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College Traditions

Some of our traditions are steeped in religion and reflection. Others give us a chance to celebrate our accomplishments. A few are just plain fun. Check out some of the traditions that bring our community together.

two students at 100 days ball
A dance held off campus for seniors celebrating the 100 days before Commencement.
St. Joseph Chapel during Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols
During Advent in early December, a “Festival of Lessons and Carols” service is held in St. Joseph Memorial Chapel. The Office of the College Chaplains and the College Choir host the beloved service, providing an opportunity to gather as a community and reflect — in prayer, Scripture and song — on the joyous message of Christmas.
Baccalaureate Mass taking place outside on the campus of Holy Cross
This liturgy of thanksgiving honors the senior class. During the Mass, faculty in academic regalia, administration and staff offer blessings to the graduating students and wish them well on their future endeavors.
O'Kane Hall at Christmas
In early December, the Purple Key Society invites the campus community to an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The event features a visit from Santa Claus, musical performances by student groups, and free cookies, hot chocolate and cider.
three students at Cocurricular Extravaganza
Held in September, the annual event introduces underclassmen to the more than 100 recognized groups, clubs and organizations available at Holy Cross.
students at Commencement Exercises
A true celebration in achievement, diplomas are awarded to graduating students during Commencement Exercises at Worcester's DCU Center in May. Honorary degrees are also assigned to individuals who embrace the mission of Holy Cross in their daily lives. There are a number of other Commencement traditions.
St. Joseph Memorial Chapel at spring
Held at the beginning of the academic year, first-year students, student leaders, faculty and administrators convene for this ceremony which marks the threshold of full matriculation into the College community.
students posing during Fall Homecoming
Each fall, alumni return to campus to celebrate the past, present, and future of Holy Cross. The weekend features academic, social, and athletic events.
student with his parents at Family Weekend on campus
Parents, grandparents and other family members are invited to campus each fall to catch up with their student, and explore Holy Cross by taking a tour, cheering at a game and attending Mass, among other opportunities.
student at podium during Mass of the Holy Spirit
This signature Holy Cross tradition takes place on first-year student move-in day. During the Mass, faculty in academic regalia, administration and staff welcome the new students with blessings, and their parents and families wish them well as they begin their new journey.
Fr. Boroughs serving students as part of Midnight Breakfast
At the end of each semester, students are invited to take a break from late-night study sessions and refuel at midnight breakfast. Deans and administrators volunteer to serve students popular breakfast items, including scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage links, bagels and Belgian waffles.
volunteers helping students move in to their residence halls
First-year students arriving to campus for move-in day are greeted by hundreds of enthusiastic students, staff and alumni volunteers, all eager to welcome them to Holy Cross and move them into their residence halls.
Mutifaith Community Day of Prayer service in Mary Chapel
Celebrated in Mary Chapel on the first day that spring semester classes begin, the service provides a time to reflect on the rich faith traditions that are represented at Holy Cross. Students, faculty, and staff are invited to gather and participate as a community.
students taking part in group exercise during summer orientation
A host of events and activities at Summer and Fall Gateways help incoming students acclimate to life at Holy Cross and in Worcester.
sugar cookies in the shape of H and C
During one day each spring, members of the Purple Key Society celebrate school spirit by decorating the campus, sponsoring events, and offering giveaways.
young alumni posing during reunion
Held over two separate weekends in late May or early June, Holy Cross invites alumni to return to campus to reconnect, reminisce and reflect on their Holy Cross experience, and make new friends. Reunion is a celebration for the classes falling on every five-year anniversary.
Sanctae Crucis award recipients holding their award flanked by Fr. Boroughs and John Mahoney '73, chair of board of trustees
At the beginning of each academic year, these awards — the highest non-degree recognition bestowed by the College on a graduate — are presented to alumni who are leaders in business, professional or civic life, who live by the highest intellectual and ethical standards, and who are committed to the service of faith and promotion of justice.
Senior Convocation in St. Joseph Chapel
Designed for and by seniors on the eve of their final semester, the annual event offers fourth-year students an opportunity to reflect on their journey thus far and to consider how best to use their remaining time at the College to shape the life they want to lead beyond the Hill.
seniors at Senior Reflection Luncheon in the Hogan Ballroom
Before crossing the Commencement stage, seniors are invited to celebrate their hard work, determination and accomplishments by taking part in four full days of school-sponsored activities both on and off campus. Past events have included a Boston Harbor Boat Cruise, clambake at the Atlantic Beach Club in Newport, Rhode Island, and a Senior Reflection Luncheon in the Hogan Ballroom.
Jessie J performing as part of Spring Concert at Holy Cross
At the end of each academic year, the Campus Activities Board hosts a concert in the Hart Center featuring a popular musical act. Recent headliners have included Drake, Jessie J, and Lupe Fiasco.
students taking a ride on an amusement park ride as part of Spring Weekend
Students celebrate the end of the academic year with a slate of activities including a barbecue, beer garden, carnival, fireworks, outdoor dance party, and pig roast.
students lounging on the Hogan Courtyard
Members of the first-year class are welcomed with a weeklong string of events starting from the moment they step on campus.
family members ice skating as part of Winter Homecoming activities
Each winter, alumni return to campus to celebrate the past, present, and future of Holy Cross. The weekend features academic, social, and athletic events.