Archive for the ‘Ann McDermott’ Category

New Design, Materials Help Us Better Tell Our Story

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

AnnMcDermott.BLOG2If you are reading this blog, you have likely noticed that the main pages of the Holy Cross web site have an exciting new look and feel. This is the first phase of a two part redesign. Look for the second and final phase in spring of 2015.

But that is not all that is new! On August 18, the College will launch a brand new logo and visual identity that will be used campuswide. Working collaboratively, offices across the College joined together to develop a new graphic identity that is both recognizable and distinctive. From banners to business cards to publications and PowerPoint presentations, the new Holy Cross look will be both clear and consistent, and will help to better uniquely convey our story.

But I have to admit that what I am most excited about is our new suite of Admissions publications! They are in the process of being printed but should be available shortly. I hope you agree that they are worth the wait.

Ann McDermott ’79

Director of Admissions

Decision Day

Friday, March 21st, 2014

AnnMcDermott.BLOG2This has been a groundbreaking year. Students, guidance counselors, and college admissions alike dealt with changes to applications during the fall. In an effort to keep more clarity in our applications, we added a writing supplement. And, also for the first time, we released all of our admissions decisions online. With an exciting push of a button today, we witnessed over 2,000 students view their decisions within 90 minutes — and many more as the evening wore on.

This year’s applicant pool was once again very strong, so the competition for gaining admission was particularly intense. We are excited to welcome our chosen Class of 2018, a truly special achievement, though it was not a quick nor easy decision-making process. As always, we spent over five weeks in full-day Committee, opening every application in front of our admissions staff of 13, and often opening essays, transcripts, and recommendations multiple times for the most complete evaluation possible.

We were struck by poignant responses to our additional writing sample, asking what was the best advice you ever received. We were impressed by what your guidance counselor and teachers had to say about you. We were dazzled by your leadership and floored by what we heard from you in interviews. We were challenged to pick from among 5,300 talented students, yet we remain proud of the ones we have chosen.

The next five weeks will be very busy and very exciting for those admitted applicants — now official members of the Holy Cross community, if you will have us. As you consider your choices, we hope you will join us on campus so we can help you celebrate your impressive achievements. From a variety of visiting options to our Accepted Student Open House to our virtual representation on social media, there are a number of ways to engage with the College.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us (800-442-2421) with any questions or concerns. We are excited to welcome you to the Holy Cross community!

Ann McDermott, ’79

Director of Admissions

Application Deadline Extended

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

AnnMcDermott.BLOG2This year, we asked our applicants to respond to the question, “What is the best advice you’ve ever received?”

Many students have chosen to reflect on the importance of compassion and kindness. Others have sung the praises of hard work and determination. We have been inspired by the advice that has been relayed to us, and would like to put it to good use.

Given the unusual circumstances and challenges many of our prospective students have faced with the Common Application this year, we are extending our application deadline to January 26th.


We hope that you will appreciate this kindness, and complete your application with determination. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Ann McDermott

Director of Admissions

Notes From Committee

Monday, March 7th, 2011

We’re in committee.  For three more weeks, the twelve members of the Admissions committee will meet in an impossibly small conference room (pictured below) to discuss and debate the 7,350 applicants for the Class of 2015.  Despite its small size, our “home” for the next several weeks is well equipped with all the things we need to do our work. Lap tops, projectors, and a document imaging camera are essential to our process, and the way in which we do our work.  But the two most critical items without which committee members could not function:  coffee and snacks.   Experience has shown that a fully caffeinated, well fed committee is a productive committee.  So far, we’re doing well.  We’re actually running a little ahead of schedule. Maybe it’s the coffee.

Ann McDermott
Director of Admissions

Happy Thanksgiving from Admissions!

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

On behalf of the entire Admissions staff,  I would like to extend to you and your family our very best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving. We hope you have a wonderful holiday surrounded by family, friends, and of course, good food.

Best wishes,

Ann McDermott

Director of Admissions

Travel Season

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

To those of us that work in admissions, the time of year commonly referred to as “autumn,” means one thing alone: travel season.   At this time of year, my staff and I are dispersed across the country (and abroad!) visiting high schools, attending college fairs, interviewing prospective students,  and hosting receptions and information sessions. The activities and events vary depending on what part of the country we are visiting, but the goal is fundamentally the same: to help students, counselors and parents understand the unique educational experience available at Holy Cross.

To many,  the idea of travel sounds…well…sort of glamorous.  We fly around the country, stay in nice hotels and eat out…a lot.   And when people hear the places I visit (Florida and Puerto Rico),  they have a hard time believing that this is really work.   I can just imagine the visuals the more skeptical person might conjure up: lounge chair by the pool with a cool drink garnished with a colorful paper umbrella in hand.  Well, I am here to report that no matter how exotic the territory may sound, the travel experience differs little from the more local (some might say mundane) areas. We meet some great students, exchange information with guidance counselors, and spend a lot of time in the car. Granted, my territories are warmer, so while I don’t worry about snow storms, I do have the occasional hurricane warning with which to contend. In the end, it is all about spreading the word about Holy Cross, no matter the location.

And I do love spreading the word.

Ann McDermott

Director of Admissions

New Admissions Publications

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Since you are reading this, you have undoubtedly seen the changes to the Admissions website.  The addition of video and audio slide shows really adds a lot to the on-line experience.  I hope you like these new features!

While we were working on the upgrade to the Admissions website, we were also tackling a redesign of all our print material. It was an enormous undertaking. But now that it is done, I can honestly say that it was well worth the effort.  The new viewbook, the first piece to go out, hit the mail last week.  So far, reaction from students and parents has been tremendous.  Be sure that you are on our mailing list so you don’t miss out…

So what do I like best about the new web and print pieces?  Well, the photography is gorgeous and you really get a feel for the campus. But what I really love is hearing and reading about the Holy Cross experience directly from our students.  Who better to describe the amazing opportunities available here?

Ann McDermott

Director of Admissions

Open House Reflections

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

AnnMcDermott.BLOG2Open House for admitted students may just be my favorite day of the year.  Why?  The excitement, energy and enthusiasm of all who participate create an atmosphere that is well, electric.  On Sunday, April 18th, 550 students arrived on our campus, along with parents and assorted other family members.  They were greeted by an army of Holy Cross student volunteers.  The Crusader (our mascot) also greeted our guests, offering souvenir photo ops. Faculty and staff were on hand to describe programs and answer questions about what makes the Holy Cross experience unique. But for a passing downpour, it was by all accounts, a great day.  To those of you who attended Open House, thanks for coming!  We hope you enjoyed your time on campus. 

If you were unable to attend the program on Sunday, there are still visit opportunities available to help you get a better sense of what Holy Cross is all about. Tours are offered Monday –Friday at 10, 12, 2 and 3.  Information sessions are also offered in April at 11:15 and 1:15.  We encourage you to take advantage of a visit to campus as you weigh your college options. 

Hope to see you soon!


Ann McDermott
Director of Admissions

From Inside the Committee Room

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

AnnMcDermott.BLOG2We’ve just completed the third week of committee. 4,424 decisions made, 2500 left to go.   And yes, all 6900+ applications will be seen by the twelve members of the Holy Cross admissions committee. The discussions so far have been very good. We don’t always agree, and very often we will dig deeper into the file, going beyond the reading sheet for greater clarity.

One of the most common requests this week has been: “Can we please see the essay?” And often, after reading the essay, the decision becomes clear. So while you wait to hear your decision (We expect to mail the decision letters on March 26th), please know that you do have a voice in this process. Your essay allows us to hear directly from you, and what you have chosen to share can be enormously helpful to our discussions. Thank you for sharing your stories with us, and making our job just a little bit easier.

Ann McDermott
Director of Admissions

An Unexpected Gift

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

AnnMcDermott.BLOG2I had a million things to do this weekend. But like most of you living in the Northeast, I woke up to a winter wonderland. Snow was falling, the wind was blowing, and roads had yet to be treated. So the “to do” list was put on hold. Instead, I played. As a family we finished decorating the Christmas tree, giggling at homemade ornaments from pre-school days. My dog and I made snow angels and wrestled in the snow. I happily prepared a very complicated family favorite for dinner without the slightest concern for the time. I could not have asked for a better day.

The list of things to be done remains, but this break in the frenzy of holiday preparations was an important reminder to relax, slow down, and just enjoy the moment.

Wishing you the peace and joy of this holiday season!


Ann McDermott
Director of Admissions