Father Boroughs Makes Surprise Announcements During Fall Address

Ethan Bachand ‘22

Chief News Editor

         On Tuesday, Sept. 24, Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., President of the College of the Holy Cross, announced during the annual fall address that he will retire at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year after nine years of service.  Along with his career decision, Fr. Boroughs, S.J. announced that the Brooks-Mulledy dormitory will henceforth be known as simply Brooks Hall.

         As mentioned during his speech, the President of the College will continue to serve until June 30, when his replacement will take over the position. A search committee is currently being formed to determine the next person to take the position. In his speech, Fr. Boroughs, S.J. left open the opportunity for a female President to take over, as he stated that “As I know from my own experience nine years ago, it is important that a new president be part of [the strategic planning] process before  it ends, as it will give shape to his or her energies and commitments throughout their term of office.”

         In relation to the renaming of Brooks Hall, Fr. Boroughs, S.J spoke at length about the work done by the Mulledy/Healy Legacy Committee five years ago. Despite those original conclusions, he and the Board of Trustees decided it would be best to remove the name Mulledy from the building entirely. In his official address, he stated that “This is only one small step of many more we need to take to become more intentionally anti-racist.”

         Along with these important announcements regarding the future of the college, Fr. Boroughs, S.J. utilized his time Tuesday night to address the current state of affairs in the country. His opening remarks noted the difficulties of the economy, racial violence, natural disasters, immigration, as well as COVID-19. He specifically spoke about life in the middle of the current pandemic, making it clear that we must learn to live in this reality in and accept that there is no simple return to normalcy.

Photo by Hui Li ’21 in November 2018.

         In addition to his encouraging remarks about navigating our way through these challenging times, Fr. Boroughs, S.J. provided statistics about the current state of the college. Such facts included that the overall enrollment of the school has seen a 5% drop from last year, with 2,993 students currently enrolled. Additionally, there are 223 students who are living on campus and are being tested twice a week in order to prevent a possible outbreak.

         While the status of the Spring semester is currently in every student’s thoughts, Father Boroughs provided limited information regarding the College’s plans. He reiterated the College’s intentions, stating “For the spring, our plan is to do everything that we can to bring out students back to campus in a way that is as safe as possible, that supports the health of our entire campus and surrounding community, and provides the appropriate care for our students and staff who find themselves with COVID.” Additionally, members of the Executive team will be submitting a set of plans to Fr. Boroughs, S.J. on Oct. 1 that will allow for a safe return to campus.

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