IN THE MID-1960S, THOMAS MAY ’69 was excelling in his classwork, but financial difficulties had the potential to jeopardize his ability to complete his studies at Stonehill. College leaders, however, stepped in and found the resources necessary to ensure he would be able to earn his degree at the College. Tom went on not just to graduate, but also to become one of Boston’s top business leaders. A first-generation student, he has chaired our Board of Trustees since 2007, and he has never forgotten the way in which the College helped him at such a critical moment—sparking a lifetime of leadership and giving.
To show their appreciation, Tom and his wife, Donna (Jermyn) May ’70, have been a force—as volunteers, advocates and benefactors—in expanding opportunities for successive generations of Stonehill students.
Given their leadership and generosity, the Board of Trustees, at its fall meeting, named our School of Arts & Sciences in their honor. Our campus’ new Thomas and Donna May School of Arts & Sciences building is home to our Admission Welcome Center, the office of our Dean of Arts & Sciences Peter Ubertaccio, and the departments of history, philosophy and religious studies. (To read this story, visit here.)
It’s no coincidence this building is graced by a statue of Brother André Bessette, the first member of the Congregation of Holy Cross to be named a Catholic saint. A humble porter at Collège Notre-Damein Montreal, Br. André spent his life greeting visitors and attending to their needs.
St. André’s life was characterized by the virtue of hospitality, as is the College’s mission. A Stonehill education encourages students to develop a lifelong desire for self-discovery and commitment to service that will lead to truly purposeful and rewarding lives. St. André’s service and genuine concern for others are aspects of a Holy Cross tradition that Stonehill carries forth today and fosters in its students and graduates. Reflective of our founding mission, nearly a quarter of our first-year students are first-generation. It is paramount that we provide the resources and support necessary to assure they succeed and flourish, so that they become impactful leaders in our society, like Tom and Donna May.
This issue of the Stonehill Alumni Magazine also highlights the importance of mentorship in the lives of our students and alumni. In “A Good Sign,” Melanie (Malone) O’Neil ’99 explains how in her senior year, business faculty listened to her changing goals and guided her in achieving them. (To read Melanie's story, visit here.) Elizabeth Scopac ’12 recalls how Dean Ubertaccio helped her devise a unique major to support her goal of becoming a fashion designer (To read her story, visit here.) In our “Volunteer Spotlight,” we meet three young alumni who mentor current students as their way of giving back (To read their story, visit here.)
I hope this issue’s stories provide you with insight into how our educational mission continues to transform our students’ lives and how our alumni lead lives of meaning and purpose. Please come back and visit campus and know that you are always welcome.
Sincerely in Holy Cross,
Rev. John Denning, C.S.C.