The dynamic nature of a university can find us working through a range of situations where we are confronted with loss and healing, thankfulness and celebration all in the same month. This characterizes the emotions the Trinity campus has experienced over the past few weeks.
We continue to seek ways to support the family, classmates, and everyone on our campus affected by the tragic death of sophomore Cayley Mandadi last month. As a small, close-knit community that places a high value on the contributions of each and every person, this loss has reverberated throughout the Trinity community. In moments like these, we must look to our values of community and connectedness to provide some solace.
One way we do that is to reflect on our shared history and traditions. Seventy-five years ago this fall, Trinity held its first classes in San Antonio. As I said in an opinion column for the Express-News, moving to San Antonio was a bold decision that put the University on a path of dramatic transformation. Trinity would not be what it is today if not for the vision of San Antonio business leaders who believed miracles could happen, even in a war-torn world. The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce voted to invite Trinity to San Antonio on the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, which brought the U.S. into World War II. The decision was far reaching, and Trinity continues to be blessed with the good fortune to be part of a vibrant and supportive city.
Originally founded in 1869 in Tehuacana, Texas, Trinity's storied journey has survived four moves and numerous financial crises. We look forward to connecting with the University's heritage and history as we plan Trinity's 150th anniversary celebration for 2019. As we look to the future, we can do so with confidence in our abilities to be a catalyst as a student-centered university.
As our thoughts turn to Thanksgiving this week, I am grateful to the many alumni, parents, faculty, and staff who responded in record breaking numbers to Trinity's 3rd annual 24 Hour Challenge that took place on Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. The 24 Hour Challenge brought in more than 1,700 gifts to the University, totaling more than $350,000 within a 24-hour time period. Thank you for making an impact on the University in a big way by giving to the areas that matter to you most.
Alumni donors couldn't resist the added challenge to see Michael Bacon '89, vice president for Alumni Relations and Development, and Tess Coody-Anders '93, vice president for Strategic Communications and Marketing, in an epic lip-sync performance treamed live on Facebook. More than 333 alumni donors made a gift by 3:33 p.m., the time of Trinity's famous nacho hour, to fulfill the challenge. Ultimately, more than 1,700 total gifts were made. Priceless.
I hope you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday.
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.