The rush of move-in day as new students and their families arrive on campus creates an evocative start to the Trinity journey. Perhaps you have your own memories of this amazing welcome where teams of Trinity volunteers swarm families' cars to assist in unloading precious cargo.
This weekend we welcomed 646 new first-year students, ready to discover, grow, and become Trinity Tigers. The Class of 2021 is one of the most diverse in Trinity's history, including 39 percent students of color, seven percent international students, and 30 percent from out-of-state. In addition, 12 percent are first-generation college students. We are proud that we continue to attract the very best and brightest students to our community.
Move-in day was capped with the Welcome Picnic for new students and their families. Thank you, Aramark, for your generous sponsorship. This event was a wonderful opportunity for new students and families to connect with each other and faculty advisers. The new Tigers then plunged into a series of orientation activities designed to ready them for fall classes and to fully embrace the Trinity experience.
Transformation of the Bell Athletic Center into a renewed hub of campus life continues as we open this semester and kick-off the fall sports season. A new 8,000-square-foot fitness center, under construction at the entrance of the Bell Center, is scheduled to open in the spring. This two story, glass-enclosed, state-of-the-art weight training and cardio facility will be the focal point for recreation and wellness activities for all Trinity students, faculty, and staff. The interior renovations in the Bell Center renovations are complete, including locker rooms, the Stumberg Sports Performance Center, and upgrades to the Calgaard Gym. This video gives you a look at the progress of these renovations.
The Sams Gym is being renamed the Ron and Genie Calgaard Gym to honor the Calgaards' legacy of commitment to excellence and their strong sense of campus community. The Trinity community will dedicate the renaming with Ron and Genie at a special ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 13. More details soon.
If you played intramural sports while at Trinity, you no doubt know or have heard of the venerable "Coach" Jim Potter, longtime director of Intramurals. Friend, mentor, and teacher to decades of Trinity students, he built Trinity's intramural program into one of the finest in the nation. On Friday, Aug. 25 at 5:30 p.m. we will celebrate Jim's nurturing leadership style and exceptional service to students by naming the University's Intramural Field in his honor. Please join us for the dedication ceremony and reception with Jim, his family, former students, and many friends. Although retired since 2000, he remains deeply connected to his former students, as you can see by the many comments on this special Facebook group.
We also welcome back to campus Tess Coody-Anders '93. She joins Trinity's leadership team as Vice President for Strategic Communications and Marketing on Tuesday, Sept. 5. From being the co-founder of a marketing agency to developing complex tools for healthcare, Tess understands the impact of marketing as a way of holding ourselves accountable, of being authentic, and living fully the promise we make to others. She will be an outstanding collaborator as we seek deeper connections with our alumni and friends and greater renown across the country.
As an educator, scholar, and administrator who has spent his professional life on college campuses, nothing is more invigorating than the start of a new academic year. I am challenged by our goal this year to strengthen the Trinity journey—from applicant to student to alumni. I hope you will share with me stories of your Trinity journey and thoughts on how we can strengthen the experience.
We will also continue to advance the initiatives of the Trinity Tomorrow Strategic Plan. I am pleased to share with you the 2017 Progress Report, which illustrates Trinity's considerable movement toward meeting the goals of the ten-year plan. The plan seeks to inspire learning based on Trinity values and is designed to have an impact on our world. Trinity's vision is ambitious: Redefine liberal arts for the 21st century. We are making progress and charting the next steps in this journey.
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 [at] trinity.edu.