Hey again, all! These blog posts have been coming fast and furious lately, but hey, it’s been a productive start to the summer – it’s so unlike me, it’s weird. Wanted to talk a bit about the big event that just happened down on Fitton Field last week, which I was honored to witness – commencement 2014! With the doomsday calendar ticking down to my own graduation in less than a year now, I figured it was time to go and see what I’ve got coming my way. Even just sitting there in the stands (with my awesome friend Colette Houssan ’15 keeping me company), I got premonitions as to what’s coming next May, and I can already tell… it’s gonna be a DOOZY.
With the Fitton Field stands packed to bursting – I had to park all the way up the mountain on the Hart Center lawn, it was so crowded by the time I got there – we all watched as the graduating seniors and Holy Cross faculty processed in full regalia onto the field.
NO time was wasted before Fr. Boroughs dived right into distributing 675 Bachelor of Arts degrees to an outstanding group of men and women, who are all headed off to do some BIG things in the world. Keep an eye out for these guys, I’m telling you!
Diplomas taken care of, it was time for the speeches to begin. The first was from Class of ’14 valedictorian Jeff Reppucci, featured recently on NBC Nightly News for his extraordinary service project, Working for Worcester. A member of the varsity Men’s Hockey Team, Jeff’s done some pretty amazing things in just his four short years at the Cross, and his speech – about how community service can be done by anyone, anywhere, even after they’ve left school – gave absolutely no indication of his cooling down anytime soon. Go get ’em, Jeff!
Next came one of the headlining events of the day, something that set the bar SERIOUSLY high for my own graduation next year: the commencement address, delivered by none other than Jon Favreau, Class of ’03. For those unfamiliar with what Jon’s been up to in those eleven years, go find one of the speeches that have come from the Oval Office since a certain Barack Obama (you may have heard of him) took office, and you’ll get your answer. The amazing talent behind those historic speeches was on full display last Friday, and all I have to say is – wow. Favreau offered advice on professional life, personal life, & the world at large, and I was leaning further and further forward as he went along. One particular chestnut that stood out: “There are two kinds of people – people who want to BE something, and people who want to DO something.” Well, Mr. Favreau, just let me be one among many to say you DID an incredible job, and I thank you sincerely.
And after a singalong “Alma Mater” that I’m sure brought out a few purple and white tears, it was up to Kimball Dining Hall for a reception with the newest members of the Holy Cross Alumni Association. Two in particular I want to give a special shout-out to (and coincidentally, the very two I was able to snag pictures with).
1) The aforementioned Karina O’Friel! A fellow English major, I got to know Karina really well this past year after taking a Shakespeare and a detective literature class with her. She’s actually been featured on this blog previously for her prowess as a long-distance runner, and the streets of Harrison, NY, should be excited as she blazes new routes from her new place of full-time employment!
2) Sam McGrath! I’ve known Sam since I was a freshman, he’s been my RA for the past two years, and he was a roommate for the past two semesters. Besides being a school record-holder for the Men’s Track Team and 2014 recipient of the Varsity Club Norton Prize, Sam’s the biggest Springsteen fan I’ve met at Holy Cross, and his encyclopedic knowledge of the Boss’ history has fueled many a discussion. A true gentleman, an all-around nice kid, and someone I’m honored to call a friend!
Sam, Karina, and many, MANY others who I unfortunately don’t have the time or space to single out here, will be sorely missed on campus now. I know they’re each headed on to change the world in their own individual ways, but they’ve left some mighty gaping shoes to fill on campus as a result. I’ve got a whole summer in front of me to prepare for that gauntlet, but sitting in the stands at Fitton Field, I was struck by the discomforting realization that it won’t be long AT ALL before I’ll be witnessing commencement from a ground-level perspective. Here’s hoping I can live up to the potential of my senior year the same way these men and women lived up to theirs!
Good-bye, good luck, and CONGRATULATIONS to all of you!!!