Monday, October 11, 2010

Checking in With Cindy Mercer

Cindy Mercer is a very special person. She is a 'dyed in the wool' Crusader despite the fact that she transferred from Holy Cross after her freshman year. Cindy has been a dedicated mentor to many Crusader football student-athletes both last year and this. She was gracious enough to recently provide some insights and perspectives. I thank her and commend her for all that she does in helping our Crusaders win 'off the field.'

  1. What attracted you to Holy Cross in the first place? 
My uncle Carlton Butler loved Holy Cross and had hoped that his children would attend-- they chose Harvard and Columbia.   So he focused on me and encouraged me to visit Holy Cross and to apply.  I fell in love with Holy Cross on my first visit!  What ultimately attracted me to The Cross was its highly competitive academic environment, friendly students and beautiful campus.  Also, as a Catholic who attended Jesuit high school it was important for me to attend a Catholic school. 

2. Why did you leave HC and why do remain connected?
I was an English major who became interested in television production and communications during freshman year.  Unfortunately Holy Cross did not have a communications department or major so I transferred after freshman year. I have a BA in Communication Arts and an MA in Media Studies. I worked in network television for 15 years so leaving Holy Cross was the correct decision.

I remain connected because I still love Holy Cross. It is truly a very special place and you realize how special it is once you leave.   I remember contacting the Admissions Office 3 years after I left to inquire if I would be able to remain in touch with the school and re-connect with classmates.  I was doubtful because I felt that after only attending for one year this would not be possible.  I was told that “once you become a Holy Cross student you will always be considered a Holy Cross student and a member of our family.”  I was so moved, my eyes filled.  I think this story is a perfect example of the Holy Cross spirit and ethos.  You are always welcome and will always have a home at Holy Cross!

3. Most cherished memories from your days at Holy Cross?
Gosh there are so many!   My first night in the dorm (Beaven), Massachusetts snow storms, mixers, outdoor Greek literature classes, making the cheerleading squad for the ice hockey team, studying in Dinand, HoJo’s, excursions to Worcester Art Museum, weekend trips to Boston and Rhode Island with other Holy Cross students, life long friendships made and of course attending those amazing football games!

4. What would you like to share with your friends and former classmates
about Holy Cross Football?
  That we have an exciting program that is helping to shape the lives and character of wonderderful young men.  The fact that a large number of our players volunteer in the community is a testament to the program and our players.

5. Why do you mentor?  Mentoring is something that I am very passionate about!  It is extremely important for me to give back to the community and to help students in anyway that I can.  We all have work experience and contacts that are invaluable to them.  It is so easy to do and not time consuming.  A call or email with advice or encouragement is really all that it takes!   I also support and mentor though the youth organization “Everybody Wins”. 

6. What would you like to share with the Holy Cross administration about Holy Cross Football?  I mentioned earlier that we have a viable exciting program that is molding well rounded young men.  Holy Cross, in the Jesuit tradition, produces true scholar athletes.  Athletes who will have a fulfilling and successful life post graduation.  I am working with a professional sports foundation that is trying to eliminate the problems that professional athletes encounter during and after their football career.  Many of these problems occur due to a lack of education.  I believe that if these athletes had attended and played for Holy Cross they would not be experiencing the problems they are now facing.  I would love to see athletic scholarships return to The Cross so that athletes from underserved communities would be given the opportunity to receive a first class education.

     7. What are you doing professionally and how did Holy Cross impact your life's journey?  Holy Cross helped me determine what I wanted to do with my life.  I became interested in communications while working at WCHC!  After 15 years of working in public affairs and corporate outreach for NBC and ESPN I now have my own company Trinity Sports Partners.  I help sports organizations and professional athletes strategize initiatives and raise funds for their foundations.

Cindy, Thank you so much for this interview and thank you even more for all that you do and for all that you give to help our Crusaders and SO many more people. You are the essence of a true Jesuit-inspired woman for others. Thank you for everything.    

LD '83

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