John O’Keefe ‘25
On February 1, Holy Cross reached new heights by announcing its strategic plan for growth over the next 10 years, titled “Aspire: Our Strategic Vision for a Hope-Filled Future”. In a compassionate message to the college community, President Rougeau highlights Holy Cross’ outstanding excellence in academics, extracurriculars, teaching, and more: “Holy Cross is the only undergraduate, Jesuit, liberal arts college in the country. That distinction provides both a great opportunity and a great responsibility”. In this innovative plan that was developed through the support of faculty, staff, and students, Rougeau calls for “every member of our campus community to be inspired to join us on the path toward our future”.
In a detailed proposal released to the community, the College highlights fundamental questions that can guide how Holy Cross reaches its goals today. These questions discuss the key morals of learning, our obligations to one another in a community, and our special commitment to inspiring responsibility in today’s world. These topics and more resonate with relevance and urgency in today’s society, as all are encouraged to find experiences grounded in justice and the core values of Holy Cross as a Jesuit and liberal arts institution.
“Aspire’s” plan incorporates six key pillars and areas of focus for growth and innovation throughout the coming years. The first focuses on the College’s continued strength as an “Academic Powerhouse”, offering a liberal arts education that is among the finest in the world and being recognized broadly for doing so. The next pillar depicts the “Transformational Student Experience” as Holy Cross provides and promotes a transformational experience rooted in Jesuit, Catholic formation. The third pillar highlights “Inclusive Excellence” with a campus-wide inclusive framework to further our mission of respect and equality. The fourth pillar focuses on the city of Worcester as our college’s home, and how we can embrace and promote the world of opportunity in our backyard. The fifth pillar illustrates the College’s “World Class Workforce” that will develop and sustain the best practices and policies to support the College’s overall excellence. Finally, the last pillar highlight’s Holy Cross’ “Culture of Philanthropy” and how we can reimagine our approach of engagement to support sustained vibrancy and strength.
Ultimately, this plan will be a guide for the next 5-10 years at Holy Cross, especially as the community looks ahead to the College’s bicentennial in 2043. Over this period, the College and this committee will continue to measure our success and look at specific indicators such as: “improved student retention and completion rates, greater recruitment and retention of faculty and staff from underrepresented communities, experiential learning and co-curricular opportunities for all students, and a significant expansion of the College’s philanthropic capacity”. This innovative plan for a hopeful and successful future will include all of us in the Holy Cross community, and it is clear that the College’s achievements will only continue to prosper for years to come.
Featured image courtesy of aspire.holycross.edu
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