Ethan Bachand ‘22
On September 14, the Holy Cross community commemorated the College’s 175th anniversary with a special celebration. The evening was divided into two portions, the first of which was a Mass held in St. Joseph Memorial Chapel and the second being a picnic on the Kimball quad.
The mass, which lasted around an hour in St. Joseph Memorial Chapel, was highlighted by a visit from Archbishop of Boston, Seán O’Malley, who lead the sermon. Students were joined by faculty and alumni in order to honor the Jesuit aspect of the College’s history through multiple scripture readings and prayer.
Rev. Philip L.Boroughs, S.J., president, was proud of the service, stating that “Our chaplains and the music department wonderfully helped us to celebrate the Eucharist with joy and reverence, and I am grateful that Cardinal O’Malley, who had just flown in from Rome just hours before, joined our community to preside at the liturgy and preach so passionately. It was moving to see students, faculty, staff, alums, and the Jesuits who concelebrated, joining together in prayerful thanksgiving for who we have become together.”
Following the mass was the picnic, which began at 5:00 P.M. and ran for three hours, as people poured onto the Kimball quad for a diverse arrangement of food. Stations were scattered throughout the quad, including creative titles such as “Breads and Spreads,” “Pastabilities,” and “Romaine Calm.”
Along with the tremendous food provided by dining services, the community was able to enjoy live performances from The Good Time Marching Band, as well as the 2018 Battle of the Bands winner, SCONE. In addition to the musical entertainment, there was a photo booth where students could receive a customized 175th anniversary photo. Combined, all aspects of the dinner created a lively atmosphere that students, faculty, and alumni were all able to enjoy throughout the evening.
Regarding the dinner, Rev. Boroughs said, “The picnic afterward was really spectacular – I’m going to go out on a limb and say it was probably the best community-wide picnic the College has had in its 175-year history! I was truly impressed by the creativity of our food services staff and the great pride they took in serving us such a delicious meal. The booths, lighting, and terrific music really set the tone for a memorable evening. I could not believe some of the donut concoctions that were consumed by our students!”
While the celebration may have been grand, Rev. Boroughs points out there is a greater significance to the anniversary, rather than just a numerical milestone. “While it is important that the College has existed for 175 years, which is a significant span in which higher education has existed in the United States, what is even more important is what we have done in those years,” he said. “We are celebrating not just a long life, but a life of extraordinary teaching and learning, a life of meaning and purpose, a life of engaged citizenship and faith-filled service to the world.”
The recognition of a long and storied history has not dissuaded any discussion of the future. Earlier the same week, details were released in regards to the plans for a new recreation center, as well as a new arts center, that will be constructed on campus in the coming years. Accompanied by the largest class in history with the Class of 2022, the future of Holy Cross is bright. Yet, for at least a night, a moment was taken to recognize the greatness of the past 175 years of being men and women for others.
Where does Father Boroughs see the college in 25 years for the bicentennial anniversary? “I have no doubt the College will be once more celebrating its mission as a Jesuit and Catholic undergraduate college,” he says, “ranked among the best colleges and universities in the country and known for the accomplishments and loyalty of its students and alumni.”