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  Editor's Note

Dear alumni/ae and friends:

As I write this letter, members of the Class of 1999 have recently joined our alumni body and the annual Reunion Weekend has just concluded. The photos on the front and back covers of this magazine reflect those mirror images. And, it's a fair bet that the dazzling blur of energy that is college does tremble in the memories of many recent graduates and more seasoned alumni. We offer you photo montages of both events (see News from the Hill, GAA and Advancement sections) in an attempt to convey the emotion and joy of those days.

I had a unique opportunity during Reunion Weekend to attend the dinner for the 50th reunion class where the men were inducted into the Purple Knights. My late father, Jim Buckley, was a proud member of that group - the Class of 1949 - so my mother, Barbara, and I attended the dinner. A total of 15 widows of members of the class returned for reunion to see old friends and to honor their husbands' strong relationships with Holy Cross.

Despite inevitable changes in the College - and changes in themselves - in the 50-plus years since these men came up Linden Lane, they are still passionate about this place. They wear lots of purple, know all of the words to Mamie Reilly, and are fiercely proud that Fr. John Brooks (president emeritus) is their classmate. They personify loyalty. 

I think I can explain it but, occasionally, I wonder why so many alumni of Holy Cross are so very loyal to alma mater - much more than the graduates of many other schools. Our unique mission statement, the Jesuit/Catholic nature, the high academic standards - all offer possible clues to understanding the intensity of our bonds to Holy Cross. But, it may have more to do with the friendships formed here -  relationships that are, in the case of the '49ers, going strong after more than 50 years. There's something special about this "Hill of Pleasant Springs and lumpy mattresses," as my father called it. There's something illusive and indescribable that forges remarkable and enduring loyalty. 

Speaking of classmates, I want to share with you good news about my comrade from the Class of '81, the editor of this publication, Jack O'Connell. His genuine modesty would never permit him to mention it in these pages, so I will. Jack's new book, Word Made Flesh (HarperCollins), is in bookstores and is earning critical acclaim. It is his fourth novel and, I feel certain, not his last. Writer James Ellroy says, "Jack O'Connell is the future of the dark, literary suspense novel."  Congratulations, Jack.

Kathy Buckley McNamara '81 
Executive Editor 
Holy Cross Magazine 



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