Tribute Messages and Memories

Phil, since I've been on sabbatical all year and not in the testing protocol, I won't be able to attend your farewell event and say goodbye to you in person. I wanted to thank you for lending your kindness and sensitivity and generosity of spirit to Holy Cross — and especially for your unstinting support of the arts. I will miss you.
— Steve Vineberg, faculty

Thank you for your admirable service to the College. It has been a privilege and an honor to launch my career as an educator of theological ethics at Holy Cross during your presidency. Best wishes for your continued success and flourishing in the years to come!
— Peter K. Fay, faculty

Fr. Boroughs I enjoyed working with you in the President's Office. Thank you so much for all of your support through the years. I wish you best wishes in your future endeavors. God Bless.
— Diane Girard, staff 

Fr. Boroughs speaking with two students by the Hogan Courtyard



Thank you so much for your service to our Holy Cross family. It has been such a pleasure to work with you this year, and I wish you the best in your next chapter.
— Noah Sisk '21

Fr. Boroughs, thank you for your leadership at Holy Cross. This is no easy job in the best of times, and you had more to contend with than a person could wish. I am grateful for the love and care you showed to all — at times this was not as kindly reciprocated by people who could have done better. I also am personally grateful for the kindness you shared to our son while he was on The Hill. That a person as busy as you would take time to exchange kind words with a student from time to time, is a reminder of how special Holy Cross' culture can be and your own good nature. Wishing you much happiness and success in your next adventure. Kindly, Fred
— Fred James O'Connor '84

Dear Phil, I will miss you as the President of Holy Cross and very grateful for always making me feel welcome whenever I had occasion to visit the College. Although we only have met a few times I have enjoyed your warm and friendly spirit that has made you such a success as the President of alma mater. Many blessings as you continue your ministry where ever you land. United in prayer, Tom Henehan, M.M.
—  Rev. Thomas Henehan, M.M. '60

Thank you, Fr. Boroughs, for your leadership of the College of Holy Cross. Your dedication to the College's mission has been steadfast and your legacy will be seen through the continued commitment to belonging, dignity and justice for all people. May God continue to bless you and hope that we see you at some event donning your famous purple shirt! 
—  Joanne and Chris Aventuro '87 

Fr. Boroughs, thank you for your years of service to HC! I've had the experience to work with you both as a student leader, a member of the staff in Alumni Relations, and a volunteer of the BHC. I have always respected your sincerity and approachability, especially on diversity and inclusion work on campus. I remember our conversations regarding the renaming of Mulledy Hall, and your attentiveness and response to our concerns. I also reflect on the conversations regarding the Crusader moniker, and admire the grace you had while facing criticism from both sides. While I am excited for the future, when I think back on my time at HC, know that your admirable leadership is intertwined with that experience.
— Amina Gomez '16

Bob Podolak '70



I enjoyed your visit to Colorado and have thought of you often since then. Mostly, I felt that Holy Cross was in good hands with you at the helm.
— Bob Podolak '70


Fr. Boroughs, Thank you for your service to the College. The College is a huge part of my life, as it not only is my place of work, but it also is my alma mater. It has been so encouraging to see you cherish, grow, and develop the College. Not only have I loved the addition of the buildings on campus and the Contemplative Center, I have loved the sharpening of the College's mission, the College's increasing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the College's deepening relationships with Worcester and beyond. You will certainly be missed, but your legacy will be ever-present. Good luck and best wishes.
— Isabelle Jenkins '10

Fr. Boroughs, Thanks for all you have done for Holy Cross. I am especially grateful for your support of the HCAA. Your presence at our board meetings was always a pleasure and a great opportunity to learn what was happening on campus. Best wishes.
— Laura Cutone Godwin '96 

Dear Fr. Boroughs, please accept my very best wishes as you take the next step on your path, and thank you for all your thoughtful guidance when I was leading the Holy Cross Magazine team. I remember well your joyful arrival, and appreciated your very quotable communication style — every editor's dream! Be well.
— Suzanne Morrissey

On freshman move-in day, the dorms were crazy (in a good way) and we were meeting our daughter’s roommate and trying to unpack. This priest walks in and introduced himself. “Hi, I’m Fr. Boroughs. Welcome to Holy Cross, do you need anything?” His smile and welcoming behavior was needed. He left and we all were like, “that was nice.” Then it hit me that he looked like the president. After a quick google, it was confirmed and we all were amazed that the president would be cruising the dorms offering assistance. I realized then and there that Holy Cross was a special place. 
—  Jeff Shorter P21

Best wishes to you Fr. Boroughs! My husband and I are alumni and both of our children have now graduated from Holy Cross. I always liked how you took the time to stop and chat when we were on campus for visits or a reunion. Thank you for your service to Holy Cross! 
—  Sarah Sullivan '93, P21, 19

Thank you Fr. Boroughs for your strong, yet humble leadership at Holy Cross. I have watched many other Jesuits come and go at Holy Cross in many different roles, and I have a deep respect for you all. Holy Cross is a better place because of you. Sending you only the best as you encounter a new journey!
—  Debora Cain

Those of us alumni who live in the Pacific Northwest have always felt a special pride that one of ours was the president of Holy Cross. Thank you for your inspiring leadership!
—  David A. Lynch '69

Thank you for your incredible leadership and commitment to Jesuit education, Fr. Boroughs. As an alumna, I am certainly grateful. Prayers and best wishes in your next steps!
—  Amy Golden '01

Dear Fr. Boroughs, Thank you for your years of service at Holy Cross. It has been wonderful to get to know you and we wish you all the best in the coming years. And we hope to see you during this next phase of your life! 
— Susan Halleron Calcio '88 and John Calcio

Fr. Boroughs, Thank you for your service to Holy Cross. I have always been impressed by your wisdom and strength. Be well, and I hope to see you in the future.
— Jim Tracy '70 P00

Dear Phil - You have provided the men and women at Holy Cross a living example of what it means to be "a man for others." THANK you!! In this often loud world, your silent prayers were felt by the entire Crusader community both on campus and in places far away from The Hill. I will miss your prayerful presence, gentle ways, and humble, simple approach to living life. Best of luck in your retirement. You EARNED it! Onward and upward dear friend! 
—  Gieriet Bowen '86 P22

Congratulations and best wishes! 
—  Gier Sullivan Bowen ’86, P22 

Father Phil: Congratulations on a terrific job as president of Holy Cross College. Your nine-year impact on the College is significant. It was a pleasure to know you as the College president, but it was better to know you as a caring and accomplished priest and person. Good luck in your future endeavors! Respectfully yours
— Dick Matteis '58

Thank you for your quiet, impactful leadership through a challenging period of time with many unexpected curve balls in our country and at Holy Cross. More importantly, your deep spirituality continuously impressed all members of the Holy Cross community throughout your tenure. You are a true man for others in every aspect of your daily life and a wonderful example for all who encountered and followed you. Thank you for all your contributions to Holy Cross. Many blessings for your next stop on a beautiful journey!
—  Ted Bowen P22

Thank you for your many years of service to Holy Cross. Your incredible impact is and always will be appreciated.
—  The Healy Family '89, '90, '21, '25

My pride in Holy Cross warmed and increased as I came to meet Fr. Boroughs several times. A worthy successor to Fathers Brooks and Swords. Go HC! 
— Thomas Haskins Jacobs '68

I will never forget our first meeting in the Hart Center, being introduced by our daughter Mary (Class of '82). After a brief but interesting conversation, I distinctly remember saying (mostly to myself): "How do they do it? How do the Jesuits keep coming up with such fine, presentable, well-spoken priests and executives to lead the College?" Yes, today I can certainly reaffirm my quick judgment from nearly 10 years ago. Who could have known the challenging situations you would face and discharge so ably, truthfully and benevolently for the College we have loved for so many, many years. Congratulations on a job very well done. May you be justly rewarded here and hereafter.
—  Hugh F. Lynch '60

Dear Fr. Phil, Thanks to your leadership, Holy Cross is far stronger and better than it was 10 years ago. That is high praise given my experienced belief that your role is the most difficult leadership role in America today. I hope a one-year sabbatical is enough. God bless you for all the incredible work you do. Peace.
— Art Ciocca '59

While you won’t remember me, I have had the pleasure and joy of meeting you and hearing you speak during your several winter trips to Naples. You have made immense contributions to Holy Cross and for that I am truly grateful to you and to God for allowing you to so serve. You will always be in the hearts and prayers of the entire Holy Cross community. Thank you.
— J. Carter McKaig '54

 Thank you for all you have done for the school and for the students during your time at the Cross.
—  William O'Grady '65 P98

Father, The Lord has blessed you and you have shared that light with me … and I am grateful. Even though you will no longer be physically at The Cross I will turn to you for your guidance when I am faced with doubt and uncertainty. You will forever be a part of my heart. I pray that God continues to bless you and keep you for all the days of your life. Your Brother In Christ.
— Mark Roman '92

Our mutual friend, Ed Villani, told me you were going to be a real plus for Holy Cross. He was on the mark but your leadership and achievement have set new standards! AMDG!
—  Jay McLaughlin '67

Dear Father Boroughs, You took the reins of a venerable Jesuit college, and through your quiet leadership and confidence in collaborative management steered it ahead. Vince Rougeau inherits a strengthened Holy Cross and the Community thanks you and wishes you Godspeed. — Maurice "Maury" H. Hartigan, II '89

Holy Cross sign at Gate 2 entrance

Father Boroughs, thank you for your service to the College! The week before I graduated, I came to your office and you gave me the wisdom that the next chapter would be different but it will be just as good. The same holds true for you this summer. I’m excited to see where you are called next. Thank you for being a great president and role model!
—  Allie Hunter '14

Father, I have never had the privilege of meeting you, but I get a sense for the first time in a long while that the College is moving forward. I will keep you in my prayers and I hope you will do the same for me.
—  John A. Larson '69 

Thanks for all you've done for HC. Enjoy a well-earned respite. Always welcome on ACK. Buen Camino!
—  Charley Polachi '75

Thank you for all you have done for students, staff and faculty during a tenure marked by more challenges than I can count (or recollect). I also recall a very early conversation in which we discovered we might be remotely related. My daughter, Meredith, is a member of the class of 2016; the first class to start and complete their HC experience with you at the helm.
— Ev Carr, staff 

Fr. Boroughs led the College of the Holy Cross with deep faith, intellect, and passion during one of the most tumultuous periods in the history of higher education. His legacy of excellence is on full view for any person who visits the spectacular campus, but it is also evident in the relationships he cultivated with members of the Holy Cross and the worldwide Jesuit community. I am profoundly grateful for his leadership, friendship, and careful stewardship of our shared Jesuit mission. I know we will miss him, but I also know that we will stay connected, because that's precisely what good friends do. AMDG, dear Phil. Well done! 
— Linda M. LeMura, president, Le Moyne College

Dear Fr. Phil, It has been my great pleasure and privilege to get to know you these past nine years. You have motivated me to do even more for the "Cross." Your personal style and grace made the College come alive for me again 50 years later. I will certainly miss you and I wish you Godspeed and good health. Warm regards. 
—  E. Paul Tinsley '68

Father Boroughs, Thank you for your enormous contributions to our Holy Cross community. The impact of your legacy is multidimensional and we are so grateful for the enlightened leadership you brought to Mount St. James. You truly are a gifted and skilled orator whose wisdom and insights linger with us as we journey through our days. I/we will miss hearing from you on a regular basis — but will carry on with many fond memories. All the best.
— Dick Lavey '89

 William Stempsey, S.J.With great gratitude for your leadership through an era of both turmoil and triumph. May you find continuing consolation through all of it and all of us!
— William Stempsey, S.J., faculty



Fr Boroughs: You've done a wonderful job both with the College students and faculty, and also with alumni. Best wishes in your new endeavors.
— Tom Gleason '57

Dear Phil, Thank you for your wise and prudent stewardship of the College for this last decade. There were many challenges but you were always grounded in prayer and hope. I am most grateful for your pastoral example and your kind presence. Blessings on this transition. May God grant you a future full of hope.
— Rev. James M. Hayes, S.J. '72, staff

Fr. B., my Holy Cross days go back to Fr. Swords but I've personally had dealings with your predecessors Fr. Brooks, Fr. Reedy, Frank Vellaccio and Fr. McFarland. You've made your mark on Holy Cross in so many ways. And while I cannot honestly say that I've agreed with all your actions and decisions, I have had hanging on my wall when I was working and now in my office at home the great quote from Theodore Roosevelt that starts, "It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better." You have been the Man in the Arena. Let me say, though, that of all the Holy Cross presidents that I've known, you have been the most pastoral and for that I salute you. In many ways, that legacy may surpass the many buildings that have enhanced the campus during your administration. Enjoy the next steps in your life since I gather Jesuits never actually "retire." All the best!
— Tom Neagle '70, P98

Dear Fr. Boroughs, I want to extend my congratulations and to thank you for the remarkable vision, grace, and energy you brought to Holy Cross as our inspiring yet humble leader. Your contributions to the Holy Cross community and to greater Worcester are exceptional and have resulted in profound legacies. As you transition beyond our wonderfully enhanced campus, its distinctive staff, faculty, and students, and our passionately loyal supportive alumni, I wish you Godspeed and many more years of good health and opportunities to serve others! We are all in your debt. Gratefully yours. 
— Dr. Michael Reichel '68 

Phil, It has been a joy to share the mission of Holy Cross these last five years. My thanks for your guidance to me personally and your vibrant involvement in the life of the Jesuit community. I hope we can make the Jesuit presence felt here in new but equally meaningful ways in the future. 
— Rev. Jim Stormes, S.J., staff 

Dear Fr. Boroughs, Your strong and compassionate leadership of Holy Cross has been extraordinary and, in the most difficult of times, vital. With gratitude. 
— Lizanne McDevitt '80 

Dear Fr. Boroughs, Thanks so much for your outstanding leadership of our great Holy Cross family and institution over the past nine years. It was an honor to serve with you as a Holy Cross trustee before you became president. It was also wonderful to cross paths with you at HC events over the past nine years. I pray you good health and fair winds as you embrace your next adventure. All the best.
— Ed Ludwig '73

Dear Fr. Boroughs, The long history of the College of the Holy Cross is made better by your wonderful leadership. Thank you for everything you have done for Holy Cross. I always enjoyed the times when you were present at class reunions and Chicago Holy Cross events. I hope that you reach your goals. You have my best wishes and prayers.
— Tom O'Keefe '61

Father, pastor, president, Jesus-walker, inspirer, listener, dreamer, galvanizer, storyteller. Holy Cross is a better place because of Fr. Philip Boroughs. Thanks so very much!
— Eileen Church P20 

Sara and I wish you much happiness in the future. Thank you for your all you've done for Holy Cross and for your friendship, Phil. Best wishes.
— Ellen Keohane '83, staff