3(Katie Breslin ’13 rallies students for Pell Grants on the steps of the U.S. Capitol)
On Wednesday this week, we will celebrate those extraordinary women who gave us the gift of Trinity. Founders’ Day is always one of the best times of the year — I am sure that Sister Mary Euphrasia would have enjoyed our annual picnic on the front lawn immensely, and Sister Julia McGroarty would have certainly approved of the Honors Convocation. Our Founders — Sr. Julia, Sr. Euphrasia and other Sisters of Notre Dame who established Trinity in 1897 — were leaders of vision and courage, undaunted by the considerable obstacles of poverty (they didn’t have much money, but somehow they figured out how to buy this land and build Main Hall) and right-wing opposition to the idea of women’s education in the late 19th Century.
Trinity Women — and today, Trinity Men as well in our graduate and professional programs — continue to give witness to the worth and necessity of our Founders’ vision for Trinity. This is not a school for slackers. Our Founders’ high expectations touch and shape the experience of every single Trinity student today. Those expectations include the absolute commitment to use the gift of this education in service to others, the pursuit of social justice in all communities our graduates inhabit, the high expectation of honor and integrity in all that we do, the imperative of large intellectual and academic achievement not simply for one’s own glory but as the means to the end of justice and peace in our world.
In the last few weeks, I have seen many examples of the pride and joy of our Founders, the remarkable ways in which Trinity students and alumnae give witness to the worth of Trinity’s mission in our world.
On April 14, Veronica Nolan ’99 (above) gave a rousing Sower’s Seed lecture about her work as executive director of the Urban Alliance and the importance of faith in pursuing her life’s work. Trinity bolstered her commitment to working for social justice, serving children and youth through programs that prepare them to enter the workforce successfully. Sower’s Seed benefactor Kelly Snider Dunn ’64 (below) spoke at dinner about the critical importance of keeping Trinity’s mission focus on service and commitment to social justice strong and vibrant.
After dinner, student Brittannie Muhammed ’12 spoke about her experience as a Cunneen Fellow:
On March 26, Trinity welcomed students, faculty and staff from around the Washington Region for the annual conference of CAAPS, the Capital Area Association of Peace Studies. CAAPS honored Sr. Mary Hayes ’57 for her many years of service as the lead organizer of the conference. Many Trinity students attended and presented papers at the conference, including Tiffany Benitez (below):
Meanwhile, on March 31, First Year Student Anastasia Broaddus ’15 gave a powerful opening address for the United Way Education Town Hall moderated by CNN’s Soledad O’Brien and featuring U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. If you’ve not already watched Anastasia’s address, take a few minutes to click on the video to see how Trinity students today are making our Founders proud!
Action for justice took Trinity students to Capitol Hill to rally in support of Pell Grants during the Congressional debates over the federal budget. Students joining the rally included April Lees, Tayla Daniel, Morgan Carillo and Kathryn Clarkin. Kaitlyn Breslin, president of the College Democrats, organized the Trinity delegation.
The photo at the top of this blog shows that Katie already knows how to use a bullhorn well — a talent that Trinity leaders sometimes need to get the message out! Katie’s leadership on behalf of the College Dems also snagged an invitation to a major event INSIDE the Capitol on March 31 — Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi ’62 hosted a Women’s History Month reception paying special tribute to the late Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro and Senator Barbara Mikulski (both graduates of women’s colleges!). 20 Trinity students participated in this reception, and had the opportunity to network with Leader Pelosi and other women leaders on the Hill:
Trinity’s Founders are surely smiling at so many examples of Trinity women learning, leading and serving our world today!