About Holy Cross
One of the best liberal arts colleges in the United States, Holy Cross is highly respected for its superior undergraduate academic programs, accomplished faculty, and the intelligence, imagination, and achievements of its students. It is also renowned for its enthusiastic and well supported commitment to the principle of educating men and women for others, in a community that generates a strong feeling of belonging and a vital sense of loyalty.
As a Jesuit college, Holy Cross takes its place in a long tradition of Catholic education that has distinguished itself for intellectual rigor, high academic standards, and religious and moral sensitivity. Academic life at Holy Cross is serious and challenging; it is also exciting. This excitement is one of discovery: students discovering new things in literature, science, the arts, mathematics, and religion; professors discovering new things through their research, in their laboratories, and in the libraries. Student-professor exchanges in the classroom, as well as in countless informal settings, are at the center of academic life at Holy Cross. Because the student body is 100 percent undergraduate and relatively small, the opportunity for individual attention is readily available. Students know their professors. Professors know and take a genuine interest in their students.
The College recognizes that its professional and talented faculty members constitute the particular ingredient that ultimately shapes the educational experience. They are widely respected in their academic specialties. Many have national reputations for their research and publications, creative performances, recordings, and exhibitions. Almost all of the 328 full- and part-time faculty members hold doctoral degrees from some of the finest universities here and abroad. They conduct research supported by grants from foundations, government agencies, and private sources.
Holy Cross faculty members also are dedicated to excellence in teaching and to service. They strike an appropriate balance between the transmission of knowledge and the investigation of new ideas. This ensures that the classroom is vital and that scholarly research is meaningful. It is the faculty that leavens the whole and is largely responsible for the reputation of Holy Cross as an excellent liberal arts college.
Holy Cross is a place to learn how to learn. The fundamental purpose of the College is not to train students for specific occupations, but to inform the mind and to foster clear thought and expression through the balanced study of the arts and the sciences.
A distinguishing and all-important characteristic of education at Holy Cross is the emphasis placed upon the service of faith and the promotion of justice. As a Jesuit college, the cultivation of intellectual, social, religious, and ethical refinement is not an end in itself. Rather, this means educating young people to be truly concerned about human welfare, about making our economies more just, and about placing men and women in public office who are honest and honorable. It has as its purpose the education of men and women who in their family life will be examples of Catholic ideals and practice and who will be leaders in their parishes and in their communities.
The oldest Catholic college in New England, Holy Cross was founded in 1843 by the second bishop of Boston, Benedict Joseph Fenwick, S.J., who gave it the name of his cathedral, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, along with the seal and motto of the Diocese of Boston.
From the start, the Bishop entrusted the direction of the College to the Fathers of the Society of Jesus. The beginnings were very modest: one wooden building, a half-finished brick structure, and 52 acres of land.
Today the College is a large educational complex, complete with chapel, libraries, a modern science center, classrooms, residence halls, football stadium, baseball stadium, soccer stadium, lacrosse stadium, hockey rink, and campus activity center, spread over 174 sloping acres. It is a community of 2,900 students, roughly half of them men and half women. Few classes have more than 40 students in them, and most average 18–20. The atmosphere this community of scholars creates is frequently described as welcoming and friendly, where students receive encouragement and support from classmates and professors.
Coeducational since 1972, Holy Cross enrolls a student body of young men and women of proven accomplishment. Almost all of them have been graduated in the top 20 percent of their high school classes. Most live in 11 residence halls on campus. These are run by the Dean of Students office with the help of students who organize the many activities through their House Councils. Students, elected by their peers, represent their classmates at faculty meetings, on major College committees, and in a consultative capacity on the appointment and promotion of faculty.
Located in central Massachusetts, Holy Cross is nestled on a picturesque hillside within the City of Worcester. The 174-acre campus has won several national and international awards for excellence in architecture and landscaping. Holy Cross students enjoy some of the most sophisticated, attractive and well maintained facilities in higher education. Campus facilities include 11 residence halls; 11 academic buildings; four libraries; a dining hall; a campus center with cafe, pub, ballroom, hair styling shop, dry cleaning service, post office, and a bookstore; a sports complex with a six-lane swimming pool, basketball and hockey arenas, rowing tank, and a fitness center; a play theatre; movie theater; dance studio; art gallery; and a music concert hall.
At Holy Cross, libraries are considered central to the educational mission of the College. Thus, the libraries place great emphasis on instruction with the goal of helping students become information-literate during their four years at Holy Cross. First-year students receive specialized instruction sessions for Montserrat seminars within the clusters which tailor resources to corresponding course needs. The system includes five libraries: the main library, Dinand; the O’Callahan Science Library; the Fenwick Music Library; the Worcester Art Museum Library; and, the Rehm Library of the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture. The libraries presently house a combined collection of more than 650,000 print volumes and subscribe to more than 24,000 scholarly print and electronic journals. The libraries also maintain access to more than 300,000 electronic books and an additional 60,000 full-text journals in online aggregator databases.
The Holy Cross Libraries offer a vast array of research tools in print and electronic format covering art, music, humanities, social sciences, theology/philosophy, science and economics. Scholarly online databases such as EBSCOhost Academic Premier, Nexis-Uni, Expanded Academic ASAP, ARTstor, SciFinder Scholar, and the MLA Modern Language Association International Bibliography, provide researchers with access to peer reviewed references. These and all other library holdings are fully accessible via the Holy Cross Library Web catalog. These databases and collections are also available remotely to the Holy Cross community.
Reference Services include scheduled, course-specific library instruction, as well as customary on-demand reference interactions. Personal research sessions may also be scheduled. In an effort to reach out to students and faculty at the point of need, the libraries offer a 24/7 Virtual Reference service (staffed with participating librarians of Jesuit institutions throughout the nation), which can be accessed from the library’s home page. The library also supports an Electronic Reserves program in order to provide students with 24/7 access to reserve materials.
The Holy Cross Libraries are a member of a group of 22 area (academic, private, and public) libraries known as the Academic and Research Collaborative (ARC). This organization sponsors library projects and workshops and affords its members a collection of more than 3.8 million volumes and more than 23,000 serial subscriptions. The Library is a member of the Oberlin Group, a consortium of the libraries of 80 selective liberal arts colleges. The Massachusetts Library System (MLS) provides conferences, workshops and consulting services to participating libraries, as well as operating a shuttle service for interlibrary loans across the state.
Dinand Library, with a shelving capacity of over 500,000 volumes, has seating for more than 680 readers, and serves as the libraries’ central information and processing facility. Dinand is open 121 hours per week during the academic year. Two wings to Dinand were dedicated in 1978 to the memory of Joshua and Leah Hiatt and all the victims of the Holocaust. A special Holocaust Collection of books and other materials is under constant development and now numbers over 6,000 volumes. Dinand’s Main Reading/Reference room contains the print reference collection, current periodicals, and public PCs.The Visual Arts Wing contains books on art and photography. The Dr. Mark D. Nevins ’86 Collection for the Study of Comic and Graphic Novels is located contiguous to the art collection. On the second floor of the Dinand Library are the Scalia electronic classroom, the microform area, video and DVD viewing facilities, Academic Services and Learning Resources, and the Center for Writing.
The College’s Archives and Special Collections Department are located on the third floor of Dinand Library. The Archives and Special Collections’ facility was redesigned to provide a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled and secure environment for the College’s collections. Permanent display areas are located throughout the Library where collection material is exhibited.
Archives holds the records of the college including its publications; department, athletic, alumni, and student organization files; photographs and early records of the school. The Special Collections include incunabula (printed prior to 1500), Jesuitana (books by and about Jesuits); Americana (books published in America prior to 1850); John Henry Cardinal Newman letters and first editions; and the collections of James Michael Curley, David I. Walsh, and Louise Imogene Guiney. Other collections include the Edward B. Hanify, Esq. papers relating to Admiral Husband Kimmel, the U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander at Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Dorothy Wayman papers, and the Rev. Michael Earls, S.J. papers. The Archives also houses the Richard Green ’49 collection of NASA memorabilia.
The O’Callahan Science Library, located in Swords Hall, contains nearly 100,000 volumes of biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, neuroscience, and physics, as well as the history, biography, and ethical concerns of science, medicine, and technology. This facility seats 100, and offers an ever-expanding menu of electronic access to scientific databases and Web sites, and more than 2,000 subscriptions to the core publications in science. It ranks as one of the strongest special libraries dedicated to the development of future researchers and clinicians among liberal arts colleges in the United States.
The Fenwick Music Library, located in the east end of Fenwick Hall, has a collection of 25,000 sound recordings, 10,000 books, 11,000 music scores, and 1,000 videos. It is also home to the library of the Worcester Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. The Music Library is equipped for both course-related and pleasure listening and viewing, and offers two commercial audio streaming services for unlimited, on-demand access to classical, popular, and world music.
Rehm Library, associated with the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture, is located in Smith Hall, and contains a growing non-circulating collection in support of the McFarland Center’s mission and programs. Rehm Library provides students with an area for quiet study and reflection.
The Worcester Art Museum Library, located at the museum on Salisbury Street in Worcester, is managed by the Holy Cross Library and houses a collection of 45,000 art volumes that are available to the Holy Cross community. The holdings are fully accessible via the Library’s website. This collection, as well as the Museum itself, is a rich addition to the resources available to scholars in the field of art history.
Students find in all of these facilities a warm and friendly environment that encourages study, reflections and intellectual growth. A highly competent, friendly and accessible library staff is available and ever willing to provide a vast array of services and assistance to students and faculty.
Integrated Science Complex
The most ambitious construction project in the history of Holy Cross is the $64 million Integrated Science Complex. Innovations in teaching science have long been a hallmark of the College’s undergraduate curriculum. The complex is taking those innovations further: uniting student and faculty researchers from across scientific disciplines, as well as stimulating more collaboration and sharing of sophisticated equipment. The 142,000 gross square feet of new and renovated classroom, lecture, meeting, research and laboratory space links the departments of biology, chemistry, mathematics/computer science, physics, psychology, and sociology/anthropology; and thus integrates classrooms, labs, private offices, and lecture halls across disciplines.
The construction of the Park B. and Linda Smith Laboratories, connecting the existing science and social science buildings (Beaven, O’Neil, Haberlin and Swords halls), allows students in chemistry and physics to be fully engaged in the scientific process. The four-story building contains state-of-the-art laboratories that are specially designed to encourage hands-on, discovery-based exploration.
Haberlin, O’Neil and Swords Halls
Facilities contained in these three connected science buildings include laboratories; classrooms and offices for biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics; the O’Callahan Science Library; greenhouses and facilities for aquatic research; and, a large atrium with a coffee shop, food service and lounges for faculty and students. As part of the Integrated Science Complex, Haberlin Hall has been completely renovated to facilitate “discovery-based” teaching and learning.
Located next to Dinand Library and connected to the new Smith Laboratories, Beaven Hall was originally a dormitory until being converted into modernized facilities for the psychology and the sociology and anthropology departments. The building houses offices and classrooms with the latest computer systems for both departments. There also are video-equipped observation units, teaching and physiological labs.
Luth Athletic Complex
The sports and recreation complex contains a 64,000 square foot indoor practice facility (with 100 yards of turf for use by all field sports); a 3,600-seat basketball arena; a 1,050-seat ice hockey rink; a six-lane swimming pool with separate diving area; a rowing practice tank; and locker rooms.
Hogan Campus Center
The Henry M. Hogan Campus Center offers a wide variety of services and houses numerous facilities providing a social, cultural, educational and recreational program for the College community.
The Campus Center includes meeting rooms, spacious lounges, and student organization and administrative offices. To serve the College community, the Campus Center houses the Bookstore, Post Office, a Cafe and Convenience Store, cafeteria, and Pub. In addition, there are ATMs, a hair salon, laundry and dry cleaning services, and a multi-service Copy Center. Within the Campus Center is a multi-purpose ballroom and private meeting rooms catered by the College’s Dining Services department.
The Campus Center is committed to fostering educational experiences and to complementing formal instruction with meaningful leisure-time activities. Participation in and the development of mature appreciation for social, cultural, intellectual and recreational activities for the entire College community are the primary goals of the Campus Center.
Eleven residence halls house 90 percent of students at the College of the Holy Cross. Each of these residence halls are living communities with their own programs, social gatherings, and sports competitions. Living on each floor of every resident hall is a Resident Assistant — student leaders who help build community, respond to concerns, and provide guidance. Six residence halls (Clark, Hanselman, Healy, Lehy, Mulledy, and an apartment-style hall for seniors, Figge Hall) are located on the upper campus along “Easy Street.” Wheeler Hall is adjacent to the Dinand Library and Loyola Hall is beside St. Joseph Memorial Chapel. As an alternative to the Fitness Center in the Hart Recreation Center, Loyola houses a Fitness Studio in its basement that includes cardiovascular equipment (treadmills, stationary bikes and ellipticals), a Nautilus station, and free weights. Alumni and Carlin halls offer suite accommodations and are located at opposite ends of the Kimball Quadrangle. Williams Hall, a second apartment-style hall for seniors, is located on lower campus between Loyola Hall and Alumni halls.
St. Joseph Memorial Chapel
Midway up Mount Saint James is Saint Joseph Memorial Chapel, the spiritual home of the Holy Cross community. Built in 1924 as a memorial to Holy Cross soldiers and sailors who died in World War I, the chapel now includes additional memorials to those killed in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and the outdoor chapel plaza is highlighted by a memorial plaque to six Jesuit priests and two women associates who were killed in 1989 at the Central American University of El Salvador.
The upper chapel (St. Joseph Memorial Chapel) is home to the Sunday 11:30 a.m. Mass, the Family Weekend Masses and other special liturgical celebrations. It is also the site of numerous weddings of alumni/ae who return to Holy Cross to celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage. In the rear alcoves of the upper chapel are statues of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), and the Jesuit missionary St. Francis Xavier. In 1985, the Taylor and Boody tracker organ, designed in the tradition of the 16th-century Dutch and northern German organs, was installed, and a series of organ concerts is held during the academic year. The office of Sr. Lucille Cormier, SASV, Wedding Coordinator for the College, is located next to the sacristy at the side entrance of the upper chapel.
The lower level of the chapel served the College as an auditorium and Naval ROTC space before being transformed into a chapel in 1955. Through the generosity of a gift in memory of Robert H. McCooey ’52, the lower level was renovated in 2003 and features a small chapel for daily Masses (McCooey Chapel), a mid-sized chapel seating up to 270 people that is home to the Sunday 7:00 p.m.Mass, holy day liturgies, and the Sunday 4:30 p.m. Inter-Denominational Service of Praise and Worship (Mary Chapel), a chapel for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a chapel for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, and a gathering space highlighted by a continuously flowing baptismal font.
Thomas P. Joyce ’59 Contemplative Center
Located on a 52-acre site in West Boylston, Mass., just a 20-minute drive from campus, the Joyce Contemplative Center offers retreat and discernment programming for students, alumni, faculty and staff. Opened in September 2016, the 33,800 square-foot complex features a chapel, meeting rooms, dining room, and bedrooms for 58 individuals. The hilltop site overlooks scenic Wachusett Reservoir conservation area.
Campion House, in addition to housing the offices of the college chaplains, provides a unique home like environment on campus. With its warm, comfortable living room and large dining room and kitchen tables Campion House is a wonderful place to study, dine, meet other students, or just hang out. Campion is equipped with wireless internet service.
Fenwick and O’Kane Halls
Attached at right angles, Fenwick and O’Kane halls, with their soaring spires, housed the entire College in its early years. Today, they contain administrative and faculty offices, classrooms, and the music library. Named the John E. Brooks, S.J. Center for Music, the music department facilities located in Fenwick Hall include the Brooks Concert Hall, which is acclaimed by performers and acoustical experts as one of the finest medium-sized performance auditoria in the region. The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery, which displays changing exhibits, is located on the first floor of O’Kane Hall.
Fenwick Hall is home to the departments of classics, English, political science and visual arts. O’Kane Hall houses the departments of classics, education, English, history, music, philosophy, political science, theater arts and visual arts.
Attached to Fenwick Hall, the Carol and Park B. Smith Hall houses the Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture, the Rehm Library, as well as the philosophy and religious studies departments, the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Information Technology Services, Office of Admissions, the Class Deans, Academic Services and Learning Resources, Study Abroad, Graduate Studies, and the Registrar’s Office. A plaza outside Smith Hall, named Memorial Plaza, commemorates seven Holy Cross alumni who perished in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture
Located in Smith Hall, the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture provides a place for interdisciplinary dialogue and exploration about basic human questions. Its programs aim to increase understanding of a variety of religious, ethical and cultural traditions, and to examine how they relate to Catholic traditions and current issues. The McFarland Center fosters dialogue that respects differences, providing a forum for intellectual exchange that is interreligious as well as interdisciplinary, intercultural and international in scope. At the same time, it explores “the whole” which transcends differences and appeals to our common humanity. The McFarland Center, which includes the Rehm Library, sponsors public conferences, lectures and forums on a wide range of topics.
Edith Stein Hall
This five-story academic building contains 35 classrooms and two large lecture halls for the departments of economics, modern languages and literatures. Other departments housed in Stein include Spanish and education, as well as the Prebusiness, Prelaw and Health Professions programs. Additional facilities include the audio visual department; a computer instruction laboratory; and a state-of-the-art Multimedia Resource Center.
Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services (ITS) provides services for a variety of computers and devices, a high-speed, highly reliable and secure network infrastructure, and academic and business systems. Support is provided for 12 campus computer labs, wired and wireless networks, internet access, email, and a range of online services. Students and faculty make use of the Moodle course management system, the library system, and the Student Academic Records system (STAR). In addition, many other web services are available (see the “log in links” on the Current Students page).
Students will find a friendly Help Desk staffed to assist in accessing the network and online academic resources. Students may purchase Dell laptop computers and related software at the College Bookstore. Training courses are offered throughout the year and individual consultations are available anytime. Students provide the support in our residence halls and computer labs as Student Computer Consultants (SCCs).