Posts Tagged ‘campus’

Tales from the Road: Kimball Renovation

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Greetings from sunny California!  My name is Sarah Gale, and I am a new Assistant Director of Admissions at the College of the Holy Cross.  Although I have only been working for the College since August, I already feel very much as though I am a part of the vibrant campus community.  In my experience, that is just the kind of place that Holy Cross is: welcoming, dynamic, and fun!

I am currently thousands of miles away from Worcester (or as I’ve been explaining it to West Coast students, “Wuh-sta”) on recruitment travel.  While visiting high schools and attending college fairs, I have been talking a lot about the College of the Holy Cross’ great campus.  I cover the academic experience, residential life, and opportunities for service, off-campus study, and research, but one aspect of campus that is especially important to students is the FOOD.  As much as I can talk about campus dining, who better to talk about the food than a current student?

Our very talented Natalie Correa put together a video about the updates to our Kimball Dining Hall, which I think really shows the great care that the College puts towards students’ overall well-being.  Plus, who doesn’t love a frozen yogurt station?  I hope you enjoy her video, and please do check out her other productions!

Why Holy Cross? The constant pursuit.

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Daniel-Weagle_postI love Holy Cross for the College’s approach to educating the entire person (known in the Jesuit world as Cura Personalis, or “care of the entire person”). As a student, I remember spending many a weekday night tucked away in my own cozy carrel in Dinand Library. After a long study session or writing rally, I would head back to my residence hall. I can still distinctly recall the smell and taste of the night air as I walked through the doors of Dinand and onto the moonlit common.

 

There was a contagious feeling in the atmosphere that was indescribable (but for the sake of this blog, let’s call it “neon-electric, caffeinated exuberance”).  Each student I passed had the same driven look in his eye and knowing smile across his face: a smile that revealed an inner, quiet confidence and personal pride in the pursuit of education. We were all proud to attend an elite academic institution where we were challenged each day to be the best we could be by the inspirational people around us; our nationally-recognized, nurturing faculty, our caring, supportive staff, and our creative, insightful peers pushed us to be better versions of ourselves.

 

At midnight, after hours of studying for exams, writing capstone papers, planning events for student clubs/organizations, it would be easy for a typical student to put his head down and trudge across campus to collapse into his bed.

But Holy Cross students are not typical students. Holy Cross students are more complete because they are never satisfied. What I mean by that is that our students are always seeking, always searching, always pushing themselves to be the best version of who they know they are (with the support and gentle guidance of the entire campus). Simply put, Holy Cross students find value in cura personalis and I loved (and still do love) being surrounded by such complete individuals.

Why Holy Cross? The smiles and thank you’s.

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

As many members of the admissions staff write their biggest answer to “Why Holy Cross,” it just so happened two Associate Directors of Admissions — Andrew Carter and Lynn Verrecchia — separately chose topics that blend quite well together: the general personality and affect of the student body.

 

6a00e54ed0db8e8833010536f8f30b970b-800wiRecently at a college fair, I was asked a most intriguing question by a current high school junior – “What’s your  favorite thing about Holy Cross students?”

This is a great question – a departure from the usual questions about average GPA’s, average class size and overall student enrollment.

After a brief moment of thought, my answer was simple – Holy Cross students say “thank you.”

And it’s not just that they say “thank you,” but that they have a reason to say “thank you.”

This is a campus that values door holding.  And not just door holding for the delivery man carrying a stack of boxes – but door holding for anyone, any time.

The Jesuit principle of “Cura Personalis” encourages all of us to consider and to care for the entire person and while that influences the way we teach and learn and think about our world, it also reminds us that we are not alone – we are not alone in this world, in this moment or in this doorway.

And that is what I’m reminded of every day when I walk around this campus – Holy Cross students know they are not alone and while there might now always be someone to hold the door for, they always pause and check.

And for that pause, that awareness, I say, “thank you.”

Andrew Carter

Associate Director of Admissions

 

 

LynnVerrecchia.BLOG2Why HC? For the smiles.

When I first visited Holy Cross as a prospective student, one thing stood out to me. Everyone was smiling–at one another, to themselves, and at me. I as looking for a sign that this was the right place for me. What I read in those smiles was that HC students like one another, are content with themselves, and are eager to welcome newcomers.

As a student, I certainly found myself smiling–and being smiled at–a lot. As an alumnus, I find myself grinning on the highway when in traffic behind a car sporting a Holy Cross sticker and in line at the grocery store behind someone wearing a Holy Cross sweatshirt. I’ve made fast friends with other parents simply because of a shared affinity for our alma mater. Nothing brings a smile to my face faster than hearing my 3-year-old carefully spell out H-O-L-Y-C-R-O-S-S!

Holy Cross–it can even make you smile in traffic. That’s why.

Lynn Verrecchia ’01

Associate Director of Admissions

The College Search: Facts, Figures, and Feelings

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Kate StewartThere’s an endless and oftentimes overwhelming supply of resources out there to help you through your college search. You could camp out in the College Guide aisle at Barnes and Noble for two years and never make it through half the books. You could pull all-nighters clicking through Naviance and scouring every ranking posted by US News & World Report and The Princeton Review until your eyes bug out of your head. You could spend so much time on each college’s website that you know exactly where to find obscure information like how many people the dining hall seats.

 

And don’t get me wrong, statistics are certainly important. You should figure out what the academic profile of an admitted student looks like in order to predict whether a college is in your “range.” You should calculate a college’s distance from your home and decide how far away you’d be okay moving. You should research the size of the student body and the average classroom size and figure out whether those numbers seem comfortable or intimidating to you.

 

But ultimately, your college choice is not formulaic. You can’t plug a set of numbers into a magical College Calculator and expect it to spit out your Perfect College. The facts and figures can provide you with a great starting point and help guide your search in the right direction, but they won’t be what convinces you that you can call a college “home” for the next four years of your life.

 

That’s where the intangibles come in. Nothing beats visiting a campus and getting a feel for it by exploring it and soaking it all in. I’m not saying that you need to get “that special feeling” that a college is “the one and only” for you as soon as you step foot onto the campus; this is not a fairy tale, after all, and you do need to keep some options open. But as a human being, you will naturally have reactions to being in a new environment, and you should pay attention to those. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else.

 

Go on guided campus tours and attend information sessions, but also find more informal ways to discover the energy, vibe, and identity of a school. Walk through a quad and sense whether students seem excited to go to class. Sit in the campus coffee shop and eavesdrop on students’ conversations with one another (without being too creepy, of course). Take a moment to peek at bulletin boards in the student center to investigate the weekly and weekend goings-on. Take some pictures of the campus to jog your memory later on and maybe even jot down some notes for yourself before all of your many campus visits start to blur together. Finally, consider sharing these thoughts and observations with friends and family who are supporting you through this process. Chances are they’ll be able to either see the sparkle in your eyes or read the lack of enthusiasm in your voice.

 

Kate Gimourginas

Assistant Director of Admissions

What’s Holy Cross REALLY Like?

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Zachary WielgusI wish I could tell you. Really, I do. As a member of the admissions staff, I view knowing as much as I can about this school as a point of pride; having to say “I don’t know” or “let me get back to you” is something I try to keep to a minimum.

The trouble is, no matter how much research I can do, no matter how long I work here, I will never be able to answer that question. I’m not a student. I don’t eat in the dining halls, sleep in the dorms, attend classes and lectures, cheer my lungs out at games, or form lifelong friendships on this campus.

Our students, however, do. And what’s even better is that there are seven current students doing a stellar job answering this question on social media. So you want to see what Holy Cross is really like? Start following Meaghan, Alli, Kerri, Natalie, Matt, Caroline, and Julia:

 

1) On Twitter (current students initial their posts and photos)

2) On Instagram: MeaghanB2017, AlliD2016, KerriF2016, NatalieC2017, MattB2016, CarolineL2016, and JuliaL2016

3) Their student profiles (coming soon!)
A quick peek at some recent contributions….

 

A stunning winter view (MB17)

A stunning winter view (MB17)

This is how Kerri Dinands (KF16)

This is how Kerri Dinands (KF16)

Natalie's room (NAC17)

Natalie’s room (NAC17)

A study break in Cool Beans 2 (JL16)

A study break in Cool Beans 2 (JL16)

What It’s Like to Be a Walk-On

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

NiWhalen_TNck Whalen, HC ’15, is a tour guide & a member of the Holy Cross men’s rowing team.

 

When I was in high school, I didn’t really think that I would be participating in varsity athletics at a collegiate level. I was a fairly good athlete, but there was hardly a queue of Division I head coaches scrambling to give me an athletic scholarship. In fact, precisely zero collegiate coaches expressed any interest in having me row for them. Despite that, I am about to enter my third spring racing season on the men’s varsity rowing team.

As a walk-on, I have no reason to be an athlete other than for my own enjoyment. However, being a student-athlete at Holy Cross is an experience that I’ve found to be immensely rewarding so far. Beyond the thrill of competition, participating in varsity sports has provided me with a great support network of friends and teammates, the impetus to wake up early and be productive, and not to mention an excellent physical fitness regiment! Of course, those benefits also apply to club and intramural sports as well (although, you’re slightly less likely to have a 6 a.m. weightlifting session for intramural wiffleball). Some club sports even have pre-season training trips!

One thing that I would emphasize about being a student-athlete at Holy Cross though is that the term “student-athlete” begins with “student.” Here, you really are a student first. We take great pride in the athletic achievements of our peers here on the hill, but the discipline needed to be a successful athlete at a Division I level is expected to be demonstrated the classroom, too. You won’t be on your own, though: Holy Cross offers a wide array of resources to help all students in their academic pursuits. Office hours with professors, major-specific peer-tutoring workshops with upperclassmen, or even just a study group with friends are examples of all the opportunities available to Holy Cross students as they strive to make the most of their classes.

While being a student-athlete is certainly a huge commitment in terms of both time and energy, it does not have to be at the expense of other activities or academic success. Who knows – in a few years, I might be reading about how led your team to the Patriot League title and also won a Fulbright the same semester!

A “Hill” of a Nice Campus

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

6a00e54ed0db8e8833010536f8f30b970b-800wiBut what about the hill?

I am asked this question all the time.  All.  The.  Time.

I meet students who have researched Holy Cross, love the academic offerings, admire the culture and tradition and can’t wait to be a part of student life . . . “but what about all those stairs?”

 

I’ve offered so many responses to this question over the years:

–          What stairs?

–          You know, you do get to go down them sometimes, too . . .

–          Oh, it’s not THAT bad.

–          Have you heard about all our elevators?

 

Recently, though, I’ve thought more and more about it.

We love our college – not in spite of the hill but, in part, because of our hill.  Anyone who has witnessed a fall sunset from the Hart Center on top of the hill would never complain about the view they get from this hill.  Anyone who has endured a muggy spring day in May would never complain about the cool, spring breeze afforded to us on this hill.  Anyone who has gone sledding and finished their run just steps away from the hot chocolate in Kimball Dining Hall would never complain about the hill.

So, in the future, when applicants ask me about the hill, I now know how I’ll respond.

“I know.  It’s pretty great, isn’t it?”

Fat Squirrels … and four other important tour tips

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

6a00e54ed0db8e8833010536f8f30b970b-800wi
The Top 5 Things to Look for on a Campus Tour:

1) Grass and flowers. 

Let’s face it – you’re not buying a skillet, you’re choosing a place to live for four years.  Don’t you want it to look nice?  No, it’s not the most important thing, but it is something.  And something counts.

2) College gear. 

Don’t worry about whether students are smiling or not (do you smile when walking to a calculus exam?), notice whether or not students are wearing clothing or gear with their school’s name on it.  No one flies the flag for a school they dislike.

3) People holding doors. 

When someone holds a door for you, it is a sign that they understand that they are not alone in this world – they realize you exist, they acknowledge it and they’re going to try and make your day just a tiny bit better.  That’s the kind of place you want to spend four years.  Now return the favor.

4) Fat squirrels.  

Want to ride the subway to class in college?  Great – ignore this step.  But if you have ever pictured yourself in college hanging out on a quad and walking to class across a grassy, green vista then you want to see squirrels on your tour.  If you see squirrels, then there trees and grass on that campus.  If they are fat, then there’s lots of trees.  And no coyotes.  And that’s something, too.  And something counts.

5) Stairs. 

Seriously, no one dreams of going to college and falling out of shape.  Going up and down stairs will keep you fit. And remember —  where there are stairs, at the top, there’s always a great view.  Stairs equals healthy, fit people enjoying gorgeous views.  Sounds like a great place to go to college.

Move-In Day: An incoming freshman’s perspective

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Robbie Carter, an incoming first-year student from Tampa, Fla., took some time to reflect on the craziness and community that is Holy Cross Move-In Day.


August 24 had finally arrived and only one single thought was continuously running through my head: Move-in Day at Holy Cross! Driving up Mount St. James for the first time as a student, I experienced a unique mixture of fear, excitement, nervousness, and joy as I approached Mulledy, my home for the next year.

The very second I pulled into the parking spot, however, all feelings of anxiety melted away as I was swarmed with a blur of blue “Holy Cross Move-In Day 2013” T-shirts and smiling faces, each one greeting me with a genuine (and loud) “WELCOME TO HOLY CROSS!”  The move-in crew instantly unloaded my car and brought my bags up to my room. They clearly knew the drill. My roommate followed shortly behind, and within a mere hour my room was all set up.

Having nothing else to do until the closing Mass of the Holy Spirit at 4 p.m., I decided to squeeze in a workout at the field house. There, I bumped into two of my future upperclassmen teammates on the rowing team who were in the middle of their workout. They instantly introduced themselves and seemed genuinely excited to have me on the team for the upcoming Fall and Spring season. Even more, they stuck around for an extra half hour to watch and cheer me on during my workout.

Those 30 minutes epitomized my Holy Cross move in experience: the instantaneous acceptance and genuine excitement displayed by all the students towards the incoming freshmen was simply incredible. There was no apparent hierarchy of class rank that distinguished the students from one another; it was simply one big happy family that was there to help support their newest siblings as they began their journey through Holy Cross.

After only a few hours on campus, I had knew I made the right choice on where I would build my home for the next four years of my life.

For the full Move-In Day experience (without actually doing it!), click here: Holy Cross Move-In Day

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