On Friday, May 7, Holy Cross celebrated the three recipients of the Distinguished Alumnae Award and the two inductees into the Athletic Hall of Fame for 2021.
2021 Distinguished Alumnae:
- Helen “Jean” Gleason White ’59
- Mary Joy Ellis Hurlburt ’68
- Paula Kirlew Grant ’85
2021 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees:
- Patricia Dillon ’68, outstanding contributer to lacrosse
- Mary Jane Walton, founder of Holy Cross tennis program
The honorees attended an in-person event on campus along with a small number of special guests and family members. The event was livestreamed on the Holy Cross YouTube channel as well.
Jean White’s classmate Margaret Morris Schacter ’59 wrote an introduction of her friend that was read by Director of Annual Giving Becky Mulholland. Margaret detailed the accomplishments Jean achieved in federal service including work at the National Security Agency. Additionally, Jean has membership in many professional and volunteer organizations, such as the National Press Club and American News Women’s Club.
Mary Joy Hurlburt’s husband George spoke about her extensive career in Catholic education including being named the first female president of a Xavierian Brothers-sponsored school when she became president of St. Mary’s Ryken in 2005. During her time as president, she oversaw a comprehensive campus master plan that included major renovations to four academic buildings, creation of a campus ministry center, and construction of a turf field and stadium.
Paula Grant’s daughter Rae spoke about the love her mother has for Holy Cross and how the experience shaped the person Paula has become. Rae noted she has also come to value Holy Cross because of the experiences Paula has shared with her daughter. Paula is an Emmy Award-winning television and radio broadcaster and marketing/multimedia professional, who currently serves as secretary for communications for the Archdiocese of Washington and is the media spokesperson and representative of the Cardinal Archbishop.
Sandy Worth, friend of Pat Dillon, spoke about the dedication that Pat has given to women’s lacrosse. After playing lacrosse in college, Pat became involved with the sport as an official and as an administrator for the past 38 years. Pat officiated high school games in the Washington area and umpired collegiately across the country, including many NCAA championship games. She led the Washington Lacrosse Umpires Association for years and has served as the NCAA Rules Committee chair, National Umpiring Committee, Executive Committee member, and Board Chair.
Kathy Walton ’82 shared the history of how her mother Mary Jane Walton began the tennis program at Holy Cross. Her story detailed how Mary Jane was always willing to help when needed. When starting the program, she accepted all students at every level and coached each player to help them improve their game. Mary Jane’s dedication and encouraging style of coaching led to great results with many Holy Cross alumnae going on to play tennis at the college level. Mary Jane worked diligently to build the program within the high school tennis community for many years. For the last 41 years, Mary Jane has also served as a substitute in the Holy Cross community in addition to raising her five children and being very active in her parish.