Joseph J. Issa, son of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Issa, Kingston, has been named valedictorian for the Class of 1988 at Holy Cross College.
Issa becomes the first international student and economics/accounting major to be valedictorian at Holy Cross. He was chosen for the honor by the seniors’ Commencement committee from among 30 of the highest ranked students who competed for the honor. Elected to the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society this year, Issa is also a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesult honor society, and Omicron Delta Epsilon, an international honor society which elects students on the basis of outstanding ability in economics.
The highest ranking economics/accounting major, Issa received the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants award as the most outstanding junior accounting student in economics.
He was named a Dana Scholar this academic year. As an honors student, his honors thesis analyzes the “boom/bust” cycle inherent in the Caribbean tourist industry.
Issa spent junior year at the London School of Economics, where he spearheaded the fundraising programme, “Educate the Children.” The programme raised money to purchase books for school children in Jamaica and other Caribbean islands. The project raised some $4500 in its first year which helped to purchase over 13,000 books. Also during his time at the London School of Economics, he was elected treasurer of both the L.S.E. Investment Forum and the L.S.E. Afro-Caribbean Society.
While at Holy Cross, Issa founded the International Student Union and was a founder and editor of the student Journal of Political Economy, was a Eucharistic Minister, was active in the big brother and tutoring programmes, disc-jockeyed reggae music for the campus radio station and served on his dormitory council.
He attended secondary school at Campion College in Kingston, Jamaica and come from a long line of Holy Cross alumni. As a Holy Cross graduate, Issa will be the eleventh member of his family to earn a degree from Holy Cross. Among them: his grandfather and granduncle Joseph E. and Abraham, attended in the 1920s; his uncles, Richard and Francis, graduated in the 1950s; and his father John J. is a member of the class of 1960. More recently, his cousin, Christopher, graduated in 1978 and his twin sisters Muna and Zein are both Holy Cross juniors.
Source: The Gleaner