Holy cross

Sainte-Croix celebrates the investiture of the 33rd President Vincent D. Rougeau

President Vincent Rougeau during his inauguration speech. Photo by Matt Wright

Students applaud as the procession makes its way to the Hart Center at the Lute Athletic Complex.  Photo by Matt Wright
Students applaud as the procession makes its way to the Hart Center at the Lute Athletic Complex. Photo by Matt Wright

President Vincent Rougeau receiving the Mace from the hands of President Emeritus, Reverend Philip L. Boroughs, SJ Photo by Matt Wright
President Vincent Rougeau receiving the Mace from the hands of President Emeritus, Reverend Philip L. Boroughs, SJ Photo by Matt Wright

President Vincent Rougeau with his wife Dr Robin Kornegay-Rougeau.  Photo by Matt Wright
President Vincent Rougeau with his wife Dr Robin Kornegay-Rougeau. Photo by Matt Wright

Vincent D. Rougeau was installed as the 33rd president of the College of the Holy Cross – the first lay president and first black to lead the 178-year-old institution – in a ceremony punctuated with inspiring words and feelings of excitement and hope.

The installation, held at the Hart Center at the Lute Athletic Complex, marked the ceremonial seal of a term that began on July 1 when Rougeau succeeded his predecessor, the Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, SJ, who was also present.

A nationally respected expert in legal education and Catholic social thought, Rougeau was dean of Boston College Law School and inaugural director of the new Boston College Forum on Racial Justice in America, prior to his arrival at Holy Cross. He is currently President of the Association of American Law Schools.

Brother Joseph M. O’Keefe, SJ, first Provincial of the Eastern Province of the United States of the Society of Jesus and former student of the Class of ’76, welcomed Rougeau into his ministry as 33rd President of the College of the Holy Cross during the installation ceremony. .

O’Keefe, who worked with the president during his tenure at Boston College, said Rougeau has “the skills and knowledge to affirm the Catholic, Jesuit and Ignatian mission of this school in a way that is open to knowledge, dedicated to the pursuit of faith and the struggle for justice, and aware of the importance of liberal arts education.

In his inaugural address, Rougeau spoke about the challenges ahead for higher education and stressed the importance of ensuring that higher education is a place where people from all walks of life can participate in the pursuit of social justice. .

“This is our enduring mission, guided by our Catholic faith and reflecting the changing times,” said Rougeau. “This is a time of opportunity, daring hope and belief in the transformative power of education. It is a day when a black layman from the south can lead a Jesuit college in New England.

Rougeau, accompanied by his family, including his mother Shirley, his father Weldon and his stepmother Shirley, his wife Robin Kornegay-Rougeau, MD, three sons, Christian, Alex and Vincent Jr. (“VJ”), shared his bold vision for the College, a vision rooted in the enduring values ​​of a Jesuit, Catholic liberal arts education.

“Through a dynamic expression of Jesuit mission today, we will lead Holy Cross to realize its full potential as one of the best liberal arts institutions in the world,” said Rougeau. “At Holy Cross, we accept that our world is knotty and imperfect. We believe that the best preparation for the challenges of the 21st century is a broad liberal education rooted in discovery and amplified by our Catholic intellectual traditions.

Members of the communities of Holy Cross and Worcester, including representatives from colleges and universities across the country, attended the event; the Rev. Joseph M. O’Keefe, SJ, Provincial of the Eastern Province of the USA of the Society of Jesus; the mayor of Worcester, Joseph Petty; and Most Reverend Robert Joseph McManus, STD, Bishop of the Diocese of Worcester, among others.

Richard H. Patterson ’80, Chairman of the Board, shared his approval and enthusiasm for Vincent Rougeau as the new leader of the College.

“We are fortunate to have a leader who has the skills, the talent and the moral compass to meet the challenges ahead,” said Patterson. “With Vince Rougeau, we have a leader whose intimate knowledge of higher education, whose faith and commitment to Catholic social education… whose ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences… and whose perspectives on Today’s complex world problems will be very, very good for us. “

Patterson’s enthusiasm was reflected in the throng of students wearing matching purple shirts who marched to the Lute Sports Complex to form a procession line for the installation ceremony, as well as the co-chairs of the Student Government Association, Maggie Ober’22 and Connor McNerney ’22 in their remarks.

“President Rougeau, with not even a full semester ended, your presence here on the Hill has been clearly felt,” said Ober. “From meeting various groups of students on campus, tailgating at Freshman Field and welcoming alumni from everywhere, the crusaders past and present have known your kindness and generosity. . We know that your welcoming, warm and bright spirit will lead current and future students to greatness.

The inaugural festivities included a faculty symposium on Thursday, October 21 titled “Global Engagement and Democratic Citizenship” with an opening speech by Martha Minow, human rights expert, lawyer and former dean of the law school from Harvard; a special concert with renowned jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard at Mechanics Hall in Worcester on the same day; and an inaugural mass on Friday, October 22 at the chapel of Saint-Joseph de Sainte-Croix.

To see more photos and videos of the inauguration events and read Rougeau’s remarks, visit our inaugural website.