This weekend we celebrated the hard work and accomplishments of the Class of 2016 as they crossed the finish line. Commencement ceremonies featured inspiring words from outstanding alumni. Tim Miller '93, '94, '98, director of educator preparation programs at the Texas Education Agency, spoke at the graduate ceremony. Valerie Alexander '90, an author and speaker, received a standing ovation from baccalaureate students for her message about the value of a liberal arts education in an unpredictable world.
For Trinity faculty and staff, Commencement is an occasion steeped in tradition and institutional pride. For Trinity families who have watched their students discover their passions, grow their talents, and become leaders ready to put their mark on the world, it is a joyous occasion. We are proud to welcome the Class of 2016 as our newest alumni. Be sure to check out photos from commencement day.
This fall we will welcome to campus one of the largest classes Trinity has recruited in many years: the Class of 2020. We anticipate 670 first-year students on move-in day. Trinity set a University record with 7,198 applications, a 30 percent increase over last year. I am proud that we achieved this recruitment goal while maintaining the academic quality and diversity of the incoming class.
Our success this year exemplifies a new spirit of collaboration at Trinity, in this case, among admissions, marketing, financial aid, and institutional research. Their collaboration brought together data, technology, and communication in order to tell the Trinity story more effectively and to reach a broader audience of prospective students and their families. This partnership led to the significant growth in applications. At the same time, we continued our hallmark emphasis on personalized attention. More prospective students and their families visited campus than ever before. They spoke with faculty, staff, current students, and alumni. I am grateful for the way that collaboration, a clear plan, and collective effort came together to recruit the Class of 2020.
I look forward to more partnerships on campus. The connections across units, among departments, and between liberal and professional studies will distinguish Trinity even more and amplify the pride we have strengthened this year.
In addition to our new alumni, new class of students, and new connections, this is also an exciting time at Trinity as we prepare to welcome new leadership. This summer Deneese L. Jones, Ph.D., becomes Trinity's new vice president for Academic Affairs. She is the immediate past provost and professor of education at Drake University. She is committed to the kind of connections that make the Trinity experience extraordinary.