In her Commencement remarks, class president Rebecca Merkel ’19 spoke about the mental health challenges facing students today. Addressing such a sensitive topic at a time of celebration is no easy undertaking. Rebecca did so with poise and purpose as she and class vice president Michael Everett ’19 prepared to present their class gift.

“We chose to contribute to the Wellness Initiatives Fund (WIF) because it is the right and compassionate thing to do. And we also believe it will lead to the creation of a more just and compassionate world,” Rebecca said.

Adding action to these words, Rebecca and Michael raised $5,260 from their peers in support of WIF. They also secured an additional $5,000 from Robin McQueen-Lynch ’80, who with Robert Flynn ’87, had generously established WIF as a way of improving our wellness programs.

A Stonehill education promises the power of an intelligent heart—something Rebecca, Michael, Robin and Robert all share. As you’ll read in “Addressing Mental Health Head On,” they collaborate, think clearly, act courageously and lead with compassion in helping us find ways to address mental health and wellness issues on campus.

In this issue, we also meet seven alumni who have found great satisfaction in caring for dogs, providing day care or medical care, canine therapy or grooming. Most of these alumni credit Stonehill faculty for sparking their interest in pet care. “A Beautiful Blessing” highlights our popular retreat program, which gives students the chance to ask big life questions and to connect with their faith.

In “Made Men,”, Stephen Burke ’80 reflects on the lifelong friendships he formed in Nantucket House his junior year through the randomness of housing assignments. We also report on the opening of the Leo J. Meehan School of Business building where our students are obtaining the kind of experiences that are more often available in graduate-level business programs. Many thanks to Trustee Leo Meehan ’75 for his drive and energy in helping us transform an idea into a reality.

I hope these stories remind us of how we can bring light and hope into our world, helping and serving each other.

As always, I welcome your voice, engagement and support of the College.

Sincerely in Holy Cross,

Fr. John Signature

Rev. John Denning, C.S.C.