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President's Office | President’s Newsletter, Fall 2008

President’s Newsletter, Fall 2008

October 10, 2008

Dear Alumnae and Alumni, Family and Friends of Trinity,

In these perilous times with so much worrisome news on the national scene, I’m pleased to be able to share some very good news from Trinity!  These are days that certainly call all of us to the best use of our Trinity education in leadership and service to our nation and world.

The Good News:  Trinity now enrolls 1,756 students, our largest enrollment ever! This enrollment includes 655 students in our historic women’s college, the College of Arts & Sciences.  Another 783 have enrolled in the School of Professional Studies and 318 in the School of Education.  In total, more than 600 new students joined the Trinity community this fall.  This growth in Trinity’s enrollment is a great affirmation of Trinity’s strong reputation and innovative programming to serve the educational needs of our region.

Trinity College:  Our Women’s College Continues to Grow!

Perhaps the most gratifying news for Trinity is the continued strong performance of our women’s college, still known as Trinity College, our College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).  255 new students from 18 states and with backgrounds from 20 other nations joined CAS this fall in the first year and upperclass years as well, swelling the total CAS enrollment to 655.  The dramatic increase in the number of new students during the last four years is a direct result of the investments Trinity has made in facilities and programs.   We are especially grateful to the benefactors who made the Trinity Center for Women and Girls in Sports a reality – the new sports center has been a definite attraction for many of our new students.  Additionally, students enrolling in the College of Arts and Sciences are flocking to new major programs in Nursing and Criminal Justice, while also enrolling in greater numbers than ever before in Business, Psychology and Communication.

Residential students are also growing in number, now occupying three residence halls.  Perhaps the best news is the reopening of Main Hall for student residence – 4th North now houses 40 of our total residential population of 250.  For the last three years, the generous gifts of alumnae and friends to our Annual Fund appeal made it possible for Trinity to upgrade many parts of Main Hall, particularly the north wing residential facilities.  Even as we invested in renovating 4th North for students, we also are continuing substantial upgrades for the Sisters of  Notre Dame residence.

CAS Dean Elizabeth Child and her faculty colleagues welcomed these new faculty to the College of Arts & Sciences this fall:

Dr. Kerry Luse, Clare Boothe Luce Professor of Mathematics
Dr. Lori Estes, Clare Boothe Luce Professor of Biology
Dr. Deone Minto, Assistant Professor of English
Dr. Stacey Baugh, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Dr. Maurice Champagne, Writing Instructor
Ms. Ariel Gibbons, Math Instructor
Dr. Jennifer Maan, Visiting Professor of Education in CAS

In Academic Affairs, we have also welcomed Dr. Kimberly LaBoone who joins our academic staff as the Director of Academic Services, and Assistant Dean Dana Moore working with Dean Bowie in Student Services.

School of Professional Studies

Continuing the upward trends, the School of Professional Studies is at an all-time high of 783 students enrolled in all programs, including  the AA degree at THE ARC, the baccalaureate programs on Trinity’s main campus, and the master’s degrees – MA, MSA, MBA.   The rapid growth in the Nursing population is clear evidence of the huge market demand for Nursing education, and we are moving as quickly as possible to try to recruit faculty and expand facilities to support this surge.   Criminal Justice is also growing rapidly with future growth potential in Homeland Security as well as law enforcement.  Dean Debra Tervala and her colleagues welcomed these new faculty and staff:

Dr. Thomas Mostowy, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Dr. Stanley Nwoji, Assistant Professor of Business
Dr. Marcus Adair, Associate Dean of SPS
Dr. Stephanie Holaday, Director of Nursing
Ms. Marissa Rossoukh, Assistant Professor of Nursing
Ms. Maryann Valcourt, Assistant Professor of Nursing

School of Education

With great challenges inherent in working with the D.C. Public School System in a time of dramatic change, the School of Education is focusing on ways to support the school reform initiatives while also developing new programs that are responsive to the wave of change in urban education everywhere.   Programs that support new forms of teacher education, new methods for developing principals and new avenues for the training of all school professionals are essential for school transformation.  Dean Suellen Meara and her colleagues welcome Dr. Amy Brereton as our new Assistant Professor of Education.

Technological Challenges and Opportunities

As Trinity grows, the demands on our technological resources escalate, and changes in the external environment also place demands on systems that once were not even considered necessary.  So, for example, the digital conversion in television that will take place in February 2009 requires Trinity to address a long-deferred issue:  cable television.  To bring cable to the entire campus will cost upwards of $125,000.  Is this necessary?  To remain in the analog age is increasingly unacceptable to today’s students.  If Trinity hopes to keep improving enrollment, and particularly residential enrollment, adapting the campus to the modern age is essential.  Cable television access is the latest metaphor for how students judge the quality and effectiveness of the learning environment.  So, yes, we will have to make this investment; and, yes, some costs will have to be passed along to students.

Similarly, the demand for increased online delivery of academic courses is growing, and this places great stress on our existing hardware and software.  In the next few months, we will be replacing all key elements of our technology infrastructure – servers, switches, routers, the “stuff” that makes technology work – and implementing a new software package called “Moodle” to improve Trinity’s capacity to satisfy the demands of students and faculty for more online capacity.   Such capacity is no longer just for distance learning; virtually all Trinity courses today use a variety of technological tools for course management and instructional delivery.  These upgrades – another $300,000 when all is done – are essential for Trinity to compete as a contemporary institution of higher education today.

The Campaign for Trinity’s Second Century

As Trinity grows, the stress on our venerable infrastructure is considerable.  While we aspire to reach a headcount of about 3,000 students in all programs, in fact, with just 1,750 enrolled today, we are well past the physical capacity of this campus that was built for a much smaller population in a very different educational era.  In July 2008, Trinity submitted a report to the D.C. Zoning Commission (see http://www.trinitydc.edu/academiccenter/ concerning our buildings that are 50 years old or older – including Main Hall, Notre Dame Chapel, Alumnae Hall, the Science Building and Cuvilly Hall – and the Library and Kerby Hall are not far behind on that list.  The overwhelming majority of the academic infrastructure of our campus is more than 50 years old, and renovations and upgrades are increasingly inadequate to make the space work for contemporary higher education instruction.  We must create new facilities for academic programs while pursuing continuous upgrades in existing structures.

Accordingly, Trinity is preparing a new capital campaign to support the ambition of Trinity’s second century.  This campaign will support initiatives directly related to strengthening Trinity’s academic infrastructure, including:

  • Creation of the Trinity Academic Center to provide contemporary environments for instruction, laboratories, performance space, exhibits and research, with all associated technologies, and including the creation of a new core classroom building, and renovation of existing Science and Library facilities;
  • Continuing improvements to Main Hall including substantial renovation for improved access, fire and life safety, and contemporary academic and administrative functionality;
  • Development of Trinity’s unrestricted endowment and reserve funds to strengthen Trinity’s long-term ability to improve the capital infrastructure continuously, relieving future generations of the “catch-up” challenges imposed by Trinity’s historic lack of an endowment of any size (the current endowment is just about $10 million).

In this difficult economy, how can you help Trinity?

At Trinity, we know that everyone is stressed out right now about the economy.  We share your concerns; our students, faculty and staff all feel the pinch.  In asking for your support, I realize that some will see this as sheer hubris.  But my responsibility to you is to keep strengthening our alma mater even in the face of difficult external conditions.  I am pleased to tell you that Trinity is financially sound.  You can see our financial reports on the website at http://www.trinitydc.edu/finances/We have used the generous gifts of our several thousand benefactors to improve the campus, support our students, and make it possible for Trinity to grow.  In every way, I believe that our stewardship to you, our alumnae and alumni, benefactors and friends, meets the highest standard for excellence and integrity in return on your investments.  We live quite frugally on our campus; salaries are modest, amenities few, but our work is great.  We are changing the lives of our students for the better every single day.  Among all of the colleges and universities in the District of Columbia, Trinity is repeatedly cited as the university that really gets it right when it comes to returning value to our city and its citizens.

So, with respect and gratitude for all that you have already done, when you receive our annual appeal this year, please consider how your investment in Trinity sustains this great work for so many other lives.  In advance, many thanks for making a stretch gift in difficult times.  The return on your investment will come in the great success of the students who benefit from your generosity.

With gratitude, Patricia McGuire


Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity, 125 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 202.884.9050   Email: president@trinitydc.edu

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