Dear Trinity Students, Staff, and Faculty,
I am writing because of uncertainty in the United States that affects our campus. This past Friday, the White House issued an Executive Order related to immigration, which we are following closely in order to understand the implications it might have. Trinity University has taken pride in its openness, diversity, and commitment to meaningful connections. These are key features of our ethos. They remain constant.
I have been at Trinity University for a little more than a year and a half, and every day I am grateful to be a part of our community. I came to Trinity University for many reasons, but there are three that bear sharing in more detail today. They all relate to the centrality of Trinity connections, the diversity of our community, and the international reach of our mission.
First, because of our proximity to Mexico, we value the connections with our neighbor and the rich history of our city. In just a few weeks, I will accompany a group of Trinity students and faculty members to Monterrey, Mexico to renew our partnerships and connections at the Tecnológico. Mexico is only one of many countries with which we seek to have a deep and meaningful relationship.
Second, diversity and inclusion are abiding community values. From our MLK Jr. March each year to the values in our strategic plan, respect for individuals and respect for community are at the heart of all that we do. I am proud that our campus includes students whose families live in 44 different countries. I am proud that since 2000, we have hired faculty and staff from 12 different countries. While our origins are Christian and I am proud of our Presbyterian roots, we are also religiously diverse; we include individuals who are Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, or Sikh, to name a few. Our value of “community” calls for us to be “open to individual spiritual discovery, understanding, and growth.” These different perspectives enrich us.
Third, international connections are one of the four objectives of our strategic plan, Trinity Tomorrow. The Center for International Engagement is one manifestation of our intention to make international connections visible and accessible to our entire community. Our students become open to the world through their Trinity experiences. Any step backwards from this openness to the world is a retreat from a major objective.
I have stated to faculty, staff, and students that we must dispel any fear that hinders our work. We value open dialogue and critical thinking about all topics, including challenging or controversial topics. I have asked different offices on campus to reach out to students, faculty, and staff with direct communications about how you may request support or information if desired. Whether there is direct or indirect impact from the recent Executive Order from the White House, our values will guide us as we listen, as we speak, and as we ensure that Trinity University remains a connected, inclusive, and international university.