In and Of Worcester

Goal: Embrace and promote the world of opportunity in our backyard and be an active partner in the City of Worcester’s continued success, growth, and revitalization.

Worcester City Hall


  • Expand the College’s presence and deepen and communicate its engagement in the Worcester community.
  • Strengthen efforts to recruit students and employees from Worcester.
  • Build and enhance partnerships with area organizations and businesses.
  • Create and celebrate opportunities for Holy Cross community members to experience and learn in Worcester, including student internships, research, and service to the community, as well as institutional collaborations with higher education peers in the region.
  • Create, sustain, and convey a more welcoming campus environment for Worcester community members and others.
Heather Hayes, vice president and chief of staff. Photo by Avanell Chang
Meet Our Leadership Team
Heather Hayes, Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff

Heather Hayes leads the strategy and implementation behind our In and of Worcester initiatives. She serves as a key partner in the president's executive leadership team and helps develop and implement the strategic goals of the College. 

Highlighting Progress

Since announcing our Aspire plan, we've met with our community engagement leaders to launch strategic initiatives and be an active partner in the City of Worcester. Here's some of what we've accomplished so far:

Increased Applicants

Increased engagement with Worcester schools has led to increased applications from Worcester students in the 2024 cycle.

Fee Waiver Program

Waived application fees automatically for all Worcester school students.

High School Recruitment Efforts

Increased recruitment efforts in the city, including more Worcester high school visits, an AP Boot Camp for South High School juniors.


Career Development

Building a career development partnership with Catholic Charities' Crozier House in Worcester.
Exploring paid vocational internships on campus for Worcester high school students.

Hiring Efforts

More Worcester residents are joining the Holy Cross community. Since 2021, 55 additional college employees call the city of Worcester home. 

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Partnership

Partnered with WPI to offer math, computer science and physics majors the option to pursue a Master of Science or Master of Engineering in an accelerated program.

Clark University Partnership

We partnered with Clark University to launch the 4+1 Master of Arts in Teaching Program and expanded our graduate tuition benefits for employees.

UMass Chan Medical School Partnership

Working with UMass Chan Medical School, we expanded our paid research opportunities for students.


Partnered with the Worcester Cultural Coalition and the City of Worcester's Cultural Development Division to create a pipeline of support for local artists, including an artist-in-residence program at The Prior Performing Arts Center during summer 2024.

Campus statue with residence hall in background
Featured Event
Faculty Symposium

On November 1, 2023, we hosted a Faculty Symposium with leaders from Holy Cross and across the City of Worcester to discuss the future of community-engaged research. 

Town Hall Updates

On October 4, 2023, a Town Hall was held to provide updates from our leadership team on each of the six pillars of our Aspire strategic plan.

Get Involved

If you have a question about Aspire or a suggestion or idea related to one of its aims, we invite you to review the plan and share your thoughts.