Remarks to Trinity’s Class of 2010 and All New Students in the College of Arts and Sciences
“More Than a Witness to History”
(This phrase is a quotation from an essay written by a member of the new Class of 2010)
August 27, 2006
Good morning! Welcome to Trinity! I am so pleased to add my welcome to those you have already received from our vice presidents, deans and faculty. We are happy to have you joining the Trinity community today!
Every year at the opening ceremony I like to tell the new students a little bit about who you are, what your profile looks like in general, what your hopes and dreams are as you start your new lives at Trinity. As I read your folders, I was so moved by your stories, your courage, your ambition, your kindness, your confidence, your passion. Never lose that. Never forget the brilliant, caring, scared-but-daring young women you are today even as you willingly embrace the process of metamorphosis that is your journey through your college years.
You are from a broad range of states in this nation: Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, of course. But also Delaware, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Alabama, New York, Texas, California, Utah, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, New Jersey, Hawaii, Minnesota and Missouri.
You are also from many nations around the world: Ethiopia, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Russia, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, El Salvador, Liberia, Nigeria, Armenia, Cameroon, Guatemala, Trinidad, Jamaica, Korea. You speak many languages in addition to English: French, Russian, Amharic, Spanish, Creole, Arabic, Punjabi, Turkish. You are Catholic and Protestant, Methodist and 7 th Day Adventist, Baptist and Pentecostal, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh.
As I talk about the profile of this class, I am going to quote from some of your admissions essays, but I will not identify you by name.
(Note: each quotation is in italics with quotation marks, and each is from a different essay.)
You exemplify the great Trinity tradition of women with high ambition and noble goals:
“My passion for politics has created a drive within me. This drive has allowed me to go after opportunities and take on responsibilities that have helped me grow and realize who I am as a person. It has made it possible for me to come to the conclusion that I want to be more than a witness to history , but a creator of it.”
Like many Trinity Women before you, you have a great instinct for service and compassion for others:
“Imagine: living off only one dollar a day, having an income of less than five hundred dollars a year, not even having clean water to drink or bathe….Has it ever occurred to us that while we are so caught up in the ostentatious things in life to think of those who don’t even have the basics? Have you ever stopped to notice that at the same time you’re buying excessive jewelry, expensive cars, etc., that someone is dying of a serious s illness all because they can’t afford to pay for medication? These issues were all brought to my attention during my internship at the World Bank …We have to help change the lives of others who have no opportunity to even come close to what some people take for granted.”
“I was born to immigrant parents from India. Prior to my last visit [to India] I would have said I was a typical suburban teen. I liked shopping, acquiring pretty things I did not need (and would soon forget about), being part of the in-crowd, and I was relatively unconcerned about the world outside. While I can now see the wealth of resources enjoyed by middle-class Americans, I had no real appreciation for them before my trip to India… I saw young children working as laborers… the trip to India shaped how I am today in that I have become more concerned with the obligation that I have toward the world at large.”
You want your life’s work to be focused on issues of great concern to women, to children and families:
“Society today is very critical and judgmental. The fact that I am a female of color makes life more demanding. As a minority I know that I CANNOT fail, I must stay focused and try to do my best.”
“Having passion to change the world I decided to be a business woman and an anchorwoman. I believe that America needs more Hispanic faces to represent diversity and pride.”
“I want to be an independent, intellectually strong African American woman. I do not want to be looked at or labeled as being inferior to any man in the world.”
“In 15 years I see myself as a doctor… I would be providing medical care to patients who cannot afford it. I will have started my own clinic in an underprivileged neighborhood. My patients are the homeless, people stricken with HIV and single mothers.”
“I am determined to help women all across the world. I want to be there to help those women who have been raped due to civil battles occurring in their country. I want to be there for those women in the middle east who have had acid poured all over them for not obeying their husbands’ wishes. I want to be there for the girls in South America who are being kidnapped to be sold as sex slaves. I must be there for the forced abortions in Asia for simply being a female fetus. Throughout the world women are being treated as animals and I want to be there to stop it.”
[Responding to the essay question about coming back for her 10 th reunion]: “Since her graduation at Trinity, she persevered to help the women of the Hispanic community to take interest in Engineering and technology.”
[A student from New Orleans writes]: “My ambitions are to one day enter the industrial robotics field and help create something that would not only make a huge impact on the industrial robotics front but also on the society. This has not been more relevant given the circumstances in New Orleans and the levees. I would love to be on a development team that would create a new brand of levee system, ones that adapt to changes in water elevation and wind capacity.”
“I am the definition of success. I am the example of dignity. I am the voice of power. The next Condoleeza Rice. Self-disciplined, mature, professional, leader, enthusiastic, delightful, dedicated, honest, communicator are all characteristics that describe me.”
You revere your mothers and their struggles to make your lives complete:
“My mother worked hard to bring my siblings from Africa so they would be able to have a better education in the U.S. My mother…taught me the importance of education and that if I focus I can accomplish my dreams.”
“My mother always told me to follow my dreams. It’s been times when we have to live paycheck to paycheck just to do things or buy stuff for the house… As a teenager I saw the kind of effect it had on her. Seeing that it makes me want to really go for my dreams and accomplish my goals. Being the first one on my mother’s side to go to college and really make a life on my own is very scary and exciting at the same time. I’m not only paving the way for me but also or the next generation that comes after me.”
“My mother has taught me how to deal with life and its obstacles. She personifies’ Maya Angelou’s ‘phenomenal woman’ We have overcome so many obstacles.. She is my motivation and source of my thirst for success.”
“Education means a lot to my mother and grandmother and that is why I work so hard to make them happy.”
“Being a single grandparent my grandmother made sure I had a good life. Making sure I had friends and always active. Living in a brownstone over seventy years my grandmother has been through it all. Remembering the days of Martin Luther King and living through the Harlem Renaissance, she has become a stronger African American woman today. She walks with pride, she is my inspiration.”
[Her math teacher writes about this student: "She will be a great role model for children who feel that life has not been fair to them. She has had more responsibility to shoulder than most adults have; yet, she does well in school, works after school, and takes care of her younger brother. Her grandmother, who is not well, is raising her."]
[This student writes about her Godmother who also worked at Trinity for many years]: “Being born in 1919 was a struggle within itself. A struggle to survive as an African American woman in such a segregated and racist time. In addition to the day-to-day struggles, she had to deal with the death of her mother at the young age of seventeen. By losing her mother, she had no choice but to drop out of school and get a job’she started working for Trinity College in 1945′She retired from Trinity in 2000. [She] never had any children of her own, but she has certainly been a village mother. She has been godmother to so many children’helping them to have a better, stronger and wiser life. ‘I am positive that I will not take on the responsibility of a godmother until I have given it strong consideration. Having a god mother such as [mine] lets one know that it is a major responsibility and I would not want to be any less of a godmother than she. Often times, I wonder if she has through about the impact she has had on children’s lives’As one grows older they will see and understand some of the things they may not have understood when they were younger. They will appreciate many individuals who help them to bloom. They will reach back on memory of all the village people. In my thoughts and reflections, there in the middle of my village will stand a short, strong-minded, once hard-working individual that I and others have called Godmother.”
You have traveled far to arrive at Trinity today. A number of you traveled from other nations as children, and you are keenly aware of the struggles of immigration, language, customs and the alienation that can sometimes accompany the immigrant experience:
“The English language in America was both arduous to learn and understand. In every city, town and village the Americans were speaking English differently. There were Americans speaking Ebonics, proper English, and English with various accents. This was probably the result of the diversity of cultures in America…This was significant to me because it was necessary to hear and understand the many dialects of English that I would hear in the hallway daily. Americans have taken many liberties with the English language…”
“As a young child in El Salvador, my teachers used to pick me to read a poem for mother’s day every single year….I believe that my early exposure to public speaking has allowed me to express myself openly and without fear.”
“I was born and grew up in a small city in Ethiopia which is a country that is undeveloped and does not give opportunity for all its people. The culture and economy hurt women and young girls. Usually in most families the parents send to school their son, but not their daughter, I am lucky because my parents have given me a chance to go to school and be the first person to go to college in my family…..Learning a second language is one of the things that need energy, morale and time.”
“When a child experiences war, starvation, suffering and the killing of innocent people, and also not knowing her mother or having a dad when needed the most is very difficult for a child to deal with . There were times during the 1990 civil war in Monrovia, Liberia, my country of birth, when I did not have food to eat, only water. At times I went to bed and got up to the sound of gunshots. Family members including my great grand mom were taken away from us and never to be seen again…My family soon realized that we needed to escape from the terror of the war and the deforestation that was going on in Liberia, and move to Ghana, another West African country where we lived as refugees. My life as a refugee was built around patience, hard work, motivation and determination…”
“I came to the United States when I was 11 years old and I didn’t speak a word of English…When I first walked into the school I was so scared, head down praying with all my might so that no one would talk to me… I set a goal for myself to learn this new language….”
“In my country, Russia, the greatly anticipated Capital Markets law was passed in 2003, enabling Russian citizens to take part in improvements in the financial markets and in the enhancement of the national economy. The opening up of the financial market is what has allowed me to engage in it. The new Russian reality is one in which I intend to participate after having graduated with my bachelor’s degree’ I also plan to be a key player in making the Russian Capital markets the largest and most efficient in Europe.”
“We recently came to the United States from Cameroon, a country on the west coast of Africa. Living in America and adapting to the difference in its culture, lifestyle and behavioral activities in schools has been a very significant experience…. Cameroon is a bilingual country, and the English spoken there is not very different from that spoken here in the United States. However, in my first week of school, I could not understand anything anyone said’”
You chose Trinity because we are a caring family, a woman-centered community of learning:
“Growing up in a Haitian-American household I was raised to perceive men as superior to women. Men were the providers, they were the ones who went to school and made the money. I have also been exposed to this sexist frame of mind in society. We live in a male-dominated society where women have to work twice as hard to be heard. … Trinity’s focus on women’s education is perfect for me because I will not have the distraction of men and I will be surrounded with other females to whom I can relate.”
“I believe Sisterhood is extremely important because we have to be our ‘sister’s keeper.” A sisterhood bond is essential because as woman in society we have to work harder to show that we are capable of achieving the goal that has been identified in our lives. We have to be supportive and encouraging of our sisters’ wise choices.”
[Citing the theme from "Cheers']: “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came” she writes, “Being able to be independent is a quality that every young person my age would hope to possess….but at times the most confident person would like to feel that they are accepted by someone. Trinity being a small school can really create that family environment where everybody knows your name….freshmen will have comfort knowing that they will not be just another number or face in the crowd, but a member of a family that will make up a strong university.”
You have overcome incredible obstacles to be here today. Some of you are the first in your family to graduate from high school and enter college:
“Given the history of my family, the most surprising aspect about me is my academic success. I will be the first person to graduate from high school and to pursue higher education.”
[She writes of her grandfather's death]: “I will be the first person in my family to finish high school and go to college. That’s my gift to my grandfather and me. I want to make a difference in this world and prove to my family that I can do this.”
[After citing a list of Black Women Firsts like Halle Berry and Condoleeza Rice, she writes]: “Just like these strong black women I want to carry on the legacy of greatness paving a path for my family by becoming the FIRST person in my family to successfully graduate from college. Growing up in Washington DC is a challenge in itself. On a daily basis I am faced with violence, drugs and peer pressure. The friends I had entering high school are no longer my friends because of the choices I had made in my life. I chose my education over drugs, sex or violence. Seeing so many kids my age dying for their hood makes me sick. Seeing girls my age and younger having babies angers me. Overcoming situations like these have been my personal challenge.”
“A struggling mother with five children, working from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm and living from paycheck to paycheck is not the kind of life I want to live. Unfortunately, I was born into this kind of situation. My mother has four girls and one boy and I am the youngest. While growing up, I found even the basic necessities were hard to obtain because [of] my mother having to feed five children, pay the mortgage, keep clothes on our backs, and pay the utilities. By the beginning of my twelfth grade year I realized that I need a higher education to acquire a better job. The influence of my family and continuous encouragement of my grandmother helped change my attitude toward my education and life’I will be the first of all my siblings to attend and graduate from a university or college.”
“Most people have a dream, but when a person is living in poverty it is easy to abandon the dreams and replace them with a lack of ambition along with diminished hope. I want to be a driving force in the community around me and restore the aspirations for those in need to have a better life…”
“I am going to be the first generation to graduate from college. I plan to someday live happily instead of paycheck to paycheck.”
[She writes about her father's death, and how he had been the "shadow by my side" during her first twelve years, including when she was in an auto accident] “Now it is my turn to cast a shadow. I have brought my little sister and nephew into my shadow. Playing the role of a shadow, you have to take responsibilities and precautions and do positive things to lead them in the right direction. IN my spare time I read to them and show them how to be polite and have manners. I lead by the power of positive example.”
“I will be the first generation to go to school out of my family… My parents migrated to this country in 1989. I have seen my parents struggle with their English and trying to work to help support and maintain our family at the same time. Over the years I have realized that having an education is very important and that you have to work hard in life to accomplish your goals and not have to live after every paycheck.”
You know the pain and anguish of violence in the neighborhood and family sorrows:
“Dark streets, crackheads, drugs and violence is not a safe neighborhood for kids to be around. Graffiti and vandalism are everyday things people in my neighborhood see… There is no place where kids can go and enjoy life. … I have been volunteering at a recreation center. I help kids with their homework because there is no one at home to help them. We engage in activities, play games, talk about current issues, perform crafts…..Many children need help because their parents do not care or are too young to raise children. Raising children requires parenting skills. Trying to stay out all night and party and raise children is not a good match. Children need parents and need them to be physically present. Frequently grandmothers head many families…”
“Domestic violence in a home is hard for a child to forget…”
[She writes about her father's death --- gunned down when she was 8 years old]: “That day marked the death of a child and rebirth of the mature young woman who is in search of herself today. Lost forever was the security that the family had developed when my father was around. Losing him made me realize just how fragile life is… Education, school and community service activities in which I have been involved have contributed to my growth and development in that they have become my guide, inspiration and gave me a purpose in life. …these activities reminded me that as a young Hispanic woman, who was raised in a household where the incomes were just enough for rent, food, utility and clothes for twice a year, I should be grateful for the opportunity that has been given to me to continue my education. Coming from a family where many barely have an elementary school education, I have been taught that education is not only the key to success but what will enable me to achieve my goals and give back to the community…”
“I lost my brother to a senseless act of violence; he was killed by a gunshot, a gunshot that constantly echoes in my mind…. While the hurt that I still feel is unexplainable, the tragedy of [his] death provided me with a renewed perspective concerning life.”
“I was brought up in the ghetto all my life where I have seen people get killed, not only have I seen the police harass people I have also been harassed by the police because of the color of my skin…..I look at college as a new advancement for me. Some people may look at it as a place to have freedom and go to parties but I look at it as a higher learning institution… a new beginning in my life. I will see it as a chance to go back and help my mother, my grandmother and my little brother.”
“‘who will stop the madness if I will not…?”
You are aware of some of your very special gifts and talents:
[On being enrolled in an engineering program in her high school]: “I have made catapults and motorized cars in Engineering I, built bridges from balsa wood and roller coasters with poster board in engineering II, and studied animation and studio production in Engineering Practicum.”
“Entering the College Accounting Program in the 11th Grade changed my life. Part of the Finance Academy, the Accounting Program prepared me for everything I need to know to budget, balance and invest my money. It showed me the importance of planning, punctuality and budgeting. It also required listening skills, effective note taking and lots of understanding.”
“My special talent is writing. Writing helps me to expand my imagination. It sets me apart from my peers because there are not many seventeen year old young adults who would rather sit in a quiet corner and write a short story, essay or poem just for the fun of it.”
“A particularly unusual interest I have is weight lifting. It’s not unheard of, but it’s not exactly shopping…..I think this is a great hobby for women because it’s the most efficient way to stay in shape, stay healthy, provide your body with more energy, and be an all around strong woman.”
“ROTC has taught me self-control; it has taught me the morality of my own actions. It has taught me to take responsibility for my own actions, so my behavior plays a big role in my life. I have received many awards showing that I have learned to be disciplined. I went from Basic Airman to Staff Sergeant which takes a lot to get that position. To reach that point I proved to be a leader, exceedingly respectful and extremely self-disciplined.”
“One day I will become an entrepreneur of my own fashion company…”
“Playing the violin allows me to express my emotions through the songs that I play.”
“My life and passion have always revolved around dance but my heart has also been focused toward working in the medical field. Dance has matured and groomed me into a strong, well-rounded, respectful young lady which will guide me through my college experiences and achieve my goals in becoming a psychologist or orthopedic surgeon.”
“…it is important for me to be placed in a setting where I am able to be as creative as my imagination will allow. A place where I’m free to place my mark on the present and future. A place where I am able to create a world those others can only see in their dreams. I need to be in an environment that sets no limit and the only rule is not hold back. That is why I have chosen to become an architectural engineer. Not only does it fit my personality but also I love building. It makes me happy.”
“I have been a member of my school’s step team for three years. Over the years I have learned the ultimate lesson of and importance of discipline. Being a stepper you have to be able to have self control. Working as one unit is also very important. This will help me in college because one must have discipline in order to ensure success. If the student lacks discipline there is a greater chance of that student neglecting her studies.”
You have given extensive service to your communities, and you have learned many important life lessons from this service:
“I was a volunteer for a child development clinic and got my certification to work with children with disabilities. This has been one of the most important experiences, this helped me make the career decision to major in psychology.”
“I was reluctant to join (Best Buddies) because I was afraid of what people would think of me if I were to spend time with a person who was different from me and most other students at school. I finally did join Best Buddies….It is one of the best choices I have ever made. I got over my fear of thinking that people would look at me differently and think I am odd for spending time with people who have disabilities….I have learned a valuable lesson: no matter what is wrong with a person he or she can still be a great friend….”
[She writes about her study of the Chinese language and how she surprises people by being able to speak it]: “As a nurse’s assistant at a large urban hospital I come in contact with people from all over and it just so happens that I had a patient the other day that only spoke Chinese. He was so happy to find someone that could finally understand and communicate his wants and needs…”
“This past summer I was privileged to embark on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic….The people in the town that we visited were not wealthy, nor did they have the biggest homes, and some of them didn’t have the best health, but what they did have was joy. Being able to see this with my own eyes changed me. These people welcomed us into their homes and lives; some may say that they didn’t have much to offer but to me they helped me expand on a passion I always had inside of me.”
[She relates the story of being in a hospital ER and helping a mother who could not speak English get help for her baby]: “At that moment I realized that everyone in the world needs some type of help at some point in their lives, and I was satisfied with myself that I had provided someone with my assistance. Then I thought of the little girl again and how I wished to help her even more, and then it hit me. I could become a pediatrician! All I wanted at that moment was to aid the little kids who have no voice and also the ones that do have one but can’t use it. I want to assist my Latin community with a doctor who understands them.”
[She wants to be recognized for creating an educational program for the women of Latin America, particularly in Guatemala]: “While living in Guatemala, I demonstrated how valuable education is to a society. It can lead to improved health care and an improved lifestyle.”
You have large ambitions for how you will make an impact on our world:
[In imaging the citation that a future Trinity president will read for her someday, she wrote that she would become a congresswoman and perhaps president]: “[This graduate] has never thought small. During her political career she has fought to bridge the salary gap between men and women in the corporate world. She has inspired women all over the world to reach for the stars and shatter the class ceiling. [She] has also created government programs that allow disadvantaged people to be able to attend college…..She has become a positive role model for today’s youth…has inspired them to join her in the never-ending crusade for equality and individuality in America.”
“My grandfather always gave the ‘family’ encouraging words, telling us we could be and do anything we set our minds to. He often said as long as you get your education and put your trust in God, there is nothing we cannot do….I want to make something out of life: I want to make something of myself. My goal is to show other youths my age that I can be drug-free, baby-free, although living in a neighborhood where I’m surrounded with drugs, killings for example, and not be part of that. ….If I have touched one person’s life by something that I said or by my example, then I am satisfied. This is what motivates me to keep going and not give up, knowing that one of my peers overcame the odds of living in the hood surrounded by hustlers and drug users. When one more young person does not get involved with crime or teenage pregnancy, or went along the right road to become great, then I’m joyful.”
“I want to run my own group home. I want to offer a safe haven for young girls who have fallen off the path. I want to help put them back together again. I do not want to add boys to this equation because that will only lead to more issues. I want a place strictly for girls.”
“My interest is in the field of Social Work. ‘The many changes and challenges within my personal life with my very own grandmother being incarcerated, my father being absent and non-participatory in my life, and my cousin being recently killed on the District of Columbia’s streets in broad daylight on New Year’s Eve inspire me to intervene in the lives of others…..I have also seen my peers experimenting with drugs and alcohol, teen friends engaging in various sexual activities with little thought about getting an STD or unwanted pregnancy at an early age, and children of broken homes, and I always think to myself, I have got to find a way to intervene and make a difference.”
You are aware of the legacy you are writing today in your entrance into college:
” ‘First Generation’ is a term that I have heard frequently used by my counselors to describe me as a future college student. Initially I really did not know the full meaning of the term. I knew it obviously meant the first to do something, but generation — that was bigger than me and my mom. It meant multiple family members and it meant my family’s legacy up until now. I would be the first in my family to set foot on a college campus as a student….If I am successful at college then my younger siblings and cousins will follow and we can all create a new generation of college educated people. I want to be a great influence on changing my family’s future legacy.”
Legacy. We honor that idea here at Trinity every day. We are the heirs of the great women who founded Trinity nearly 110 years ago. They were Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, a religious order founded 200 years ago in France and Belgium with a specific mission to educate girls, women and the poor. We call them the SNDs, and you will meet some of them during your Trinity years. More important, you will live their mission, and you will carry this mission out into the world where you will influence so many others for the better because of what you learn here.
I want to say a word to the parents, guardians and family members here this morning. You, too, are entering a new stage of your lives as you watch your daughter take the all-important step of becoming a Trinity student. Whether your student lives here in Kerby Hall or lives at home with you, or whether your students is a brand new college freshwoman or has been to college elsewhere and is transferring into Trinity, she still needs you very much, and your support will be critical to helping her get through the difficult days that she will surely encounter ahead. It’s hard to master calculus and general biology and excellent composition skills and literature and psychology and philosophy and all of the other subjects she will study here. The faculty has very high expectations, and will accept nothing less than the best work she is capable of producing. She will call you at times with fear in her voice, afraid she can’t master the subject. She will call you at times in anger, outraged that she worked so hard on a paper only to get a B instead of an A. She will call you sometimes with joy, having finally achieved a breakthrough in her laboratory experiments. Whenever she calls you, be there for her, listen well, encourage her, support her.
The one thing I must ask of you, however, is that in supporting her you not do her work for her. This is college, and at this level of education we expect the student to handle her own affairs. So, if you call me up to demand an explanation about why the chemistry professor gave her a B for her lab work, I will tell you — gently but firmly — that she is responsible to have that discussion with her professor directly. She must learn to stand on her own two feet, she must learn to handle her own affairs. So, while we are always happy to talk to you, please understand that we may also say to you that she must be her own advocate, because that’s the only way she can learn the skills she will need throughout her life.
I can promise you, parents and students, that this journey will take you to places you’ve never been, and along the way you will marvel at the ways in which higher learning expand your view of the world, give you insight into human behaviors, and open new possibilities for your life’s work. Thousands of women have taken this Trinity journey before you, and they are all out there cheering for you today. You will meet some of them along the road, our alumnae who have set the pace for you to follow.
One of the traditions we share across the years, and a tradition that our alumnae cherish deeply, is the tradition of our Honor System. You will hear a lot more about the Honor System in the days ahead, but this morning I just want to give you this thought: in a world where dishonorable behavior is rampant, where lying and stealing and cheating make headlines every day, Trinity stands as a place that is clear and unequivocal about this fact. We just say “NO”to the selfish, dishonorable behaviors that are real evidence of moral decay in our society. We promote ethics, integrity, morality as our way of life. We are rigorous about this, and not soft. If you lie, we will confront you. If you steal, we have no place for you here. If you cheat, you risk everything you ever dreamed of achieving, because we will dismiss you from Trinity. We are compassionate, caring people, but we cannot let the virus of dishonorable behavior infect our community here. So, share our values every day: tell the truth, be considerate, reach out for help if you are feeling the temptation to be less than honest coming your way. We will help you if you ask for help. But we will not forgive dishonest conduct.
Among many grand traditions we share here at Trinity, the community of faith is one that gives us deep comfort and confidence. Trinity lives its tradition as a Catholic university by nurturing our ecumenical and interfaith community through prayer and service and a unified commitment to work for social justice.
And so, in closing, we pray for you today as you join the Trinity community:
May the delight of this day be a source of strength and encouragement as you begin your new studies at Trinity;
May your teachers and classmates be sources of guidance and strength as you journey through new fields of knowledge and struggle across unfamiliar terrains of the learning you must master in order to achieve ultimate academic success;
May you discover here at Trinity the lifelong habits of learning and reflection that will nourish your intellectual hunger down through the years;
May your education here at Trinity empower your career choices, leading to professional success and economic security for you and your family and children;
May the friends you make here be your companions through life, those you will trust to tell you the truth, always; to challenge you, to comfort you, to make you laugh, to celebrate your triumphs and share the memories of your youth as the days go by;
May the strength, and wisdom and light and love of the most Holy Trinity go with you through all of your college days.
Welcome, new students!