Trinity Accelerates Plans to Build Academic Center

Trinity Accelerates Plans to Build the Trinity Academic Center

$10 Million Gift from Trinity Alumna, Largest Gift in University’s History, Speeds Construction Plans

President Patricia McGuire announced plans for construction of the Trinity Academic Center, a $40 million, 80,000-square foot, LEED certified building that will feature state-of-the-art science and health labs and classrooms. “Thanks to the great generosity of Trinity graduates and benefactors in the community, Trinity is at long last able to modernize our core laboratories and instructional spaces for 21st Century teaching and learning,” said President McGuire.

A $10 million gift from a Trinity alumna, the largest in Trinity’s history, together with significant gifts from other alumnae and benefactors, have accelerated Trinity’s timetable for construction, with groundbreaking now anticipated in early summer of 2014.


The new Trinity Academic Center will support the growth in Trinity’s nursing program.

Money Manager, Joan Payden, Trinity Class of 1953, made the lead gift for the Trinity Academic Center project. Ms. Payden is founder, president and CEO of Payden & Rygel in Los Angeles, a private global investment firm with more than $80 billion in assets under management. Joan Payden recently received the CFA Institute’s Award for Professional Excellence, the highest award in the global association of professional investors.

“Ms. Payden is a successful entrepreneur who is highly respected in the business arena,” said President McGuire. “Her great generosity is a powerful endorsement of Trinity’s strategic vision for the future including plans to increase emphasis on education in the sciences, nursing and health professions to meet the workforce needs of the Washington region and nation.”


State-of-the-art science labs are a key component of the new Trinity Academic Center.

“I am very grateful to Trinity for the exceptional education I received and I am pleased to make an investment in Trinity’s future,” said Joan Payden. “Trinity is a model in higher education for its unwavering focus on strategic planning and sound fiscal management to increase its enrollment and thrive financially.”

Trinity’s Board of Trustees Chair Sr. Patricia O’Brien, SND, praised Joan Payden and other benefactors who have made significant gifts to the Campaign for Trinity’s Second Century. “In 2013, Trinity alumnae and benefactors in the community have stepped forward with leadership gifts and pledges of more than $18 million for the academic center and student scholarships,” said Sr. O’Brien. “These magnificent gifts make it possible for Trinity to continue our historic excellence in higher education for new generations of students, particularly women who strive to be agents of change for their families and communities.”

Trinity aims to raise the balance of the $30 million Campaign for Trinity’s Second Century by the end of 2014. In addition to Joan Payden’s gift, Trinity has received significant gifts and pledges from many alumnae and friends including Barbara and John Glynn, Jurate Kazickas and her husband Roger Altman, and the Moran Family Foundation.

Additionally, with a $2.8 million gift from the Bedford Falls Foundation, Trinity has established the Joanne and William Conway Nursing Scholarship Program for high-achieving, low-income students from the Washington region. The Economic Club of Washington also recently awarded Trinity a significant grant for residential scholarships for D.C. students.

A leader in making higher education accessible to urban learners, Trinity educates more D.C. residents than any other private college or university in the nation; more than half of its students live in D.C. About 80 percent of Trinity’s students receive Pell grants, and the median family income of full-time freshmen is $25,000. 90 percent of Trinity’s students are African-American or Hispanic and a majority are first-generation college students.

“Trinity is proud of our historic mission to educate women, particularly women from marginalized populations whose ambition to earn college degrees will improve the economic security of their families and contribute to community improvement,” said President McGuire. “Our students need and deserve the same kind of modern, functional classrooms, laboratories and learning facilities that students at other universities enjoy today. Trinity’s commitment to provide a competitive, first-class education to today’s students demands that we also provide a high-quality learning environment.”

The Trinity Academic Center is the first new academic facility on Trinity’s campus since the library opened in 1963. Changes in academic technologies, science research and instruction, the addition of nursing and health professions majors, and significant growth in Trinity’s student body all contributed to the university’s decision to undertake this project. The building will include eight laboratories for biology and chemistry, four laboratories for nursing and the health professions, and twenty classrooms of varying configurations equipped with the latest instructional technologies.


The Trinity Academic Center will feature a variety of classroom configurations

Trinity’s Main Hall, the primary academic building on campus, is more than 110 years old and, while upgraded in parts over the years, the building has never had a full renovation. The Science Building is 72 years old and has never been renovated. The new Trinity Academic Center will replace the 1941 Science Building and make it possible for Trinity to tackle progressive renovations in Main Hall in the future.

To design the Trinity Academic Center, Trinity has retained EYP Architects, a nationally recognized firm that has designed science and classroom buildings for many colleges and universities, including Stanford University, University of Scranton and Wheaton College. Trinity has also engaged Clark Construction Group, LLC, as the contractor and to lead the design-build team with EYP. Clark is the largest privately-held contractor in the United States and the second largest green construction firm in the country. Trinity has also retained Jones Lang LaSalle for project management, and the law firm of Goulston & Storrs for land use and financing representation.

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