President's Page

Seeking and Wandering

Stonehill College President John DenningThere is a line from Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring that appeals to me: “Not all those who wander are lost.”

From experience, I know our wanderings can provide us with rich opportunities to learn, grow and become more aware of our values, hopes and potential. I often share these words with students, encouraging them to step off the beaten path and embrace the unexpected. In this issue, you will meet alumni who are taking risks, seizing unexpected opportunities and finding many ways to give back.

In our lead story, third grade teacher Nicole Bollerman ’10 took a chance, entered a contest and won a major financial prize, which she promptly donated to UP Academy in Dorchester, where she teaches. Her selfless generosity was all about helping the students at UP Academy get the best education possible.

In “Must See TV,” two alumni participated in popular television competition shows. Last year, Micah Christian ’06—who had put his dream of a singing career on hold—took advantage of the opportunity when “America’s Got Talent” came calling. He and his group, Sons of Serendip, reached the finals and broke into the music scene in a major way. At first, entrepreneur Brad Scudder ’04 hesitated to appear on “Shark Tank” with his business partner. Looking more closely at the opportunity, he saw the publicity and marketing value of participating. He took a risk and secured a lucrative deal that is helping his business to prosper.

In the essay “Lasting Influence,” Thomas MacDonald ’80 reflects on what he calls his “shoddy academic performance.” However, he also notes the impact of History Professor Rosemary Twoomey’s demanding 20th Century Values class, which introduced him to detective novels.MacDonald’s wanderings eventually brought him back to crime fiction and his love of writing. Today, he has written two successful novels and is working on a third.

Life, of course, requires balance, which is why, in “Now What? Tips on Navigating Finances Post Graduation,” there is practical advice for young alumni on how to be fiscally prudent and avoid debt.

Since our first Commencement in 1952, our graduates have gone out into the world and accomplished amazing things in their careers and personal lives. On May 17, when I address the senior class before they depart, I will encourage them always to allow some room for wandering in their lives.

I hope you enjoy all of the stories of alumni accomplishment and success in the magazine. As always, I welcome your voice, engagement and support of the College.
Sincerely in Holy Cross,


(Rev.) John Denning, C.S.C.