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Sanctae Crucis Award Recipients 2007

Mark J. Doherty, D.M.D., ’70

Given our College’s tradition of the classic Scholar-Athlete, it is appropriate to honor a model of intellectual rigor, physical prowess and spiritual concern, as exemplified by Mark J. Doherty.

A football star at Holy Cross, Mark was also captain of the lacrosse team. In his senior year, on impulse, he entered and won the New England Golden Gloves boxing championship. Clearly a man who knew, early on, how to set and achieve goals, Mark has spent his life demanding excellence from himself and dedicating his considerable talent and abundant passion to the needs of the poorest in his community.

From the beginning, Mark wanted to be a dentist, to follow in the footsteps of his revered Uncle Jim. Upon graduation from Holy Cross, he earned his degree in dentistry from the University of Pennsylvania and embarked on a career that has become a model of empathy and responsibility.

After serving as the director of the residency program at the Brockton, Mass., Veterans’ Hospital, Mark accepted the directorship of Oral Health Services at Dorchester House Multi-Service Center, a community health clinic where this young dentist realized his mission: to bring quality dental care to those who could not afford it. 

Within two years, realizing the enormity of the need, Mark founded a mobile dental clinic that continues to bring dental care to poor children across the commonwealth. In addition, he began visiting detention centers, making sure that incarcerated teenagers received dental services. And all the while, he made regular trips to Beacon Hill to speak to lawmakers and testify before committees about our responsibilities to those in need. 

Today, Mark oversees 24 dentists in three different locations. As a colleague of Mark’s recently remarked, “This is his soul. He is about improving the lives of other people.” 

In 1983, Mark received the National Health Service Corps Award. In 1987, the United States Department of Health and Human Services recognized Mark for his exceptional, extended service to public health. And, in 2005, the Boston advocacy group, Health Care for All, honored Mark with its Community Leadership Award.

For his perpetual sense of caritas, his hunger for healing and his drive to better the lives of the disadvantaged, the College of the Holy Cross presents to Mark J. Doherty the Sanctae Crucis Award.