Parent and Family Engagement


The Office of Parent and Family Engagement is thrilled to coordinate a variety of opportunities for you to engage with your student and the life of the College by offering on-campus events, communications and connections to campus resources.

As students navigate their developing identity and explore interests, they will benefit from your engagement in their Holy Cross experience. We hope to offer you information, resources and support that enable you to effectively engage with and support your student.

We value the relationship with parents and families and we are eager to get to know you and how we may support your student and family throughout your Holy Cross experience. We hope this website provides a helpful starting point for key information and resources. Should you need further assistance or are looking to get further involved in the Holy Cross community, please be in touch.

Welcome to the Holy Cross community!

cathleen Dolane

Cathleen Doane Cannon
Director of the Office of Parent and Family Engagement

Contact Us


The Office of Parent and Family Engagement recognizes families as important influencers in students' lives and achievement. Students drive their Holy Cross education, but family involvement can be an important factor as they navigate emerging adulthood. We seek to engage, educate and inform parents and families so they can offer appropriate support to their developing student(s). We are committed to fostering relationships between parents and the College as we work toward the shared goal of promoting student learning, well-being, holistic development and success.

What We Do

  • Provide information and resources to families to encourage and assist conversations with their students, as they navigate decision making and emerging adulthood.
  • Serve as a point of contact should parents and families have questions or concerns.
  • Cultivate parent and family understanding of the College mission and the responsibilities and expectations the College has of students.
  • Encourage parent and family engagement in the College community through events, publications and programs.
  • Acknowledge and educate the campus community on the diverse backgrounds and needs of varying student and family populations.
  • Purposefully connect with parents and families around key transitional periods and milestones including entering college, semester transitions and Commencement.
  • Recognize all parents and families as important extensions of the Holy Cross community.
  • Collaborate with administrators, faculty and staff across campus to ensure purposeful communication and engagement with families.
Spring Fenwick Hall

From The Hill to You Series

From The Hill to You” is a webinar/podcast series designed specifically for parents and families. Throughout the year sessions will be made available on a variety of topics with the goal of providing information and highlights from life on The Hill to help families support their students.


Stressed student facing laptop and winter image of Fenwick Hall

Episode 1 - "From The Hill to You: Student Mental Health"

This episode aired Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. As the school year, pandemic, and various other challenges continue on, the mental health of our students is at the forefront of our minds here at HC. Join representatives from the Counseling Center and the Office of the College Chaplains to learn more about current mental health concerns, important resources on campus and how you can help support your student through times of stress. View the recording.

Headshots of presenters with campus scenic image in the background.

Episode 2 - "From The Hill to You: How Students Can Use Their Summer Effectively"

Host, Cathleen Doane Cannon, is joined by the Center for Career Development for a podcast focused on students' career exploration and vocational discernment. Regardless of your students’ summer plans or class year there are some strategic things they can do this summer to drive their career exploration journey. Listen to the podcast on soundcloud. 

Access a transcription of the podcast.

From The Hill to You: Six Weeks In

Episode 3 - “From The Hill to You: Six Weeks In”

This episode aired Monday, Oct. 3, 2022 and is designed for families of first-year students. The start of the semester has hopefully brought students many moments of joy, happiness, and excitement; but, it may have also brought concerns, challenges, and unexpected difficulties. Hear from the First-Year Experience group about what your students might report experiencing thus far; the resources available to them as they continue to navigate their first semester; and how you, as families, can help further support their transition. View the recording. Captions are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Links to the video transcript are available in English, Spanish and Chinese in the description on YouTube.

From The Hill to You: The Sophomore Year

Episode 4 - “From The Hill to You: The Sophomore Year”
This episode aired Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022 and is designed for families of sophomore students. Sophomore year often finds students with new levels of confidence and excitement with two semesters of classes and a year of life on The Hill under their belt. However, they will also likely find that sophomore year brings new (and sometimes unexpected) challenges as they balance higher-level courses, evaluate a multitude of opportunities, and are called to further discern their path. During this webinar, families will hear from: Class Dean Sarah Petty; representatives from the Center for Career Development; J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World; and the Vocare Program. These representatives will help frame for families what students might be experiencing as sophomores now and in the year ahead, prepare families to have helpful conversations with students over break, and make sure families are aware of key opportunities and resources available to students. View the recording. Captions are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Links to the video transcript are available in English, Spanish and Chinese in the description on YouTube.

Event flyer with headshots of Amy Murphy and Julie Draczynski

Episode 5 "From The Hill to You - Supporting Your Seniors: Navigating the Job Search"
Aired on Monday, Dec. 12, 2022, this episode is tailored to families of seniors. As your student enters their final semester at Holy Cross, there may be a lot of questions and some anxiety about securing that first job post-graduation. The Center for Career Development is here to guide students every step of the way. This webinar is focused on the tools and resources available to equip your students to drive a successful job search and how families can support them along the way. View the recording and transcript

Dean Paul Irish with images of residence halls

Episode 6: "From The Hill to You: Preparing Students for Housing Decisions"
During this episode which aired Jan. 10, Dean Paul Irish shared with families information about additions to campus housing options, and how you can support your students in navigating their upcoming roommate and housing decisions. View the recordingCaptions are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Links to the video transcript are available in English, Spanish and Chinese in the description on YouTube.


Session title with images of presenters Mirabelle Tseng and Amy Murphy.

Episode 7: "From The Hill to You: Post-Graduation Planning for International Students"
Aired on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, this episode is for families of seniors who are on an F-1 visa. When it comes to post-graduation planning there are several considerations for F-1 Visa students that differ from domestic students. International families are encouraged to watch this special webinar from the Office of International Students, Center for Career Development, and Parent and Family Engagement to learn more about the options available to students and processes they should be aware of. For those watching, note that specific dates mentioned are applicable to the Class of 2023. View the recording. Captions and transcripts are available in English and Chinese.


Images from students study abroad experiences

Episode 8: "From The Hill to You: Study Abroad 101 for Families" 

This episode aired on April 4, 2023 for families with students committed to studying abroad. Study abroad programs are extraordinary opportunities for students to explore, learn, and grow as they immerse themselves in a new culture. As students prepare for this high-impact experience, there is likely a lot on your minds. Families, please join the Office of Study Abroad as they share some valuable information about academics, finances, health and safety, and ways they help prepare your student for a rewarding semester or year abroad. Learn how you, as families, can support and engage your students during their time away. View the recording. Captions are available in English and Spanish. Links to the video transcript are available in English and Spanish in the description on YouTube.

Webinar title with image of student standing on a rock looking at water


Episode 9: "From The Hill to You: Investing in the Future - Making the Case for Study Abroad" 

This session aired on October 3, 2023. Globalization has changed the way the world works, and it's crucial that college graduates enter the workforce equipped with cross-cultural agility to meet the demands of an interconnected world. Study abroad is one of the best ways for students to prepare themselves for life after college. Living and learning abroad helps students develop their intercultural skills, adaptability, self-awareness, curiosity, and confidence. Join us for a conversation about why study abroad is a necessary part of a college education, and how it can set students up for success. View recording on YouTube. Captions and transcripts are available in English and Spanish.