Voices of Trinity: Winter 2020 Graduates Tell Their Stories

Voices of Trinity: Winter 2020 Graduates Tell Their Stories


Congratulations to Trinity’s first graduates of our new decade!  On Wednesday, January 8, more than 130 students will become Trinity alumnae and alumni as they receive their degrees at our Winter Commencement.  We are so proud of all of our graduates and eager to welcome this latest group into the Trinity Alumnae/i Association.

At Commencement, we are also thrilled that Mr. and Mrs. William Conway will join us.  Through their Bedford Falls Foundation the Conways have provided scholarship support for more than 200 Trinity Nursing students since 2013.  The Conway Scholars Program has been essential for the success of Trinity nurses, and we are eager to recognize and thank Bill and Joanne Conway for their great generosity.

Conway scholars

(Mr. William Conway with the Conway Scholars in 2018)

Graduates are submitting their stories this week, and I will be posting them to this blog all week.   If you would like to share your story, please send me a few paragraphs and a photo on email to president@trinitydc.edu

Congratulations to our graduates!

Gwendolyn Hemphill, MA, Strategic Communication and Public Relations


My name is Gwendolyn Hemphill.  I am 78 years old. I was born and raised in a small town, Johnstown, Pa.  I grew up in the 50s and most mothers stayed at home.  When I married at 18 I was devoted to my husband and children. In the 60s we moved to Washington, DC and although I loved education and wanted to pursue my college degree, I waited for my three children to grow up. In 1987 I graduated from Howard University and I wanted to attend graduate school but I had to overcome many obstacles.  I enrolled at Trinity Washington University. Because of my age, I was anxious to continue and my first day of class confirmed my fears.  When I walked into the classroom and saw a group of young, smart women and men, I thought I would not be able to keep up.  I also believed that the professors would not be have a positive view of an older student.  I was so wrong.  My Counselor, Ms. Johnson, was so encouraging.  Although my professors showed no deference to any student, they were inspiring and helpful.  I owe so much to my fellow students who would not let me give up or become negative about my ability to earn a graduate degree. Jasmine and Jevonia, I thank you and miss you. I  am happy that I never gave up. I enjoyed my time at Trinity and looked forward to every class.. From my very first day at the Admissions Office to my picking up my graduate package I am so pleased with the choice I made.  I thank GOD for giving me the strength and perseverance to stay with my program..  A special thank you to Dean Lewis and my Advisor Dr. Jamal Watson. A very special thank you and appreciation to my family who encouraged me every step I took on this journey.  I made it.

Angel Haythe, BA, Business Administration


I started attending Trinity Washington University in August 2015, a recent graduate from high school. I was excited about the new journey and what it would bring. I never would have known that I would be graduating from Trinity Washington University with a full ride and making dean’s list all my semesters. It taught me a lot about overcoming obstacles and embracing being confident. Prior to attending Trinity Washington University, I was battling with managing my Type 1 Diabetes (diagnosed at age 11). For many years, I was told that I wasn’t going to accomplish many things in life with this illness. It made me mentally and educationally crippled. It wasn’t until I attended Trinity where I saw that beyond the struggles and odds, you can overcome your obstacles. It taught me that your obstacles are what motivates you to do better. Trinity helped me to prove myself and to others that you can do it and achieve anything. Nothing can stop your success and the more you push through and continue the greater the success. Now that I am a graduate I can share this message with others in hope of encouraging women around the world that things may be thrown in your life to knock you down, make you fall, or stumble but the if you stay focused and overcome obstacles you will achieve greatly.

LaTondre T. Hill:  BA, Human Relations

Latondre17 years after graduating high school and two wonderful kids later, I decided I had to return to school. At the age of 34 years old, I started my journey at Trinity Washington University. I remember receiving my acceptance letter as if it was yesterday. I cried with excitement like a new born baby because I had passed the admission exam into the University. However, I was also as nervous as a toddler starting preschool because of the unfamiliar adventure I was about to embark on. Trinity enrolls many youthful ladies so let’s just say at my age of re-entering college, my confidence had not blossomed, when I first began.

In 2014, I started at Trinity University taking only two classes per semester and working a full time job at Children’s National Hospital. I was determined to never quit, I sacrificed and never took a semester off and I was committed to never accept a grade lower than a B average in my academic courses. I had made up in my mind; I would finish this journey, “One step at a time”. Were times difficult? Yes. Did I want to throw in the towel? Absolutely but, I had to tackle the challenge head on for my future. My kids are my inspiration and Professors like Dr. Lucas, Dr. Thorne and Professor Brown allowed me to express the hidden courage I always had as I pressed my way through.

On Wednesday January 8th 2020, I will walk across the stage at Trinity as a cum laude student, earning my Bachelor’s degree in Human Relations. To anyone who thinks it is too late, I challenge you to think again.

Tia Titus, BA, Human Relations

Tias Book PhotoI am Tia Titus, my journey started at Trinity Washington University August 2011. During my tenure, I was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma, Stage Zero Non-Invasive Breast Cancer in my left breast at the age of 48 on August 1, 2014. This caused me to sit out for a semester. However, I was determined to finish what I had started. I can proudly say that I FINISHED! YES! Being a Five-year breast cancer conqueror/survivor and speaker in my spare time and now becoming an Alumni of Trinity Washington University makes me proud!

Also, I wrote a book of my experience with battling breast cancer. The name of my book is Unexplainable Joy: My Triumphant Bout with Breast Cancer. Please go to my website www.tiatitus.com to get your copy. I will personally sign it. Thank you in advance for your support.

It is so important to arm ourselves with knowledge, get genetic testing and be our own advocates. It is our right as conquerors to continue to SOAR! And have an active voice in our care. After all, it is our lives on the line. We matter.

Lastly, I would like to take this time to publicly thank the professors, staff and my fellow colleagues for a well-deserved journey!