Pres. McGuire’s Christmas Newsletter
December 2021 View Christmas Newsletter as a PDF
Dear Alumnae, Alumni, Parents and Friends, Students, Faculty and Staff:
As the Christmas season draws near, I am reminded of the beauty and memories of the family Christmas tree. Piling into the car on a cold day to select the perfect tree, then gathering in the warmth of our home to string the lights, hang precious decorations and top the tree with a beautiful angel.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the tree of life is an important symbol. Pope Francis recently spoke about the tree of life when he said, “At times, the din of the world, along with the many activities that fill our days, prevent us from stopping and seeing how the Lord is conducting history. Yet – the Gospel assures us – God is at work, like a good little seed that silently and slowly germinates. And, little by little, it becomes a lush tree, which gives life and rest to everyone.”
Lush trees are an important part of the beautiful landscape at Trinity, reminding us of the need to care for all of God’s creation. Now, thanks to the leadership and inspiration of Trinity’s Campus Minister, Sr. Ann Howard, SNDdeN, Trinity is receiving a gift of trees to add to our campus canopy. Through community service projects that our students undertake through Campus Ministry, including volunteering at the farm at the Franciscan Monastery, Sr. Ann made a connection to Casey Trees, a remarkable organization committed to restoring the tree canopy in D.C. Casey Trees will plant 100 trees around campus by early December, augmenting the beauty and environmental sustainability of our campus.
This gift comes at a perfect time as we launch our new Environmental Justice and Sustainability program inspired by the work of Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker ’71, who leads the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale. I am very grateful to Dr. Tucker and her classmates who are supporting this new program with their 50th Reunion gifts, which will provide scholarships for undergraduate research and internships.
As we celebrate the Christmas season, I am grateful for the generous gifts we have received – gifts that are an investment in our Trinity students who are here to grow and learn. Your gift to the Trinity Annual Fund makes it possible for our students to continue to thrive and make a positive difference in their communities for future generations. Thank you!
May the spirit of Christmas, filled with peace and hope, be with you throughout the season.
Patricia McGuire ’74, President
Environmental Justice Finds a Home at Trinity:
Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker ’71 and Class of 1971 Provide Start-up Funding for New Academic Program
Thanks to the intellectual inspiration of Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker ’71 and her husband, John Grim, coupled with their generous donation and that of many classmates from 1971, Trinity recently announced the creation of the Environmental Justice minor as part of the Global Affairs program.
Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim are Senior Lecturers and Research Scholars at Yale University where they have appointments in the School of the Environment as well as the Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies. They teach in the joint master’s program in religion and ecology and direct the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale.
For Mary Evelyn and John, Trinity was the perfect place to engender a new program in Environmental Justice: “My husband, John Grim, and I are delighted by the new Environmental Justice program at Trinity. We are inspired to encourage this effort by the growing need to create a flourishing future for our planet. Young people and future generations are looking for how they can contribute to this ongoing work. We wish Trinity well in this vital endeavor.”
Dr. Patrice Nielson, Professor of Biology and chair of the Environmental Justice program, is ever so grateful to Mary Evelyn, John, and the entire class of 1971 for inspiring the program. Dr. Nielson describes environmental justice as, “the idea that all people, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, or income, have equitable and meaningful involvement in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental policies … equal access to clean environment for living, working, and recreation; and equal power in the decision-making process regarding their natural resources.” Through the Environmental Justice program, students in a broad range of careers – from business to politics to the sciences – will be prepared to address environmental injustices in their field.
The funds raised by the Class of 1971 from their 50th reunion effort and dedicated for Environmental Justice will provide students:
- Internships and research opportunities with local, regional, and national environmental organizations throughout the year.
- Field experiences to important environmental sites like the Chesapeake Bay and watershed, national parks, wildlife refuges, and the Shenandoah region, and collaborative research opportunities with other universities.
- Symposia on environmental issues with an inaugural symposium in Fall 2022 hosted by Trinity.
The Environmental Justice program is enhanced by a recent gift from Dan Murrin, a retired partner at Ernst & Young. His gift supports internships with the Potomac Riverkeeper Network, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the Potomac River and its tributaries. He believes that “these internships demonstrate Trinity’s commitment to providing world class experiences and Potomac Riverkeeper Network’s investment in future leaders, while providing critically needed funding and tangible benefit in protecting the environment.” We are grateful for his generous support.
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Mercy Ogutu ’23: Nuclear Nonproliferation Fellowship at Middlebury Institute
This past summer, junior Mercy Ogutu was one of just 13 undergraduate students nationwide selected to participate in the prestigious summer fellowship at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Each fellow conducted an independent research project with guidance from the Center’s experts. Mercy presented her research paper at the end of the fellowship: “Economic Diplomacy to Repair United States and North Korea Policy.”
Born in Kisumu, Kenya, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Mercy is pursuing a double major in international affairs and political science. She was in the first cohort of Foreign Policy Fellows at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., a rigorous program created specifically for Trinity students. She said that the fellowship “helped me realize that I have a passion for nuclear nonproliferation and I plan to focus on that as I pursue graduate school and my professional career.”
Evelyn Y. Davis Foundation Grant Will Create a Model Multimedia Newsroom
Trinity is grateful to receive a $200,000 grant from the Evelyn Y. Davis Foundation, administered by Bank of America Private Bank, to create a state-of-the-art multimedia newsroom that will give students hands-on experiences through which they will build a professional portfolio to qualify for competitive internships and sought after media jobs upon graduation. The grant provides funds to acquire equipment and to hire a professional newsroom director who will supervise the creation of the digital media lab and teach in the program. Leading Trinity’s Journalism and Media Studies program is Dr. Jamal Watson, an award-winning journalist who also serves as the director of the Strategic Communication and Public Relations graduate degree program.
Trinity has a strong track record for educating notable journalists and media leaders. The addition of the newsroom will complement Trinity’s rigorous curriculum that focuses on strong writing, journalistic ethics and the importance of pursuing and reporting the facts with integrity, while significantly enhancing our capacity to address the under-representation of journalists of color in newsrooms.
Trinity Clears Student Balances and Featured on “PBS News Hour”
Last summer, Trinity decided to use federal funds from the American Rescue Plan to clear $2.8 million in student balances for undergraduate students. This action is part of Trinity’s commitment to make a college degree affordable and aligns with Trinity DARE: Driving Actions for Racial Equity.
We were pleased that “PBS News Hour” came to campus this fall for an in-depth segment on the positive impact on students. PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor interviewed Trinity students Kiara Tate (left, with Yamiche Alcindor), Annissa Young and Trinity’s Provost, Dr. Carlota Ocampo. Kiara’s mother, Carmen Ealey-Tate, and her aunt, Carmella Ealey Smith, are Trinity alumnae.
Conway Nursing Scholars Celebrate!
William Conway, center, enjoys meeting the Joanne and William Conway Scholars in Nursing, who receive generous scholarships through the Conways’ Bedford Falls Foundation. This year, 140 Conway Scholars are pursuing their bachelor of science in nursing degrees. For two years in a row, Trinity nursing graduates achieved a 100% first-time pass rate on the rigorous nursing exam!