Five Alumni Recognized with Sanctae Crucis Award

Ethan Bachand ’22
Chief News Editor

On Friday, September 27, the College of the Holy Cross awarded the Sanctae Crucis Award to five alumni at a dinner held in Hogan Ballroom. Each recipient had their story shared with former winners, faculty, and current students as they were honored for their accomplishments in the world. In the order they were presented, honorees were: Kate Curran ’85, Timothy L. Porter ’68, Jane Ryder ’82, Dr. David E. Wazer, M.D ’78, Benjamin Zawacki ’97.

The Sanctae Crucis Award, the highest non-degree honor of the college, is awarded annually to alumni whose, in the words of Father Boroughs S.J., “contributions are transformative, generous, and creative.” Father Boroughs later added that the “award is named for the cross, Christ Cross, one of the most powerful and enduring symbols of our collective consciousness. In so naming it the college proclaims the esteem in which it holds the award and those selected to receive it.’

The evening event began with cocktails at 5pm, as the Holy Cross community had the opportunity to interact with both this year’s recipients and previous winners of the award. Students, faculty, and alumni shared their stories from the hill outside of the Hogan Ballroom.

At 6pm, guest began to enter the ballroom and find their seats. Students and faculty were placed throughout the room to join alumni and their families. Father Boroughs started the dinner by addressing the audience, sharing with everyone that “After graduation, this is my favorite night of the year. At graduation we celebrate those who studied with us and have been living with us for four years and all the promise that they hold as they go out into the world. Tonight, we celebrate the impact of that education on our world through our alums and what they have accomplished in giving back to our world and making a disproportionate difference…”

Following his speech, guests enjoyed dinner for an hour before the recognitions began. Once everyone had finished eating, Father Boroughs went back to the stage to further explain the significance of the award. He then invited Dean Freije to the stage to read the citations of each recipient. One by one, the honorees had their citation read and then had the opportunity to share a message of thanks and gratitude with the audience. 

The first person to be recognized was Kate Curran. A member of the class of 1985, she is the CEO of School the World, which is an international initiative with the purpose of spreading education all over the world for those that cannot access it on their own. 

Timothy L. Porter, class of 1968, was the next to receive the Sanctae Crucis award. A former executive and lawyer for AT&T, Mr. Porter is a member of the board of trustees at Holy Cross as well as a former student government president.

Following him, Jane Ryder from the class of 1982 was introduced for her citation and recognition. She is the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Development Services. Her life-long work of helping those with intellectual disabilities was inspired by her brother, who was at the event. 

Next was Dr. David E. Wazer, a member of the class of 1978. Dr. Wazer is an expert in the field of oncology, more specifically in breast cancer, and is at the forefront of radiation oncology. 

Last but not least, Dean Freije introduced Benjman Zawacki from the class of ’97. He is a human rights advocate who wrote the book “Thailand: Shifting Ground Between the US and a Rising China”.

Throughout all the acceptance speeches, there were two common threads for the recipients: thanking those that supported them and thanking Holy Cross, both of which are crucial to their success. More specifically, the mission of being men and women for and with others resonated with the alumni as they looked back on their accomplishments.

In his speech, Mr. Porter summarized the sentiment, saying, “I think of this honor … as an invitation. An invitation for me to reflect. As an invitation for me to again discern. Where do I go from here? What path is next? How do I live? How do I continue to serve, how do I continue to make a contribution? How do I show love to others? How can I continue to contribute? How, and to what, do I now aspire?”

The night ended with pictures amongst the honorees and staff, as they proudly held the award. Instead of any old plaque, however, the design carries meaning. As Father Boroughs put it, it is one that demonstrates the everlasting impact Holy Cross has on us all: “The award takes the shape of a book to represent the learning, the sharing of ideas, the struggle, and the deep thinking that engulf our students from their first day at Holy Cross to the last day of their lives.”

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