Holy Cross religious call themselves Educators in the Faith, and are consecrated to their students’ good.
At the University’s Centennial, 1901-2001, the Board of Regents offered thanks to the more than four hundred Holy Cross religious who have served on the Bluff throughout that history. Some were just passing through, on their way to other posts and assignments. Some stayed long, and are part of the very roots of the University.
The Proclamation of Recognition voted by the Board accents how the character of the University and the Holy Cross religious have twined together in a century of living together, writing: “the University would be much reduced without the character and personality and courage and energy of the Holy Cross men who have been the best and brightest among us for a century”.
And indeed there have been many characters among the religious over the last century. For more than a century, the Holy Cross community has stood behind the University as a living endowment offering teaching and services (and refusing salaries too!) to keep the place going (see the interesting arithmetic in the remarks of the fourteenth president, Fr. Kenna, The President’s Message to Alumni, Academic Bulletin, 1956). How were they paid? By always holding first that the health, life, treasure and purpose of the University is the student — the student as individual, and the student body together. The same students who become our graduates.
A value cleanly expressed in a 1949 letter to Alumni from Fr. Mehling, the eleventh president, “You are our best salesmen’; repeated in 1956 by Fr. Kenna who reminds alumni that the tree is known by its harvest, ‘You are the criteria and the critic.’
These two notes from two middle presidents in UP history state the Holy Cross educational philosophy in brief. The service of Holy Cross instructors and residence hall chaplains ought to disappear into the background of memory (a sort of humility of purpose); but it is not against the Catholic mission and values to recruit new students by encouraging the alumni to brag about themselves!
[sources/notes] The text of the Board of Regents proclamation is on display in the Holy Cross Lounge, 3rd floor, Franz Hall. There you will also find the list of names of Holy Cross brothers and priests who have spent some part of themselves in this work from 1902 to today. Archives reference for Mehling letter, BG81x4, file 7, document 109. Kenna letter, Alumni Bulletin, February 1956.