Tomorrow marks the final day of in-person instruction on campus for Fall 2020. As planned, the campus is rapidly closing. After a much-needed week-long Thanksgiving Break, the remainder of our studies will be conducted remotely.
Wherever you may be studying, teaching, living, or working - please take a minute to congratulate yourself and your peers for making it through this highly irregular and challenging semester.
As we opened our doors in August, San Antonio had just experienced an alarming spike in COVID-19 cases, and none of us knew if we’d be able to finish out the semester as planned. Thanks to your diligence and dedication to ProtecTU, we’ve been able to achieve that goal, which is something that many schools cannot celebrate. Once again, Trinity Tigers have risen to the challenge!
It is difficult to believe that just one year ago we were in the midst of a year-long celebration of our 150th anniversary. That celebration showcased Trinity’s resiliency through a century and a half of challenges and obstacles. Little did we know that remembering our past would prepare us for the future of 2020.
However, none of us has persevered alone. Whether on campus or hundreds of miles away, Trinity students have found outlets of academic and social support.
This Fall, Trinity’s newest graduates from the Master of Arts in Teaching found themselves leading classrooms for their first time amid disorienting Zoom classrooms and steep technological learning curves. Instead of buckling under the pressure, these new graduates collaborated with one another and with Trinity faculty throughout the semester to make adjustments for their students and families.
Trinity students innovatively took on internships, launched businesses, and conducted undergraduate research. Even the performing arts at Trinity are enduring in a COVID-19 world. This semester, the Trinity University Players recently performed “What We Have,” a play written by Trinity student Wren Ramos ’22 - a play about Zoom and performed on Zoom. It explores the effects of technology, isolation, and connection in a pandemic world.
Of course, COVID-19 is not the only disruptor on campus, or in our nation. We are all forced to come to terms with juggling a chaotic work and home life during a time of great economic uncertainty, political strife, and racial turmoil.
We continue to implement many of the initial recommendations from Trinity's Diversity and Inclusion Task Force report, while we also are designing a process to implement and track actions that will occur in the future. The report’s insights have given us much to consider. The findings compel us to look inward as a predominantly white university and to make use of our institutional privilege to better serve our community through diversity, equity, and inclusion.
To that end, Trinity University recently became one of 53 inaugural member institutions of the University of Southern California (USC) Race and Equity Center’s Liberal Arts College Racial Equity Leadership Alliance. The Alliance is designed to help universities strategically develop and achieve equity goals, better understand and correct climate problems, avoid and recover from racial crises, and foster sustainable cultures of inclusion. These resources will be made available to assist Trinity faculty and staff.
I am pleased to report that Trinity has attracted one of its most academically strong and diverse classes this Fall. The diversity of voices, experiences, and backgrounds these students bring makes our campus community stronger. We are also strengthening our capacity for understanding the student experience through data. This allows us to proactively ensure that all of our current student groups are getting the support they need to thrive at Trinity.
As we scatter for the extended holiday break, I encourage you all to remain connected with us and with your fellow Trinity Tigers. We have some exciting and entertaining virtual events planned that are creative virtual variations on favorite traditions—including our Vespers ceremony followed by Christmas on Oakmont. While we are unable to celebrate in person, I’m delighted to share these traditions with our global community this year. Our virtual Vespers will take place on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m., and you can join in by visiting the Tiger Network at trinity.edu/live.
Finally, please join me in congratulating the approximately 118 bachelor and master graduates and their families, who will receive their virtual conferral of degrees on Dec. 19 at 10 a.m., which can be seen on the Tiger Network. Any graduation is a profound accomplishment, and doing so amid a pandemic only adds to its significance. While we cannot be together in person, I am thankful for the creativity that the University’s Commencement Committee has once again invested in ensuring special recognition for our graduates.
As this season of Thanksgiving approaches, I am thankful for each and every one of you and your contributions to Trinity. As you enjoy your break, I urge you to remain vigilant in protecting yourselves and your loved ones with the same health protocols that have proven so successful in preventing the spread of COVID-19 on our campus this Fall.
Until we can be together again,
Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay strong.
Danny J. Anderson
President, Trinity University
As Trinity's chief storyteller, I love to share news about the University. But I also love hearing from you. Please feel free to contact me at TUPresident@trinity.edu. Also, follow me on Twitter @TU_President19 or follow conversations on my website at president.trinity.edu.