Holy cross

The Holy Cross Class of 2020 returns to campus to celebrate

Holy Cross College Class of 2020 Graduation Recognition Ceremony at Lute Athletic Complex on June 26, 2022 in Worcester, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Holy Cross)


Holy Cross College Class of 2020 Graduation Recognition Ceremony at Lute Athletic Complex on June 26, 2022 in Worcester, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Holy Cross)


Holy Cross College Class of 2020 Graduation Recognition Ceremony at Lute Athletic Complex on June 26, 2022 in Worcester, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Holy Cross)


Holy Cross College Class of 2020 Graduation Recognition Ceremony at Lute Athletic Complex on June 26, 2022 in Worcester, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Holy Cross)


Holy Cross College Class of 2020 Graduation Recognition Ceremony at Lute Athletic Complex on June 26, 2022 in Worcester, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Holy Cross)


Holy Cross College Class of 2020 Graduation Recognition Ceremony at Lute Athletic Complex on June 26, 2022 in Worcester, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Holy Cross)


Holy Cross College Class of 2020 Graduation Recognition Ceremony at Lute Athletic Complex on June 26, 2022 in Worcester, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Holy Cross)


Holy Cross College Class of 2020 alumni pose for photos in and around Fenwick Porch on June 25, 2022 in Worcester, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Holy Cross)


Holy Cross College Class of 2020 alumni pose for photos in and around Fenwick Porch on June 25, 2022 in Worcester, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Holy Cross)


Kate Beckerman, Maegan Moriarty and Grace Cogan pose for photos on the porch of Fenwick on June 25, 2022 in Worcester, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Holy Cross)


Holy Cross College Class of 2020 alumni pose for photos in and around Fenwick Porch on June 25, 2022 in Worcester, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Holy Cross)


Holy Cross College Class of 2020 alumni pose for photos in and around Fenwick Porch on June 25, 2022 in Worcester, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Holy Cross)


Holy Cross College Class of 2020 alumnus Kaion Huggins-Daniel looks on from the porch at Fenwick on June 25, 2022 in Worcester, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Holy Cross)

Members of Holy Cross College Class of 2020 returned to Mount St. James last weekend to wear caps and robes, walk across the stage, shake hands with the President and enjoy a delayed event. the pandemic originally scheduled for May 2020.

While the class saw their degrees awarded to them in a virtual celebration in May 2020 and enjoyed a virtual academic convocation in May 2021, last weekend’s event was their first in-person graduation celebration. since the class left The Hill in mid-March 2020.

Throughout the graduation ceremony held at the Hart Center at Luth Athletic Complex, College President Vincent D. Rougeau and President Emeritus Reverend Philip L. Boroughs, SJ, described moments of “Magic of the Holy Cross”.

The thousands of family and friends in attendance did not have to wait to witness it, as a prime example occurred at the start of the ceremony.

As Rose Gagne Grosskopf ’20 sang the national anthem, she stopped as the words slipped away from her. She remained calm and said, “Let’s try one more time.” During the second performance, thousands of people joined her, lifting her spirits and creating a moment when her classmates and their families rallied around her in a moment of difficulty.

“It was wonderful,” Gagne Grosskopf said. “It was a loving assurance that the class of 2020 was here.”

The gesture came as no surprise to anyone in attendance as the class continues the Jesuit spirit of living as men and women for and with others, overcoming obstacles and emerging stronger.

Prof Boroughs, who was president for the class’s four years on The Hill, told its members that the unstable world they have entered after leaving Holy Cross provides only valuable opportunities for growth.

“This is how wisdom is born. It comes from both success and failure, creativity and hard struggle. Excitement and disappointment,” he said. “It happens when you discover your own weakness or that of others you believed in. It happens when you have endured failure and learned to grow through it, by finding new possibilities and with the comfort and encouragement of others, the strength to continue.”

“I believe that leaving college as we did has created an extremely special class of resilient, compassionate human beings who will pursue meaningful work and lead a life of becoming men and women for and with the others,” said Marialena Bevilacqua. 20 said in his speech.

Sunday’s ceremony concluded four days of celebrations for recent graduates. Cheers, hand and back claps and lots of hugs were shared as they checked in to the Hogan Campus Center, picked up their class pin and moved between activities, including portraits of graduates on the Fenwick’s porch, a barbecue behind the Lute Athletic Complex and Bachelor’s Mass celebrated in St. Joseph’s Memorial Chapel.

“It’s bittersweet, but I’m so glad we got the chance to come back,” Kate Beckerman ’20 said.

“We are getting the closure that we haven’t had. Seeing all those places again…brings back nostalgic memories,” said Jayda Germain ’20.

While waiting for photos on the porch at Fenwick, Germain caught up with Kaion Huggins-Daniel ’20 and Nakia Robinson ’20. They had plenty of news to share: Germain works part-time for a health research organization while pursuing a master’s degree in regulatory affairs and health policy. Robinson has worked with fifth and sixth graders as they learn math and English; she has just started a graduate program in public administration and policy. Huggins-Daniel taught kindergarten at his old Bronx elementary school while hosting open-mic nights and working on his album.

“What’s so great about this weekend is that we can be with everyone and not have the sad aspects of leaving. We’ve already left and already cried that. Now we’re having fun and we’re let’s catch up with old friends,” said Grace Cogan ’20.

Itaru Fujiwara ’20 noted he wouldn’t have missed the weekend, traveling from his home base of Tokyo. “It meant a lot to my parents that I at least walked on stage, and I wanted to come back to campus to graduate,” he said. “We couldn’t say goodbye.

20-year-old Anna Acevedo’s face lit up as her mind wandered a few minutes back to the moment she walked across the stage and heard his name. As a first-generation college student, this moment meant just as much to her family.

“Giving this ceremony to my mother means a lot,” she said. “That means everything, to be honest.”

Writer Megan Bard contributed to this story.