1950-1975: New Leaders, New Facilities and Icons: Continuing the Mission and Legacy of the Founder

Holy Cross Guided with Strong and Steady Leadership…
Brother Alfonso, Brother Reinald, and Brother Robert all had a significant impact on the growth and success of
Holy Cross as Headmasters of the school, each having gifts and talents, different leadership styles, and very
different personalities. While a large majority of the faculty was formed by the Holy Cross Brothers to start the
1950’s, the ensuing years and decades saw the Brothers joined by growing numbers of lay colleagues, and the
first women teachers were hired in 1969. By 1975, less than 20 percent of the faculty were Holy Cross religious.
Several of the young Brothers who arrived in the 1940s became legends in the school during the 1950s and
1960’s. Brother Melchior Polowy, Brother Vincent de Paul Hujar, and Brother Timothy Hickey all wore many
hats, but are mostly remembered as the architect of the wrestling program, expanding the drama program and
building the Grotto, and a legendary Prefect of Discipline, respectively. And the legends were not limited to the
Brothers with the likes of John Kalbacher and Richard Crosby. While legends are strong in many memories,
teachers, and staff all made a difference in the school and the formation of Holy Cross Men.

1972 was a watershed year in the history of the school with three important decisions made. Though enjoying a
new, modern residence, the population of boarders had been decreasing and it was decided to start phasing out
the boarding program. A second decision was to add 5th and 6th grades which eventually helped to define Holy
Cross Middle School. The addition of the younger grades also necessitated the creation of a private bus service
to enable student transportation within the metropolitan area.
Dauphine Street Campus
A Time of Change: AHA; the Catholic Church; the World
The decade of the 1950s found the Marianite schools bursting at the seams. An improving economy made it possible for families to afford tuition and they realized the quality of a Catholic school education. Until 1945, the Marianites were teaching young children as well as high school students at Holy Angels. In that year Grades 1 and 2 went to St. Cecilia to create room at the Academy for high school students. Between 1945 and 1952, elementary grades were eliminated so that by 1952 just the high school remained. Because of the growing number of students at Academy of Holy Angels and the increase in vocations in the Novitiate, it was necessary to consider an alternative housing program which eventually led to the campus on the West Bank for the Mother House, Novitiate, and College. With the exodus of the Novitiate, work began on AHA expansion and modernizing of classrooms. A new gym was also part of the campus changes and improvements.
Vatican II Impacts the Church and the Marianites
The Ecumenical Council in 1962 affected Catholics worldwide changing the way we pray, celebrate Liturgies, and receive the Eucharist and the Sacraments. Religious orders were encouraged to give more focus and reflection to their founders. While the Marianites never lost focus on Father Moreau, a major change that did affect them was the modification of their religious habit.
A Hiccup by Mother Nature
Growth and change encountered a hurdle from Hurricane Betsy in 1965, but it only strengthened
the mission and ministry of the Marianites. Four hundred sisters cared for 8000 refugees at the Naval
Station alone in Algiers. The Sisters set up 25 refugee shelters on the base, staffed with a telephone
system allowing calls from persons checking on relatives. What an example of service and dedication
they were, and still are, to many young women they taught!

Teacher Education to Full Higher Education
In 1938 the Louisiana Department of Education approved a program that would lead to the conferring of the Bachelor of Arts degree. The name was changed to the College Department of the Academy of Holy Angels. In the early 1950s, laywomen who were teaching in schools administered by the Marianites were admitted to the College. In the spring of 1960, the College moved to new quarters on the West Bank of the Mississippi River on forty acres donated by the Ernest B. Norman family and designated for educational and religious purposes. The name was changed to Our Lady of Holy Cross College. In the early 1960s, women from public and Archdiocesan schools began to enroll, and in 1967, the first men were admitted. The College was on its way to growth and expansion with this step into coeducation. A governing board of lay trustees was organized in the late 1960s according to the requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Until 1969, the office of President of the University was held by the Provincial of the Marianites. In that year, the two positions were separated, and for the first time, the Board of Regents elected the President. In the spring of 1971, the first status report was submitted and approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.