Invasion of the Guest Speakers

Hand in hand with the arrival of second semester on campus comes the arrival of guest speakers sponsored by the McFarland Center. Every couple of weeks the McFarland Center allows students the opportunity to interact with individuals who have shaped the society we live in. Events usually include a 45-minute lecture by the guest speaker followed with time for questions and interacting with the guest. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you may even be chosen to attend a dinner with faculty, staff, and the very lecturer themselves! Have you ever wanted to meet an award-winning author? A distinguished researcher? A famous politician or social activist? The McFarland center brings these very people onto campus in order to give students the opportunity to learn from these individuals in real time, not just through the articles written about them!

The McFarland Center started the semester off with a bang by bringing famed historian Jill Lepore to campus for a talk about “The Rise and Fall of Fact.” Jill Lepore attracted such a crowd that students had to lean against the wall to hear here lecture after all available seats were taken up! Lepore presented on the history of the fact, educating the entire audience on when, why, and how journalism evolved throughout history. After her lecture, Lepore spent a generous amount of time masterfully answering the audience’s questions and doing book signings before heading off to dinner, which I graciously had the opportunity to attend. Getting to eat and talk with the famed historian was a once in a lifetime opportunity that any Holy Cross student would have jumped at the opportunity to have. Talking with Lepore about her time growing up in West Boylston and critical topics such as the state of journalism was an amazing experience.

The McFarland Center also brought former Obama Chief of Staff Denis McDonough to campus where he spoke about the moral and ethical dilemmas associated with the refugee crisis that the world is experiencing. There was outstanding attendance as the Rehm Library was quickly filled up with students to the point where students were sitting on the floor to just hear from the former Chief of Staff. McDonough lectured about how the refugee system operates while including personal stories that highlight just how important refugees are to the country. McDonough appeared to be one of the more lax speakers, effortlessly tossing out jokes that never failed to get the student body to chuckle.

With more guest speakers scheduled the McFarland Center is sure to continue providing these amazing opportunities to students for the rest of the school year!

Jill Lepore lectures students about the “Rise and Fall of the Fact”
Former Obama Chief of Staff Denis McDonough lectures students about the refugee crisis.

Nonprofit Conference 2019

The Annual Holy Cross NPCC 

One of the amazing things about going to Holy Cross is the limitless opportunities to expose yourself to different things to continue your education! Back in November, all students received an email about applying to the annual Nonprofit Conference that would be held on campus during the last week of winter break. Being interested in the nonprofit sector myself, I decided to jump at the opportunity to attend the conference. After going over my application which included three essays and securing references from my various professor I submitted my application and eagerly waited to see if I was accepted to the conference.

At the end of November, I received a notification on my phone about the status of my application. While being anxious and excited at the same time, I quickly opened the email to see an acceptance letter to the conference!

As Winter break was coming to a close I arrived on campus a week early to participate in the conference. On the first day, I was able to meet a wide variety of Holy Cross students from all class years, which was honestly one of the best things about the conference. The conference offered the opportunity to make friends among all class years, creating a real sense of community on campus.

The conference provided an abundance of opportunities for students who are considering pursuing a career in the nonprofit sector. From presentations and workshops brought by alumni and professors to alumni dinners and case study sites that we traveled to there was a  never a dull moment.

Case studies provided students with real-life problems facing actual Worcester nonprofits that the students had to solve. The conference provided students with the opportunity to learn and provide for the surrounding Worcester community, truly upholding Holy Cross’ mission of “men and women for others.”

It’s Christmastime on Campus!

It’s that time of year, Christmastime! Seemingly everyone, whether or not you are religious, has a soft spot in their heart for Christmas. Christmas brings with it activities that provide us with boundless limits of joy, and Christmas on campus is no different! While students themselves may kick off the Christmas spirit by decorating their doors and rooms in the residence halls, the Purple Key Society on campus sets the mood with their annual Christmas tree lighting outside of O’Kane Hall.

Being in attendance at the Christmas tree lighting myself, I can testify that it was truly something magical. Making the walk with a group of friends from Hanselman Hall to O’Kane in the brisk winter air set the mood for a fun-filled and festive night ahead. When we arrived at the celebration we were greeted with cookies and hot chocolate along with a very enthusiastic Santa that was trying to convince everyone to take pictures after the tree lighting. The event began with a multitude of performances from campus bands and singing groups that got everyone into the Christmas spirit with hits such as “Jingle Bell Rock” and Mariah Carey’s famous “All I want for Christmas” and culminated with the blessing and lighting of the campus Christmas tree!

 

Students gather for Christmas tree lighting.
Christmas tree lighting occurs at the end of the event.

The Food of Worcester

The Food of Worcester

One of the best things about living on a college campus that is right next to a city such as Worcester is the endless food opportunities! The City of Worcester offers opportunities for students to explore a variety of food genres. One can explore various Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Mexican, Italian, or American food restaurants in Worcester!

Go on down to Coney Island on Southbridge Street to grab yourself one of their world famous hot dogs (their chilidogs are my favorite), or make your way to Shrewsbury Street to grab some pizza from the amazing Wonderbar establishment.

Shrewsbury Street offers some of the greatest opportunities for fine dining.  If you’re in the mood for Italian stop by Nuovo, Volturno’s, Piccolo’s, or the statewide famous Via.  If you’re craving steak One-Eleven Chop House has you covered!

If you’re in need of some breakfast food Worcester provides plenty of opportunities. Stop by the Phantom Gourmet famous Miss Worcester Diner to enjoy some of the most amazing French toast and pancakes you’ll ever taste! Starving at 2 AM in the morning? Head on over to Boulevard for a late night breakfast meal! In the mood for some homefries and an omelet? Broadway Restaurant on the corner of Water Street will not disappoint!

Off to Coast Guard!

Opportunities at Holy Cross 

One of the best things about being a student at Holy Cross it that you are handed a nearly unlimited amount of opportunities to travel somewhere, whether it be for an immersion trip or a sports game you are bound to leave campus for an interesting place!

In my case, my very first HC sponsored trip came with the annual mock trial trip to the Coast Guard Academy for a regional invitational tournament. Everyone on Friday night gathered in Hogan 3 and packed themselves into the school vans for the hour and a half journey to New London, Connecticut.

The Trip

On the way, my teammates and I sang along to 2000 throwback playlists and talked about how the first half of the semester has gone for us all so far.  Once we arrived at the hotel we excitedly grabbed our bags from the vans and ran to our hotel rooms where we unpacked. Shortly afterward it looked as though the hotel lobby had been turned into a classroom, the mock trial team had completely taken over it with casebooks, exhibits, and other various materials taking up the space on the lobby tables as we all practiced our examinations.

First Day of Competition

The morning quickly came, eventually leading to us arriving at the Coast Guard Academy and signing in for our first competition against Fordham. While we didn’t win our first couple of trials, the learning experiencing was amazing for everyone on my team as no one on the team had any previous collegiate mock trial experience before, we were all rookies!

As the day began to settle we explored the wonderful Coast Guard Academy campus (only second to the beautiful campus we have right here at Holy Cross).  Once we drove back to the hotel we had about five minutes to change before we were treated out to a night at a wonderful restaurant that had some of the most delicious pizza and cake that I have ever tasted.  At the dinner table, all of the players and coaches conversed about the activities of the day and quickly moved on to talking about other various things such as career advice and general funny stories.

Second Day of Competition

On the second day of the competition, the entire team walked into the halls of the competition with a new found confidence as we saw that even us as rookies could put up a good fight against teams that were full of veterans who had been doing collegiate mock trial for three years.

On the second day of competition, we actually ended up winning a couple of trials and generally overachieving for a whole group of rookies at a competition with well-seasoned talent!

The Tournament in Review

Looking back at the tournament, while it was stressful at certain points due to the high stakes manner of the tournament, I ended up having so much fun with all of the people across the mock trial team. I encourage anyone reading this to check out mock trial if you get the chance as you’ll make friends for life and learn lots of helpful skills along the way!

Off into an Entire New World

What does one feel as they go off into a whole new world at Holy Cross as an incoming freshmen? 

 

As my mother’s minivan drives up Mount Saint James a rush of emotions goes through this new member of the Crusader family. Anxiety, excitement, and curiosity are all swirling around inside of me. The line of first year student’s cars finally begins to move and before I know it I’m greeted by Holy Cross students who politely tell me where to actually find my dorm building, something that I was actually quite nervous about. Continuing the journey up the hill the line of first year cars are surrounded by members of the Holy Cross student body holding and twirling welcome signs, cheering all of us on in our adventure toward college life. A few minutes pass and my mother pulls up in front of my new home for the 2018-2019 year, Hanselman.

I nervously open the passenger side door, and am greeted by some of the friendliest  people I have ever met in my life. I tell them my name and they hand me a folder while walking me through everything I need to know for moving in. Now, many of you who are still in high school may picture the hectic move-in day rush of several trips back and forth from the car to your room. Not at Holy Cross though! I was immediately assisted by an army of Holy Cross students singing and jamming out to a Bluetooth speaker as they bring all of my belongings to my room.

 

Meeting the Roommates

As I unpack all my clothes and belongings, both of my roommates enter and introduce themselves. They’ve already been on campus for a few weeks as they are both on sports teams, so after assisting me with putting everything away they give me the lay of the land, showing me the best study spots, informing of me which coffee shops have the best coffee, and helping me find where all my classes will be held. These two strangers who I had only known for a mere hour soon became some of my best friends on campus to this day. Something that the incoming college freshmen fails to realize until it hits them in the face is that social life at college is quite different from high school. No one knows what they are doing, and barely anyone knows each other. Due to this everyone seemingly comes together to help and support everyone through any difficulties that may arise as we are all just trying to survive in this new world that is so unknown to us.