By Anamika Dutta, Features Editor
Love is in the air atop Mount Saint James this Valentine’s Day. While candy, flowers, and gifts were being exchanged between loved ones, my fellow Crusaders and I celebrated Valentine’s Day by giving back to the College of the Holy Cross through the I Love HC Challenge.
From Monday, February 13th through Tuesday, February 14th, Holy Cross accepted donations from the student body, faculty, parents, and alumni. The goal: receive donations from 4,000 donors by midnight on Valentine’s Day to receive a $1 million donation to the College from a group of alumni! Current and future Crusaders counted on this challenge to better the College we know and love. This incredible donation will help students finance their education and provide additional opportunities to foster every Crusader’s passions and talents. We are lucky to be surrounded by a such a gracious and loving alumni network.
Of course, there was no better way to attract students to the challenge than free food. I Love HC seemed infinitely more exciting once my friends and I caught the “Free Midnight Breakfast” signs scattered around campus. Holy Cross partnered with the departments of Advancement, College Marketing and Communications, Dining, Office of Student Involvement, and Athletics to plan the challenge and Midnight Breakfast. The Midnight Breakfast kicked off the challenge on Monday night, with lines of students waiting to stack their plates and make a donation to the cause. To my very hungry stomach, the Hogan Ballroom resembled heaven – fruit salad, scrambled, eggs, bacon, home fries, sausages, cereal, pink pancakes and pink heart-shaped bagels lined the tables, waiting to be eaten. Needless to say, the pink heart-shaped bagels were the star of the night, as my friends and other Crusaders were quick to Snapchat Story the Valentine’s Day bagel. We happily stuffed our stomachs and refilled our plates, while anxiously watching the screen at the front of the Ballroom to keep tabs on the challenge’s progress. 4,000 donors seemed like a long way to go at the beginning of the night, but the number of donors quickly rose throughout the next day. We urged our friends to make donations of any size – even $1 made a difference. By the middle of Valentine’s Day, the Crusader community had gotten nearly 6,000 donors – proving that Purple pride is as strong as it gets.
The “I Love HC” challenge serves as a reminder of how alumni and current Crusaders can come together and celebrate the College that has given us all the opportunity to thrive and explore our passions. Having alumni donate $1 million speaks volumes about their strong conviction in the value of Holy Cross’ Jesuit, liberal arts education, and how it has aided their success after graduation. The Crusader community is dispersed across the country, but we came together this Valentine’s Day to support Holy Cross’ perpetual emphasis on shaping undergraduates’ minds.