Stonehill Celebrates "Sem" 45th Anniversary

July 30, 2015

On the 45th anniversary of students living in Holy Cross Center, alumni, professors and former staff members recently gathered in the Sem, as the residence hall is more commonly called, to mark the occasion. Life at the Sem has always been defined by a very student-centered communal ethos and former residents are passionate about their experience of living there and how it helped them to mature as young adults. More than 50 alumni, from the early seventies to members of the Class of 2011, attended the event and many brought their children with them.

The schedule began with Mass in the Chapel of St. Joseph, the Worker. Brunch in the kitchen followed and, with all the doors in the building open, the attendees were free to explore their old home-away-from-home.

Among the attendees were Professors Thomas Clarke ’57 and Joseph Skaff. Former Admissions Director Brian Murphy ’68 and Rev. Willy Raymond, C.S.C. ’67, both of whom are former Sem residents, were there, as was the former Director of Holy Cross Center Bill Braun, an influential figure for alumni who lived there during the 1970s. For a related story on Braun who has been honored with a scholarship in his name, visit here.

Former Sem resident Rev. Kevin Spicer, C.S.C. ’87 celebrated the Mass. On the altar, Fr. Spicer was joined by another former Sem resident Rev. Robert Kruse, C.S.C. and the current Alumni Chaplain Rev. Anthony Szakaly, C.S.C.

A modern building, which brings together aesthetic and practical dimensions, the Sem is the College’s largest residence hall at 100,000 square feet. Located on Rte. 138, it also is the furthest one from main campus. Although its residents have a longer walk to and from class, they enjoy their own dining hall, a huge plus in the winter, a courtyard oasis and a beautiful main chapel.

In 1959, it was dedicated as a seminary for the Congregation of Holy Cross, which still owns the building and rents it to the College, The chapel and library wing were completed in 1962.  In 1970, because of declining seminary enrollment, a special community living experiment program was created where students lived with seminarians.  This continued until 1973 when it became a dorm and a community living experiment. Since 1980, the building has served as a regular residence hall.