Gratitude On The Hill

Hello everyone, and happy spring!

As a second semester freshman, I have truly come to notice how grateful I am to be here. Following spring break, my montseratt class went to the Joyce Contemplative Center to reflect on our time here at Holy Cross.

Joyce Contemplative Center
(Bruce T. Martin Photography)

Christopher Barrett, a faculty member here on campus, spoke about his own experiences with gratitude and how he came to realize the crucial role it plays in our daily lives. He asked each of us to write down the top three things we are grateful for, and the majority of our responses fell along the lines of friends, family, and Holy Cross.

I found myself looking down at the sticky notes in my lap, realizing that just over a year ago, my answer of “Holy Cross” would have never existed. However, I was not at all surprised by the shared sentiment of how meaningful this place is to those of us who are lucky enough to experience it.

My own personal decision to come to Holy Cross has been validated continuously throughout this first year, but for some reason this moment stands out to me most. Realizing that those around me value the same things that I do, put any and all fears of adjustment, performance, and assimilation that I had previously experienced, to rest.

Needless to say, I am extremely grateful that I have ended up here at Holy Cross, and I couldn’t imagine a more understanding and encouraging place to spend my undergraduate career.

Homecoming Weekend

Hello everyone! Welcome back to campus.

This past weekend, as the first weekend of the new semester, was Homecoming weekend here at Holy Cross. The events united alumni of all ages as well as current students and their families to engage in the Holy Cross community on campus.

On Saturday, The Men’s Basketball team played Navy. The Hart Center was filled with fans and current students and faculty, of which kicked off their start at home for the Spring. At half time, the announcers featured a lineup of Holy Cross graduates from  the past 60 years. This was an extremely capturing moment, as the expressions on all of their faces were the same: happiness. Every single one of them looked just as eager and excited to be back in this special environment. The team went on to beat Navy 69-64, in a stressful and uplifting game of skill and teamwork.

The overall environment remained exciting, as the stands were filled with alumni decked out in purple and white. Baby crusaders were paraded around in their little hoodies and onesies. I could see the whole picture of what this community fosters. Friendships and memories that last a lifetime, and grant future opportunities for human connection.

The Alumni network that Holy Cross has created is one of extremely high success, intellectual ability, connection, and collaboration, all of which appear on a daily basis here on campus. The donations and opportunities that have been presented as a result of Alumni effort and contribution enrich the environment  in which we live and learn, and events like this past weekend highlight the true value of these connections.

Holy Cross Cheer Team (halftime 32-34 Navy)



The Importance of Opinions: Engage Summit On The Hill

Hello everyone-

This post is going to stray from the typical updates and high-spirited happenings here on The Hill, but I feel it necessary to touch on the events that have occurred here on our campus within the past few weeks. It is important that a college campus embodies a community that takes such issues as violence, judgement, and discrimination seriously.

Prior to Thanksgiving break, Holy Cross organized The Engage Summit.

The Summit was aimed to combat the adversity in our community as well as in  our society as a whole. It  included a variety of workshops and speeches produced by faculty and students who felt compelled to share their opinions and stories to those who were interested in expanding their knowledge in the worlds of diversity and  social justice.

Each session had its own stories, its own collection of experiences speaking of the social injustices, stereotypes, and prejudices that unjustly occur as a result of differences in beliefs, backgrounds, and opinions.

After attending two sessions, I was left speechless. To see such passionate people speaking their un-filtered, powerful opinions for the student body was truly inspiring.

One session in particular had my mind spinning.  I found myself overwhelmingly grateful to be on a campus that has such strong-willed, motivated individuals who stand up for what they believe in. Such individuals as my Psychology professor, Gary Senecal, who spoke with words that “have the potential to move mountains” (as I told my mom over the phone immediately following his presentation.)

This session showed me the importance of having a voice. It showed me the power of expressing your beliefs, even to those who may fail to understand their meaning.

Professor Senecal spoke effortlessly about corporate diffusion of responsibility, and the need to collectively work together as a community to make changes and expand upon our human connections. His words embodied the potential for us to BE the changes we want to see in our worlds, and inspire others rather than demoralize them through crude language and disheartening violence.

Overall, The Engage Summit instilled a sense of confidence in myself that I was unaware existed. It allowed be to take a step back and realize the importance of voicing your opinions, no matter how unworthy you may feel.

I realized that although college is a time to find yourself, it is also a time to gain the skills necessary to become an individual who encompasses what it truly means to be a compassionate, motivated, and inspiring human being.

I came to appreciate that although Holy Cross celebrates its perfections, it also works adamantly,through events such as The Engage Summit,to ameliorate its imperfections and create a community that fosters both intellectual and spiritual growth.

Life is not about striving to be a perfect version of yourself, but rather about recognizing the inevitable imperfections and finding the power and motivation within to intensify your own human connections. 


Fall on The Hill

Hello everyone, and happy fall!

The first couple of months of this school year have flown by, much like all of the leaves off of the trees that makeup our beautiful campus.

Fall on The Hill

As stressful as this time of year is for college students-especially those first years who are still trying to sort all aspects of the college life out-it is also the most beautiful in my opinion. Filled with vivid colors and colder weather, this season of fall has served as a time of reflection for me personally.

As I look back on the past few months I have spent here, I have realized that all of the things I was initially so nervous about-getting involved, finding my way, impressing my teachers-had completely fallen away. Not only have I found myself genuinely enjoying my classes, but I have also expanded my previously very confined comfort zone by joining the SPUD group dedicated to working with the residents in The Blaire House for Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Hospice care patients.

I cannot express enough the joy that these visits bring me, and the lessons I have learned from those who see life differently.

I have come to realize that the community here at Holy Cross is one that thrives on human connection, and the days that I work with those who are restrained by their deteriorating mental abilities, have left me me feeling extremely thankful that I have made such connections and am supported by those around me.

Joining this group has also allowed me to view the world in a different light, without the clouds of stress that midterms and sleepless nights may bring.

Sometimes the most important lessons we learn in life are from those whom never intended to teach them.

The experiences this program has provided me with have not only encouraged me to expand my horizons and get involved in the community around me, but they have also led me to feel unconditionally thankful.

Blaire House of Worcester

These fall days here on the hill are filled with high spirits and the growing anticipation for Thanksgiving break. The campus is covered with fallen leaves and trees veiled with vibrant hues, as the opportunities for involvement continue  to present themselves.

As we approach the Thanksgiving break, I encourage all of those who are interested in giving back and gaining experience that will not only enrich your social awareness, but will also lead to personal growth and reflection, to get involved.

Whether it is helping out a professor, participating in SPUD programs, or picking from an endless array of student-led clubs and organizations, the feelings of mental clarity and thankfulness that follow are undoubtedly worth the extra time and effort.

O’Kane Hall



From Shower Shoes to Sunsets

Hello, my name is AnnaGrace Greenho and I am a freshman at Holy Cross.

Freshman. It sounds so foreign and strange to say it out loud. The stereotypical bottoms of the social ladder, over-involved, wandering, map using, lost little college students.

This, however, is not the case for those first year students at Holy Cross. As cliché as it may sound, I knew from the moment I drove up to my dorm on move-in day, surrounded by orientation leaders blasting music and holding posters filled with excitement, that I was meant to be at this school.

To be  honest, I was in complete and total denial that I was actually GOING to college, up until the morning of August 25th. The thought of living away from home in a dorm full of strangers, left to fend for myself and navigate the next stages of my future, seemed impossible. I was angry-at my parents for making me go, and at myself for being so angry.

This anger not only disappeared within seconds of arriving on campus, but it turned into new feelings of excitement.

As the first few days passed by, I had to quickly adapt and get used to the things that I had so effortlessly taken for granted while in high school.

The biggest thing? Shower shoes.

The process of having to put on your shoes before walking to the bathroom to take a shower seemed ridiculous to me. But like all things with time, I got used to it. It is now simply a small part of the routine that is college.

Did I feel homesick? Of course. Was I overwhelmed with finding my classes? Yes. Was I terrified of meeting new people and finding my way? Absolutely. But these things solve themselves when you are in an environment as friendly, familiar, and engaging as Holy Cross.

The funny thing is, I can pinpoint the exact moment when I no longer felt afraid, homesick, angry, or anxious.

I was sitting on top of the hill near the Hart Center watching the sky fade from blue, to orange, to yellow, and finally to a soft pale pink color. I looked around at the group of friends I had been lucky enough to meet within the first few days, and sat quietly as tears formed in my eyes.

I still have no clue why this rush of emotions came over me, but I think it had something to do with the fact that I was all of a sudden very aware that no matter where you are in this world, the sun will set and rise again.

First sunset on The Hill

Fast forward a few weeks and here I am, sitting at home on Fall Break, missing my friends, missing the sunsets, even missing my shower shoes.

I cannot express the excitement I have for the next four years, filled with an overwhelming amount of support from teachers and advisors, endless opportunities, unique experiences, and, of course, sunsets and shower shoes.