Category Archives: About

About Holy Cross

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: 500
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 (2019-2020): $30,900 annual
Room & Board (2019-2020): $11,650 annual
Degree Programs: Holy Cross offers majors and minors in Biology, Business, Education, English, English – Communication, History, Liberal Studies, Liberal studies – Pre-Law, Psychology, Theology, and Visual Arts. Also offer minors in Communication, Global Perspectives, Marketing, Philosophy, Political Studies, Spanish, and Sports Management
Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA): Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Golf, Tennis, and Soccer.
Club Athletics: Men’s Lacrosse

NAIA Guide for the college-bound student-athlete

Holy Cross College ranked in top thirty of Midwest regional colleges, recognized in two other categories

Holy Cross College ranked in top thirty of Midwest regional colleges, recognized in two other categories

Photo courtesy of Matt Cashore 


Notre Dame, IN, (September 10, 2019)—Holy Cross College has been ranked in the top thirty of Midwest’s Best Regional Colleges, according to the U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 Best College Rankings released yesterday morning. The College was also ranked as 31st for best value, and came in 47th place for top performance in social mobility.

This year’s rankings are evidence of the turnaround since the Board of Trustees appointed Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C., as the College’s president in 2017.

“I’m pleased that this truly remarkable place of Catholic higher education has been ranked as such,” said president of the College Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C. “It is a true reflection of the work of our devoted faculty, trustees, and administration. This recognition highlights the difference they make, enhancing the development and success of these young men and women through an exceptional liberal arts education.”

The rankings used by the U.S. News and World Report are based on such widely accepted indicators of excellence as first-year student retention, graduation rates, and the strength of faculty.

See the College’s profile here.

Pia de Solenni, Ph.D. to speak at Holy Cross College

Pia de Solenni, Ph.D. to speak at Holy Cross College

Notre Dame, IN (September 6, 2019)–Theologian, ethicist, and cultural analyst Dr. Pia de Solenni will deliver her talk, “Women in the Body of Christ” in the Pfeil Center’s McKenna Arena on Holy Cross College’s campus, Thursday, October 10 at 7pm.

Dr. de Solenni’s talk will explore various theological concepts and traditions regarding the role of women in the Catholic Church.

“We are so fortunate to have Dr. de Solenni here to our campus and community,” said senior vice president Michael Griffin, Ph.D. “She is a true leader in our Church, and we are proud to have her be part this important conversation here at the College.”

De Solenni’s research and work discusses issues relating to women’s health, life issues, new feminism, Catholicism, and culture. Her work has appeared in various publications including America magazine, The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Washington Post, National Catholic Reporter, Our Sunday Visitor, and National Review Online. She is also a consultant member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.

She has appeared on MSNBC, FoxNews, CNN, andABCNews. Dr. de Solenni has been quoted in newspapers nationwide, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Associated Press.

“Dr. de Solenni’s message is particularly appropriate on college campuses as it is clear that young people are needed for the future leadership of the Church,” said dean of students Andrew Polaniecki. “She speaks with authentic genuineness and is compelling in her vision and understanding of women and their important role in the Church.”

De Solenni received her doctorate in sacred theology summa cum laude from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome. Her dissertation was published in the university series Dissertationes. She is the recipient of the 2001 Award of the Pontifical Academies for her doctoral work, presented by John Paul II.

In addition to the doctorate, de Solenni has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts-Great Books from Thomas Aquinas College, California; a Sacred Theology Baccalaureate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome; and a Sacred Theology Licentiate from Holy Cross, Rome.

Most recently, De Solenni served as chancellor of the Diocese of Orange and theological advisor to the Most Reverend Bishop Kevin Vann.

She lives in San Diego, California.

The lecture, made possible through the generosity of Chantel and Nathan Durkes ’10, is free and open to the public, with a reception to follow.

Fernwood Botanical Gardens to exhibit MCI biological illustrations

Fernwood Botanical Gardens to exhibit MCI biological illustrations

Notre Dame, IN (September 2, 2019)–The Moreau College Initiative will present the art exhibition “Imprisoned Nature: Beauty Behind Bars” featuring biological illustrations by the 2019 Scientific Illustration class at Westville Correctional Facility. Artwork will be on display in the Clark Gallery at Fernwood Botanical Gardens from September 9 through November 17.

Directing the students is Catherine Craker, Ph.D. The artwork illustrates plants and animals using ink and watercolor.  Professor Craker earned her doctorate in biology from the University of Notre Dame, where she got her start painting mosquitoes for a vector program at the Eck Institute for Global Health.

“Some of our students have produced professional-grade pieces for this course, and we are excited to have the opportunity to share their work with the Michiana community,” said director of the Moreau College Initiative, Alesha Seroczynski, Ph.D.

An opening reception will be held at the gallery on Sunday, September 15 from 2-4 pm.

The Moreau College Initiative is a rigorous liberal arts program co-sponsored by Holy Cross and Notre Dame in collaboration with the Indiana Department of Corrections. Enrolled students are eligible to earn associate and bachelor of arts degrees through Holy Cross College. MCI seeks to embody the mission of the Congregation of Holy Cross by providing excellent academic programs in the correctional context.

Fernwood Botanical Gardens are located at 13988 Range Line Road in Niles, Michigan.

Yvonne Pitts to deliver Constitution Day lecture at Holy Cross College

Yvonne Pitts to deliver Constitution Day lecture at Holy Cross College

Notre Dame, IN (August 30, 2019)–Yvonne Pitts, Ph.D., associate professor of history at Purdue University will deliver a lecture on “Lincoln, Martial Law, & Political Dissent During the Civil War” on September 18 at 7pm in the Driscoll Auditorium at Holy Cross College in commemoration of Constitution Day.

“We are pleased to have a scholar of the Constitution with us for this event. Dr. Pitts’ historical insights from the nation’s tragic Civil War are bound to shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of our founding document,” said history department chair Angel Cortes, Ph.D.

Pitts earned her doctoral degree from the University of Iowa in 2006. She is the author of the book Family, Law, and Inheritance in America: A Social and Legal History of Nineteenth Century Kentucky through Cambridge University Press. Pitts received a Filson Fellowship at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, Kentucky, and has been a fellow at J. Willard Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Professor Pitts’ work has been published in the Journal of Women’s History. She is also the recipient of a Library Scholars Grant, which she is using to study the U.S. military’s regulation of prostitution in Civil War era Nashville, Tennessee. She regularly teaches courses in U.S. constitutional history, the history of sexual regulation, race and the law, and American legal culture.

This year, she was awarded Purdue University’s annual Murphy Award, which recognizes five of undergraduate professors for outstanding teaching.

Pitts’ lecture will be followed by a reception. The event is free and open to the public.

John Kuka named vice president for advancement and athletics

John Kuka named vice president for advancement and athletics

Notre Dame, IN (August 27, 2019)– John Kuka, who has served as the associate director of athletics at Valparaiso University since 2013, will take on the new role of vice president for advancement and athletics for Holy Cross College as of September 9. Kuka will oversee the development efforts of the College, as well as athletics.

“I am so pleased that John has taken on this role,” said Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C., the College’s president. “It is hard to imagine anyone better suited for these specific areas of leadership. His spirit and talents truly befit our renewed mission of providing these young men and women with a transformative, intentionally Catholic liberal arts education.”

Kuka brings to this position more than fifteen years of communications, development and marketing experience in athletics and higher education. During his time at Valparaiso University, Kuka was responsible for the overall administration of Valparaiso’s athletics advancement efforts, including all major and annual gifts.

In his role as director of athletics development at DePauw University, Kuka was responsible for the overall administration of a campaign to secure more than $70 million in commitments to support athletics, and coordinated gifts totaling more than $24 million in its first year. At DePauw, he also worked as the director of the annual fund and executive secretary of the Washington C. DePauw Society, the university’s leadership-level giving society.

Kuka earned his bachelor’s degree in government and international studies from the University of Notre Dame.

“I am truly humbled by this opportunity to join the community at Holy Cross College,” said Kuka.  “It is an honor to be part of such a rich tradition of Catholic higher education. I would like to thank Father Tyson for his example of stewardship and for allowing me to take part in his vision for this remarkable institution.”

He earned his master’s at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he also served as the school’s assistant dean for communications.

Kuka served in the United States Army from 1998 until 2000.  He and his wife, Katie, are parents of Jack, Maggie, and Moira.

Tyson announced Kuka’s appointment to faculty and staff at the College’s fall convocation on Thursday, August 22. At that time, Tyson also shared that JudeAnne Hastings, formerly the College’s director of development, had been named associate vice president for communications and development.

Holy Cross College appoints Andrew Polaniecki as dean of students

Holy Cross College appoints Andrew Polaniecki as dean of students

Notre Dame, IN (August 15, 2019)—Andrew Polaniecki has been named dean of students and director of residence life and housing for Holy Cross College. He has been with the College since 2009, serving as the director of campus ministry. Polaniecki spent time in the seminary as an undergraduate at Old College at the University of Notre Dame, where he completed his bachelor’s degree. He earned his master’s in education from Loyola University, New Orleans. He also has an MBA from the University of Saint Francis in Joliet, Illinois.

“Andrew’s transition from campus minister to dean of students speaks to his leadership and commitment to our students and this institution. His faith, experience, and longtime devotion to the College will fortify our distinctly Catholic mission and be a service to each one of our scholars,” said Senior Vice President Michael Griffin.

For the past three years, Polaniecki has directed the College’s Saints & Scholars Summer Theology Institute, an academic institute for high school students made possible through the Lilly Endowment. He has led retreats and pilgrimages and assisted students with sacramental preparation and spiritual direction.

“It has been an honor to continue growing with this community,” said Polaniecki. “I am fortunate to have this opportunity to further my engagement with our young men and women as we continue to provide them a formative Catholic education.”

Holy Cross College hires new director of campus ministry

Holy Cross College hires new director of campus ministry

Notre Dame, IN (August 8, 2019) — Holy Cross College has appointed Andrew Ouellette to the position of director of campus ministry. Ouellette earned his Master of Arts in theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, where he worked as residence director. He also served as director of the office of youth ministry for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

“Mr. Ouellette has already shown himself to be an outstanding fit here at the College,” said Senior Vice President Michael Griffin. “His deep knowledge of Catholic tradition, his commitment to inclusion, and genuine sense of caring will certainly make a difference in the lives of all of our students, no matter their faith or background.”

Ouellette will also oversee the Saints and Scholars Summer Theology Institute, a weeklong program that allows high school students to explore and discuss theology and how it applies to six tracks: athletics, business, human rights, media, public health, and sustainability.

Ouellette succeeds Andrew Polaniecki, who, after ten years as director of campus ministry, has been named dean of students at the College.

Michael McBride appointed as interim director of athletics

Michael McBride appointed as interim director of athletics

Notre Dame, IN, (July 15, 2019)—Michael McBride has been named as the interim director of athletics for Holy Cross College. McBride has been the head men’s basketball coach and assistant athletics director at the College since 2013.

“Mike’s accomplishments as our men’s basketball coach are well known, and he is an equally capable administrator. I am grateful that he has agreed to step into this position,” said Monica Markovich, the College’s vice president for finance.

McBride’s team has made their way to the CCAC conference tournament four of the past five years. Last season, the team advanced to the conference tournament semifinal, their best record in the program’s history, finishing 21-11 overall and 13-6 in conference play.

McBride, of Jeffersonville, Indiana, joined Holy Cross after five seasons as associate head men’s basketball coach at Tusculum College in Greenville, Tennessee. At Tusculum, McBride’s team earned a national ranking, competed in the top of the South Atlantic Conference, and earned the college’s first at-large berth in the NCAA Division II National Tournament.

He served as the associate head coach at Indiana University Southeast. McBride is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Indiana Basketball Coaches Association, the Tennessee Basketball Coaches Association and the Ohio Basketball Association.


Tom Robbins appointed as head women’s basketball coach

Tom Robbins appointed as head women’s basketball coach

Notre Dame, IN, (July 9, 2019) — Holy Cross College has hired Tom Robbins as head women’s basketball coach and assistant director of athletics. Robbins comes to Holy Cross from Ancilla College, where he led the women’s basketball team from the bottom of the league to become national contenders within four years. Robbins, of Peru, Indiana, worked at Ancilla as the women’s head coach since 2014. Before taking over as women’s coach at Ancilla, Robbins was the assistant men’s basketball coach.

He brings to his new role at Holy Cross more than 17 years of coaching experience.

“Coach Robbins is committed to the student athlete and the mission of the College,” said interim director of athletics and head men’s basketball coach Michael McBride. “His skills and leadership extend well beyond college athletics. His commitment to Catholic higher education and academic excellence make him an ideal coach, one our students can look forward to learning a lot from in the coming seasons.”

Robbins was the 2017-2018 NJCAA Region 12 District G Coach of the Year after his team finished 26-7 overall and advanced to the NJCAA national tournament.

“When I took over the program, Ancilla had won six games in the previous three years. We won more games and went farther in the post season tournament than any other teams in the history of the program,” Robbins said. His record at Ancilla was 74-41.

Robbins has also coached varsity basketball at Wabash High School, where he was named Wabash County Boys Coach of the Year.

Robbins will complete his Master of Science in Sports Management from Indiana State University in August. He and his wife, Trisha, are the parents of two, son Braxten and daughter Addison.