College of the Holy Cross (also known as simply
Holy Cross) is an undergraduate Roman Catholic liberal arts
college located in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.
Cross is the oldest Roman Catholic
college in New England and one of the oldest in the United
a school for boys under the auspices of the Society of Jesus, it was the first Jesuit
college in New
Today, Holy Cross is one of 28 member
institutions of the Association of
Jesuit Colleges and Universities
(AJCU) and is part of the
Colleges of Worcester
(COWC). On July 1, 2000, Rev. Michael C. McFarland,
S.J. became the current president of the college. As of June 2007,
the Holy Cross endowment was valued at $660 million.
was founded by Benedict Joseph Fenwick, SJ, second Bishop of
Boston, after his efforts to found a Catholic college in
Boston were thwarted by the city's Protestant civic leaders.
beginning of his tenure as the second Bishop of Boston, Benedict
Joseph Fenwick of the Society of Jesus aimed to establish a
Catholic College within the boundaries of his diocese.
Relations with Boston's civic leaders worsened such that, when a
Jesuit faculty was finally secured in 1843, Fenwick decided to
leave the Boston school and instead opened the College of the Holy
Cross west of the city in central Massachusetts where he felt the
Jesuits could operate with greater autonomy.The site of the
college, Mount Saint James, was originally occupied by a Roman Catholic
boarding school, run by the
Rev. James Fitton
, with his lay
collaborator, Joseph Brigden, since 1832. On February 2, 1843, Fr.
Fitton sold the land to Bishop Fenwick and the Diocese of Boston to
be used to found the Roman Catholic college that the bishop had
wanted in Boston. Fenwick gave the College the name of his
cathedral church, the Cathedral of the
The Bishop’s letters record his enthusiasm
for the project as well as its location:
"Next May I shall lay the foundation of a splendid
College in Worcester…It is calculated to contain 100 boys and I
shall take them for $125 per an.
& supply them with everything but
Will not this be a bold undertaking?
Nevertheless I will try it.
It will stand on a beautiful eminence & will
command the view of the whole town of Worcester…."
The school opened subsequently in October 1843 with the Rev. Thomas
F. Mulledy, S.J., former president of Georgetown
University, as its first president, and on the second day of
November, with six students aged 9 to 19, the first classes were
Within three years, the enrollment had increased to
100 students. Since its founding, Holy Cross has produced the fifth
most members of the Catholic Clergy out of all American Catholic
colleges.The first class graduated in 1849, led by valedictorian
James Augustine Healy
, the son
of a former slave who would go on to become the first
African-American bishop in the United States.
Alumni Hall, Holy Cross
Fenwick Hall, the school's main building, was completely destroyed
by fire in 1852. Funds were raised to rebuild the College, and in
1853, it opened for the second time.Petitions to secure a charter
for the college from the state Legislature were denied in 1847 for
a variety of causes, including anti-Catholicism
on the part of some
legislators. Initially, Holy Cross diplomas were signed by the
president of Georgetown University. After repeated denials, a
charter was finally granted on March 24, 1865, by Governor John A.
In 1998, Holy Cross initiated an eight-year capital campaign, "Lift
High the Cross," with a three-year quiet period. The campaign for
Holy Cross ended in fiscal 2006 with $216.3 million raised,
surpassing its original goal of $175 million. The funds allowed
Holy Cross to establish an additional 12 new faculty positions,
along with more than 75 newly endowed scholarships for students.
The campaign provided support for the renovation of the Mary Chapel
as well as construction of new facilities on campus, including
Smith Hall, which houses the new Center for Religion, Ethics and
Culture; a five-story apartment-style residence housing 244
seniors; and a new 1,350-seat soccer stadium. During the history of
the campaign, the College's endowment grew to more than $544
Holy Cross has traditionally drawn many of its students from a pool
of historical Catholic high schools and private boarding schools
, though a slight majority
of current undergraduates come from public schools.Holy Cross
received 6,700 applications for admission to the Class of 2010 — a
41 percent increase from the previous year and a school record. One
reason for this large increase in applications was a decision by
Holy Cross to no longer require applicants to submit any
standardized test score. Holy Cross' overall undergraduate
acceptance rate for the incoming Class of 2011 was 33 percent, with
a 31 percent yield. The middle 50% SAT score range for those who
submitted a score was 1210-1380 out of 1600. Even though Holy Cross
did not first admit women students until 1972, its student
population is currently majority female, as with most liberal arts
institutions, with this majority continuing to grow with the most
recent entering classes.
Holy Cross has been consistently ranked by the Barron's Guide to
U.S. Colleges and Universities as one of the 50 "most academically
demanding colleges across America". The college shares this ranking with all
of the Ivy League universities, Georgetown
University, the University of Notre Dame, Boston
College, and others.
In its 2008 edition, U.S. News & World Report
ranked Holy Cross 33rd in the U.S. among liberal arts schools. Holy
Cross is also the only Catholic college among the top 50 liberal
arts schools on the U.S. News list. Holy Cross was ranked 4th overall in its
combined graduation and retention rates, which tied the school with
College, Middlebury College, and Bowdoin College.
Recently, in its 2009 edition of The
Best 361 Colleges
, the Princeton Review awarded Holy Cross a
98/99 academic rating. Only 5 colleges or universities were awarded
a higher academic rating. Additionally, the financial publication
Kiplinger's ranked Holy Cross the 8th best value amongst private
U.S. liberal arts colleges, behind only Bowdoin, Washington and
Lee, Pomona, Wellesley, Amherst, Williams and Swarthmore.
Kiplinger's focuses on schools with "...strong academics, generous
financial-aid policies, and in some cases, a decent price to begin
In May 2005, Holy Cross announced that it would no longer make
standardized test scores an admissions requirement, which college
officials argued would lower the importance of the tests and place
far greater weight on the academic experience of a candidate as
demonstrated through the high school transcript and
recommendations. As of October 2006, there are over 730 four-year
colleges and universities of varying rank which do not use the SAT
I or ACT to admit bachelor degree applicants including Holy Cross.
Tuition for full-time students for the 2006-07 academic year is
Holy Cross has 299 faculty members, who teach 2,790 undergraduate
students. It offers 28 majors mainly focused on a liberal arts
curriculum, each of which leads to the completion of the bachelor of arts
(B.A.) degree. Of
particular note is the Classics
at Holy Cross, which has ten faculty members, making it the largest
classics program of American liberal arts colleges. D. Neel Smith,
one of the department professors, is a primary collaborator on the
, the multimedia
database of Greek antiquity
created by several college and universities. During the 2006-07
academic year, Holy Cross will specifically be editing the Homer
Multitext Project, a long-term analysis and electronic presentation
of all the many variations of Homer
poetry. Other programs of note include Political Science
All B.A. candidates must successfully complete 32 semester courses
in eight semesters of full-time study to graduate. Common
requirements include one course each in arts, literature, religion,
philosophy, history, and cross-cultural studies
; and two
courses each in language studies, social science, and natural and
mathematical sciences. Holy Cross also offers various
concentrations, and a few of the undergraduate offerings are
pre-professional in nature.
First Year Program
Holy Cross’ nationally recognized First Year Program, often simply
referred to as FYP, was created in 1992 and serves as a unique,
interdisciplinary approach to curricula and courses for incoming
first year students. Each year a new faculty group designs the
year's seminars and activities around the theme of the program. By
tradition, that theme incorporates 19th-century Russian author
's question: "How, Then,
Shall We Live?" The theme for the 2006 academic year was "With so
many claims of what's good and true, how then shall we live?
There are typically eight year-long seminars offered per year, each
taught on a semester schedule. Even though each seminar covers
different academic areas, all FYP students read six common
readings, three in the winter semester and three in the spring. All
FYP members live within the same residence hall, Hanselman Hall,
which distinguishes it from other first-year efforts at colleges
and universities nationwide minus a residential component. The
program also features many lectures, trips, and social activities
incorporated with the year's theme.
Holy Cross administration have stated that a unifying goal of the
program is an effort to "bridge the gap" between the academic and
social lives of students. In its analysis of FYP participants in
relation to the first-year class as a whole, evaluations show that
FYP students "rated their residence more favorably than did other
first-year students", "perceived a greater sense of community and
tolerance among their floormates", and "behaved more responsibly
than other first-year students as evidenced by fewer disciplinary
cases and alcohol-related incidents". Additionally, after their
first year, FYP students were more likely than other students to
assume campus leadership positions, participate in the Honors and
Study Abroad programs, achieve significantly higher grades, and be
more active in community outreach programs.
In March 2006, Holy Cross voted to implement a universal program
for all first-year students.
Holy Cross offers a distinct honors programs for high ability
undergraduates. The Honors program is open to students in all
majors. This highly selective program is limited to 108 sophomores,
juniors, and seniors from any major, and incorporates an honors
colloquium and a thesis. An emphasis on independent research
prepares students for their intensive thesis projects, the results
of which are published within the College. Honors students also
publicly present their findings at the annual academic conference,
a highlight of the academic year. Additionally, some academic
departments offer their own honors programs.
Holy Cross students have been honored in recent years as Fulbright,
Goldwater, Marshall, and Truman Scholars.
Social justice and volunteerism
As noted by the college mission statement, "What is our special
responsibility to the world's poor and powerless?", a key focus of
Holy Cross, as an institution, is the Jesuit philosophy of
homines pro aliis
, "men and women for others."
Holy Cross has embraced sometimes controversial schools of
theological thought, including liberation theology
and social justice
. As a result, in 1974,
Holy Cross as the "cradle of the Catholic Left" because it educated
and socialist leader
, author of the
influential book on poverty, The Other
. Today, Holy Cross, similar to the religious order of
the Jesuits as a whole, has been criticized by some parties for
being overly liberal and deviating substantially from official
Church teaching and papal directives, especially on such issues as
abortion, homosexuality, liberation theology, and in its
sponsorship of events such as the Vagina Monologues
In 2001, Holy Cross was one of 28 colleges and universities in the
country to receive a grant from the Lilly Endowment
in the amount of $2 million.
With the grant, the school launched a five-year program to "make
theological and spiritual resources available to students as they
discern their life work, including consideration of vocations of
ministerial service within religious denominations." The grant has also
been used to fund internships within the city of Worcester and
County for students considering career opportunities in
ministry, government, and social service agencies.
The College of the Holy Cross describes its official seal as
The outer circle of the seal states in Latin "College of the Holy
Cross, Society of Jesus, Worcester, Massachusetts."
The inner shield contains an open book (symbol of learning) and a
cross of gold (symbol of Christian faith). The Latin motto In
Hoc Signo Vinces
, "In This Sign You Shall Conquer", has been
attributed to Emperor Constantine
Great, a Roman emperor noted for his tolerance of Christians.
According to some historians, Constantine had a dream or vision of
a flaming cross in the sky with this inscription on the day
preceding his decisive victory over Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge
(October 28, 312). This victory led to his capturing Rome and
convinced him of the importance of Christianity.
divides the lower part of the shield into quarters, which are
alternately red and sable, the colors on the ancient shield of
The upper part of the shield has in its
center the emblem of the Society of Jesus, a blazing sun with the
letters IHS, the first three letters of Jesus' name in Greek. On
either side is a martlet
, reminiscent of
those on the ancestral crest of Bishop
Holy Cross' campus, a registered arboretum
, has won national awards for its
landscaping. In 1977, Holy Cross was cited by the Professional Grounds
(PGMS) for having the best-maintained school
or university grounds in the United States Holy Cross is marked by
an irregular layout as its campus is situated on the northern slope
of a very steep hill named Mount Saint James which offers it a
panoramic view of the city of Worcester. The design and landscape
is ingrained into many themes and nicknames for the school which is
commonly known as the The Hill
Today, some 37 college buildings are divided primarily with
residential housing and academic buildings located in the middle
sections of the campus, with athletic and practice facilities on
the outskirts of the campus on its northern and southern ends. Holy
Cross also owns 6 non-campus properties.
Anchoring the traditional campus gateway of Linden Lane are Stein
and O’Kane Halls, the latter of which is marked by a clock tower.
The oldest part of campus lies in this area, as O’Kane is connected
to Fenwick Hall, the first building which was designed in 1843; it
also houses the admissions offices and the Brooks Concert Hall.
This area contains manicured trees and landscaped greens which
include two nude Rodin statues on the hillside. This is a popular
spot for pranks as students take turns dressing up the
statues.Notable buildings north of this area are Dinand Library;
Smith Hall, the Hogan Campus Center; the scientific complex housing
O'Neil, Swords, and Haberlin Halls, and Beaven Hall, home to an
assortment of academic departments. Smith Hall, opened in 2001, was
financed in large part by Holy Cross alumnus Park B. Smith, and is
architecturally impressive as it is built into a hillside of the
campus. Smith Hall connects the lower campus, where much of the
academic life occurs, and the upper campus, where much of the
social and residential life takes place on campus due to its design
which incorporates Fenwick Hall. A plaza outside Smith Hall, named
Memorial Plaza, commemorates seven Holy Cross alumni who perished
in the September 11, 2001
To the western end of campus lies Millard Art Center, St. Joseph
Memorial Chapel, the Chaplains' Office (Campion House), and Loyola
Hall, which served as the Jesuit residence in the past, but has
since been converted into another hall for student housing. The
Jesuit residence is now located in the Northeast corner of the
campus, called Ciampi Hall.
Holy Cross operates 10 on-campus residence halls divided into three
geographic clusters. More than 90 percent of students live on
campus. Freshman students will often live in one of the residence
halls situated at the northern end of campus nicknamed Easy
: Healy, Lehy, Hanselman, Clark, or Mulledy Halls.
Another housing option, near the center section of campus, is
Wheeler Hall. Upperclassmen students can choose, depending on the
results of the housing lottery held in the Spring, between the
above residence halls, minus Hanselman, or the fully upperclassmen
residence halls in the lower portion of campus: Alumni, Carlin,
Loyola, and Williams Hall, formerly known as "The Senior
The apartments in Williams Hall are the most sought after living
arrangements on campus. Completed in 2003, each apartment houses
four students and comes equipped with a bathroom with separate
shower, kitchen, living room, and two bedrooms. Williams Hall was
rededicated in honor of Edward
on April 26, 2008.
Second-year to fourth-year students also have the option to live
off-campus, but only a small percentage do so, as the school has
built additional housing in recent years and the number of
desirable apartments near campus are limited.
The Holy Cross Library System is composed of four libraries
centrally located within the campus grounds. Including its
affiliation with the Central Massachusetts Regional Library System,
a collaborative formed in 2003 by more than 20 academic, public and
special libraries with research collections in the central
Massachusetts area, Holy Cross students have access to a combined
total of approximately 3,800,000 volumes and more than 23,000
journal, magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
The main library, Dinand Library, holds an estimated 601,930 books,
serials, and periodicals. Originally opened in 1927, the Dinand
Library expanded in 1978 with two new wings dedicated to the memory
of Joshua and Leah Hiatt and victims of the Nazi Holocaust
. The reading room of Dinand is also the
scene of important College gatherings, including the Presidential
Awards Ceremony, first-year orientation presentations, concerts,
and other events.
is considered by many students the most scholarly and inspiring
building on campus. Constructed in the 1920s, the room’s ceiling is
sectioned in a grid-like pattern and embellished with gold, painted
trim and carvings along the top of the interior walls. Large wooden
candelabra are suspended from the ceiling, and Ionic
columns—echoing those on the Library’s exterior—anchor three sides
of the room. The main reference collection of dictionaries,
encyclopedias, and bibliographies are found within Dinand, as well
as the on-line catalog, and a staffed reference desk.
Dinand Library also houses the College Archives which collects,
preserves, and arranges records of permanent value from the
college's foundation in 1843 to the present. The Archives contain
complete runs of all college publications including yearbooks, the
college catalog, The Crusader
, its predecessor The
, the literary magazine The Purple
newsletters, pamphlets, and similar material. An extensive
photograph collection documents administrators, staff, faculty,
students, alumni, athletic teams, student activities, the built
environment and college life in general.
There is also an extensive collection of audio visual material
documenting theatrical plays, lectures, and sporting and other
events. The College Archives also hold a Special Collections
section which consists of the College's Rare Book Collection, and
the Jesuitana Collection (material by and about Jesuits). Noted
collections include: the papers of James Michael Curley, David I.
Walsh, Louise Imogen Guiney, and Rev. Joseph J. Williams, S.J.
There are also collections of material by and about Jesuits,
college alumni, and friends of the college. It also holds research
material about Catholic New England, the education of deaf
Catholics, the Holocaust, as well as New England history.
Fenwick, O'Kane, and Rehm libraries
The three smaller libraries, ordered respectively by size and book
volume, are Fenwick Music Library, O'Callahan Science Library, and
the Rehm Library.
The Fenwick Music Library was founded in 1978. Particularly
noteworthy are the Music Library's collections of scores and
recordings of 20th-century composers, world music recordings and
composer biographies. The Music Library owns many of the
authoritative editions of significant composers collected works,
such as Bach, Beethoven and Mozart.
The O'Callahan Science Library, named in honor of Rev. Joseph T. O'Callahan, S.J.
, houses over 95,000
volumes of works and periodicals serving the Biology, Chemistry,
Mathematics and Physics Departments of the Holy Cross and the more
neuroscientific side of Psychology.
The Rehm Library, dedicated in September 2001, is housed within
Smith Hall. The Rehm Library serves as the primary public space for
the Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture and other departments
with offices within Smith Hall. Rehm Library provides space for
hospitality, Center-sponsored lectures and events, quiet space for
reading and reflection, and enhanced library resources on religion
and spirituality. While not a library in the traditional sense, the
shelves of Rehm Library house primary texts of an array of
religious traditions. It was dedicated by alumnus Jack Rehm (Class
Nickname, mascot, and colors
Holy Cross's athletic teams for both men and women are known as the
. It is reported that the name
"Crusader" was first associated with Holy Cross in 1884 at an
alumni banquet in Boston, where an engraved Crusader mounted on an
armored horse appeared at the head of the menu.
The school color is purple
. There are two
theories of how Holy Cross chose purple as its official color. One
suggests it was derived from the royal purple used by King
Constantine the Great (born about 275 A.D., died in 337 AD) as
displayed on his labarum (military standard) and on those of later
Christian emperors of Rome.
Varsity teams and venues
Holy Cross sponsors 27 varsity sports; all but two of which compete
at the NCAA Division I level (FCS for football),and NCAA Division I
Hockey. The Crusaders are members of the Patriot League, the
Atlantic Hockey Association, the Division III Eastern Collegiate
Athletic Conference in women's hockey, and the Big South Conference
in women's golf. Of its 25 varsity teams, Holy Cross supports
twelve men's and thirteen women's sports.
The carrying of 23 Division I varsity programs
gives Holy Cross the largest ratio of teams-per-enrollment in the
It is a founding member of the Patriot
, and boasts that one-quarter of its student body
participates in its varsity athletic programs.
athletic facilities include the Fitton Field football stadium (capacity 23,500), Hart Recreation
Center's basketball court (3,600), the newly renovated Fitton Field
baseball park, which also called Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton
Field (3,000), Hart Ice Rink (1,600), Linda
Johnson Smith Stadium (1,320) and Smith Wellness Center, located inside
the Hart Center.
The Linda Johnson Smith Soccer Stadium
opened in the fall of 2006. Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field
is also home to the Worcester
, a Can-Am
Holy Cross has had varied levels of success in athletics. Holy
Cross teams have won two NCAA
championships — the men's basketball team in 1947, and the men's
baseball team in 1952. The baseball team of Holy Cross remains the
only team from the northeastern part of the United States to have
won the College World Series.
Gordon Lockbaum, a star player for Holy Cross's football team,
finished 3rd in the Heisman voting for 1987. The Heisman is
traditionally given to teams from the FBS subdivision of D1
football. The only other 1AA player to finish 3rd (which is the
highest place a 1AA player has finished) was Steve McNair.
Historically, Holy Cross' major rival has
been the Eagles of Boston
College, especially in football.
In 1986, that
series was terminated, when Holy Cross joined the Division 1-AA
. The last basketball
game between the two schools was played on January 17, 2006, a
63-53 win for Boston College at Worcester's DCU Center. Later that
year, BC's athletic director, Gene DeFilippo, caused a minor
controversy when he announced that the school would not schedule
any more basketball games against Holy Cross, claiming that it was
not beneficial for BC.
In recent decades, the men's basketball team has been the leading
varsity program of the Holy Cross' athletic department. It was the
champion and the 1954 NIT
champion. The men's
basketball team has won five Patriot
titles (1993, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007) since the league's
formation in 1991, and the women's team has also made several
appearances in the NCAA
. Recently, the Holy Cross men's team has come
agonizingly close to some major upsets in the NCAA tournament under
the leadership of coach Ralph Willard
As a 15 seed in 2001 they lost 72–68 to 2nd seeded Kentucky who
went to lose in the sweet sixteen. In 2002, 16th seeded Holy Cross
nearly pulled off the greatest upset in tournament history when
they lost 70–59 to top seeded Kansas who went on to lose in the
final four. Lastly, in 2002, 14th seeded Holy Cross lost to 3rd
seeded Marquette, led by Dwyane Wade
72–68. Marquette went on to the final four. The basketball
program boasts such notable alumni as Boston Celtics legends Bob Cousy and Tom
Heinsohn, and longtime Providence College basketball coach Joe
24, 2006, the Holy Cross men's hockey team made history by
defeating the Golden Gophers of the University
of Minnesota in the first round of the NCAA Division I
Tournament by the score of 4–3, in overtime.
Coined as one
of the biggest upsets in NCAA ice hockey history, never since the
NCAA tourney expanded to sixteen teams had a fifteen or sixteen
seed beat a number one or two seed until again in 2009 when the
16th seeded Bemidji State University Beavers defeated the second
seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish by a score of 5-1. In its history,
the Holy Cross ice hockey program has seen two NCAA appearances,
and has won the Atlantic Hockey and MAAC conferences three times
(1999, 2004, 2006). The ice hockey program competes in the Atlantic Hockey Association
in men's hockey
and the Division III ECAC East
women's ice hockey.
A large number of student organizations are associated with the
university. With its relative distance from a major city, and
without a Greek life
at Holy Cross,
undergraduate social life revolves around a number of
school-sponsored groups, events and off-campus houses on nearby
city streets (notably Boyden, Cambridge, Caro, Chelsea, College and
Southbridge streets), which are open to upperclassmen and serve a
similar role to that which fraternities and sororities do at some
other campuses. The Campus Activities Board (CAB)
a student-run organization, runs several committees that oversee
campus-wide activities and student services. Holy Cross has
award-winning moot and mock trial
The team has won and placed highly in various national tournaments,
including top two finishes at the National Intercollegiate Mock
Trial Tournament during two of the past four years. Holy Cross also
has a unique student-published law journal, The Holy Cross
Journal of Law & Public Policy
, which is published
annually by undergraduate students.
The college also features a variety of student journals, media, and
newspapers including The Fenwick Review
, a journal of
conservative thought; The Advocate
, a journal based in
liberal principles; and The Crusader
, the weekly newspaper
published by Holy Cross students for the college community. Free
copies of the 4,000-circulation paper are available online or at
campus newsstands on 10 Friday mornings each semester. Holy Cross
also has a student-run radio station, WCHC
88.1. WCHC, thanks to its position as a non-profit radio station,
broadcasts commercial free year round even though students are only
allowed to DJ during the academic year. Its sports department also
carries live broadcasts of many of the school's football,
basketball, and hockey games. The Student Government
charters and provides most of the
funding for these organizations, and represents students' interests
when dealing with the administration. SGA was developed under a
model of shared governance with the Division of Student Affairs.
The SGA maintains that it represents students through college
governance, offers student services, and launches new programs and
initiatives. This government consists of a dual executive of
Co-Presidents along with an Executive Cabinet. The legislature is
bicameral and consists of the elected Senate and the larger General
The largest student organization at Holy Cross, Student
Programs for Urban Development (SPUD)
, is a community
service organization sponsored by the college Chaplains’ Office
consisting of over 25 different outreach programs and over 350
active members. Other volunteer and social justice programs offered
by Holy Cross include Pax Christi, the Appalachia Service Project,
Oxfam America (formerly Student Coalition on Hunger and
Homelessness (SCOHAH)), and the Arrupe Immersion Program, named in
honor of Fr. Pedro Arrupe
, S.J., which
Holy Cross describes as a faith based program responding to the
call to work for peace and justice in the world.
Life in Worcester
Aerial view of Worcester,
Massachusetts and the surrounding area
Holy Cross is located in the College
section of Worcester, which is also referred to
historically by its original Nipmuck Indian designation, Pakachoag,
one of the "seven hills" that distinguish the topography and
different neighborhoods of the city. Considered a struggling,
post-industrial mill town by many, in 2001, Worcester recorded a
median home value increase of 25.2 percent, the highest growth in
the nation, in part to due a lack of affordable housing within the
traditional suburbs of Boston.
"Worcester" is correctly pronounced with two syllables, not three
(IPA: ['w?st?r]listen). However, some varieties of the local
dialect pronounce "Worcester" roughly to rhyme with "mister", or
more precisely IPA: ['w?st?], since Boston English is non-rhotic
. Occasionally, the city's name is
misspelled as "Worchester". "Wormtown" is a regional nickname
associated with Worcester, Massachusetts, originally used to refer
to the ethos of its underground musical subculture, but later
applying to the city itself.
is home to the American Antiquarian Society, Higgins Armory Museum (the largest collection of
arms and armor in the western hemisphere), the Worcester Art Museum, Mechanics
Hall, the EcoTarium, and the
Center (formerly the Worcester Centrum).
is also home to the Worcester
baseball team, which currently plays its home games
at Hanover Insurance Park on the campus Holy Cross.
In more recent years, "town and gown
relations have soured, and Holy Cross has had varying levels of
disagreement with the surrounding residential College Hill
community. This has mainly been a result of students housing being
situated in the midst of family homes, student alcohol consumption,
and noise violations. Police have been noted to respond by invading
several houses hosting parties, breaking them up, handing out
citations, and arresting underage students. There is also
considerable isolation of the Holy Cross campus from the
surrounding community and relatively low levels of interaction
between Worcester residents and Holy Cross students. The
administration and the Student Government Association (SGA), have
worked to improve this situation by directing various initiatives
in recent years including the redevelopment of a nearby park, and
its co-sponsorship, with the Society of Jesus of New England, to
create the Nativity School of Worcester, an all-scholarship middle
school serving boys from the city of Worcester. Holy Cross also has
created student liaison positions to attend Community meetings and
engage residents and also created new on-campus housing to lessen
the off-campus population.
Wheeler Hall is the most storied of the three halls, known for its
traditional party scene. It is also the site for a popular campus
sport known as stickball, a long standing Holy Cross tradition
usually played by Wheeler residents. It has been roughly estimated
that Holy Cross students began playing stickball at Wheeler Hall
around 1940. The Holy Cross version's origins are unknown. The
sport lends itself to neighborhood stickball, and is played with a
tennis ball and broomstick, just like the popular city sport.
Wheeler Hall's five floors and symmetrical design makes it an ideal
setting for the sport. A hill behind home plate helps contribute to
the playing area's natural amphitheater-like setting.
Student life at the Holy Cross is marked by a number of unique
traditions and celebrations:
- Pub Night: On most Tuesdays during the school
year, seniors, and various upperclassmen, gather at the Pub located
in the Hogan Campus Center. The event coincides with the "10 Spot",
a weekly open mic night for Holy Cross bands, and occasionally
outside performers, which occurs next to the Pub.
- Spring Weekend: The Spring Weekend, organized
by the Campus Activities Board(CAB), is an annual event which marks
the end of classes. Always held the week before finals, events
include the Spring Carnival, the Battle of the Bands, and a Spring
Concert. In the past, invited performers have included the Pat McGee Band (2001), Wyclef Jean (2002), Third Eye Blind (2003), Howie Day (2004), The
Roots (2004), Fabolous and The Starting Line(2005), Phantom Planet (2006), Guster (2006), O.A.R. and
Stephen Kellogg (2007), and Jason Mraz and Everclear
(2008) and Lupe Fiasco (2009).
- 100 Days Dance: Each spring, when 100 days are
left at Holy Cross for the graduating Senior Class, the Purple Key
Society (PKS), a service organization which fosters school spirit,
loyalty and enthusiasm, sponsors an informal dinner and dance in
their honor. Tradition holds that attendees make list of fellow
seniors they would like to kiss, and attempt to follow through
before the night is over.
- Purple Pride Day: Each year, the Purple Key
Society chooses a day to banner the campus the color purple, the
official school color, to foster school spirit and pride. This
includes giving out purple balloons, purple t-shirts, purple
cookies, purple stickers and various other items throughout the
day. Purple Pride Day usually coincides with a Holy Cross sporting
- Cape Week: Following the close of the Spring
semester, many students spend a week of vacation on Cape Cod.
Students typically rent homes or stay in nearby hotels for a few
days of parties and gatherings. Typically, students spend the week
in Hyannis or in neighboring towns.
Holy Cross in media and popular culture
- Ranked #63 among "America's Best Colleges", Forbes.com,
August 5, 2009
- Former president John Brooks and a group of successful black
alumni were profiled in an issue of BusinessWeek magazine in March 2007.
- Ernest Hemingway mentions Holy
Cross in his novel The Sun Also
- In the 2001 film Harvard
Man, Sarah Michelle
Gellar plays a Holy Cross cheerleader named Cindy
- Chris Matthews, 1967, host of
MSNBC’s Hardball, films parts of
his documentary reflecting on the 40th anniversary of President
John F. Kennedy's assassination, The Day America Changed,
on the campus of Holy Cross. During the final segment of the
documentary, Matthews, while walking on the lawn in front of
Kimball Dining Hall, describes where he was when he learned about
the president's death as a student.
- Holy Cross' Fitton Field provided the scenery for the climatic
football scene in the Disney movie, The Game Plan. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson plays football for the
fictional Boston Rebels in the film.
Ten Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Went Out Into The Real
World, a book by Maria
Shriver, published in 2000, evolved from commencement address
she had given at Holy Cross in 1998.
- In 1962, Time Magazine recognized
Holy Cross as part of the "Catholic Ivy League".
- In episodes #21 and #26 of The
Sopranos, Holy Cross is mentioned as a potential college
for Tony's daughter Meadow.
Holy Cross has more than 35,000 alumni as of January 2007. There
are 39 Holy Cross alumni clubs in the U.S. and 1 international
club. A number of Holy Cross alumni have made significant
contributions in the fields of government, law, academia, business,
arts, journalism, and athletics, among others. As of 2008, the
alumni median salary for a recent Holy Cross graduate is $50,200;
after 15 years, that number jumps to $106,000.
Clarence Thomas, United States Supreme Court Justice; Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's Hardball
with Chris Matthews and NBC's The Chris Matthews
Show; and Basketball Hall of Fame members and former Boston
Celtics immortals Bob Cousy and
Tom Heinsohn are among the college's
most famous alumni.
LSD pioneer Timothy Leary
was a student at Holy Cross,
though he withdrew after two years. The late Michael Harrington
, author of
"The Other America"
and an influential
figure in initiating the 1960s War on Poverty was a graduate of the
College, as was the famed pacifist leader Phillip Berrigan
Bob Casey, Sr.
governor, Bob Casey, Jr.
, his son,
Pennsylvania treasurer and U.S. Senator, and Edward D. DiPrete
, Governor of Rhode Island are
among the most notable alumni with involvement in politics.
speechwriter for Barack Obama's 2008
for President of the United
. Upon Barack Obama
election, Favreau was selected to serve in President Barack Obama's
White House as Director of Speechwriting. Mark Kennedy Shriver
, member of the
Kennedy political family
and current Vice President and Managing Director of U.S. Programs
for the charity Save the Children
graduated from Holy Cross in 1986.
Several alumni have held top positions in the world of business and
finance: Bob Wright
, former Chairman
& CEO, NBC
Universal, and Vice Chairman,
; James David Power III
, J.D. Power and Associates
William J. McDonough, former President of the
Reserve Bank of New York and current Vice Chairman of Merrill Lynch.
In media and the arts, Holy Cross has several distinguished alumni:
, sports columnist
for the Boston Globe
; Bartlett Sher
-winning Broadway director; Joe
, bestselling author of The Selling of the
, Fatal Vision
, and other books; Edward P. Jones
, 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner in fiction
for writing The Known
; Billy Collins
Poet Laureate of the United States; and Dave Anderson
sports columnist, 1981 winner of the Pulitzer Prize
for commentary; and Jack Higgins
, editorial cartoonist
for the Chicago
, 1989 winner of the Pulitzer Prize
for editorial cartooning. In
art and architecture, Vito Acconci
.com sports columnist and his buddy JackO; In the
sciences, Holy Cross also has several notable alumni, including
, winner of the 1990
Nobel Prize in Medicine; immunologist Anthony Fauci
, head of the National
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
; and MacArthur
Foundation "genius" bioengineer Jim Collins
From abroad, several former students have gone on to excel in a
variety of professions and fields of endeavor. They include: Juan
Bertran Pellicer and Roberto Rodriguez Poventud from Puerto Rico
(Medicine, and Law); Guillermo Ulloa Tenorio (Business, from
Colombia); John and Salvador Gadala-Maria Issa, from El Salvador
(Business); Francisco de Asis, Jose and Antonio O. Olbes, Jose
Miguel Cabarrus Ghezzi, James and William Foley Ugarte, from the
Philippines (International Business and Finance, Mining, Travel,
Insurance, Real Estate); Edgar Alhers Pasos, William Baez-Sacasa,
Juan Rafael Navas-Sacasa, Carlos Aguirre Craige and Guillermo
Perez-Arguello, from Nicaragua ( Private Banking, Politics,
International Finance and Banking, International Relations and
In 2003, an honorary degree and public platform was given to
Holy Cross alumnus Chris Matthews
despite pro-life alumni
objection. College President Fr. Michael McFarland defended the
invitation and degree, despite clear direction from the United
States Conference of Catholic Bishop policies and Catholic Church
policies never to give a public platform to those at odds with
central holdings of the Church, such as the teachings on abortion
. Father McFarland, along with the majority
of the current Holy Cross community continue to defend this,
stating that while Chris Matthews is pro-choice, that is not his
defining characteristic and he did not talk purely about abortion
in his speech.
Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy & Planned
On Oct. 24, 2007 a conference was held at the College that included
seminars from Planned Parenthood
, two prominent supporters of
rights. The conference had been
held at the college since 2000, but due to a higher profile
resulting from an award being given to pro-choice
, alumni who found out about the event organized an
effort to ask Fr. McFarland to cancel the event, and when he
refused, asked Worcester Bishop McManus to demand College President
Fr. McFarland to revoke the contract. Bishop McManus wrote a public
letter asking Fr. McFarland to cancel the event, and threatened to
remove the Catholic status of the College if the event was not
cancelled. Catholic Bishops can determine whether colleges in their
diocese can call themselves Catholic, even though the direct chain
of authority often no longer reports directly to Church authority
as outlined in Catholic apostolic
" released in August 1990. Bishop McManus has not yet
followed through on his threat to remove the Catholic name from the
Thy Honored Name: A History of the College of the Holy Cross,
1843-1994 by Anthony J. Kuzniewski, published 1999 ISBN
- , History and Traditions
- , Holy Cross Completes Capital Campaign at Record
- , Holy Cross: At A Glance
Barron's Guide to the Most Competitive Colleges.
- , America's Best Colleges 2008. U.S. News &
- Kiplinger's Personal Finance, April 2008
- , Holy Cross admissions office
- Holy Cross Classics Department
- , Classics Majors Embark on Groundbreaking
Scholarly Research in Homeric Poetry. December 4, 2006.
- Academics | College of the Holy Cross
- , The FYP Theme: 2006-2007
- "Holy Cross Magazine: The First Year of the Rest of
Their Lives. Summer 1998. Vol: 32 No: 4.
- , "The Crusader" AAC focuses on libraries, "First
Year Experience," committee membership Nov 19, 2004.
- , Honors Program
- Holy Cross Graduate Studies.
- mission statement
- , The New Counter-Reformation.Time Magazine, July
- "Who Is Catholic?", The Chronicle of Higher Education,
April 9, 2004.
- Campus Magazine.
- Lilly Vocation Discernment Initiative.
- Holy Cross College Seal.
- , College of the Holy Cross
- Holy Cross Campus Map
- , Smith Hall Honored with Silver Hammer
- Holy Cross Receives $10 Million Gift. Holy
Cross Magazine Spring 2000
- Buildings - Exteriors: Loyola Hall
- , Residence Halls
- , "Libraries Find that Regional Collaboration is
Key". Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), November
- , Holy Cross: Dinand Reading Room
- , At A Glance: Fenwick Music Library
- , At A Glance: O'Callahan Science Library
- Holy Cross: Color, Mascot, & Songs
- College World Series history
- It should not be a cross to bear - The Boston
- Crusaders Pull Off Stunner, Win One for the Little
Guy. College Hockey News, March 24, 2006.
- , Atlantic Hockey History Accessed
- Moot Court is Second in the Nation Again | College
of the Holy Cross
- The Crusader
- Student Government Association: Constitution &
- Holy Cross: SPUD.
- Holy Cross: Arrupe.
- Worcester Historical Museum: Frequently Asked
- Home price changes in major U.S. markets
- Fact Bites: Worcester, Massachusetts
- Origins of the Phrase Wormtown
- , "Tougher enforcement sought" Telegram &
Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), October 24, 1999.
- City of Worcester: College Hill Neighborhood Plan
- Holy Cross in the Community
- Holy Cross: CAB.
- , "Chris Matthews '67 films documentary about
Kennedy assassination." The Crusader (Worcester, Mass.),
November 11, 2003.
- , "Fitton Field plays key role in new film."
Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), October 19,
- Hachette Book Group press release, 2000.
- , "Best Catholic Colleges", Time Magazine,
February 9, 1962.
- , Alumni and Friends
- , Holy Cross Regional Clubs
- , Smart Money Colleges that Pay Off
- "National Review," "Society of Drinan," Jack
Fowler, April 30, 2003
- Boston Globe , "Holy Cross hears outcry for renting
space to teen pregnancy session" , Peter Schworm , October 12, 2007
- , "Regarding Teen Pregnancy Conference at the
College of the Holy Cross" , Bishop Robert J. McManus , Diocese of
Worcester , October 10, 2007
- "Bishop asks Holy Cross not to rent space to teen
pregnancy alliance" , The Boston Pilot , October 19, 2007
- APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF JOHN
PAUL II ON CATHOLIC UNIVERSITIES, Catholic Church , August