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President's Office | President’s Report, 2007

Trinity President’s Update – Fall 2007

September 25, 2007

TO:  Alumnae and Alumni, Family and Friends of Trinity

FROM: President Patricia McGuire

RE:  Fall 2007 Update

As the Gold Class of 2011 joins the Trinity community and the Red Class of 2008 prepares for Cap and Gown Weekend, we have much great news to share about the new academic year at Trinity!

WOMEN’S COLLEGE TRIUMPH!  Largest Freshman Class in 40 Years!

Trinity began the fall semester with the largest freshman class in our women’s college, the College of Arts and Sciences, since 1967 – the second year in a row in which we have achieved such stunning results.  We welcomed 280 new students in the College of Arts and Sciences, including 240 first year students and 40 transfer students.  Cuvilly and Kerby Residence Halls are full!  Our new students in the women’s college represent more than 20 states and 19 nations, speaking 15 different languages.

Obviously, this news is a great triumph for Trinity’s persevering vision to sustain our women’s college.  When I started as president in 1989, we enrolled just 70 freshmen in the women’s college, and the future was not bright.  While it’s taken Trinity a long time to turn around enrollment in the women’s college, we never relented in our fundamental commitment to this mission.  Along the way, we learned that this mission could thrive in its potential to serve countless women among populations once left out of higher education.  Today, Trinity’s broadly diverse student population reflects the high aspirations of new generations of African American, Latina, Asian and immigrant families whose daughters want to gain the same intellectual empowerment and spiritual fulfillment that led prior generations of women to Trinity.

Trinity also enrolled more than 280 new undergraduate and graduate women and men in the School of Professional Studies and School of Education, bringing the total new student enrollment this fall to 549.  Overall enrollment stands at about 1643 for the Fall 2007 semester.

Freshman Essays Reflect Dreams and Aspirations

Each year, I am so moved by the application essays of the students who enroll at Trinity.  This year’s essays create a wonderful tapestry of this class.  Here are just a few glimpses into the high hopes and bold dreams of our newest Trinity Women:

  • [This student is from Ghana]:  I want to open medical centers throughout Africa where many AIDS and cancer victims suffer silently alone. With the help of the village and the families of patients I plan to build cooperative clinics.
  • [This student lost her mother in the civil war in Sierra Leone] Since the day of my mother’s death it has been my duty to live each day of my life making her proud. I will also be the first woman in my family to attend college. I must set a positive example for my brother and prove that we will have a chance at happiness and prosperity.
  • Growing up I encountered stereotypes about Latinas, how they would become pregnant and not make it to college. I, on the other hand, did not want to be stereotyped in that way, nor did I want to become a statistic. I wanted to succeed and represent successful Latina women. I am very proud that I am the first from my family to attend college.
  • I am committed to being financially stable in life and to give back to the person who has always given to me. This person, my mother, has always put her children first. Going to college would not only be my dream, but hers also. I am the third of three children and the first to attend college.
  • My true passion is to become a teacher…I was fortunate to have had several extraordinary teachers. Their dedication, commitment and encouragement were instrumental in what I have become. They taught me the true meaning of sacrifice and service. I have envisioned myself standing in their places, molding the lives of students in my own way.
  • I am the artist of my life and the director of my future…

Class of 2007 Achievements!

We said goodbye to the Class of 2007 on a glorious Commencement day in May, but their achievements continue to be most impressive.  Among other news from our most recent graduates:

  • Leah Martin won a prestigious Rangel Fellowship to prepare for a career in the foreign service.  She is currently at the University of Denver’s Gradate School of International Studies.
  • Johanna Herman is in Germany at the University of Bonn.
  • Christina Solo Rotger is attending the St. Matthews University School of Medicine.
  • Alea Lycorish is pursuing her Master’s in psychology at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Monique Baker is working on her Master’s in Social Work at Catholic University.
  • Janie Pacheco is in the M.B.A. program at the University of Maryland at College Park.
  • Sanette Jackson enrolled in the School of Nursing at Villanova University.
  • Kiersten Gregory is at New York University in the School of Education.
  • Katherine Allesse, an economics major, accepted a position with the World Bank.

A New Dean for the School of Professional Studies

I am pleased to announce that Debra Tervala is our new Dean of the School of Professional Studies. Dean Tervala joins us from the University of Maryland University College.  She earned her B.A. in French Literature and M.Ed. from the University of Maryland College Park, and she holds a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore. She has tremendous professional experience in law, education and higher education administration, and will be a terrific colleague for our School of Professional Studies faculty and staff, and a wonderful leader for our students.

Main Hall Renovations:  The Project Continues!

For the past two years, the focus of the Trinity Annual Fund has been to support critically needed repairs and upgrades in Main Hall.  Thanks to the generosity of so many alumnae and friends, the Annual Fund raised a record-breaking $1.33 million in 2005-06 and nearly $1 million in 2006-07.  I am very grateful to those of you who responded to this initiative so generously.  This strong show of support has translated into excellent progress on the repairs for Main Hall and I am pleased to report that we have completed several major projects in Main Hall, including:

  • Major repairs to our symbolic Red Roof, consisting of new gutters and drainage system, flashing, and the replacement of broken clay tiles.  Because the roof is more than 100 years old, the original manufacturer needed to use a current tile to cast molds for the replacements. The replacement of the gutters required a large crane and extensive scaffolding in Seymour Court; the monumental and necessary task of repairing roof and weather damage and correcting drainage issues is complete. With the roof repaired, we then focused on repairing water damage in the Convent and in offices.
  • Significant electrical upgrades in key areas of the building.
  • A complete renovation of the old Music and Art wing of Main Hall, now the home of our Nursing program; this project included a new roof and HVAC system, and the renovation of classrooms and offices.
  • Moving the “IT hub” with all of our servers for phones and computers to a vastly improved, climate-controlled room in the basement of Main.
  • Installing new doors and security measures near the entrance by the Post Office.

We have been able to tackle the most urgent needs, and have made great strides thanks to your strong response.  The scope of the work is great, as is the cost.  We have these additional projects on the list of items yet to be tackled:

  • Restroom Modernization:  With more students (and more male students), and the expectations of modern life, we know that we must begin a progressive project to upgrade the public restrooms in Main Hall.  We hope to begin this on the first floor sometime in 2008.
  • Electrical and Life Safety Upgrades to Fourth North:  With our surge in freshman enrollment, we need to reopen residence hall space in Main Hall next year.  We will need to address electrical, plumbing and other infrastructure needs, including life safety issues, in the months ahead.
  • Elevator Project:  With the cost of a new elevator estimated to be upwards of $2 million, we are preparing to issue a Request for Proposal to architectural firms to work with us in designing the most sensible approach to installing a second elevator in Main Hall.  This is a top priority, but the building code issues are considerable, and we need expert advice on the best location for this elevator so that it will serve Trinity’s needs for many decades to come.  Once we have a new elevator in place, we will be able to upgrade the existing elevator.  Other campus elevators, particularly Alumnae Hall, also need modernization.  During the next several years we will be progressively working through each set of elevator requirements in each building.

A New Campus Master Plan:  The University Academic Center On the Horizon!

Every ten years, universities in D.C. must file a Campus Master Plan describing potential future development, translating the university’s strategic plan into the physical dimensions of the campus.  I am pleased to report that Trinity’s Campus Master Plan was unanimously approved by the D.C. Zoning Commission in February 2007.  The priority project in this new Campus Master Plan is the University Academic Center, including new classrooms and learning spaces, innovative new library and information technology capacity, new science facilities, space for performing arts and new common areas for students and faculty to gather.  This coming year, we will retain architects to develop the concept for the University Academic Center, and I will be sharing much more about this exciting project in the coming months.  Stay tuned!

Visit Trinity On Campus … and Online!

Alumnae, alumni, parents and friends are always welcome to visit campus to meet our wonderful students and learn more about the great achievements of the Trinity community.  I invite you to stay up to date with Trinity by visiting our web site, at www.trinitydc.edu.   I also encourage you to read my Blog – there’s a link right on our home page – where I write about our students, alumnae and issues of the day.  I welcome comments on my Blog, too!


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

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