Archive for April, 2011

Why Holy Cross? Because it’s Spring in New England

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Having moved back East after four years of living a stone’s throw from the beach in Los Angeles, people often ask me, ”Why would anyone leave California for Massachusetts?”  To me, the answer is simple:

There is absolutely nothing like spring in New England.

You can smell its approach in the air.  After an arguably “character-building” winter, the first scent of spring is nothing short of amazing.  It’s an indescribable mix of soil and daffodils, mineral-y spring water,  and unadulterated joy.  And the second that scent matures into sunshine, and the temperature ticks above fifty degrees,  the air buzzes with a new sense of excitement.   The flip flops come out,  the window screens descend, the birds are chirpety chirping, Youk is up to bat, and all is right with the world.

New England’s four seasons instill in its patrons a unique sense of appreciation…an appreciation  for the characteristics and rhythms that each season presents, and an appreciation  for how quickly one season is engulfed by the next.  We learn to appreciate every day as it comes.   We watch the multi-colored leaves dancing overhead as we head to the game. We snuggle up and study with hot cocoa after tray-sledding.  We savor every last inch of spring sunshine from blankets on the quad.  We eat lobstah’ and chowdah’ with sunburned noses, and then we get excited to do it all again.

Julia Sanders
Assistant Director of Admissions

How to Choose the School for You

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

For high school seniors, April is the month for decisions. Once acceptance letters have been received, students spend time on college campuses, taking and re-taking tours, sitting in on classes and doing their best to find differences amongst schools that have so much in common. Some students will ask their friends or look for insight from social networking websites.

So how should they decide? What’s the best way for a student to decide amongst more than one quality choice? Conduct a poll on Facebook? Conduct a poll at the dinner table? Conduct an imaginary battle between mascots?

The answer is in the dressing room.

When we’re shopping for clothes, we all have that moment just after we’ve buttoned up a pair of pants – we take stock, we look in the mirror and we make a gut decision based upon how those pants fit us, how they suit us and how they feel.

And when we emerge from the dressing room and find family or friend waiting for us, they are sure to ask that one-word question — “Well?”

Buying pants, in that way, is similar to choosing a college. There are so many places and people to whom we can go for information or opinions. But what matters most is how a college feels to a student and what their gut is telling them.

So to all those students destined to wrestle between two or more quality choices, I encourage you to leave the websites and on-line polls behind and take a moment in the “dressing room” by yourself – go with your gut and choose the college which fits you the best.

Andrew N. Carter
Associate Director of Admissions

“Did you go to Holy Cross?”

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

I’m often asked to talk about the things that make Holy Cross unique or special.  Though there are many things that I think make my alma mater both unique and special, I always find myself giving the same answer.  I may choose different anecdotes to express my idea, but my message is always one of an enduring loyalty and excitement from students and alumni.

This weekend my husband and I tackled the task of yard work.  He wore a Holy Cross t-shirt while he worked, as he often does.  From my weed-pulling post around the side of the house, I suddenly heard an excited, “Did you go to Holy Cross?”  Two recent graduates were passing by, and they couldn’t help but stop to say hello.  We chatted briefly, and they continued on their way.  Our interaction was brief, but meaningful.  I sensed they walked away feeling the same way we did as we watched them go-nostalgic and proud just to be an “HC person”.

Many colleges can provide a good four year experience, and any lucky student will count their college years among the best of their life.  This is true of many Holy Cross graduates I’ve met.  The difference is that the fondness people have for this place endures far beyond those four years.  For some, it’s homecoming, or a 10th, 25 or perhaps 50th reunion that makes them nostalgic for that place they once called home.  Many others require little more than the sight of those familiar purple letters on a t-shirt on a Saturday afternoon.

That’s pretty special.

Lynn Verrecchia
Associate Director of Admissions

The Application Trek

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Flashback to early November. Our team of twelve gathered at base camp to prepare for the long trek up the mountain. We stuffed our backpacks with your applications, our mechanical pencils and erasers, extra lead for all those broken tips, our calculators for innumerable computations and some must-have snacks. As we headed out, we experienced some treacherous winter weather, but we maintained our plan to reach the summit by spring. When we set out we didn’t know exactly how many steps it would take, or exactly how many days, but we knew it would be interesting.

During the long climb to the summit of Mount Saint James we met some very interesting applicants.  Many were on a spiritual trek, attempting to climb the mountain to find themselves through their faith, while others were seeking answers through science, aspiring to be doctors, veterinarians and dentists. Others were world-ranked triathaletes, accomplished musicians, and successful classicists. Some we met had made a decision earlier that this was their mountain; it was where they wanted to be. Most climbers however, were not sure of their decision and needed more time to explore on their own. As we trekked on, each day amongst ourselves we approved more and more, knowing they could handle the upcoming rigors that Mt. St. James would present to them, and hoping they would join us at the top.

Twenty one weeks has now passed since our team set out on our trek. Spring is here,  and our team has made it, 7,350 steps. If you were approved to move forward to the summit, you now know that.  We’ll wait for you at the top … will you join us? The view of Worcester from here is amazing!

James T. Richardson

Associate Director of Admissions