Celebrating some of Stonehill’s trailblazers.
Over the past 75 years, Stonehill College graduates have led with heart and courage to break boundaries and create new pathways in their lives and careers. Here are some extraordinary alumni who dared to defy expectations as they achieved historic firsts.
A Tremendous Transfer
Stonehill officially became a coeducational institution in fall 1951. Nineteen women were admitted that year, but it was Luice Moncey ’53 who became the College’s first woman graduate. The Avon, Massachusetts, native transferred to Stonehill as a junior from the University of Massachusetts.
A Priest and a President
Though most know him as Stonehill’s longest serving president, Rev. Bartley MacPháidín, C.S.C. ’59 is also the first alumnus to hold the office.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the College, Fr. MacPháidín was ordained as a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1963. He later returned to Stonehill to teach theology. In 1978, he was named president of Stonehill. He stepped down from the role in 2000 but continued to serve the institution as President Emeritus and Chancellor until 2006. Though Fr. MacPháidín passed away in 2016, his legacy lives on. The College’s MacPháidín Library, built in 1998, was named in honor of the priest and president.
A Beneficent Bishop
When Pope Francis appointed Rev. Arthur Colgan, C.S.C. ’68 as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Chosica in Lima, Peru, in October 2015, he became the first Stonehill alumnus to be named a bishop in the Catholic Church.
The former Dorchester, Massachusetts, resident has spent much of his life assisting underserved communities in South America. He served other Peruvian bishops for many years by advising them on matters related to peace, violence and social justice. In recognition of his work and its impact, Bishop Colgan previously received Stonehill’s Outstanding Alumnus Award.
An Accomplished Athlete
Michael Alloco ’73 was not only the first Stonehill student-athlete to have his jersey number (24) retired but was also the first alumnus to be drafted by a professional sports team. In the 1970s, he was picked as the sixth selection of the Baltimore Bullets (NBA) and the fourth-round selection of the Virginia Squires (ABA).
Alloco is regarded as one of the best basketball players in Stonehill history. An outstanding outside shooter and rebounder, he finished his career with 2,399 points, a school record. In recognition of his talents, he was inducted into the College’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989.
A Compassionate CEO
Named after President and CEO of W.B. Mason Leo Meehan ’75, Stonehill’s Meehan School of Business was opened in 2019. At 63,450 square feet, the building enhances the College’s strong business programs with cutting-edge technologies and modern classrooms.
Just as he has helped break new ground at Stonehill, Meehan has had a similar impact on the company he has called home for several decades. As the first Stonehill alumnus ever hired by W.B. Mason, he has paved the way for the countless Stonehill alumni who currently work for the office supply company based in Brockton, Massachusetts.
A Benevolent Brother
Br. Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C. ’80 is the first brother to lead the Congregation of Holy Cross since Blessed Basil Moreau established it in 1837. This development came after Pope Francis approved a change in church law in May 2022.
Before serving in this capacity, the alumnus was the executive director of the National Religious Vocation Conference for 14 years. He also spent six years as the Congregation’s first general assistant and vicar, visiting and working with Holy Cross religious in their parishes, schools and social ministries across the globe.
A Lionhearted Leader
Claire Cronin ’82, who majored in political science at Stonehill, was nominated as the United States Ambassador to Ireland in June 2021. Before moving to the Emerald Isle to tackle international politics, the alumna from Brockton, Massachusetts, made quite a name for herself in local government. Cronin was the first woman to serve as House Majority Leader for the Massachusetts House of Representatives and also the first woman in the Commonwealth’s history to act as chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
A Brilliant Baller
Ed Cooley ’94, who was recently named the head coach of the men’s basketball team at Georgetown University, was the inaugural recipient of the Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award in 2010. Named after an icon in the history of basketball at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, this honor is presented annually to the top Division I minority coach. Cooley received the award while working as head coach of Fairfield University, a role he held for several years before transitioning to Providence College.