From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The College of the Holy Cross is an exclusively undergraduate college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded by Bishop Benedict Joseph Fenwick as a school for boys under the auspices of the Society of Jesus, it was the first Catholic college in New England. The land was purchased in 1836 by Rev. James Fitton, and the cornerstone was laid in 1843. The first class graduated in 1849, led by their valedictorian James Augustine Healy. Fenwick Hall, the school's major building, was completely destroyed by fire in 1852 and rebuilt in 1853. At first, the college could not obtain a charter from the anti-Catholic Massachusetts General Court, and the diplomas were signed by the President of Georgetown University, another Jesuit college, until a charter was finally granted in 1865.
The college has approximately 2,800 students. Notable alumni include United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, US House Representative Timothy Bishop, United States Poet Laureate Billy Collins, former Boston Celtics players Robert J. Cousy and Thomas W. Heinsohn, astronaut Joseph P. Kerwin, Chris Matthews, Rep. Michael R. McNulty, Rep. James P. Moran, James David Power III, and NBC CEO Robert C. Wright.