2015 Year in Review

December 28, 2015


Stonehill Awarded Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification

The New Year began with Stonehill receiving the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, signifying the College’s strong commitment to serving others.

Stonehill Mourns Loss of Navy SEAL William "Blake" Marston '07

Also in January, the College mourned the passing of Navy SEAL William "Blake" Marston '07 who passed away during a military training accident.  In September, added to his hometown’s Global War on Terrorism monument.

Alumna Nicole Bollerman '10 Appears On Ellen Degeneres Show

The story of Nicole Bollerman ’10 donating all $150,000 in prize money she received by winning a contest sponsored by CapitalOne warmed the hearts of many across America, including Ellen Degeneres.


Record-Breaking Snowfall Hits Stonehill Campus

Throughout New England, the end of January and the entire month of February was snowmageddon with over 110 inches of snow. With a 384 acre campus to maintain, Stonehill’s facilities staff was put to the test as the campus was hit with snow storm after snow storm. Recognizing the amount of work which went into cleaning up the snow, Tommy Farrell ’17 set up a fundraising page for the facilities staff as a way to thank them for their efforts.





Remembering Professor Ray Pepin
Over four decades, Professor Ray Pepin, who died in February, taught economics to our Stonehill students. In a stellar academic career from 1969 to 2008, the published scholar also chaired the Economics Department. As Director of Academic Computing and then Director of the Academic Computer Center, he contributed significantly to the development of computer studies at the College. 

Another Match Made: Stonehill Student Becomes Fourth Known Be the Match Donor

In February, we reported that William Baker ’16 had become the fourth bone marrow donor through the Be The Match Registry on campus.


Totes & Ties: Custom Stonehill Vineyard Vines Items Go On Sale
The senior class had a hit idea on its hands when it began selling Stonehill Vineyard Vines ties & tote bags in March.

Stonehill Student Awarded EPA Fellowship
Economics and Environmental Studies major Thomas Gumbley ’16 was awarded a $50,000 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowship For Undergraduate Environmental Study. Gumbley, who is a Moreau Honors Scholar, is the first Stonehill student to receive the GRO Fellowship and it is the largest amount of federal merit awarded to a Stonehill student as well.



Stonehill Mourns Death of Thomas Shields

With the death on April 2 of healthcare entrepreneur Thomas Shields, the College lost a great and loyal friend who knew and loved Stonehill very much, especially its students. Additionally, the College was also saddened by the passing of Criminology Professor Pam Kelley’s daughter Sabrina after a long and courageous battle with cystic fibrosis in April.

Stonehill Named to President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll
The White House continued to recognize Stonehill for its commitment to service as the College was yet again named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The College has received the honor every year the program has run since it was first launched in 2006.

Spitfire- Stonehill Theatre Company Debuts Spring Performance

The Stonehill Theatre Company and the Department of Visual & Performing Arts presented their spring musical production of “The Spitfire Grill” at Hemingway Theatre in April. Based on the award-winning film by Lee David Zlotoff, the musical depicted the journey of a young woman just released from prison who starts her life anew in a rural Wisconsin town.

Campus Minister Tim Mouton, C.S.C. Celebrates Ordination

Campus Minister Tim Mouton, C.S.C. was one of six Congregation of Holy Cross seminarians to be ordained to the priesthood and shortly after, he celebrated his first Mass at Stonehill’s Chapel of Mary in April.

College Recognized for Sustainable Efforts by Princeton Review
For the second year in a row, the Princeton Review included Stonehill in its guide to the most environmentally responsible schools.

Nicole Bollerman’s Third-Grade Class Visits Stonehill

When teaching her third graders, Nicole Bollerman ’10 stresses to them the importance of attending college. To give them a taste of college life, she brought her class to the College at the end of April.


Commencement 2015

Beautiful weather served as the back-drop for the 64th Commencement on Sunday, May 17. During the ceremony Hayley Conklin ’15 became the 25,000th student to graduate from Stonehill and One Fund Administrator Ken Feinberg delivered the keynote address.

Heather Abbott ’96 Receives President’s Award For Excellence

The 55th Annual President’s Dinner at Stonehill, honored Stonehill alumna and Boston Marathon Bombing survivor Heather Abbott ’96 with the President’s Award for Excellence. One of Stonehill's highest honors, the award honors individuals and organizations that have made unique and outstanding contributions to public life, business, and to the arts and sciences. Abbott lost a leg in the bombing and was honored for her resilience in the face of tragedy and for creating the Heather Abbott Foundation which provides prostheses to those who have lost limbs in traumatic circumstances.

Reunion 2015
More than 700 alumni as well as 400 family and friends attended Reunion the last weekend in May. Ten anniversary classes and 13 Pillar Society classes participated in the three day celebration. Alumni and guests explored campus, showed their children around, caught up with friends and prayed for deceased classmates.


Northeast-10 Conference Presidents’ Cup Champions!

For the fifth time, Stonehill captured the Northeast-10 Conference Presidents’ Cup at the end of the 2014-15 sports season. Recognizing athletic excellence, the Cup is awarded to the school that compiles the most points based on the placement at the conclusion of the regular season of each of its programs which compete in league championships. Stonehill won seven NE-10 Championships, with regular season titles in volleyball, women’s basketball and ice hockey as well as postseason championships for women’s cross country, field hockey, women’s tennis and women’s indoor track and field.

Top Catholic School

Stonehill was among the top Roman Catholic colleges and universities in America according to a listing by College Factual, which is affiliated with USA Today. With 170 Catholic institutions ranked on the list, which our sister school Notre Dame topped, the College came in at number 12.

Stonehill's Bronwyn Heather Bleakley Awarded $899,000 NSF Grant

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Professor Bronwyn Heather Bleakley a CAREER Grant worth $899,000. The prestigious grant allows Bleakley to expand her research on proximate and evolutionary causes of social behaviors while giving our science students comprehensive research and mentorship experiences. It marked the first NSF CAREER Grant awarded to a faculty member at the College.

Stonehill Alumna Named Massachusetts Principal of the Year
In June, Patricia (Connors) Fry ’94 was named the Principal of the Year in Massachusetts. The Principal at Plymouth South High School, Fry was lauded by peers, students, community members and her superiors for her influence on school culture, student achievement and shared leadership.

Stonehill Alumnus & Trustee John Drew ’65 Receives Visionary Award

The Boston Business Journal honored John Drew ’65 with its real estate Visionary Award for 2015 in recognition of his four decades of reshaping Boston’s landscape. The award noted how 30 years ago, Drew saw the potential for a booming Seaport District, something few others saw at that time. An English major, Drew went on to develop Boston’s World Trade Center, Seaport Hotel, Seaport East &West, and Waterside Place.

Stonehill Mourns Passing of Professor Emeritus of Economics James Wiles

Professor Emeritus of Economics James Wiles, who taught at Stonehill from 1955 until he retired in 1992, died in June. In addition to his teaching and research, Wiles worked closely with Professor Richard Finnegan on developing the College’s Archive of Irish Official documents.

College Announces Distinguished Richard B. Finnegan Professorship in Political Science and International Relations

Since he started teaching in 1968, Richard Finnegan ’64 has been a stellar member of the Stonehill community. And, in recognition of all he has accomplished as a teacher, scholar, author, administrator, ambassador, and mentor for many students, the College honored him by creating the Distinguished Richard B. Finnegan Professorship in Political Science and International Relations.


Remembering Tom Kennedy ’03

A member of the Class of 2003, State Senator Tom Kennedy passed away in July.

Stonehill Financial Aid Expert Honored By National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
The College’s point person on financial aid Eileen O’Leary ’91 was honored for her “clear vision,” “rigorous professional ethics,” and “doing what’s right for students” by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. O’Leary, assistant vice president for student financial assistance, received the group’s Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award at its national conference before 2,500 professional colleagues. In addition to her duties at Stonehill, where she has worked for the past three decades, O’Leary has most recently served as NASFAA’s national chairperson.

The “Sem” Turns 45

On the 45th anniversary of students living in Holy Cross Center, alumni, professors and former staff members gathered in the Sem, as the residence hall is more commonly called, to mark the occasion.


Davis Educational Foundation Awards Student Mentorship Grant to Stonehill
In recognition of Stonehill’s track record in transformative education and its forward-looking ideas about how to help each student create a successful college and post-graduate blueprint, the College was awarded a major grant to enhance its current mentorship and advisement outreach to students. A two-year, $233,800 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation will allowed Stonehill to launch Think. Act. Lead: A Path to Each Student’s Story, an expanded college-wide integrated academic, professional, personal, and spiritual mentoring program.

Expanded and Renovated Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex Opens

After over a year of construction, the expansion and renovation of the Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex opened to the campus community at the start of the fall semester. With the addition of the Rev. Mark T. Cregan, C.S.C. Athletic and Fitness Center, the building offers enhanced fitness and wellness options for varsity athletes and recreational users.


U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren Comes To Campus

With student debt very much on the minds of families across America, the Martin Institute hosted a round table conversation on the issue featuring U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Historic Win for Football

The Stonehill football team’s win over Bloomsburg University on Sept. 5th was the program’s highest-ranked opponent victory in history. Ranked 11th in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II preseason poll, Bloomsburg was held to just one touchdown in the 27-10 victory for the Skyhawks.

Navy's Second in Command Admiral Michelle Howard Visits Stonehill
Admiral Michelle Howard, the U.S. Navy's second in command and the first female four-star Admiral, shared her insights on leadership, life challenges, decision making, goal-setting and much more before an overflow audience in the Pettit Atrium.

Off to See the Pope!

After a blessing from President John Denning, C.S.C. in the Chapel of Mary, nine students along with Rev. Pinto Paul, C.S.C. departed for our sister school King's College in Pennsylvania where they joined with students there before heading to the Papal Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Patrick Callaghan ’72 Named Outstanding Alumnus

In 2012, when Patrick Callaghan ’72 retired as President of Pepperidge Farm, he left a company that ranked in the top two percent of brands worldwide in brand equity. In appreciation for the honor that his business and leadership accomplishments have brought to Stonehill, the Alumni Association bestowed upon him the Outstanding Alumnus Award.

NPR: Stonehill among 50 Schools Nationwide that Make Most Financial Sense

A new National Public Radio (NPR) study, listed Stonehill among 50 schools nationwide that make the most financial sense. NPR's Planet Money team looked a little deeper into the White House’s College Scorecard, and used the data to create its own rankings of four-year programs. The College appeared at #45 on NPR's Schools That Make Financial Sense list.

Stonehill Student-Athlete Named to Allstate, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team
Stonehill’s Nick Chiocco was named to the 2015 Allstate, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team®, the most esteemed off-the-field honor in college football. Chiocco, the first Stonehill football student-athlete named to the Good Works Team®, is one of 11 out of the 22 honorees recognized from NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, Division III and NAIA out of a record 197 nominees from across all levels of college football.


Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Visits Campus

When Boston Mayor Marty Walsh visited campus, students eagerly asked him questions about urban politics, personal adversity, and paths taken and not taken in life.

Sports Complex Dedicated

The College officially dedicated the Rev. Mark T. Cregan, C.S.C. Athletic and Fitness Center in the Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex. President John Denning, C.S.C. gave the blessing and thanked all those who made the project a success. The College’s ninth president, Fr. Cregan returned to participate in the festivities as did Athletic legend Paula Sullivan–both of whom were driving forces behind the renovation and expansion of the Sports Complex.

Alumnus & Former Trustee Bill Devin ’60 Honored with Genesis Award
At a post dedication dinner of the Sports Complex, President John Denning, C.S.C. presented alumnus and former trustee William “Bill” Devin ’60 with the Genesis Award. Over three decades, Devin, who stepped down from the Board this year, has served three Stonehill presidents--Fr. Denning, Fr. Cregan and Father Bartley MacPhaidin.

Actors From The London Stage Visit Stonehill In Week-Long Residency
The premier Shakespearean acting company was on the Stonehill campus for a one week residency where they offered over 20 workshops and classes to students as well as nightly performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Alumnus Rev. Arthur Colgan, C.S.C. ’68 Appointed as Auxiliary Bishop in Peru
Pope Francis appointed Rev. Arthur Colgan, C.S.C. ’68 as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Chosica in the ecclesiastical province of Lima, Peru in October, making him our first alumnus to be named a bishop in the Catholic Church. A former trustee, Fr. Colgan has spent his religious life serving the poor in Peru. When he received the Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1993 in recognition of his dedication to building a church that ministers to the poor, he was hailed as "a man of hope in a time of tribulation."


Vice President Joe Biden Highlights Student Initiative In Op-Ed 
In an article about campus sexual assaults, Vice President Joe Biden recognized an initiative by Stonehill students in support of the It’s On Us campaign, which seeks to raise awareness about the issue and create prevention strategies. The student led sexual assault awareness event brought together the Student Government Association, the Moore Center for Gender Equality and Women’s Health & Empowerment Now. Students, staff, and faculty members were invited to wear a nametag for the day expressing how they have been personally affected by sexual assault, a point that Biden noted in his article.

Underrated School

On a top 50 list of America’s most underrated colleges, Stonehill stands at 18. For that list, Business Insider compared US News rankings of the best universities and the best liberal-arts colleges with PayScale's 2015-16 College Salary Report.  In doing so, they considered reputation and future earnings, looking for schools with modest US News rankings but high mid-career salaries. 

Stonehill Athletics Ranks Sixth in Division II with 96% ASR
Stonehill was once again recognized for its academic performance with regard to graduation rate by earning a 96-percent Academic Success Rating (ASR) as released by the NCAA. The ASR considers the academic success rate of the institution based on the graduation rate of student-athletes while also giving credit for any student-athletes that transferred from the institution while in good academic standing.

Stonehill Mourns Loss of Professor Jack Jackson
After a three year battle with metastatic cancer, Professor Jack Jackson died in November. A former health reporter, gifted writer and public relations professional turned communication professor, Jackson loved teaching at Stonehill. Just last year, the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Boston Chapter presented him with its most prestigious honor, the Diane Davis Beacon Award.

Stonehill Theatre Company Perform 18th Century Comedic Love Story “The Serpent Woman”
The Stonehill Theatre Company kicked off its 2015-2016 season with a performance of The Serpent Woman, an 18th century comedy, by Carlo Gozzi at the Hemingway Theatre in November.

They Are the Champions

Stonehill’s women’s cross country and field hockey teams both earned Northeast-10 Championships this season. In addition, the field hockey team advanced to the NCAA Semifinals and women’s cross country secured its sixth East Region title in the past seven years. Head coach Karen Boen was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II East Region Women's Coach of the Year for the 12th time as well.



On Giving Tuesday this year, a record 903 gifts totaling $191,939 was raised.

Field Hockey’s Erica Kelly ’16 Takes Top Honor

Senior All-America forward Erika Kelly ’16 put a cap to one of the top field hockey careers in NCAA Division II history with her selection as the Longstreth/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II National Player of the Year. Kelly is the seventh student-athlete in Stonehill history to collect national player of the year honors.

Stonehill Mourns Passing of Rev. Robert Kruse, C.S.C. 
Fr. Kruse, who passed away on December 29th, devoted his life to the service of Stonehill and played an instrumental role in its growth as a Catholic liberal arts college.  A philosophy major, he graduated from Stonehill in 1955.