Why I Chose Holy Cross (Part 4)

This is the last part of our “Why I Chose Holy Cross” series! Thank you to all who participated, and I hope you have a lovely weekend! We wish our admitted students all the best as they make their decisions!

Lynn Verrecchia: To start, it made sense on paper. The size, location, distance from home, academic programs, and study abroad opportunities made it a “match.” So, Holy Cross made it onto my “to visit” list. I can’t say I enjoyed visiting colleges. While I was excited by the new opportunities college life represented, I was nervous to leave my “small pond” and really struggled with the notion of leaving my family and friends behind. I toured a variety of schools and spent most of those visits too distracted and anxious to take in much valuable information. My excitement to panic ratio solidly registered at 10:90. The minute I set foot on the Holy Cross campus, that all changed. 10:90 flip flopped to 90:10, with excitement trumping panic in an instant. Something just clicked. It’s not that it felt safe or reminded me of my high school–it didn’t. But even on that first visit, I just knew it was a place that could, and would, feel like home. Many of the students I interview describe a similar feeling of “just knowing” when they drive up Linden Lane for the first time. They’ll often start their statement with, “this might sound silly, but…” And I smile, nod, and implore them to continue with this familiar tale. After graduating from the College, I had about 2 1/2 years of admission experience when I learned of an opportunity to work in Admissions at Holy Cross. The chance to do something I loved professionally at a place that meant so much to me personally, was more than I had ever hoped for.


IMG_6412Kirsten-Gail Vanhorne: Why did I choose Holy Cross nearly five years ago? Definitely for similar reasons to that of current students and alumni: tight-knit community, challenging academics, great professors, beautiful campus, “the feeling,” and that personalized experience. The decision to attend Holy Cross, as important a decision as it was, seemed rather simple. I believe that once you know, you know….and I knew. At that point, the campus had already begun to feel like home, and I was already envisioning myself as a student. I imagined learning from great intellectual minds, serving as a leader on campus, and taking part in many different social activities. Throughout my college search, I knew I wanted to be challenged academically, but I also knew that I wanted an environment where I could grow, learn, and be involved in service. In my mind, Holy Cross stood out as a place where the education gained and the opportunities available couldn’t compare to anywhere else.

Four years went by faster than I anticipated, and I did my best to get everything I could out of them. I joined clubs with which I was unfamiliar; I studied abroad in the culturally rich country of Peru; I took classes that I had never heard of; I spent five days in silence reflecting on my faith and God’s love; I got out of my comfort zone. When you think about it, that’s what college is supposed to be: challenging yourself, gaining independence, trying new things, and exploring the world around you.
I chose Holy Cross because I wanted to take advantage of the opportunities offered both inside and outside of the gates. I knew I was making the right decision five years ago and if I could, I would make it again.


P.S. Kirsten’s sign reads: I chose Holy Cross for the many opportunities offered both inside and outside of the gates!


Why I Chose Holy Cross (Part 3)

With a little more than a week until the National Enrollment Deadline, I wanted to share more of my colleagues’ stories on how they decided to attend the College of the Holy Cross. Here is what Tom had to say:

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I was looking at Catholic schools, and I knew I wanted a small liberal arts college, but I was also drawn in by the big Division-1 sports program. I had been familiar with Holy Cross’s academic reputation and had seen the campus at various soccer and basketball clinics I attended throughout my youth. The more I visited and got to know the culture, and feel the deep care and concern that everyone expresses for one another, the more I became convinced that Holy Cross was the school for me. I had a great experience in my undergrad years. I have many fond memories on the Hill, and seeing the familiar sights of campus always puts me in a good mood. I knew it would be a welcoming and accepting environment, and I thought it would give me the opportunity to give back to an institution that has given me so much. (Also, I dig that we can use the gym on our lunch break.)


Why I Chose Holy Cross (Part 2)


Happy Friday! The sun is shining, the campus is abuzz with activities for Purple Pride day (please go here for a video from last year), and we are gearing up for Open House this Sunday! I asked Thomas Campbell, Class of 2014, how he decided to attend Holy Cross, and here is what he wrote:

I’m not going to lie, the delicious pumpkin bread served at the Class of 2014 Accepted Students’ Open House sealed the deal for me. I admired Holy Cross’ bold defiance of seasonal norms by serving a traditional autumn staple at a spring event.

In all seriousness, that attitude of pushing boundaries and defying norms is something that immediately captivated me about Holy Cross – one that transcends much more than delicious baked goods. As a prospective student, I found the admissions process so personal and unique, and the values of Holy Cross completely aligned with my own. And all across the board, Holy Cross is constantly taking up new initiatives to remedy injustice and address the inequalities present in our modern society, and in my opinion, that is what makes Jesuit education so great. I was honored to be accepted into a community that cares about the world at large so deeply.



Holy Cross’ appreciation for the individual and respect for differences were a large part of why I applied to work for Admissions after my service year with JVC Northwest. From our new scholarship program for undocumented students to the new policy work around gender-inclusive housing on campus, I am proud to represent a college that brings these justice issues to light, all for the sake of what is genuinely right.

Why I Chose Holy Cross (Part 1)


Happy Friday, everyone! In Admissions, we are fortunate to have great volunteers who help us in all kinds of ways: they greet campus visitors  and take them around on tours, participate in online chats with Holy Cross hopefuls, and even interview applicants! I greatly appreciate how willing current students are to get involved with our office–in my mind, it is just another example of how Holy Cross students seek to be men and women for others!

To offer some perspective on why students decide to attend Holy Cross, I asked our social media interns to explain how they got here. Their responses, in my opinion, warranted their own posts on the blog. Here is what Mackenzie to say:

Holy Cross has always been a familiar place to me. Both my father and older sister came to Holy Cross, so I was a frequent visitor to Mount Saint James as a child. I was hesitant to tour the college and seriously consider it as a potential school for me, because I feared that attending Holy Cross would make me a mere shadow of my older sister. However, the opportunity to receive a liberal arts education, the friendliness of the students and the endless opportunities to live and learn among men and women who aspire to move mountains sealed the deal for me. My initial fear of living in my sister’s shadow never amounted to much. At Holy Cross, the opportunities are endless, whether it is volunteering in the Worcester community, being a member of the Student Government Association, or working as an editor on the school newspaper…I have found my niche in the SPUD volunteer program and [work to] promote social justice and live in solidarity with others…The friendships I have fostered among my peers and the relationships I have with my professors are to be afforded to the college’s intimate atmosphere and small size.  It is these relationships and conversations that have enabled me to become a more well-rounded and articulate person…Holy Cross has taught me how to be an independent woman, yet also a woman for others. Holy Cross is not just an institution of learning, rather it is a place where words become actions, and even one person can make a difference.


Please stay tuned for more responses over the coming weeks!

April Showers (of Sader Selfies)…



…bring May Flowers (AKA the Class of 2020!).

I am so excited for the month of April!  Campus feels bustling, as admitted students have been visiting campus, calling the office, and writing on Facebook!  Now that admission decisions have been made available online and mailed to students’ homes, seniors are working to figure out where they will spend the next four years.  To help them make that choice, we in the Admissions Office will be tweeting fun facts and interesting information about the College throughout the month.  We also encourage students (both admitted and current) to tweet us a picture of themselves wearing Holy Cross gear or holding up their acceptance letter/”I’m In!” card with the hashtag #HolyCross2020.

For students who want to get more involved in other events this month, here are some handy dates to know:

Wednesday, April 6: Online Chat from 7 to 10 p.m. ET — This event is a great way for accepted students to talk to one another, as well as chat with admission counselors and current students!

Sunday, April 17: Open House from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET — Please come to the Hill to get a glimpse of the academic and social life at Holy Cross!  Activities will include a student life fair with representatives from clubs and sports teams; information sessions on topics such as career planning, our pre-health program, and internships; and current student panels for admitted students and families.

Sunday, April 17 to Monday, April 18: Overnight Program — After the Open House, accepted students are invited to stay on campus for the night and then attend morning classes the following day.

Friday, May 1: the national enrollment deadline — The day when seniors need to send in their deposits!

For students who want even more, we have a beautiful virtual tour, as well as a number of other great videos on our YouTube page.  And please, feel free to reach out to us on Facebook, where you will also find our Admitted Students group!

Cheers to spring!


(photos by Thomas Rettig)