days after Reunion concludes. We meet and welcome the newest members of our Holy Cross family, and I am always touched watching families navigate this exciting and interesting time.

But before we turn the page to this new school year, it is natural to look back at our most recent chapter. The College had a momentous year in 2015-2016, and you will find my reflections in the Year in Review. We have much to celebrate and be grateful for as we look back on all our students, faculty and staff have accomplished. And much to look forward to as well.

The other main highlight of this issue is a series of articles on food, something we all have in common, yet experience in different ways. Food’s relation to social justice is the focus of the article about David Emond ’96, the executive director at Liberty’s Kitchen in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Kelly Verel ’97, the vice president at Project for Public Spaces in New York City. David empowers at-risk youth by teaching them to cook and helping them get stable jobs. In addition, he helps over 1,300 students in New Orleans access fresh, healthy food at school each day, through the Liberty’s Kitchen school nutrition program. Kelly works to establish public and farmers markets across the country, improving access to healthy and local food. Food also builds community, whether it is through our daily meals in the Jesuit residence or through alumni farmers who provide food to neighbors and businesses alike through community supported agriculture (CSA) sharing groups. You may read about both in the food section of this issue, along with the sustainability efforts of Holy Cross Dining at Kimball Hall and other campus eateries.

As always, I am excited to share stories of our alumni turning their inspiration into action, from research and scholarship to community building to sustainability to business. And as we pause briefly to reflect on the past academic year, I am inspired by the groundbreaking and important work happening on our campus. I look forward to its continuation in the year ahead.  ■

Very truly yours,

Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J.