College of the Holy Cross Welcomes Largest Class in School History

The class of 2026 is 10% larger than the previous year.

The College of the Holy Cross welcomed the largest class in its 179-year history on Aug. 27, when 904 members of the class of 2026 moved onto Mount St. James.

The class is 10 percent larger than that of the previous year, hailing from 575 high schools, 14 countries and four continents. Twenty-five percent of the class are students of color and international students; 24 languages are spoken; and 50 members hold dual citizenship. Nine students live within 1 mile of campus, which is about the same number as those who live more than 5,000 miles from The Hill.

"Holy Cross' distinguished reputation for excellence and ability to attract outstanding students has helped the College welcome the largest class in its history. This speaks directly to the dynamic educational experience Holy Cross provides and the value families place on it," said Cornell B. LeSane II, vice president for enrollment management. "The incoming students are an impressive group who will undoubtedly make a remarkable impact during their time on campus and beyond."

Incoming student data shows the class of 2026 represents a range of talents and interests. Members have advocated for a variety of issues in their communities concerning mental health, police reform, gun legislation, Black Lives Matter, gender equity and body image. One student participated in a virtual exchange program between Morocco and Texas addressing climate change and food insecurity. 

Remaining active in the community, class members walked and swam marathons, called bingo numbers, rescued sea turtles and acted as a probationary firefighter. One student also designed light shows for Christmas and Halloween that took 50 hours of planning to produce a 10- to 15-minute performance. 

"The College is built for broad, deep and meaningful education and that says something very important about the kind of student who matriculates here. Our classes are small and there is nowhere to hide — in the best possible sense," President Vincent D. Rougeau said. "Our students have to be ready for spirited engagement. They will have their certainties challenged and perspectives broadened as they prepare for a world that needs their leadership, wisdom, empathy and generosity. And we are confident that they will thrive here."