Megan Whitacre \'14

It’s been three weeks since Graduation, and I’m finally ready to write my closing blog post.  I don’t have too much to say, really – it’s been a long, incredible four years and I am grateful I was able to document them on this blog.  Looking back, I am blown away by everything I have done and seen, the things I have learned, and especially the people I have met.  The College of the Holy Cross has been truly life-changing… and now that we have graduated the question becomes:  how then shall we live?

I first encountered that question – “how then shall we live?” – in an old brochure for Holy Cross during my senior year of high school.  I think it had something to do with Montserrat or the First Year Program (the predecessor of Montserrat) – I don’t remember, but regardless, the question stuck with me.  Since then, it has been the underlying theme of everything I have done at Holy Cross, and I have a feeling it will be the chorus for the rest of my life.  What does [insert event here] mean for my worldview and my future?  Now that I know what I know, how will I be and do better?  What can I do to strive for more?  Who can I be for others?  How then shall I live?

I would like to offer a big thank you and good bye to Admissions, who have given me this space for the past four years, and also to you all who have read my many posts.  I hope I have shed some light on life at Holy Cross for prospective students, and I hope you didn’t mind too much that I spent less time talking about daily life on the Hill and more time waxing philosophical (especially this past year!).  Thank you, especially, to my friends, classmates, and professors, all of whom made this Holy Cross experience everything it was.

And so it ends, but the question stands:  how then shall we live?  I have no idea – Holy Cross has certainly given me more questions than answers in that regard! – but one thing is for sure.  Thanks to Holy Cross, I will live fully.  I will live well.  That’s a gift I will never be able to repay.

On to the Alumni Association!

On to the Alumni Association!

“Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, falling in love in a quite absolute, final way.”

That quote has appeared more than a few times on my blog over the years, because Fr. Arrupe’s words were my introduction to Holy Cross back in 2010 and they have become integral to my Holy Cross experience.  “Fall in love, stay in love, and it will make all the difference.”

I’ve been spending the past few days at Cape Cod with the rest of my senior class.  It’s a Holy Cross tradition and we’ve been having a great time celebrating on the beach.  Tonight, however, my friends and I finally had to say goodbye to a junior friend, and as we sat around crying and listening to sad music I realized why this was so hard – we had fallen in love.  Thanks to the incredible people at Holy Cross, we – I – have fallen in love, completely, honestly, and unendingly.

I’m not shy about my love for Holy Cross.  My first few posts show a young girl totally infatuated.  Every single day was filled with wonder and amazement and I was so grateful to even be allowed to walk around campus.  As I got older and (only a little) wiser, I came back down to earth.  I became very busy, my posts were short and banal, life went on.  And yet, I was still so grateful to even be allowed to walk around campus.  This year, though, I feel different.  I am still in love with Holy Cross, but it is a deeper, more mature love – the sustainable, comfortable, forever kind of love.  The kind of love that Fr. Arrupe was talking about:  “nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, falling in love in a quite absolute, final way.”  Now, I am someone looking forward to a bright and exciting future, blessed to have had the Holy Cross experience and graced with the knowledge that Holy Cross will never really leave me.

And as always, I’m still so grateful to even be allowed to walk around campus.

A week from today we will be donning our robes and walking across Fitton Field, officially becoming Holy Cross alumni.  This is a terrifying and heartbreaking transition – how can I leave this place and these people that I love so much?

Tonight, for the first time all year, I understand:  I can leave because I have fallen in love, and even though I’m no longer a student, I will stay in love, and it will make all the difference.

Things I dig #6:  Finals.

Seriously, Megan, finals?  That’s one of your favorite things about life at Holy Cross?

I know it’s a little crazy.  Finals are stressful.  Everyone is studying.  24-hour quiet hours are being enforced across campus.  Dinand is packed 24/5.

(Side note: the fact that Dinand is open 24/5 is absolutely beautiful and deserves its own blog post.  I never thought I would need a 24-hour library, but Dinand made the change three years ago and now I don’t know how I am going to live WITHOUT a 24-hour library.)

Finals Week is tough, but I love it.  Even though it’s high-stress, it’s actually the least stressful week of the year for me.  Suddenly, because it’s finals, my schedule frees up – no meetings, no co-curriculars, no classes.  All I have to do for seven whole days is study, spend time with my friends, and take a few exams.

It’s like a breath of fresh air!  I can press pause on my usual Holy Cross love and truly enjoy life at Holy Cross.

(If that makes any sense at all.)

Also, there’s midnight breakfast, which is the greatest.  The Jesuits and the administrators take turns all week serving breakfast and showing their support.  Nothing makes me feel so understood and appreciated as being served bacon and eggs by Fr. Boroughs at midnight on a Sunday!


Wishing you all a happy and blessed Easter!  Easter break is giving me some much-needed time to catch up on my work, including this rather late post on another one of my favorite things at Holy Cross: Purple Pride Day!


Every spring, the Purple Key Society chooses one day to celebrate exactly what it sounds like – our Purple Pride!  Being one of those students who lives, eats, breathes, and bleeds purple, I love this day.  Campus is all decked out in purple, there are free cookies and lemonade in the classroom buildings, and the Purple Key Society has giveaways all day long.


And, of course, it’s all purple, which also happens to be my favorite color.  I’m honestly not sure what came first, my Holy Cross acceptance letter or my love of purple…


Also, congratulations to all the high school seniors who received their acceptance letters!  We just had accepted students day last week, and I was glad to meet some of you.  Best of luck with the college decision… And let me take this moment to cast my vote for Holy Cross!

Things I dig #2: Purple Pride.

A scene:

It’s a warm Sunday afternoon in April.

The sun is shining.

Students are playing frisbee on the Hoval.

I walk across campus, actually avoiding cutting through the buildings – since I no longer have to escape the cold!

People smile and say hello as we pass on the stairs.  They’re wearing shorts.  It’s really only about 45 degrees, but we’re just so happy to be out of winter clothes.

As I round the corner past the music library, the faint sound of someone practicing violin leaks out of one of the upper windows.  It sounds like an Irish jig on a fiddle.

There is not a cloud in the sky.  The sunshine hits the gilding on the chapel just right and everything gleams.  Brightly colored flowers bloom all around the chapel plaza.

Things I dig:  spring on campus!

Frisbee in the Hoval means it's FINALLY spring!

Frisbee in the Hoval means it’s FINALLY spring!


HC students write “thank you” on the windows of Hogan to celebrate Philanthropy Day. All those post it notes are something we are thankful for!

Yesterday was Philanthropy Day!  I think I write about this every year, because it’s one of my favorite days of the year (right up there with Applefest).  Philanthropy Day marks the point when, from that day on, the College runs solely on donations from its alumni.  So, we take this day to give thanks to all the Crusaders who came before us – because without them, this last month of senior year would not even be possible.  All of Holy Cross’s social media was celebrating Philanthropy Day with the hashtag #HCGivesThanks, so for my blog post isn’t going to be any different.  This entire year I have been writing about “things I dig” at Holy Cross, but here are some of the other things I’m thankful for that haven’t made the list!

1) The beautiful campus.  Especially now that it’s finally spring!

2) Kimball.  It’s not about the food, it’s about the experience – although the food isn’t that bad either.

3) Cool Beans iced tea.

4) Dinand, open 24/5.  All-nighter are so much more productive if you can spend them in the stacks!

5) The friends that have become my family.

6) The professors that are always so available.  (Shout out to Prof. Joseph, who represented the Classics department with me in Battle of the Departments last week.  We won second place!)

7) The small, tight-knit community.

…and the list goes on, but I’ve got to save some material for future blog posts!  Many, many thanks to all the people who keep this place running – I couldn’t be more grateful.

Things I dig #8:  #HCGivesThanks


I have no idea why it has taken me this long to go on a Spring Break Immersion trip.  I just returned from a week living in L’Arche Irenicon, a community of people with and without mental and physical disabilities in Haverhill, Massachusetts.  The week itself was challenging and rewarding beyond words… and I am so happy I went.

My own SBIP group, sightseeing in Haverhill.  Photo credit to Lauren, the group leader.

My own SBIP group, sightseeing in Haverhill. Photo credit to Lauren, the group leader.

The Spring Break Immersion Program is one of those stereotypical Holy Cross experiences – which is why I can’t believe I waited until senior year to participate.  Through the program, students spend their spring breaks living in various small towns in Appalachia, or immersed in urban areas like Chicago or Camden, or, as in my case, becoming part of one of the many L’Arche communities across the country.  We go to immerse ourselves, to do a little bit of service, but mostly to discover other ways of life.

HC students also go on SBIP trips to meet new people and make new friends - and the bonds we form are pretty tight!  Photo credit to Lauren, the group leader.

HC students also go on SBIP trips to meet new people and make new friends – and the bonds we form are pretty tight! Photo credit to Lauren, the group leader.

For me, the Spring Break Immersion Program exemplifies the motto “men and women for and with others” that is so prevalent here on campus.  I have always been proud of my peers who have participated in these trips in the past – because it’s a whole spring break doing service!  How very altruistic… how very Jesuit!  SBIP is where we truly become men and women living for others.

However, we are not just trying to live “for”.  We are living “for and with” – and that is something I did not understand until I finally went on a trip myself.  The people I met at L’Arche did not need me there to scrub their floors or clean their garages – though we did our fair share of both!  They did not need me to serve them, that is, to live for them.  On the contrary, they were inviting me and my group to live with them.  To hang out and talk.  To do puzzles and help cook dinner.  At L’Arche we spent a week playing Wii bowling and dancing in the living room and praying while we held hands around the dinner table… and for everyone involved, that was much more meaningful than any clean garage.

I am very grateful to the L’Arche community for welcoming us with open arms this week.  Without any hesitation, they opened their homes and their hearts to my group of nervous college students, and made us a part of their family.  Now, more clearly than ever, I understand both “for” and “with”and it is all thanks to them.

Things I dig about Holy Cross #10:  The Spring Break Immersion Program.  My only regret is that I did not join in earlier!

Photo credit to Lauren, our group leader.

Photo credit to Lauren, our group leader.

It’s a blizzard out there!  But, of course, I still had class this morning and I still have dance practice tonight.  Why?  Because Crusaders aren’t afraid of a few inches of snow.  We have things to learn!  People to see!

To all future Crusaders:  invest in a warm coat and a good pair of boots, because you’re going to need them.  This brief blog post is for one more small thing I love about HC:  even in snow like this, life goes on.


Tuesdays are my busiest days. I am scheduled almost down to the minute. But Tuesday nights are the best. Every week, CAB puts on a 10-Spot, that is, a two-hour show featuring student musicians starting at 10pm. There is a wide variety of performances, too – anything from guitars to keyboards to a Capella groups to heavy metal (that happened once last semester).

The 10-Spot is a great opportunity for students to showcase their musical talent, and it is an especially great mid-week study break for those of us that have musically-talented friends! In our first two years at Holy Cross, my friends and I went to the 10-Spot every week, where we would sit in Crossroads, listen to the live music, and do a little bit of homework. Now that we are all 21, we enjoy the 10-Spot every week from the Pub, where we listen to live music and do significantly less homework…

It’s the last semester.

Professors are looking at me with pity.  Administrators are dancing around the word “graduation”.  Every conversation in the Cool Beans line starts with “So, have any plans for next year?”.

The time has come to face it.  This is the end!  Of course, a little bit of a gloom has settled on the senior class.  It’s not enough to ruin our fun, but suddenly everything is prefaced with “the last”.  This is the last first day of classes!  This is the last first meal at Kimball!  This is the last time I will order a chalupa in Lower Kimball on January 24th!

However, part of me is really loving this gloom, this need to point out all the lasts around us.  It just goes to show exactly how much we have loved our time at Holy Cross, with all its ups and downs, its nights spent working hard in Dinand and meals that last for hours in Kimball.  Most of us are graduating college in four years, which is awesome, and in those four years we have done some incredible things.  Students have studied abroad.  They have participated in big research projects.  They have immersed themselves in service.  They have designed apps, acted as student teachers, interned in every discipline imaginable… the list goes on (I am sure you can find it elsewhere on this website!).  And, even though it is great to have earned a BA in four years, even though there are very exciting things ahead for all of us, we are sad to go.

Things I dig about Holy Cross #1:  You may leave the Hill, but the love of the Hill will never leave you.