Category Archives: About

Quick Facts

Experience a Tradition of Faith and Excellence

Holy Cross College is a Catholic, residential, coed, four-year institution of higher learning, offering an applied liberal arts curriculum.  It was founded in 1966 and continues to be conducted by the Brothers of Holy Cross a society of lay religious men within the Congregation of Holy Cross (CSC) who take vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience as a way to more creatively and intimately serve the mission of our Savior Jesus Christ, His Body – the Church, and the needs of the world. Brothers of Holy Cross serve through ministries which educate and sensitize persons to the need of the world for justice and peace.

At a Glance

Holy Cross College is a Catholic, co-ed, residential college offering Bachelor of Arts degrees
Location: 150 acre wooded campus in Notre Dame, Indiana
Founded: 1966
Mascot: “Saints”
Undergraduate Enrollment: 530
Student Body: Holy Cross students are a diverse group representing more than 30 states and a dozen countries. Enrollment is approximately 60% male and 40% female. Racial mix varies in any given year but roughly mirrors the US population.
Affiliation: Congregation of Holy Cross (C.S.C.)
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018): $28,784 annual
Room & Board (2017-2018): $11,002 annual
Degree Programs: Majors and Minors
in Business, Communications, Elementary Education, English, History, Liberal Studies, Psychology, Theology, Visual Arts, and Gerontology. Also offer minors in Global Perspectives, Political Studies, Pre-Med, and Spanish
Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA): Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Golf, and Soccer.
Club Athletics: Cheerleading, Men’s Ice Hockey, Men’s Lacrosse

NAIA Guide for the college-bound student-athlete



Holy Cross Appoints Fifth President

Holy Cross Appoints Fifth President

On July 31, 2017, upon the recommendation of the Board of Trustees, the Corporate Members, Holy Cross College, Inc., unanimously voted to appoint Reverend David Tyson, C.S.C., the fifth president of Holy Cross College for a term of five years.

“I am honored by the Brothers’ confidence in me,” says Father Tyson. “It has been a blessing to be a part of the Holy Cross College family for the past four months, and I am grateful for this opportunity to continue building its future.”

Father Tyson was named interim president of the college by the Board of Trustees in April 2017. “Father Tyson’s life-long passion for Catholic education and his keen understanding of the mission of the college make him an ideal leader to help Holy Cross College flourish,” says David Bender, chairman of the Holy Cross College Board of Trustees. “We have every confidence that he will serve the college skillfully and faithfully.”

Prior to becoming president of Holy Cross College, Father Tyson was the St. André Bessette Director of Nonprofit Professional Development at Mendoza College, University of Notre Dame. A member of the Notre Dame class of 1970, Father Tyson served as executive assistant to Father Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., when he was president of Notre Dame, and later as vice president for Student Affairs. In 1990, he became president of the University of Portland, and served until 2003, when he was elected provincial superior of what was then called the Indiana Province of Holy Cross.

“On behalf of the Brothers of Holy Cross and of the Corporate Members of Holy Cross College, I extend hearty congratulations to Fr. David Tyson upon his appointment as president of Holy Cross College,” says Brother Chester Freel, C.S.C., provincial superior of the Midwest Province, and president of the Corporate Members. “The college is most fortunate to have someone of Fr. Tyson’s proven skills and knowledge leading the college into an even brighter future educating the minds and hearts of its students.”

A formal inauguration event is planned for the fall, and details will be announced as they become available.

New Dining Services Partnership

New Dining Services Partnership

The College is excited to announce that effective July 30, 2017, Notre Dame Campus Dining will assume management of the Holy Cross College dining program, including Siegfried Dining Hall and a rebranded café on campus.

Notre Dame Campus Dining will deliver the high level of quality guests have come to expect at its Notre Dame locations, utilizing locally and sustainably produced foods wherever possible. “This plan is a game changer for students,” says Michael Griffin, senior vice president. “The partnership between Holy Cross College and Notre Dame will open a new world of dining options and opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.”

Assistant Director Marc Poklinkowski and Campus Chef Matt Seitz will lead the Holy Cross Campus Dining team to ensure a smooth transition. When Holy Cross students, faculty and staff return this fall, they will enjoy updated menus based on current trends created by chefs that are certified by the American Culinary Federation.

In 2015 Notre Dame Campus Dining was recognized as one of the Top Ten dining programs in the nation by Campus Dining currently operates two residential dining halls, twelve retail locations, a food court, University Catering and dining programs at four religious houses on Notre Dame’s campus. In January of 2018, they will open three new dining concepts in Duncan Student Center.

Holy Cross is grateful to the current Holy Cross Dining Services manager and chef, Jacob Tannehill, for his leadership. The College is working with Notre Dame Campus Dining to identify employment opportunities in Siegfried Dining Hall for current Holy Cross College dining staff.

Further details will be announced as the summer progresses.

Holy Cross History Professor Publishes Book

Holy Cross History Professor Publishes Book

Holy Cross College is proud to announce that Ángel Cortés, Ph.D., chair of the history department, has written a new book on Orestes Brownson, one of the great figures of 19th century American Catholicism. The book, Sectarianism and Orestes Brownson in the American Religious Marketplace (Histories of the Sacred and Secular, 1700-2000), will be available August 8, 2017.

Born in Cuba and raised in Los Angeles, Dr. Cortés completed his Ph.D. in 2008 at the University of Notre Dame under the direction of James Turner, Ph.D., Cavanaugh Professor of the Humanities (now emeritus). In 2017, Dr. Cortés was granted tenure at Holy Cross College.

As a professor, Dr. Cortés inspires his students with his passion for history. He teaches freshmen in the first year College Seminar, honors US History, and a variety of upper level history classes. Dr. Cortés works tirelessly side-by-side with his students in class and on research projects. He is also a frequent organizer of extracurricular academic experiences at the college, including coordinating the college’s annual Constitution Day lecture and leading past global perspectives excursions to Mexico and Peru.

For more information about Sectarianism and Orestes Brownson in the American Religious Marketplace (Histories of the Sacred and Secular, 1700-2000), please visit

Holy Cross Priest Appointed Bishop in Florida

Holy Cross Priest Appointed Bishop in Florida

Holy Cross College congratulates Rev. William A. Wack, C.S.C., on his recent appointment by Pope Francis to serve as the bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee in Florida.

Father Wack, 49, is a native of South Bend, IN, and attended Holy Cross College in 1986. He continued his connection to Holy Cross College as a trustee of the college from 2000 to 2003, and he was a regular celebrant of college Masses while he was working in the Vocations Office for the Congregation of Holy Cross. His niece, Emily (Wack) Vizard, is a 2017 graduate of the college, and many other cousins, nieces, and nephews of the Bishop-elect live locally and have attended Holy Cross College.

“It is with great joy that Holy Cross College, the Congregation of Holy Cross, and the whole Church celebrates this appointment,” says Rev. David Tyson, C.S.C., interim president of Holy Cross College. “Father Bill’s experience helping young people discern God’s call, his time working with the poor and homeless at André House in Phoenix, and his many years as a pastor are testimony that he will be a great leader and servant for the people of God as a bishop.”

Father Wack professed his final vows as a Holy Cross religious on August 28, 1993 and was ordained a priest at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame on April 9, 1994. He is currently pastor of St. Ignatius Martyr Parish in Austin, TX.

New Chair of English Department

New Chair of English Department

After a lengthy selection process, Holy Cross College is proud to announce that it has chosen Jessica Hughes, Ph.D., to lead the English department. Dr. Hughes comes to Holy Cross most recently from Wheaton College, but she received her master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.

“We were incredibly impressed with the reviews Jessica received from students,” explains Michael Griffin, Ph.D., senior vice president of Holy Cross College. “Many of them considered her one of the best teachers they have ever had, and said she really made literature come alive for them.” The hiring committee was also impressed with the way Dr. Hughes blending ideas from literature and theology in her dissertation, The Quest for a Novelistic Jesus: Literary Relationships with Jesus in Victorian Realism.

Not only does Dr. Hughes have a strong background in higher education and research, she has been involved in multi-disciplinary collaborations with other academics around the world. Most recently, she participated in The Joint University of Chicago and University of Notre Dame Graduate Student Conference: Religious Ethics and Sources of Moral Authority, with a presentation entitled, “Our Victorian Heritage—Ethics, Authority, and Sentiment in Late Nineteenth-Century

Dr. Hughes is excited about joining Holy Cross and challenging next year’s English students. “My first audience is my students,” she says. “I create thought-provoking classroom conversations that open up new sets of questions driving us to learn more.”

Learn more about Dr. Hughes at

Watson, Griffin Take New Leadership Roles

Watson, Griffin Take New Leadership Roles

Holy Cross College is proud to announce that Justin Watson, Ph.D., previously vice president for academic affairs, has been appointed provost of the college, and Michael Griffin, Ph.D., tenured professor of theology, has been appointed senior vice president.

As provost, Watson will maintain his role as chief academic officer of the college and advise the interim president on major policy matters internal and external to the college.

“For 22 years, Justin has been our bedrock of teaching and learning,” says Father David Tyson, C.S.C., interim president of Holy Cross College. “As provost, he will continue to be an example of selfless service to the college community.”

Watson received his undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada and his master’s degrees in English and rhetoric from Eastern Washington University. He received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Notre Dame, where his dissertation advisor was Joseph Buttigieg, father of Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Prior to joining Holy Cross College in 1995, Watson taught adult learners at community colleges in Washington. He also served as the book review editor of the scholarly journal Religion and Literature for five years and worked for 11 years with first-year international MBA students in the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame.

Among his many other accomplishments at Holy Cross College, Watson directed its first BA program, became the Dean of Faculty in 2007, and vice president for academic affairs in 2013. When the college joined the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, Watson served as the first Faculty Athletics Representative.

“The Brothers of Holy Cross have taught me to focus everything on student success,” says Watson. “I am looking forward to working with the new college leadership to guide all our academic endeavors toward that goal.”

Justin and his wife Carlotta, residents of Granger, IN, have been married for 29 years and raised three children—Samantha, James, and Patrick.

As senior vice president, Griffin will oversee College Relations and the teams that work in student formation, including admissions, as well as advise the interim president on major policy matters internal and external to the college.

“Mike has been deeply involved with every aspect of the college mission since he began here, and he will continue that focus in his new role,” says Father Tyson. “With his deep understanding of education and the Congregation of Holy Cross charism, he will assist me in ensuring that the Holy Cross mission is present in every aspect of the college’s future plans.”

Griffin brings 13 years of experience and leadership to his new position at Holy Cross. After he graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1993, Griffin worked for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops before returning to the South Bend area. He began working at Holy Cross in 2004, and received his doctorate from the University of Notre Dame in 2014. A published author, Griffin has been the chair of the theology department at Holy Cross College since 2015.

“From the earliest days of the college, our mission has been formed by strong relationships—among faculty and students, with our partners at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, and with the South Bend community,” says Griffin. “I am humbled and excited to have the opportunity to further strengthen these connections at this unique moment in the history of Holy Cross College.”

Outside of Holy Cross College, Griffin is actively involved in his local community. A member of the school board for Holy Cross Grade School, he helped to initiate the school’s new dual language immersion program, which led to its largest enrollment increase in the last decade. He and his wife Catherine are co-founders of The Local Cup, a coffee shop in South Bend’s Near Northwest Neighborhood that recently received national attention for its community-focused business model.

Holy Cross Accredited by HLC, Partners with ND on Finances

Holy Cross Accredited by HLC, Partners with ND on Finances

Holy Cross College will be partnering with the University of Notre Dame on one initiative that is part of a long-term financial sustainability plan.

The HLC reaffirmed the accreditation of Holy Cross College for 10 years—the maximum amount of time allowed—in the fall of 2016. In its final report, the HLC recommended follow-up steps in its evaluation of the college’s financial sustainability, including developing a four-year financial plan to be submitted in June 2017.

“The HLC’s reaffirmation and accreditation of Holy Cross College is an endorsement of the college’s quality, reputation and student formation-focused programs,” says Justin Watson, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs. “The HLC team noted that Holy Cross operates with integrity, and it has continued its transformation from a two-year to a four-year college with changes to its curriculum that enhance the students’ academic experience and success.”

The Holy Cross College Board of Trustees had also recognized the need for a multi-year financial plan during its strategic planning process last year.

“Although a great deal of attention has been given to Holy Cross’s financial position lately, the Board of Trustees has been working on a robust and sustainable financial plan since the beginning of the academic year,” says Dave Bender, chair of the Holy Cross College Board of Trustees. “The opinions and rumors that have been circulating recently are not reflective of the work the Board of Trustees and administration have done to secure the future of the college.”

While the interim president and administration of the college are developing the financial plan for the HLC, the Board of Trustees has focused on independent strategic plan initiatives. As part of those initiatives, the college approached the University of Notre Dame with a proposal that the university purchase 75 acres of land owned by Holy Cross College and the Brothers of Holy Cross Midwest Province on the west side of State Road 933 and south of Holy Cross Village. Notre Dame would then lease the property back to the college to support its ongoing operations.

“We are pleased to announce that an agreement on all sides has been reached and will be submitted for final review and approval by the members of the Corporation, the Congregation of Holy Cross Superior General, and the Holy See,” says Bender.

The Holy Cross College Board is confident that this arrangement with Notre Dame will provide Holy Cross with the financial capital to meet operating needs, as well as reduce the college’s need for long-term debt and short-term credit.

“Holy Cross and Notre Dame have successfully collaborated on a number of formal and informal initiatives over the years, and both institutions recognized that this was another good opportunity to work together,” says Bender. “Although we will not be releasing the details of this private agreement, we can assure the entire Holy Cross community that it will have a stabilizing impact on the college and will allow us to confidently plan for the future.”

The HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region of the United States. It is one of six regional accrediting associations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The HLC was created to develop and maintain high standards of academic excellence. Receiving HLC accreditation means an institution meets recognized standards of education regarding its mission, governance, teaching and learning, financial stability, and relations with its constituents, as well as federal compliance requirements.

Skip Holtz to Speak at Commencement

Skip Holtz to Speak at Commencement

Holy Cross College is proud to welcome Skip Holtz and Nichole (Molnar) Dunne as the speakers for the college’s 50th commencement ceremony.

Holtz, son of Beth Barcus and former college and NFL football coach, Lou Holtz, attended Holy Cross Junior College from 1982 to 1984, before earning a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Notre Dame in 1986.

Growing up surrounded by the sport, Holtz played football for both his Fayetteville, AR, high school football team and the University of Notre Dame. He has also had a long and successful career as a coach, starting with Florida State, where he met his future wife, Jennifer. He coached with his father at both Notre Dame and South Carolina.

Holtz is currently the head coach at Louisiana Tech, where he has lead his teams to several successful seasons and post-season games.

In 1996, Holtz was the recipient of the Life Center’s St. Francis Award, given for his dedication and support of Christian values and outstanding athletic achievements. The next year, he was honored with the National Football Foundation Man-of-the-Year Award. In 2016, Holtz earned Conference USA Coach of the Year Honors.

Outside of football, Holtz has worked to raise funds to send under-served children to recreational and educational summer camps. He is also involved with the Board of Trustees of the American Diabetes Association, and supports the Drew Steele-Skip Holtz Golf Classic, which benefits individuals with special needs.

Holtz will be awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters at the commencement ceremony.

The alumni address will be given by Nichole (Molnar) Dunne.

Dunne was born in Mishawaka, IN, and graduated from Marian High School in 2005. She enrolled at Holy Cross College the next year and graduated with a BA in business in 2009.

Dunne was deeply involved with the college’s Social Concerns Committee. She served as committee president from 2008 to 2009 and devoted countless volunteer hours to the Holy Cross Village, planning and facilitating activities and events for Village residents.

While at Holy Cross Dunne met her husband, Jay Dunne, 2007. They were married in 2013 in the St. Joseph Chapel on the Holy Cross College campus.

Dunne is a now a national account manager for large pharmaceutical and financial companies in Indianapolis, IN. She is an active member of the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Carmel, IN, and an avid volunteer with the American Cancer Society and the Indianapolis Zoo.

Polaniecki Selected to Forty Under 40

Polaniecki Selected to Forty Under 40

Holy Cross College is proud to announce that Andrew Polaniecki, director of Campus Ministry, has been selected as a member of the Michiana Forty under 40.

Each year, the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce accepts nominations of individuals are under 40 years of age who have shown initiative, dedication, and success in pursuing their career, investment and service to others, and passion for giving back to their community. Polaniecki has shown all those qualities and more as a member of the Holy Cross College family.

Polaniecki has been Director of Campus Ministry since 2009. His work is steeped in a deep love of the charism of the Congregation of Holy Cross and its founder, Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C., who always understood that the education of the mind and heart had to be placed side by side. In addition to the college’s Mission Team, leads the Spes Unica and the Sophomore Anchor Day retreats, both designed to give students a chance to break away from the stress of college life for relaxation, reflection, and spiritual connection. He is also an adjunct professor in the theology department, and all his students are familiar with his love of teaching about Saints.

In 2016, Polaniecki became Director of Formation for the Saints & Scholars Institute, a summer theology experience for high school students at Holy Cross College. “Andrew is the Mr. Steady of Holy Cross. Day in and day out, without a lot of fanfare, he moves the mission forward by simply doing his job well,” says Michael Griffin, Ph.D., director of Saints & Scholars.

Polaniecki believes strongly in expanding and challenging the global perspectives of Holy Cross students. He has planned and led pilgrimages to the St. Joseph Oratory in Montreal, Quebec, and led an immersion experience with Holy Cross students to Ghana, West Africa.

There is no doubt that Polaniecki’s commitment to the college and his Catholic faith are at the core of his life. As an instituted lector and acolyte, he is active in assisting with the liturgy. Polaniecki is the chair of the school board at St. Joseph Parish in South Bend. He also helps to coordinate efforts to visit homebound members of the Parish. In September 2015, he was selected to be one of the servers at the Papal Mass during Pope Francis’s visit to Washington D.C. Most recently, he was an instrumental part of the success of the Holy Cross College Day of Giving, personally calling former students and friends of the college for their support.

Polaniecki and his wife André, and their five children live in South Bend, where they are parishioners of St. Joseph Parish and active members of the community.

Michiana Forty under 40 recognizes 40 regional business and professional leaders who have achieved success before the age of 40. This recognition shines the spotlight on 40 of the area’s most talented and dedicated young executives, professionals and leaders who demonstrate career success and community engagement. This program is an annual collaborative effort between the South Bend Regional Chamber, the Young Professionals Network South Bend, and other partners in the Michiana region. For more information, visit Michiana Forty Under 40.