Trinity University is part of the fabric of San Antonio - we’ve called the Alamo City home since 1942. However, our story begins almost exactly 150 years ago, on April 20, 1869. That’s when our founders chose the tiny town of Tehuacana as Trinity University’s first home. It would not be its last.
In 1902, faced with harsh socio-economic realities, Trinity moved to the somewhat larger community of Waxahachie. Even so, enrollment continued to languish. Then, in 1942, the University’s trajectory was forever changed. Our school was invited by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce to relocate, and ten years later, we took up permanent residence on our iconic Skyline Campus.
Certainly, our history was a struggle - but more importantly, it’s a story of resiliency and the ability to adapt to changing times. Even today, Trinity continues to transform to meet the needs of our students and community.
That’s because our world is changing at breakneck speed. Never before have so many people around the world been able to instantaneously access terabytes of information. But interpreting this information and making informed conclusions has become more difficult than ever.
Another 21st-century challenge we face is ever-increasing automation. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 82 percent of Americans believe that by 2050, robots and computers will perform much of the work currently done by humans.
A liberal arts and sciences education at Trinity produces citizens who can face these challenges head-on. We form independent, critical thinkers who are practical, compassionate learners. A properly applied liberal arts education enables students to make sense of their world - and even more importantly, make positive and lasting impacts in it.
Some of the biggest lessons at Trinity are learned outside of the classroom. Because students are encouraged to take what they learn on campus and apply it in our community, San Antonio is many times the beneficiary of this educational approach.
Trinity’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship encourages students to start businesses that make an impact locally and around the world. Whether it’s creating ingenious medical devices to tackle America’s opioid crisis, building powerful data models to improve international agriculture, or fueling San Antonio’s booming tech and startup scene, Trinity students are making a difference.
In March, the Stumberg Venture Competition awarded five student startups $5,000 in seed money and a chance to win a $25,000 grand prize for their business next fall. It’s handed out more than $215,000 since its inception in 2015.
Trinity Tigers give freely of their time as well. As part of our 150th anniversary kick-off celebration, more than 500 students, faculty, staff, and alumni gathered to volunteer at a dozen different non-profit organizations around the city. And we’re not stopping there. In all, the Trinity community has pledged to give 150,000 hours of service to San Antonio in 2019.
Our Center for International Engagement fosters the sharing of international ideas and global citizenry, broadening Trinity's involvement and impact well beyond San Antonio. This school year alone, Trinity hosted 15 international students representing 11 different countries, and sent 42 students to study abroad - spanning 18 different countries and six continents.
As a result, we’re receiving national recognition for our innovative, solution-oriented curriculum. Trinity is recognized as one of the top small liberal arts universities in the nation, receiving accolades from the Wall Street Journal, the Princeton Review, and U.S. News & World Report, among others. We’re working to make a Trinity degree affordable, too. MONEY.com recently ranked Trinity the number two university in the nation for best colleges for merit aid. That’s helping to attract exceptional new students to our campus.
In fact, a record number of students - roughly 9,800 - have applied for admission to Trinity for fall 2019. Not only is the incoming class one of the most academically gifted based on SAT and ACT scores, but it is also one of its most diverse.
While Trinity attracts top-notch students from across the country and around the world, many of them choose to stay in San Antonio upon graduation. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, as well as City Manager Erik Walsh, are both Trinity graduates. Other local leaders include businesswoman and philanthropist April Ancira Thompson, and entrepreneur and Rackspace founder Dirk Elmendorf.
In a way, San Antonio helped secure Trinity University’s future 77 years ago, and we’ve been repaying a debt of gratitude ever since. It’s probably hard to imagine what a handful of gritty Texas pioneers in Tehuacana had in mind 150 years ago when they set out to establish “a University of the highest order.” But we’re pretty sure the Trinity of 2019 is continuing that mission in San Antonio - and far beyond.