Groundbreaking for the Trinity Academic Center: A New Era Begins!

(Skip to video at the bottom!)

Saturday, May 31, 2014: A clear blue sky welcomed hundreds of alumnae, alumni, benefactors, civic and business leaders, students, faculty, staff and Sisters of Notre Dame on , to celebrate the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Trinity Academic Center. Speakers paid tribute to Trinity’s significant role in the Washington community, particularly in the education of D.C. residents, and envisioned the many ways in which the Trinity Academic Center will enhance student learning and be a resource for the city and region. After Fr. Paul Huesing blessed the ground, Trinity officially broke ground for the new building. With purple and gold shovels to celebrate the occasion, President Patricia McGuire was joined by D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, D.C. Council members David Grosso and Kenyan McDuffie, benefactor Joan Payden ’53, Greater Washington Board of Trade President James Dinegar and Sr. Patricia O’Brien, SND, chair of the Board of Trustees. Then members of the Class of 1964, the Trinity Alumnae Board, faculty, project partners and the Sisters of Notre Dame took turns at breaking ground.
The Trinity Academic Center, a $38 million, 80,000-square foot, LEED certified building, will be the first new academic building on Trinity’s campus since 1963, when the library was completed. The Trinity Academic Center will ensure the university’s academic quality, versatility and competitiveness far into the future. The new building will feature 12 state-of-the-art science and nursing laboratories, and 23 classrooms and seminar spaces. The new structure will also feature gathering spaces where the creative genius of rising Trinity generations will thrive.

Highlights from the Speakers

“From the moment President McGuire approached the Board of Trustees with a proposal for the Trinity Academic Center, we were immediately supportive because we know the importance of high-quality academic facilities to the university. Our faculty and students deserve the very best, and thanks to the generosity and hard work of so many, that’s exactly what they will have.”
Sr. Patricia O’Brien, SND, Chair of the Board of Trustees

“Today, we ask God’s blessing as we break ground for the new Academic Center here at Trinity, a building where faculty and students will seek, learn and teach what is true. We ask that those entrusted with the education of Trinity students may teach them how to join the discoveries of human wisdom with the truth of the Gospel.”
Fr. Paul Huesing, CSP, Director of Formation, St. Paul’s College

“Today we fulfill a hope for the new Trinity Academic Center that will be used by many generations… I thank all those people who have been so generous to Trinity over the years, all our alumnae who have been loyal and generous beyond measure. As I thank them, I think of these words: I count myself so happy in remembering the souls and people who have been good to Trinity. This is a wonderful hope fulfilled.”
Sr. Margaret Claydon, SND, ’45, President Emerita

“I think it’s important to remember that when Trinity was just a concept, there was great opposition to the establishment of a new women’s college. At the time, Bishop Spaulding was an advocate for education for all individuals, women and men. In a speech he said, ‘Trinity must be built. Trinity shall be built. Trinity will be built.’ And standing here today, we are building another very significant building! … President McGuire’s commitment and passion have made this extraordinary vision a reality.”
Joan A. Payden ’53, Founder, President and CEO, Payden & Rygel

“I want to thank President McGuire for the extraordinary, dynamic work she has done here at Trinity. … She has transformed Trinity from being in the city, to being of the city. …We’re delighted to work with Trinity to open doors and expand the array of opportunities available to our students here in the city.”
The Honorable Vincent Gray, Mayor of the District of Columbia

“When my mother [Marie Dennis ’64] attended Trinity, she came here because it was a place for middle-class Catholic women, then under-represented in American colleges, to get a high-quality education. Fifty years later, Trinity continues to give Americans who are now under-represented on college campuses, the opportunity as well for a top-notch education. I’m grateful to President McGuire and the entire community for your commitment to advancing principles of equity, justice and honor in the education of women and men, especially to under-served residents of the District of Columbia.”
The Honorable David Grosso, Member, Council of the District of Columbia

“Trinity has been one of the most vital institutions in Ward 5 for more than 117 years. Trinity provides not only important educational services but also economic stability to this rapidly growing part of the city.  … The community is welcome at Trinity and this partnership has helped northeast D.C. to thrive. Trinity’s continuing great health will make Ward 5 and the District of Columbia even stronger.”
The Honorable Kenyan McDuffie, Member, Council of the District of Columbia

“Trinity is about changing lives and making an important mark on individuals to help people uplift themselves. … I see the positive changes in students’ lives and because of Trinity they are now energized and inspired.”
The Honorable Debbie Smith-Steiner, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner

“Trinity, through the vision, prayers, strength and determination of the Sisters of Notre Dame, has continued to provide a remarkable education for a journey of faith and knowledge for women for over 117 years. … We all at Trinity have received what Pope Francis refers to as an authentic experience of truth and goodness which grows within us. … This joy of the Gospel has resided in the special community that is Trinity throughout its history.”
Barbara Bachmann Glynn ’64, Trinity Board of Trustees, (Pictured with her husband John Glynn)

“There have been some wonderful alumnae gifts that have brought us to this groundbreaking. …  The next job is ours. I am here today to challenge all of our alumnae and alumni around the world to get out their gold, their green, their red, and their blue shovels. We can together really make a difference and build the path that joins the old with the new, Main Hall to this new site for the Trinity Academic Center.”
Deborah Laborde Horigan ’77, President, Trinity Alumnae Association

“The new Trinity Academic Center and what it portends for the greater Washington region and the students of the District of Columbia and beyond is nothing short of remarkable. …. We need more people to study health care and nursing, and all of the elements of STEM. For students to be educated in such a beautiful new Academic Center is really a great opportunity.”
James Dinegar, President, Greater Washington Board of Trade

“STEM majors and chemists like me, we love explosive reactions, like the one about to happen here at Trinity. … Sciences at Trinity are on a roll! The Academic Center comes at a perfect time and will make Trinity uniquely suited to give women from all backgrounds opportunities to excel in the sciences.”
Dr. Shizuka Hsieh, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Assistant Provost

“President McGuire has always instilled pride and unity in the Trinity name and Trinity sisterhood. I am proud that I have truly felt encouraged by my peers and professors to be the best version of myself. This new building will enliven our community so that as a sisterhood we can continue to succeed and the Trinity legacy of education and women will flourish.”
Anna Roland ’16, Biochemistry Major, Rotterman Scholar, (Pictured with Mildred Hubler ’49, Rotterman Trustee)

“I believe in the power of ideas. The idea for this project was the vision of President McGuire. … I ask that for the students here today, and for future Trinity students, that you take the gift of this building and pay it forward, using what you have learned here for good.”
Elissa Kellett, Project Executive, EYP Architecture and Engineering

“The new Trinity Academic Center will have a transforming effect on the campus and will change the way students at Trinity currently learn. … Clark is committed to our partnership with Trinity. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve.”
Michael Alto, Senior Vice President, Clark Construction Group, LLP

Watch the Trinity Academic Center Groundbreaking Ceremony

Thanks to everyone who came to watch — both physically and virtually right here — the beginning of Trinity’s NEXT century: the groundbreaking ceremony of the Trinity Academic Center on Saturday, May 31, 2014.
The entire event was taped and edited down to one hour by the D.C. Mayor’s Office, and can be seen here.