Kelly Gallagher ’22
Campus was abuzz as Family Weekend began on Friday, October 22. Family members began checking in as early as 9 a.m. for a weekend full of fun opportunities to explore campus life and to join the community in celebrating the Presidential Inauguration of Vincent D. Rougeau as the 33rd President of the College of the Holy Cross.
The main event on Friday was, of course, the installation of Rougeau as the 33rd president of the College at 3 p.m., in the Hart Center at the Luth Athletic Complex. Students decked out in purple, long-sleeved “Vincestallation” shirts lined the pathway from Hogan Campus Center to the Luth Athletic Complex and cheered as a procession of faculty, Board of Trustees members, college leaders, honored guests, and of course President Rougeau himself headed to the inauguration. As the procession waited outside to enter the Hart Center, President Rougeau stopped to socialize and take photos with the enthusiastic students who had come to celebrate with him. The Inauguration Ceremony included hopeful speeches, blessings, a poetry reading, and several spectacular student musical performances. The joyful atmosphere at the inauguration made it clear that President Rougeau has already become a beloved member of the community and has in turn wholly dedicated himself to the College.
In the evening, families were welcomed to Hogan for a game of trivia in the Pub, a jazz performance on the first floor, and fire pits on the Hoval. The Dance Ensemble Show began at 9 p.m. in Hogan Ballroom, featuring seven student-choreographed pieces, such as the Halloween-inspired ballet routine “Vampire Masquerade” and an energetic performance of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
Saturday proved sunny and crisp for the crowds on the Hill. The lines in the campus bookstore stretched to the back of the room. Outside Hogan, the scent of fried dough wafted across the Hoval during the early afternoon while students and families enjoyed lawn games and socialized with friends under the packed tent. Just down the staircase past the Hoval, Memorial Plaza was packed with more culinary options from a variety of food truck vendors. Beginning at 1:30 p.m., a large cluster of families could be spotted touring the campus with Tom Cadigan ‘02, associate director of Alumni Relations, as he shared the history behind some of the campus’s most interesting locations and lore.
The festivities continued into Saturday evening, beginning with the highly-anticipated football game at Polar Park. The Crusaders did not disappoint, beating Colgate 42-10. In addition to the exciting game, just the experience of being at Polar Park was a treat. At 8 p.m., the Inauguration Celebration began under the massive tent set up on Kimball Quad. As attendees entered, they were welcomed to collect casino chips for the games inside, such as Blackjack, Poker, and Craps. Once attendees ventured into the packed tent, they could watch the student performances, spend their chips, or seek a variety of desserts, such as pumpkin whoopie pies, apple crisp, chocolate chip cookies, apple cider, and Hogan Catering’s spectacular hot chocolate (a must-have whenever the opportunity arises). President Rougeau was present, mingling with the students and families. Once the musical acts wrapped up, he took to the stage to thank the community for the weekend’s celebrations, prompting students to begin chanting his name. At 9:15 p.m., attendees dispersed from the tent to enjoy a dazzling fireworks display.
The weekend concluded with Family Weekend Mass on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. in the St. Joseph Memorial Chapel, as well as the Alpha Sigma Nu induction ceremony in Rehm Library at 2 p.m. If the palpable excitement over the weekend is anything to judge by, the Fall 2021 Family Weekend will be a long-treasured memory for the community and the loved ones who joined us.