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Seniors to Remember: Tommy Cross

05/10/12
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(Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

By Ed Hayward | Chronicle Staff

Published: May 10, 2012

Name: Tommy Cross

Hometown: Simsbury, Conn.

Major: Communication. Minor: International Studies

Notable activities: Captain of BC’s 2012 NCAA National Champion Men’s Ice Hockey team; Eagle of the Year Award as outstanding senior male student-athlete; co-recipient of the 2012 John "Snooks" Kelley Memorial Award, as the individual who best typifies Boston College hockey; Boston College Junior Male Outstanding Scholar Athlete in 2011; vice president of university relations for the BC Student Athlete Advisory Council; volunteer with Community Connections at Newton North High School

Post-graduation plans: Signed contract last month with the Boston Bruins; played final week of the season for the Providence Bruins of the AHL before returning to classes

Overview: Cross graduates from Boston College with an impressive collection of hardware: two NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey National Championships, Hockey East regular season and tournament championships and three Beanpot trophies. But the senior defenseman, known as a smart, physical force on the ice, earned praise for his measured leadership as the Eagles’ captain this year, particularly for refocusing the team following a mid-season sweep at the hands of Maine. The Eagles went on a 20-win streak on their way to claiming the program’s fifth national title on April 7 against Ferris State University.

Who has had the most profound influence on you during your time at BC?
Clearly, Coach (Jerry) York has been a big influence. But when I first came to campus he introduced me to Fr. Tony Penna in Campus Ministry and told me he would have a huge impact on my life. And he was right. I have lunch with Fr. Penna once a week and we talk. He’s helped me when things had me rattled. He helped me, especially as a leader, the last two years. He wouldn’t tell me what to do, but he encouraged me and he was always there for me. The way he treats people makes him a role model for the entire team.

Which professor had the biggest impact on you?
Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Celeste Wells. I originally took her writing course because it fit my schedule. But I found her to be the most inspiring teacher I’ve had. She brought great energy to class and treated each student with such respect. She helped to guide us along through the course. She’s a teacher who stands out above the rest.

Outside of your success on the ice, what experience has made the biggest difference for you at BC?
My experience as a volunteer with a program called Community Connections at Newton North High School. It’s a program for students with disabilities and I go there at least every other week and spend time with the kids. They’re so excited to meet BC athletes and talk to us. We send each other e-mails and I brought the Beanpot Trophy and we drank soda out of it. It makes my day to go there. So much has been given to us as athletes and students and we’re so fortunate to be at BC. It’s important for us to give back.

What will you miss the most about BC?
My roommates Edwin Shea, Barry Almeida, Paul Carey, Chris Venti and Tommy Atkinson. We’ve gone through our four years together – at the rink and off. They’re my best friends. It’s hard to think about all of us not being together all the time. We leave here with a lot of great memories.

If you weren’t going to play professional hockey, what would you be doing?
I’d like to be involved as a coach or an administrator in college athletics, maybe one day working as an athletics director. It would be great to do that at BC. I think it would be rewarding to work with athletes and to work on the administrative side of college athletics.

Click here to view our next "Senior to Remember," Michael Caprio, editor of The Heights.