Each year, Holy Cross College graduation encompasses more than just the single day of the college’s main commencement ceremony. It is the culmination of years of hard work by students and their families. Not only are there are memorable events for graduates on campus, there is a second commencement ceremony a week later for the college’s Westville Educational Initiative (WEI) graduates at Westville Correctional Facility (WCF).
The first part of the 50th commencement ceremonies took place May 19 and 20, 2017. On Friday, the baccalaureate mass was performed by Reverend Kevin Russeau, C.S.C., followed by the Saints Send Forth ceremony in the Vincent Atrium. The 50th annual commencement ceremony was held on Saturday, May 20, at 11 a.m.
Of the 107 students who graduated from Holy Cross College during the 2016-2017 school year, 94 received a Bachelor of Arts, and 13 received an Associate of Arts. Three of the students receiving an AA through WEI were able to attend commencement at Holy Cross College on May 20, 2017, to receive their diplomas in person.
Laura Boykins, ’17, addressed the audience on behalf of the graduates and Nichole Dunne, ’10, spoke on behalf of the alumni. Skip Holtz, who attended Holy Cross from 1982 to 1984 before finishing his degree at The University of Notre Dame, entertained and inspired the graduates and their families with his stirring speech on the meaning of success and the importance of learning through life’s experiences. The ceremony ended with the traditional signing of the alma mater, led by Eryn Ray, ’17.
On May 23, a group of faculty and staff from Holy Cross and Notre Dame traveled to Westville for the WEI commencement. Thirteen WEI students received AA diplomas, and five were present to receive their diploma in front of an audience of WEI students, faculty, and facility staff. Three of the graduates spoke on their experiences before Lou Nanni, vice president for University Relations at The University of Notre Dame, gave the commencement address. The ceremony ended with a beautiful and emotional duet by one of the graduates and his sister.