Why Holy Cross? The constant pursuit.

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.

Parent Recommendations: My Love of These Ooey, Gooey, Mushy Messages

I really like that our office invites the parents of applicants to join in the application process and to start a dialogue with HC Admissions about their son/daughter.

(To any of you parents reading this right now: No, you/your son/your daughter do not get “extra points” for this exercise and you don’t “lose points” either.  You simply take away some piece of mind—at least you should.)

In some of these letters that we receive, I can literally see the parents appreciating their son/daughter more and more as the letter unfolds. 

These parent letters make me think: It is not often in life that we are asked to put life on hold, reflect for a moment, and form into words all of the specific things that make a special someone in our lives so special.  The exercise allows you to rediscover all of those hidden gems about that person who has been living under your roof for the past 17 years.   

Parents, it may be too late to submit a letter of recommendation on behalf of your child, but it is never too late to take a moment to tell them how proud you are of the person they have become.

Dan Weagle ‘08
Admissions  Counselor

College Essay Tips

As you are putting the finishing touches on your college essay, let me give you some tips to proofread by:

  1. Don’t make the mistake of taking a backseat in your own essay. Your transcript is about you, your recommendations are about you, your interview is about you, and, thus, your College Essay should be about you. If you want to write about someone important who was a positive influence in your life, you should let your reader know how you were influenced – how your life changed.  The focus of your essay should NOT be about all the great things your Grammy did and how you hope to be like her some day.  Too much focus on Grammy will make us Admissions Counselors want to admit your Grammy and we will completely forget about you!
  2. Proofread, proofread, profreed (whoops, *proofread* – see it’s important). Proofread is not the same as Spellcheck.  Ask solid writers who are familiar with your voice and your style to read your essay in order to correct grammatical errors, offer advice, and make suggestions.  These proofreaders should be mom, dad, a mentor, that great English teacher you had last year, your best friend, etc.  All of these people know you. They know your style, your voice, your humor.  They know what you are trying to say and they want to help you say it in a concise and efficient manner.
  3. Punctuation goes INSIDE of quotations. “Don’t put punctuation outside of quotations,” cried the pained Admissions Counselor, “because I don’t enjoy reading it.”  Follow that example and you’ll be golden in most American English scenarios (if you speak/write British English, then disregard, good neighbour).

This is not a complete list of tips.  See your local MLA manual, English teacher, and Guidance Counselor for a full list of do’s and do-not’s for the college essay.


Dan Weagle ‘08

Admissions Counselor

Contagious Symptoms!

Before you run for the hills or close out of this web browser, I should let you know that what I’ve got, you want.  I have a bad case of the College Interview Bug (or CIB for short).  Symptoms of CIB include:

1.        An irresistible urge to discover any or all colleges/universities in which you are interested which offer an Admissions Interview. You will stay up late at night to search these colleges’ websites.  You will call up Admissions Offices during your lunch break at your summer job to inquire about the details of the interview.  You won’t be able to help yourself until you have nailed down each college and university; it will just feel right.  CIB will take control of your motor functions and bring you on tours, plop you down in information sessions, and brag about your accomplishments during interviews.  It will have your body running on auto-pilot.

2.       An insatiable desire to speak with Admissions representatives like myself. You will sign up for those interview slots and count the seconds until you are able to present yourself in all your glory to the Admissions office at X University and/or Y College.  You cannot fathom waiting any longer to converse with these representatives because you need to tell them how your summer is going and how excited you are for a busy Senior year.

3.       A lingering thirst for continued interaction with representatives even after the interview. You will insist on keeping those representatives at your top college/university choices informed on your activities throughout Senior year.  Yes, Senior year will be busy, but you will toss and turn in bed at night until you shoot off a quick email once every month to touch base with those Admissions representatives.

The thought of catching CIB might sound unappealing upon reading this blog, but CIB is a pandemic.  It seems that current Juniors (soon to be Seniors) are most susceptible to CIB.   Like Hay-Fever, CIB appears mostly in the summer and it is communicable by word of mouth.  Don’t be afraid to pass it on to others as CIB forms a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with each host.  Like I said from the get-go, you want what I’ve got.

Dan Weagle ’08
Admissions  Counselor

My High School is Holding a College Fair!

Great! Here are a few tips that will enhance your college fair experience:

Do Some Research Before the Fair: Find out what colleges/universities will be attending your fair. Poke around on the websites of schools  in which you are interested. This exercise is bound to crank your brain gears and produce some questions for the college representatives.

Represent Yourself and Your School Well: Many of the college representatives have come a long way and look forward to meeting bright, eager students. So take the time to shake the representative’s hand, look him/her in the eye, introduce yourself, and ask those brilliant questions that you recently thought up. Remember – there is no such thing as a bad question. You will spend the next four years of your life at this school; you should make the effort to know as much as you can about it.

Make the Experience Count: You put in the time researching and visiting the collegerepresentative, now make sure you get credit for it.   Fill out any forms or cards the representative might have on his/her table. Often, these forms/cards will be placed in your admissions file and will be reviewed during the admissions process. Do not miss out on this opportunity to demonstrate interest in each and every school you might be attending in the not-so-distant future.

Dan Weagle ‘08

Admissions Counselor

Meet New Admissions Counselor Dan Weagle

My name is Dan Weagle and I am a brand new, fresh out of the packaging, mint condition Admissions Counselor here at the College of the Holy Cross. I graduated from Holy Cross in 2008 with my Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Classics. Upon graduating, I worked as a paralegal at a Worcester law firm for almost two years.

I would describe myself as a history buff. When I am not reading up on my favorite subjects (Early American History and U.S. involvement in WWI & WWII), I can be found among the suits of armor at Higgins Armory, performing research at the Yankee Division Museum, or simply watching the History Channel.

History is somewhat of a full time hobby for me, but I do get out and enjoy Mother Nature on the weekends when I play a round of disc golf with friends at one of the many disc golf courses in and around Worcester. “What is disc golf?” you might ask. Simply put, it is golf with a disc (Frisbee). If you have any more questions or you are at all intrigued by the thought of this game, you should “Google” the nearest disc golf course and head there immediately. You will not be disappointed. If you are disappointed, you must have “Googled” incorrectly. You should really be more careful next time you “Google.”

I am thrilled to be back here at Holy Cross helping to assemble a diverse community of eager, intelligent, autonomous students. However, I won’t be on Mount Saint James for long. In fact, as we speak I am most likely in the Missouri or DC area visiting high schools, representing Holy Cross at a college fair, or hosting an interview night. Check out our fall travel schedule to see if I will be at your high school and, if it strikes your fancy, stop by and see me. Seriously, stop by and chat me up – otherwise, who will prevent me from going to that restaurant down the road from your school that plays horrible music? Yeah, you know the one – the one where the French fries are soggy and everything tastes like Styrofoam. I don’t want to eat there. Please do a service to the new guy and point him in the opposite direction of that place.

I look forward to meeting you!

Dan Weagle ‘08

Admissions Counselor