Brendan J. Cassin '55
Balancing the secular and the spiritual is a challenge that Holy Cross men and women seem to thrive on. The Jesuits have long seen the need to find God in all things. And the notion of transforming the world by transforming the individual is at the core of everything we do on the Hill.
Brendan Cassin is a man who sees God at the heart of the world and, in that vision, finds the call to transformation. He is a man who believes that personal accomplishment is meaningless unless accompanied by the call to service and charity.
An economics major at Holy Cross, Brendan served five years in the Marine Corps, attaining the rank of captain. Both experiences served him well as a venture capitalist. In 1969, he co-founded Xidex Corporation, which achieved Fortune 500 status in 1987 with sales of $752 million. Ten years later, Brendan left active management with Xidex and became a venture capital investor and the financial founder of over 15 public companies.
Brendan is a former director and president of the Association of Image Information Management, a 10,000-member trade association. He is currently on the board of directors of Cerus Corporation, PDF Solutions, Inc., and Symphonix Devices, Inc. A member of the board of trustees of St. Mary's College of California, he also has served as director of the Daper Investment Fund at Stanford University.
His success in business has allowed him to give back in ways both visionary and transformative. As the founder, chairman and president of the Cassin Educational Initiative Foundation, he has worked with religious orders, teachers and parishes to establish faith-based middle- and high-schools in economically deprived areas across the country. A champion of diversity, Brendan is a leader who understands that potential must be nurtured, especially among those most in need.
Brendan's generosity has extended to his College, to which he has given a million dollar gift in an effort to further minority recruitment and retention on the Hill. And it will surprise no one that our fledging Worcester Nativity School has been launched with the help of Brendan's largesse.
For his vision of a community made stronger and more tolerant by diversity, his ability to lead by bold example, and his insistence on viewing his own success as an obligation to help others, the College of the Holy Cross presents to Brendan J. Cassin the Sanctae Crucis Award.