September 17, 2018 by Jane Carlton
The College of Holy Cross community kicked off a yearlong celebration of its 175th anniversary to honor the past and embrace the future on Sept. 14 with a campus-wide anniversary celebration and a Mass led by Archbishop of Boston Seán Cardinal O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap.
One hundred seventy-five years is reason to rejoice, says Frank Vellaccio, senior vice president emeritus and special advisor to the offices of the president and advancement at the College. “With all that is going on in today’s world, it’s good and right to take some time out together to be thankful and celebrate the birthday of an institution we all can be proud of — an institution that for 175 years has stayed true to a mission of providing a rigorous liberal arts education first to young men and now men and women that stressed Jesuit ideals and that has produced alumni intent on changing the world for the better.”
The celebratory spirit was evident on the Kimball quad where hundreds of Holy Cross students, faculty and staff gathered for a community-wide gathering. Large black and white images of the campus through the ages provided a backdrop for food stations, while performances from student band SCONE the Rhythm Nation Steppaz and the Crusader Pep Band kept the crowd entertained through the night.
For Ella Duwall ’22, the history of the campus feels very much alive. “One hundred seventy-five years is a long time, and it shows in the way the campus holds itself. It’s very up to date, of course, but you can feel the heritage in the cohesiveness and the architecture of the buildings. I keep finding historical surprises, like a statue here or a plaque there.”
The Mass, held on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, was concelebrated by President Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J. as well as other concelebrants from the Holy Cross Jesuit community and alumni priests of the diocese.
“This wonderful institution has prepared so many students to be men and women for others and work for the greater glory of God,” said Cardinal O’Malley, who traveled to Holy Cross to celebrate major milestone. “Catholic education is about teaching people to be human, fully human — answering the call of holiness, to lead life with love.”