Wednesday was move-out day for students wrapping up their finals at Holy Cross College, but it was move-in day for the college’s new president, Brother John Paige C.S.C.
"Look at all this, wow,” Brother John exclaimed as he pulled up to a crowd of his Holy Cross family. “It’s great to see you again Brother John,” senior Kaitlynn Galloway said smiling.
"I’ve been in communication with the college over these last 12 months. So to actually be here moving in, it was a good event," Brother John Paige said.
While most college presidents live in mansions, Brother John is taking-up residence inside Pulte Hall with dozens of the school's students. Some of those students lent a helping hand by carrying boxes and bags to his room.
"A lot of people have said, ‘That's really strange. Why would he be living on campus? Why would he do that,’" Holy Cross junior Nick Schall said.
"In one sense people here said, ‘Wow this is exciting, who's ever heard of this?’ You see, in the Congregation of Holy Cross, where it's possible, we try and live with the people we work with,” Father John Paige said sitting inside his new dorm room.
It's a mentality Brother John has carried with him to mission sites spanning the world. Most recently as Vicar General of the Congregation of Holy Cross near the Vatican, in Rome.
More than 5,000 miles away, his new digs at Holy Cross came with a fully stocked kitchen, a comfy couch and a flat screen television for him to watch movies on. It's a two bedroom unit, but for now he'll go without any college roommates, although they'll just be right down the hall.
"Having the president on campus and so close to the students will help him get an idea of what we need and what we want as the school grows,” Schall added.
It's a true case of coming full circle back to South Bend for Brother John who is a Golden Domer himself. He graduated from Notre Dame back in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in physics. He's since gotten two masters degrees and a Ph.D.
As president, Brother John has a number or items he says he wants to implement. The list includes continuing to grow admission numbers at the four year college. He also wants to increase worldwide missions in effort for students to learn outside of the classroom.
Brother John is the first Holy Cross president to ever take up shop inside one of its dorms. However he's not the first ever. Former Notre Dame president Monk Malloy has lived on campus, inside Sorin Hall for years.