Holy Cross Installs First Black, Lay President In School History

Photo: Courtesy of the College of the Holy Cross

WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The College of the Holy Cross installed its first Black and lay president in school history on Saturday.

Vincent Rougeau was installed as president of the college Saturday at a ceremony held in the Hart Center on the Holy Cross campus to make his presidency official. He began serving as president of the school in July after he took over for former President Rev. Philip L. Boroughs who retired this past summer.

His installation as president marks the first time the Jesuit college will be led by a layman—someone who is a nonordained member of the church. He will also be the first Black president in the college's history.

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In his speech at the ceremony, Rougeau spoke about how important it is for high education to create an environment where people of all backgrounds can pursue social justice.

“This is our enduring mission, guided by our Catholic faith, and reflecting the changing times,” Rougeau said. “This is a moment of opportunity, of audacious hope, and belief in the transformative power of education. This is a day when a Black layman from the south can lead a Jesuit college in New England.”

Rougeau previously served as the dean of Boston College Law School and was the first director of the new Boston College Forum on Racial Justice in America. He also serves as president of the Association of American Law Schools.

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