Father Michael McCandless '98
I think that even before I graduated from Hoban I had already decided that I would leave a gift to my alma mater somehow in the future. In my heart, it was the right response to give back to the community that had offered attention and formation to me in a personal way.
Hoban was one of the first environments and communities in which I was engaged by others to strongly consider entering the seminary and prepare for the priesthood. It was especially the Holy Cross Brothers, various teachers and several classmates who were the specific voices of encouragement.
I began to have some initial desires to be of priestly service during my junior year at Hoban. As these thoughts continued through my senior year, various members of the Hoban family assured me of prayers, engaged me in discussion and offered encouragement. The support shown to me did not end after graduation either. It remained after I graduated and even after beginning studies at the seminary. The Hoban community was present during my seminary journey, and helped celebrate my ordination 10 years after I left Hoban.
For me – and I think many alumni share this experience – the human, spiritual and academic encounters while at Hoban came through the gift of many particular teachers and staff who invested their time and hearts into the students. This was felt by many of us to the point where we knew that Hoban was more than an academic institution, but a community. To give back in response to this, and to aid in allowing the next generation to share in this, was an easy decision.
Hoban is special to my entire family. My mother, Michele (Conrad) Sprungle is a member of the Class of 1976, and both my brothers are also graduates – Andrew ’05 and Alex ’07. And if the trend continues, which I hope it does, my nieces and nephew will be at Hoban in the future – Madison (Class of 2034), Theodore (Class of 2035) and Kennedy (Class of 2036). I hope that my gift will help create and encourage an effective and formative Catholic community and institution at Hoban that will benefit their growth in faith and bolster their values and courage as the next generation of students.
To secure this type of formation and personal growth for our teenagers, we need to first see it as irreplaceable, and then create a lasting environment where it can be initiated and communicated to the generation to come. Collectively, we can secure good things through our generosity and God’s blessing it through the Holy Spirit.