Family Weekend a Success Despite Freak Snow Storm

Families receive warm welcome on cold weekend

Severe weather conditions didn’t put Family Weekend plans on freeze during the last weekend of October. Hundreds of families braved a freak snow storm, which arrived weeks before the official start of winter, to take part in the College’s annual tradition. The three-day event offered families a chance to participate in recreational, cultural and educational events and experience life on Mount St. James.

Despite dumping nearly 15 inches of snow and leaving thousands of local residents without power, the College was largely unaffected by the storm except for downed tree limbs. Brenda Hounsell Sullivan, director of the Office of Student Involvement, said nearly 400 families officially registered for Family Weekend while many more chose to explore on their own.

“The community was vibrant and we were able to weather the storm,” Sullivan said. “The feeling of having that many families on campus made for a really nice celebration.”

Friday night offered several options for families and students. The evening began with a concert in St. Joseph Chapel by the College Choir. Children were offered the chance to paint pumpkins and trick or treat in Lehy Hall, and thrill-seekers made their way carefully through the annual haunted house in Healy Hall.

Casino Night, sponsored by the Campus Activities Board, drew a huge crowd that filled the Hogan Campus Center Ballroom into the early morning hours of Saturday and offered an array of games including blackjack, craps, roulette, a money wheel and a Texas Hold’em poker tournament.

Saturday’s events included a Parents’ Council Committee meeting, which was open to all parents of Holy Cross students. “Despite the impending storm, we had more than 50 participants at the meeting,” said Kathy Delehaunty, director of Parent Giving.

Parent Council co-chairs Maureen Varley '76, P11, 09 and Boris Moczula P11, 09 provided an overview of the Council, as well as the College's Summer Internship Program, and Parent Fund co-chair Marty Connors P13 gave an update on parent giving.

During the meeting, Senior Vice President Frank Vellaccio gave a presentation on the College’s priorities and vision for the next 10 years. This was well-received by parents and elicited several questions as well as  a heartfelt response from Tom Devivo, father of Andrew '12. Tom mentioned how his son's experience as a Holy Cross  student had enriched his own life. "It seems Mr. Devivo's heartfelt comment was something many parents in attendance could relate to," said Delehaunty.

In the afternoon, the Holy Cross football team battled Georgetown in the autumn Nor'easter in front of a dedicated fan base. At halftime, the Holy Cross Marching Band honored College President Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J., by inducting him as the first honorary member of the Marching Band Hall of Fame. The Crusaders fell to Georgetown 19-6.

Other events from Saturday included “Hogwarts at Holy Cross,” a science lesson for young visitors sponsored by the Holy Cross Science Ambassadors, and the Dance Ensemble Show, which featured six separate dance performances all choreographed by Holy Cross students.

More highlights from the weekend included the ALANA and International Student Brunch and a Jazz Ensemble concert, both of which drew large crowds. Other notable musical performances included a Holy Cross Chamber Orchestra concert and two separate performances of “An Evening of a Cappella Music” by Holy Cross students.