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2024 Power 100: Vincent Rougeau

Photo | Courtesy of College of the Holy Cross Vincent Rougeau, president of College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester
Vincent Rougeau Title President Organization College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester Employees 1,749 Residence Worcester Colleges Brown University, Harvard Law School Read all the Power 100 profiles here  
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Vincent Rougeau was named the first lay and first Black president of the College of the Holy Cross in 2021, when the college was still recovering from the economic and educational impact of COVID-19. While setting the school back on track, Rougeau focused on increasing diversity and strengthening its cooperation with the city. With an annual operating budget of $245 million, the school serves about 3,200 students.

The Jesuit university established in 1843 has long been an integral part of the community, working with business leaders to support economic development and enhance cultural institutions. Holy Cross pays $50+ million in salaries to Worcester County residents annually, and another $20+ million to area vendors.

A strategic plan launched in February 2023 reinforces the school’s commitment to education as well as community. Among other things, Holy Cross will strengthen recruitment efforts of students and employees from Worcester, which helps meet one of Rougeau’s ideals – equity in higher education.

The son of civil rights leader, Rougeau called for a renewed focus on diversity in higher education in a Boston Globe column in May as the U.S. Supreme Court, including Holy Cross alumnus Justice Clarence Thomas, prepared to strike down the use of affirmative action in college admissions.

A milestone in a new era of community engagement under Rougeau was the opening of the Prior Performing Arts Center on campus in 2022. The $110-million center is a place for the community to find common ground.

“The center affirms the college’s investment in Worcester’s recent citywide plan for arts, culture, and community and serves as a beacon of artistic excellence in the region,” Rougeau said.

Read all the Power 100 profiles here.

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