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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



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 to address the financial concerns recognized by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the college’s Board of Trustees.

The HLC reaffirmed the accreditation of Holy Cross College for 10 years—the maximum amount of time allowed—in the fall of 2016.

“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.”

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 report identified Holy Cross College’s dependence on short-term lines of credit and the redirection of restricted gifts to balance budgets and finance its operations, as well as its reliance on long-term debt to fund growth as financial risks to be addressed.

The Holy Cross College Board of Trustees had also recognized these issues during its strategic planning process last year and the HLC report confirmed the exigency of a multi-year financial plan.

“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.

Holy Cross Expands Science Programs and Facilities

Holy Cross Expands Science Programs and Facilities

Holy Cross College is making a move forward into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education by adding majors in biology and computer science. Last year, the college also added an educational track in pre-engineering through collaboration with Saint Mary’s College and Purdue University Polytechnic Institute. In October 2016, these new majors were approved by the Higher Learning Commission, and became available to current and incoming students immediately.

Right now, the science program is working out of an updated older building. Over the summer, the college worked with the University of Notre Dame to create space for STEM at Holy Cross by demolishing most of the old Saint Joseph High School building at the edge of campus. The remaining portion of the building, renamed the Saint Joseph Art and Science Building, contains science labs, classrooms, gathering areas, and faculty offices. However, the college plans to add a state-of-the-art science facility in the near future. Holy Cross recently received a $3.5 million challenge grant for a new science building from a northern Indiana foundation (who wishes to remain unnamed at this time). The college plans to raise the match by the end of 2018 as part of the college’s $15 million Ascend Campaign.

With STEM jobs growing at a rate nearly twice that of other fields, Holy Cross is responding to the demand in the marketplace. According to the US Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration, growth in STEM career fields has outstripped non-STEM ones, and is projected to continue increasing. For a traditionally liberal arts college like Holy Cross, this trend represents an exciting challenge. “The liberal arts curriculum is essential to providing a comprehensive educational background,” explains Br. John Paige, president of Holy Cross College. “But we also want to provide a broader scope of detail in terms of what majors and tracks are available.”

The natural science division faculty worked to create the new majors with deference to Holy Cross’s mission to educate both the hearts and minds of its students. Like all education tracks at Holy Cross, the new majors and take a holistic approach to education, incorporating internship, research, and service aspects.

lynne csiszar-cary 2 webThe biology program is helmed by Lynne Csiszar-Cary, Ph.D., who is also the Chair of the Natural Sciences Division at Holy Cross. Csiszar-Cary was a research scientist for Miles Laboratories/Bayer, a director of product development for American Biogenetic Sciences, and an associate professor of Biochemistry for 13 years at Bethel College. Her leadership of science at Holy Cross is grounded in a blend of classroom, research, and internship experiences. “I encourage my students to connect their learning with practical application,” says Csiszar-Cary. Her goal is to help students find their personal career calling. “I believe supporting students with mentoring and career advising is critical for maximizing success in medical school, post-graduate programs and science careers.”

robert minvielle webComputer science is led by Robert Minvielle, Ph.D. His work in computer science varies from owning an operating a consumer electronics design firm to architecting data center operations and computing resources in a 3-D visualization research facility. His eclectic experience in higher education and as a computer science professional will allow Dr. Minvielle to connect major goals with students’ interests by challenging students’ intellectual creativity. “I hope to bring a new empowerment to students of science at Holy Cross,” says Minvielle. “We teach methods and pathways to overcome any obstacles so that our students might go out into the world, solve, and create.”

The Michiana community will benefit from this expansion of Holy Cross College’s science facilities and programs. Holy Cross students are required to complete a professional internship and to participate in service learning opportunities in the area, and these additional science majors will expand the pool of highly motivated interns and volunteers for area businesses. With South Bend now listed as one of 10 worldwide cities “reinventing themselves through technology” (Smart+Connect Communities Institute), many of these science graduates may choose to “stay local.” This will further support projects funded by the $42 million investment from the Regional Cities Initiative (Indiana Economic Development Corporation Initiative), part of the North Central Indiana Regional Development Plan.

See all our majors and minors HERE.

Holy Cross Science in the News

insideindiana stem focus

sbt holy cross science hall