'I See You Here': Kevin Hamilton's Story

A smiling young man with wearing a green crew neck shirt and a necklace with a cross
Kevin Hamilton '24 reflects on his time at Holy Cross before graduating later this month.

Editor's Note: On May 24, more than 800 members of the Holy Cross class of 2024 will walk the commencement stage. Each path to the stage is unique. As we celebrate the class, HCM asked several seniors to share their journeys in their own words. Listen and read their uncut narratives — how they got here and what they’re taking with them — as they reflect on the Holy Cross chapter of their life.

Listen to Kevin Hamilton '24 read his reflection
Audio file

With my mom, my grandmother, Nonnie, and my sister, Mary, we turned onto Linden Lane, passing through the iron gate and continuing on under the canopy of summertime green. As we walked to the Admissions Office, we admired the ivy-covered walls of Beaven Hall and the monumental columns of Dinand Library. By the time we were climbing the stairs into O’Kane Hall, I turned back to see my mom and Nonnie already crying. My mom looked at me with awe in her eyes and said, “I see you here.” By the time my tour was over, I agreed. They knew me better than I knew myself from the first moment I stepped foot on campus. As we left Mount St. James, we all believed this could be my school.

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A young Kevin Hamilton standing next to a Holy Cross sign
Kevin Hamilton's mother and grandmother knew Holy Cross was the perfect school for him when they visited campus in 2018 before the start of his senior year of high school.
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Kevin Hamilton standing next to the Holy Cross sign
Kevin Hamilton '24 graduates as the valedictorian of his class.

During the college admissions process, I worked hard. But I never did it alone. Though I was the one walking into my high school at 7:30 in the morning on a Saturday with my number 2 pencils, a water bottle and a banana to take the SAT, my mom was parked next to the sidewalk, waiting to make sure that I got inside.

Though I was the one working on my college essay, it was my mom encouraging me, and as we got closer to Nov. 1, reminding me with a little bit of panic in her voice, to take some time to write.

When I finally clicked Admissions Decision Notification on a cold March day, my mom, my sister and my stepdad crowded around my computer. My grandparents, Nonnie and Pop, were propped up on an iPad, FaceTiming me to hear the news. Together we all celebrated with tears in our eyes as purple confetti floated down my screen.

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Kevin Hamilton's family gathered for a selfie before a football game
Kevin Hamilton '24 and his family tailgate before a Holy Cross football game.

I made it to Holy Cross. I worked extremely hard and I am so proud to say that I achieved. And while Holy Cross has allowed me to reflect on who I am, it has also allowed me to reflect on who helped get me here, who shaped me before I dared to shape myself. As the old saying goes, it really does “take a village."

I would not be here without my mom’s sacrifice, without my sister’s love, without my stepdad’s pride, without my grandparents’ wisdom. Holy Cross is my school, and they remind me of that each and every day. But it really is ours. I called my Mom and my sister to share about the A I worked hard for in my Human Rights class, I cheered for the Crusaders with my stepdad and grandparents during the Family Weekend football game, I showed my family around my new home in Granada, Spain, when they came to visit me during my study abroad experience last fall. I am me. But I am also the sum of my family, friends, neighbors, teachers, directors, coaches, principals and communities.

When I drove back onto campus to move into my first-year residence hall, I was beaming. I was grateful for the opportunity I earned, but I was also grateful for the opportunity they gave me. I remembered how sure my mom was that I would end up here from the very beginning.

We set up my room — the comforter my mom helped me pick out, the decorations that my grandmother bought for me. Soon, I was embracing them, and we were walking back to the car. They were leaving.

But as I stood in the threshold of Clark Hall, waving to my family as they began to drive off, I knew that I wasn’t leaving them behind. Turning away, allowing the door to close behind me, I took my first step to answer the question of who I am becoming, grounded and grateful in knowing that there is a village, my village of special people, desperately waiting and so excited to hear what the answer will be.