Leading the Way: Holy Cross Alumni Work to Support Students in New York and Beyond

The Holy Cross Leadership Council of New York raises money to fund student programs while networking to promote the College in the New York business community

Ask any Holy Cross graduate what's so great about the school, and one of the answers is universally heard: the alumni network is extensive and immensely supportive.

One such group of alumni, the Holy Cross Leadership Council of New York (HCLCNY), has been directly supporting Holy Cross students since its inception in 1997. The Council, which is made up of executives and businesspeople who work and live in the New York City area, raises money throughout the year to fund students in summer internships and the New York Semester Program. And, by supporting the placement of Holy Cross students throughout the city, the Council continues its role in shaping the awareness of the value of a Holy Cross education, for both its students and its graduates, in the New York City business community.

Chris Loeber '91, the Council's new chair whose three children all have attended or are current students at Holy Cross, sees an opportunity to further strengthen the Council by focusing on four key business areas — finance, fashion and beauty, media and communications, and entrepreneurship and technology — and is looking to continue to promote the College within New York City.

"We want to make the existing business community aware of the brand, of the product, so that they can understand it and be open to hiring Holy Cross students," Loeber says. "The Leadership Council's essential role is to make sure that people within the New York business community really appreciate the power of the Holy Cross education, how we're turning out exceptionally well-qualified future business leaders."

Samantha Moor '15 received a stipend for an internship at Coach during her junior year from the Crusader Internship Fund, which is funded by the HCLCNY.

"This internship allowed me to create relationships in the industry and get my foot in the door in the fashion world," Moor says. "I was offered a full time position upon graduation and have had a rewarding start to my career, an experience that would not have happened if not for the support of the Council."

And she's paying that forward — since starting at Coach full time, Moor has hosted a Holy Cross intern every year for four years in a row.

The Council has been so successful in building a network in New York City — with fundraising, mentoring and internship support — that they've expanded to support some other areas in the metro New York City area, as well.

Support from the Council isn't always financial, however. Students in the New York Semester Program have the opportunity to meet with influential alumni, often from the Council, to talk through different career paths and take a peek into what post-grad life could look like.

"These members sit down with students over lunch or dinner, and they talk to them about not just their career trajectory, but about the issues that are affecting their field," says Alison Smith Mangiero, director of the New York Semester Program. "It's to get these students to see that after you leave the classroom, you still have to be a thoughtful student of the world."

Those types of support, on top of the work being done to continue promoting the value of Holy Cross graduates, is what's most important, says Loeber.

"With internships taking on a greater level of importance today, the Council really is an outstanding organization that supports all students in New York City and beyond. Because a solid network is great when you're at Holy Cross, but it's even more important when you get out into the working world."