Fall 2019 President’s Newsletter
October 15, 2019
Dear Alumnae and Alumni, Families and Friends,
Two Trinity voices, half a century apart, united in their ambitious dreams:
“Trinity helped me understand the limitless possibilities of our world, gave me the confidence to pursue challenges, and reinforced for me the importance of ensuring all people have access to their own dreams.”
– Trinity Alumna late 1960s, Alumnae Survey
“I know that the knowledge, wisdom, and skills that I will learn in college will make it possible for me to achieve my ‘American Dream.'”
– New Trinity Student, Fall 2019 Admissions Essay
Trinity students and graduates have always had big dreams. Across the decades, we share a relentless passion for knowledge, for developing the confidence to rise to challenges, for cultivating the wisdom to thrive at each life stage. Trinity students today, as before, pursue ambitious dreams for personal and professional fulfillment, hopes for their families and children, visions for the society they seek to shape far into the future.
Some people look at Trinity’s student body today and comment on how different Trinity 2019 appears to be from decades past – and so we are, in some ways. But there’s more that connects Trinity students and graduates across the years than what distinguishes each generation. The distinctions are points of pride worthy of celebration, but the ties that bind us together are the real manifestation of the vitality of Trinity’s mission going forward in the 21st Century.
This newsletter provides a quick glimpse into the latest Trinity students, the Class of 2023, along with other news including the first brief report on our 2019 Alumnae and Alumni Survey.
Gratefully, President Patricia McGuire ’74
Welcome, Gold Class of 2023 and All New Trinity Students!
We welcomed 537 new students to Trinity this fall, including 322 new students in the College of Arts and Sciences. Our new students are remarkably diverse, hailing from 21 different states and born in 30 different nations! About half are residents of the District of Columbia, coming from top high schools including Columbia Heights/Bell Multicultural High; Banneker, Wilson, Coolidge and Roosevelt; Don Bosco Cristo Rey, Archbishop Carroll, KIPP DC and many others. The new students are demographically diverse including 53% African American and 39% Latina.
Many of our new students are the first in their families to attend college. They come with big dreams. These young women know exactly why they are in college, and they wear the symbolism of their acceptance to Trinity with pride. Hear these two voices from hundreds of admissions essays:
“My goal is to be the first in my family to have the privilege to go to college, an opportunity my parents never had. This seemingly simple step…may not seem like a huge deal. However, for my family, it represents generations of struggle. It represents hope for a brighter future where my children and their children will now go to college.”
“I was always told that I’d only graduate from high school to work and pay bills. But I decided that I wanted to be more than what everyone expected, I wanted to be the one in my family who really set the expectations high. I want to be the one that people in my family say with pride in their voice, ‘She did it!’ I want to be the one who set the change in our family history.”
Enjoying one of Trinity’s loveliest traditions, these two students were among the several hundred new students who received their Trinity Medals and signed the Honor Book at the New Student Convocation on August 23, 2019.
2019 Survey of Trinity Alumnae and Alumni
Thanks to nearly 1,000 Trinity alumnae and alumni who responded to our 2019 survey! The results are very rich and provide a great deal of data for further analysis. I will provide more in the next issue of the TRINITY magazine.
We posed this question in the survey: Some policymakers today say that the liberal arts are a luxury that students cannot afford, and that the cost of college requires institutions to do more to train students for specific jobs. What is your response to this criticism?
You wrote nearly 800 comments! Here are just several; we will post more when we provide the full report on the survey:
“Regardless of one’s chosen field, you need to be able to express yourself clearly, both orally and in writing. You need to be able to analyze data and draw conclusions. In our internet world of no borders, you need to understand other cultures. You need to understand historical references.”
“We need literate citizens, able to evaluate information, recognize propaganda, select worthy leaders, and care for the least among us. History and literature and language, science and philosophy give life meaning.”
“The liberal arts are necessary to an understanding of our history and civilization. They are a must. At the same time young people must be prepared for our technological/ scientific world. Do both.”
Some answers expressed concern about whether Trinity has moved away from liberal arts as we have added professional studies. Absolutely not! ALL undergraduates at Trinity must complete requirements in General Education, which is all about the liberal arts. The faculty in the professional disciplines – nursing, business, education, for example – are adamant that students must be able to write, to be critical thinkers, to know math and science deeply, to have the ethical and moral framework for decision-making and leadership in the professions.
Some answers also agreed with the rising national concern about the high cost of higher education. At $23,740, Trinity has the lowest full-time tuition among the private universities in the Washington region. Trinity’s full-time undergraduates come from low-income families – our median family income is about $25,000 annually, about 80% receive Pell Grants – so we are always focused on affordability along with excellence. We are grateful to our alums and benefactors who provide so much scholarship support through the Trinity Annual Fund and special gifts.
Study Abroad Widens Student Horizons
Continuing a program we started two years ago, 12 Trinity students received special grants for short-term summer study abroad through the programs of CIEE, the Council on International Educational Exchange. The students studied everywhere from Buenos Aires and Costa Rica to London, Paris, Barcelona and Cape Town. For these fortunate young Trinity scholars, the opportunity to travel abroad to study and learn in the world’s great places was amazing.
I hope some day that Trinity will be able to support study abroad opportunities for many more of our students. The grants we provided in the last two years were relatively small per capita – just $5,000 each – but the returns on those investments in the learning experiences the students enjoyed were huge. When alumnae and friends think about making special gifts to help Trinity students, consider study abroad grants among the gifts that can make a big difference!
Nursing Success Continues!
Trinity is blessed with the support of William and Joanne Conway and their Bedford Falls Foundation that provides generous scholarships to 90 Trinity nursing students. 29 Conway Scholars graduated in 2018-2019, and 100% of these Conway Scholars passed the NCLEX exam on the first try! This is an extraordinary achievement, and evidence of the critical difference that scholarship support can make for our students, enabling them to focus on their studies.
Nursing graduates have also enjoyed great success in securing excellent positions and distinguished residencies at area hospitals including MedStar Washington Hospital Center and other MedStar hospitals, Children’s National Health System, Sibley Memorial Hospital-Johns Hopkins Medicine, Georgetown University Hospital and many others. The regional healthcare community praises the beautiful Payden Academic Center and awesome laboratories, especially our growing Simulation Lab that now includes an entire family of five high fidelity manikins for clinical training.
Notre Dame Chapel Challenge Grant
The Goubeau Trust has issued a $500,000 challenge grant that Trinity seeks to match to support necessary upgrades in Notre Dame Chapel. These improvements will include air conditioning, a new sound system, and a restroom. We are seeking individual donors interested in making capital gifts to match the challenge, and interested alumnae may contact me directly.
Alumnae Hall Concept Design
We are now in the early stages of developing a concept design for the renovation of Alumnae Hall with our partner architectural firm of Quinn Evans, a distinguished Washington firm that has a large portfolio of historic renovation projects ranging from DAR Constitution Hall to the National Academy of the Sciences and numerous Washington buildings from the 1920s era.
Air conditioning is a top priority, along with a modern kitchen and servery, restrooms and renovated residential spaces on the second and third floors. We expect to have concept drawings in early 2020. We fully expect this project to be the centerpiece of our next capital campaign – and our Trinity 125th Anniversary celebration! More to come in the next issue of TRINITY magazine!
Thank you, Class of 1969 and All Benefactors!
“69 to the Finish Line” was a hugely successful 50th Reunion program for the Class of 1969. With more than $430,000 raised to date, this class gift will support the critical needs of juniors and seniors at Trinity for years to come, providing a source of micro grants to help pave the way for timely graduation. Many, many thanks to all members of the class who contributed, and to the extraordinary group of ’69 leaders who worked tirelessly to make the program a success!
And thanks to all benefactors, alumnae, alumni and friends whose affirmation and generous support make Trinity’s mission possible every day!