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

Father David Tyson, C.S.C. is a panelist in upcoming series

Father David Tyson, C.S.C. is a panelist in upcoming series

The University of Notre Dame Dublin Global Gateway and the Notre Dame-Newman Centre for Faith and Reason invite you to join our new series of international conversations, launching Wednesday, October 7, 2020, exploring Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman’s seminal work, The Idea of a University, and its contemporary relevance to educational challenges faced today in the teeth of the COVID-19 crisis. Father David Tyson, C.S.C., will be a panelist on October 14, looking at “The Values of a University.”

The “Thinking with Newman: Educating with Intention Today” series coincides with the one year anniversary of St. Newman’s canonization, offering a suitable moment to reflect on the inspiration we can take from his writings.

“Thinking with Newman” is open to all and offers participants a space to explore the existential questions, through the lens of Newman’s educational philosophy, that Universities are faced with today. This series is exclusively offered through ThinkND, Notre Dame’s open online learning community. Registration is required for access to asynchronous content on the ThinkND platform, our LinkedIn community, and 3 interactive, live Zoom sessions. Read the press release here.

“Thinking with Newman” is hosted by our expert Notre Dame faculty and Directors of the Gateway and Newman Centre in Dublin, Ireland.

Over three weekly live sessions, Professor Kevin Whelan and Rev. Gary Chamberland, C.S.C. will lead participants as they dive into questions such as:

  • Why is Newman’s work still relevant today?
  • What is the value of a University education?
  • What is the enduring legacy of Newman’s education insights?
  • How can we live Newman’s vision of a University as a diverse learning community in our conflicted and coronavirus-afflicted world?

Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. EDT / 6:00 p.m. IST

October 7, 2020 – The Contemporary Relevance of The Idea of a University
October 14, 2020 – The Values of a University
October 21, 2020 – Realizing the University Today

Each week, our faculty moderators will be joined by guest panelists who will bring a variety of expertise and experience to the conversation. In the spirit of Newman’s dedication to an intellectually rigorous and diverse civil engagement, speakers will include frontline leaders in the Church, education and business; lay people and clerics; university students and presidents, from Ireland to the United States — all challenged to thoroughly examine the overarching questions of the series, “What defines a university and how do we educate with intention today?”

We hope you will join us in this international conversation as we contextualize Newman’s The Idea of a University to the educational challenges faced today.

Delta Epsilon Sigma National Scholastic Honor Society induction October 7

Delta Epsilon Sigma National Scholastic Honor Society induction October 7

Holy Cross College is proud to announce the induction of 15 new members (14 students and one faculty member) to the Delta Epsilon Sigma (DES) National Scholastic Honor Society on October 7.

DES is an honor society for students, faculty, and alumni of colleges and universities with a Catholic tradition. The organization was started at the suggestion of Reverend E. A. Fitzgerald, Dean of Studies at Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa, who in October of 1938 surveyed Catholic colleges and universities concerning their interest in initiating such a society.

Inductees of Holy Cross College’s Epsilon Delta Chapter are required to have completed at least one half of the credit requirements for their bachelor’s degree and rank in the top twenty percent of their class in scholarship. Each year a faculty member speaks at the event, and is then also inducted into the society. This year Deborah Arangno, Ph.D., will present “Sapere Aude.”

Dr. Deborah Arangno joined the mathematics faculty at Holy Cross College in August 2019. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Mercer University with a triple major in mathematics, physics, and Latin, a Master of Science in pure mathematics from Emory University, a Ph.D. in pure mathematics from Utah State University, and completed graduate work at the University of Colorado and post-graduate studies at Stanford University in computer science education. She is currently associate professor and acting director of the mathematics program. She is working to develop the mathematics program at Holy Cross College to include a math minor and a computer science minor.

Congratulation to 2020 student inductees Eleanor Boothman, Lauren Cernak, Lauren Compton, Miles Folsom, Dominic Gibson, Dane Litchfield, Jacqueline Lopez, Shaima Musleh, Bradley Musselman, Catherine Oliva, Mireya Robles, Dylan Schwaegel, Sidney Taylor, and Matteus Webb.

Due to COVID-19 protocol restrictions, we cannot offer this opportunity to the general public. Instead, you can watch the event via livestream with the link below.

Watch Live

Holy Cross College awarded $1 million Lilly Endowment grant

Holy Cross College awarded $1 million Lilly Endowment grant

Holy Cross College has received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its initiative, Charting the Future of Indiana’s Colleges and Universities.

Funds will be used for a new faculty conceived program, Teach for Indiana program. This “grow-your-own” teacher education program will work to meet the needs of the College and help to increase the number and diversity of teachers in the South Bend-Elkhart region and across Indiana.

Teach for Indiana, which will include pre-college, college, and post-college components, aligns with the needs and mission of the College to grow enrollment and deepen commitment to our Catholic identity. As the same time, the College will work to strengthen existing partnerships and collaborations and develop new ones with both public school corporations and Catholic diocesan school systems in and near the South Bend-Elkhart region. Leaders at the College hope that once established, this program will serve as a replicable model to be implemented in other regions of the state.

“With a teacher shortage across the country, we hope this program will be a compelling opportunity for Holy Cross College and aid in our pursuit of increasing academic rigor and deepening our Catholic identity. The College has a strong history of preparing students to return to their local communities, especially in Indiana, to work, serve, and live meaningful lives,” said president Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C.

According to Lilly Endowment Inc., colleges and universities in Indiana are planning new strategies to address the challenges affecting higher education, and Lilly Endowment is making grants to support these efforts through the Charting the Future initiative. The grants to all 38 accredited public and private colleges and universities in the state range from $1 million to $5 million and are based on the size of student enrollment at each school. Funds will support a wide array of efforts – from building new partnerships among colleges and universities and improving recruitment and retention of students, to strengthening local community engagement and better serving first-generation, African American and Latinx college students.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

Latinos Unidos gives students family feel away from home

Latinos Unidos gives students family feel away from home

By Dillon Begley ’21

September 15 – October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. Throughout this month, we as a nation celebrate the great influence and contributions Hispanic Americans have made throughout the history and culture of America. Thus, it seems like a great time to highlight and share to the Holy Cross College community one of the most active clubs on campus Latinos Unidos.

The basic foundation for and principles of this club come straight from the preamble in its club constitution. It states, “Latinos Unidos wishes to formulate and identify as a united Latino community within the Holy Cross College family. With hopes of giving students a family feel away from home and aspire to be good mentors for one another as we seek to give service to those in the South Bend community.” The club has striven for this united community effort through many events and activities. Such events include Las Posadas in December and a celebration of the famous “Day of the Dead” holiday through a Dia de los Muertos ofrenda where deceased loved ones are honored. Other activities have included, but have not been limited to an annual volleyball tournament, hot Cheetos sale, and pie day.

Aside from all the extra benefits and fun that can come from the activities and events, this club is certainly a worthwhile one to join for those who are interested for the simple reasons of unity with one another and for greater education. If anyone is interested in this club or feels drawn to it, then they should consider joining and give it a chance. From the club constitution, the objective of the club is “to unite all members with the community through increasing knowledge of the Hispanic culture, giving back to the community, and maintaining awareness as well as respect for all other cultures.” It has often been said that this is in fact “the most active club on campus.”

To become a member of Latinos Unidos, one must be either a Holy Cross College student or graduate, have maintained a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average, and dedicate eight hours per month to the Latinos Unidos group. Meetings for the club take place at either three locations of the Starbucks/Max area, the dining hall, or off campus. Anyone that wishes to learn more about Latinos Unidos or to become engaged in the Latino culture on campus can contact Florecita Avalos at

Holy Cross ranked among Midwest’s Best Regional Colleges by U.S. News & World Report

Holy Cross ranked among Midwest’s Best Regional Colleges by U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report has released its newest Best College rankings list, and Holy Cross College is excited to announce we ranked number 34 (tie) among Best Regional Colleges–Midwest, number 27 for Best Value Schools among Regional Colleges–Midwest, and number 57 for Top Performers on Social Mobility.

“Holy Cross College is a truly distinctive place with a remarkable community offering a meaningful, contemporary liberal arts education in the Catholic tradition and I am pleased that we have 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 endlessly curious scholars; bold, informed citizens; globally minded leaders; and modern-day disciples.”

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

Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades lecture is September 24

Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades lecture is September 24

Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, will present “Faithful Citizenship in a Divided Nation and the Political Responsibility of Catholics” on September 24, at 7:00 p.m., in McKenna Arena, at the Pfeil Center.

“As we are witnesses to ongoing strife, division, and disunity, this talk from Bishop Rhoades will be a clarion call for Catholics to lead the way in promoting the Gospel messages of peace, justice, and the reign of Christ the King in our hearts and in our nation,” said Andrew Ouellette, Director of the Office of Campus Ministry.

Due to COVID-19 protocol restrictions, we cannot offer this opportunity to the general public. Instead, the event will be live-streamed on the College Facebook page @HolyCrossCollegeSaints.

Holy Cross College welcomes new members to the faculty and staff

Holy Cross College welcomes new members to the faculty and staff

Holy Cross College is excited to welcome three full-time faculty members this academic year, along with a new Director of Admissions.

John Biddle joins the College as an assistant professor of physics. He will be teaching two physics sequences, one for people planning to study engineering and the physical sciences, and another for people planning to study life sciences, including those in preparation for careers in health-related fields. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in education from the University of Notre Dame.

“During my work at Maryland, I studied phase transitions and critical phenomena, focusing on supercooled water in particular,” said Biddle about his background. “During that time, I was also a teaching assistant for Maryland’s physics education research group. In graduate school, I became particularly interested in non-equilibrium statistical and thermal physics, and biological phenomena presented, as they do now, some of the most interesting problems in that field. So, after I graduated from Maryland, I worked in the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School,” said Biddle about his background.

He is excited to be in the Midwest and teaching at Holy Cross College. “I hope that by teaching students physics I can give them new ways of looking at the world and at certain problems; help them see science in the broader context of human knowledge and wisdom; prepare them for gainful employment; and do all of this as part of an education that sustains and nurtures their faith in Christ. I’d also like to work out some of the implications of my earlier projects at Harvard and keep contributing to the ongoing research into nonequilibrium statistical physics and in particular the physics of biological systems.”

Emily Ransom is the new assistant professor of English. She earned her Ph.D. in English at the University of Notre Dame and also holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and from North Carolina State University, along with taking courses with University College Cork, the Folger Institute in Washington, D.C., National University of Ireland Galway, the Paideia Institute in Rome, and the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School.

“Coming to Holy Cross allows me to deepen my experience of Catholic education that I had at Notre Dame with a wider range of students, more similar to those I taught at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. I am excited about the sense of community, the large number of first-generation college students, the small class sizes, and the mission to form students holistically. As a Christian scholar in a secular discipline, I’m thankful to be in a community where faith and scholarship are seen as mutually enriching,” said Ransom.

She is excited about finding ways to develop the College’s integrative, experiential opportunities for students. “I’d love to create more interactive events like poetry readings, outdoor theatre, service learning in the South Bend community, hands-on editorial experience, and study abroad.”

Rana Van Voorhis is a visiting instructor of biology in the Physical and Life Sciences department, and will be teaching Biology Honors, Microbiology, and Great Ideas in Science for this semester and possibly adding Genetics for next semester. She has a M.S. in Medical Science from the University of South Florida and B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Notre Dame.

“I am originally from Ocala, Florida. I grew up with four older brothers on a peanut and cattle farm. My parents were public school teachers in central Florida for over 30 years. In Florida, I started teaching in secondary education in 2010 and started in post-secondary education in 2013,” notes Van Voorhis. “I moved back to the area for my husband to matriculate in medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine – South Bend. We have three young children. I love the area and I love being back in my old stomping grounds from my undergrad years. It has been a pleasure to teach the students from Holy Cross.”

Marisa (Villano) Simon will be leading the admissions team as the Director of Admissions, as well as collaborating with campus partners, in recruiting students to Holy Cross College. She has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, with a concentration in Life Sciences, and Korean minor from the University of Notre Dame.

“Over the last decade, I have come to call South Bend home, and I’m excited to work more closely with the local community. More specifically, the people I’ve met here and their affinity for Holy Cross College have inspired and excited me to serve the College and its mission,” said Simon. “I’m looking forward to shaping the future classes of scholars, citizens, leaders, and disciples. With my background in mathematics, I hope to use technology and data models to inform our decisions while maintaining the personal approach to recruiting the best-fit students.”

Richard Garnett to deliver Constitution Day lecture

Richard Garnett to deliver Constitution Day lecture

Richard Garnett will deliver a lecture on “Religious Freedom & the Constitution Today” on September 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the Driscoll Auditorium at Holy Cross College in commemoration of Constitution Day. He is the Paul J. Schierl / Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Law, Director of Notre Dame Program on Church, State & Society, and Concurrent Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame Law school

“As President Clinton observed, “religious freedom is . . . our first freedom.” It was central to the Founders’ vision for the American political community. They did not always agree about what religious freedom means or requires, but they knew that it matters, and that it should be respected in policy and protected by law. James Madison, the Father of our Constitution, hoped that America’s religious-liberty experiment promised a lustre to our country. This lecture will take stock of this experiment and of recent court decisions and controversies, and consider the rights of religious believers and institutions and their roles and voices in American public life today,” notes Garnett about the event.

He is a leading authority on questions and debates regarding the role of religious believers and beliefs in politics and society. He has published widely on these matters and is the author of dozens of law-review articles and book chapters. Garnett is regularly invited to share analysis and commentary in national print and broadcast media, and he contributes to several law-related blogs, including Mirror of Justice and PrawfsBlawg.

Garnett clerked for the late Chief Justice of the United States, William H. Rehnquist, during the Court’s 1996 term and also for the late Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Richard S. Arnold. He earned his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1995 and his B.A., summa cum laude, from Duke University in 1990. Before joining the college, he practiced law in Washington, D.C., with Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin.

He has been with the University of Notre Dame since 1999, and served on the Notre Dame Task Force on Catholic Education, is a Fellow of the University’s Institute for Educational Initiatives, and is a regular consultant with the Alliance for Catholic Education.

Garnett is a founding director of the University of Notre Dame Law School’s Program on Church, State, and Society. This interdisciplinary project focuses on the role of religious institutions, communities, and authorities in social order.

“I invited Professor Garnett because he is an expert in Constitutional Law and Modern Constitutional Theory. I hope that experts like Professor Garnett will provide a compelling and balanced analysis of the Constitution and its relationship to religious freedom, an analysis that is more thoughtful and subtle than what is available in popular sources like talk radio, television, or the blogosphere,” said associate professor of history and department chair Angel Cortes, Ph.D.

Due to COVID-19 protocol restrictions, we cannot offer this opportunity to the general public. Instead, the event will be live-streamed on the College Facebook page @HolyCrossCollegeSaints

New group works toward advancement of black and multicultural students

New group works toward advancement of black and multicultural students

The Holy Cross College community will have an opportunity to discuss topics related to race and other areas of social injustice with the creation of the Black Student Association. Students from all background are encouraged to attend meetings and events throughout the year.

“The idea of the Black Student Association came from myself and co-founder (and recent grad) I.C Young wanting the black community at Holy Cross College to have a safe space to talk about things that we as black Americans face on a day-to-day basis and share some similar and different experiences. We wanted to create a voice for our black students and help us feel connected as a community,” said co-founder, current president and senior Beyoncé Shaw.

The goal is to provide a home away from home atmosphere for students, to help the African American community at Holy Cross develop academically, and work towards the advancement of the black and multicultural students at Holy Cross College.

“I, along with my vice president Caleb Pack and treasurer Larenzo Moore, hope that the Holy Cross College community can get a glimpse and a better understanding of black culture and history while seeing things through our lens or point of view. We hope that Black Student Association can be a learning tool for everyone at Holy Cross College of the black experience, not only in school, but in our everyday aspects of life,” notes Shaw.

Everyone of all walks of life are invited to the events and join the organization.

First year students for fall 2021 are test-optional

First year students for fall 2021 are test-optional

Holy Cross College will grant first year admissions for fall 2021 as test-optional. Applicants that took the ACT and/or SAT are welcome to submit scores to supplement their applications, but scores will not be required for an application to be considered for review and admission to Holy Cross College. To help the Office of Admissions understand a student’s situation, a new question has been added to the Holy Cross College section of the 2021 Common Application.

For those unable to submit a standardized test score, the College will perform a more rigorous review of high school curriculum, grade point average (GPA), and class rank. No additional requirements are needed in lieu of the test score, but applicants are welcome to supplement applications with resumes and teacher recommendations. Students who do not submit scores may be invited to participate in an admissions interview. Prospective student-athletes should defer to eligibility requirements issued by the NAIA.

“We recognize that adaptations and adjustments will be needed in our academic operations in these extraordinary times while still maintaining our goal of providing a quality, contemporary liberal arts education rooted in the heart of the Holy Cross Mission of academic, social, and spiritual growth.” notes Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C.

Holy Cross College will review its policies for fall 2022 and beyond after the 2021 application cycle is completed. For more information contact the Holy Cross College Office of Admissions at 574.239.8400 or email