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President's Office | Remarks: New CAS Students, 2009

“Not Just an Impression… An Impact”

What a remarkable new group of Trinity Women!  I am so pleased to welcome the Class of 2013 — our new Blue Class — and transfer students into the upperclass years.   I have been reading all about you, in your application folders, and I have learned that you are quite accomplished in many ways.

You have been step dancers and Girl Scouts, served as Red Cross volunteers, completed countless hours of community service, demonstrated your gifts for entrepreneurship as Future Business Leaders; you have been student government leaders and cheerleaders, gymnasts, drama queens and dance champs, playing soccer and volleyball and basketball and piano, marching in the band, writing poetry and novels and your early histories with grace and wit and raw emotion.  You have worked as mentors and sales clerks, nurse assistants and camp counselors.   You were volunteers for the Obama campaign, participants in river clean-ups, tennis instructors and nursing assistants.  You are musicians, singers, members of drill teams and Gospel choirs; you have served in Junior ROTC and countless church groups.   You are remarkably accomplished women already!

You come from 16 states and many international locations.  You are from Baltimore and Boston and the Bahamas and Brooklyn and Brookland, New Jersey and Connecticut and California and New York and Washington State and South Carolina and from all over the Washington region — all parts of D.C., as well as many towns in Maryland and Virginia. You have roots around the world from Texas to Togo and Trinidad and Honduras and Sierra Leone and Mexico and Eritrea and El Salvador and Haiti and Nigeria and Guatemala and Cameroon.

You speak Spanish and Korean and Creole and German and Chinese and Igbo and Serbian and Zapotec and Tigringna and Quechua among many languages.

Most of you indicate that you want to major in Nursing, Business, Criminal Justice, Psychology or Education.

You are Baptists and Catholics and Hindu and Lutherans and Buddhists and Muslim and Presbyterian and many other religions.  Faith means a great deal to you.

Many of you are the first in your family to attend college.  Many wrote that you were not sure you would ever see this moment.   All of you are triumphant today, now Trinity Women, part of the long line of powerful sisterhood that extends back through eleven decades, to the first brave pioneer women who made their way to this campus in 1900.   They would be so glad to know you.   They would tell you that you can do it!  They are here, all around us, cheering for you, their Trinity sisters in the Class of 2013 and the other classes you are joining today.

Each year, I read the admissions folder for all of our new students, including your essays.   I learn so much about our students by reading what you have written about your lives, your challenges, who you admire, what you want to accomplish.   In this speech, I will quote from some of your essays, and I hope you will give me your tacit permission to do so.   Since I do not have your explicit permission, I have tried to make sure that these quotes are not personally identifiable, with one or two possible exceptions that I think you won’t mind.   All of your quotes appear in italics in the body of my printed text.

You have such big dreams for your future success!  You have written in your application essays that you want to make “not just an impression… but an impact.”  In this age of powerful female role models like Sonia Sotomayor, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi and so many others, you have drawn inspiration, strength and a sense of challenge from the great women you have observed.

One of you wrote of your admiration for Rosa Parks:

“[Rosa Parks] was an ordinary person who stepped out to do something extraordinary at a time of challenge, but at a time when the need for change became the cry of an oppressed people… Mrs. Parks serves as my role model ..Unfortunately, all too often, many African American youth are stereotyped and expected to have unwanted pregnancies, drop out of school, and become incarcerated.  I am determined to help break the mold.   Sitting down [on the bus] was not merely an option for Mrs. Parks, but an opportunity that caused a nation to respond to what was stated in one of her famous quotes, “do what is right.”  Her decision that day on the bus helped to alter history, make a better world, and pave the way for the first African American President…. When I go to college and successfully complete my major, I will be the first in my family to hold a college degree.  I believe one can rise from the bitterness of obscurity to accomplish the dream of a lifetime… Just as Mrs. Rosa Parks has inspired and motivated me and left her footprints in the sand of history, I, too, not only want to make an impression, but an impact.”

How many women here want to make not just an impression but an impact?  How many women here want to be agents of change, actors for justice, just like Rosa Parks?

Your journey to Trinity has come across many different terrains, learning new customs and languages:

“I was raised in Cameroon, Africa, and I came to this country at the age of 15.  Leaving Cameroon and adapting to the United States was an important learning experience.   Educational opportunities to maximize my full academic potential were rare in my native country, and political corruption and tribal competition created many obstacles for my family to advance… the transition [to the U.S.] was difficult because I was forced to leave my comfort zone and adapt to a new environment.   For example, my native language is French.  Learning English was difficult because many of the ESOL teachers in the United States speak Spanish…”

“Coming to the United States [from El Salvador] was the most wonderful and scariest experience I have ever had.  As a first generation American, my transition to this country was challenging.  I had little communication skills because I wasn’t able to speak English.  It’s hard when you come to a place and don’t know anybody… However, one thing that impacts me the most is that to survive in this country you have to have some education… I know that education is the ‘key to success.’  In the United States, I am free to make all my dreams come true.   I am able to be whoever I want to be… An educated person can get a decent job, and also respect…We are tomorrow’s leaders and I want to be one of them.”

Quite a few of you have written similar stories about the difficulties, challenges and ultimate successes you have experienced in learning a new language and adapting to American customs.  We have many students in this class with family roots in Africa, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean.

You have known the depths of despair, and triumphed over traumas too much to bear:

“Young, carefree, weak-minded and self-centered was a girl I once knew.  She was filled with life and so much energy.  She had everything a teenager wanted in her life.  She enjoyed life like anyone should.   She had a great life and thought nothing could change that; until one event changed her life drastically and took everything away including herself…. This girl was sexually assaulted by two men.  She couldn’t believe what happened to her.  Her life became a depressing story…From my past experiences in life I have gained maturity, dedication, determination and strength…”

One of you wrote a remarkable phrase — that you want “…to turn my setbacks into comebacks…” — and the spirit of that phrase echoes through so many of your essays.

You have overcome abuse, homelessness, the deaths of parents and siblings, racism, illness, moms on drugs and absent dads..

“Of all the problems that I have had, I learned to appreciate all that I have and own.  I am independent.  I have my own jobs and responsibilities.  I do not need to rely on anyone to provide for me.  I have learned how to take responsibility for my actions and how to handle my problems.   No matter how stressful life can be at times, I will view everything as a learning experience and continue to grow…”

By your presence here today, you are triumphing over a culture of discouragement, a sickness of racism and sexism that diminishes the aspirations of young women:

“Growing up on the south side of Chicago exposed me to reality far earlier than what I had expected.  I have witnessed young black women beaten, raped and verbally abused.  At age fourteen, I would wake to phrases such as, ‘You’re stupid!’  I would also encounter painful words … informing me that my only purpose in life was to have babies…I want to go to Trinity because I do not want to be another negative statistic.  I want to be something and make something of my life.   I enjoy being around young children and that is why I want to major in Early Childhood Education and minor in Sociology… I know that if you can help children and influence them to be better people when they are younger,  you will give them hope and create a great impact on their lives and the community.”

“I am a proud Hispanic woman and I hope to become the first in my family to go to college.  Some people have told me: ‘You will never go to college,’ or, ‘Because you are poor, you will end up working in McDonald’s and will never be successful in life.’  I [will] prove them wrong, that everything is possible in life if you ‘believe you can achieve.’  Everything is possible in life if you believe in yourself.”

You know the challenges of growing up on the mean streets of some of our neighborhoods in this town:

“My greatest strength is my determination for success.  My weakness was that I allowed statistics to define my future…Living in a neighborhood where the crime rate is high has helped me to grow in so many ways possible.  These communities can either break you or build you and I must say that I consider myself someone who has been built.   I’ve seen my guy friends’ lives lost to the streets, my teenage friends having babies and so many things you can possibly think of… My neighborhood is my motivation.  It motivates me to dream big and beyond the hood.  The lifestyle and mentality are below what I envision in life.   Because in my future, I am somebody and I am going to be somebody.”

“Most of the kids I grew up with want to be drug dealers as this is what they know, but not me.   I wanted to be a leader, not a follower.  I want to be able to change the youth in my community’s point of view  .. When I tell people what neighborhood I live in they stop and look at me like I’m an alien from another planet.  I want to be judged by who I am and not by from where I live…”

You have had to overcome insidious stereotypes:

[This student writes of American students making fun of her name when she started grade school here]: “I hated being Nigerian, the accent, the food, the names and most of all the stereotypes…  Stereotypes that followed me everywhere things like, … ‘Can your mom braid hair?’  It’s amazing how society plays a role in what people believe.   I could not change my name; no matter how hard I tried I could only be me.   It took me so long to realize this is me.  What really made me find myself was going to Nigeria.  Being around my family and growing accustomed to the culture.  I saw how beautiful it really was.  The simplest task of going to the well for water or sitting around with family and friends peeling cassavas made me realize who I am.  I can remember the hot sun burning my skin the day and seeing every star in the sky at night because all the electricity was cut off.  Simply paradise is how Nigeria can be described.  I grew to cherish some of the simple things such as running water, electricity being on all day, and indoor plumbing.  Then, I look at society today and shake my head….   Since I have gone through so much I wanted to enter a profession where I can help others… I want people to realize how much they are worth, and not to let others put them down.   When I decided to become a psychologist it was based on me wanting to support others.  Now my reasoning is more than that, I want to understand why does society treat each other so wrong…”

“When I was 9 my mother remarried and we moved to Texas.   I was devastated.. I was moving away from everything I loved and grew accustomed to.. Growing up in a predominantly African American neighborhood, I felt like an outsider moving into a predominantly white and Mexican area. … Every day I wished I could return to DC because I felt as though my skin color did not blend well with the ones in my new home in Texas.  I started middle school where I then met a friend who was of Mexican descent.  Before, I could never connect with anyone outside my race, but she was different… It was then I realized that the color of your skin did not determine your destiny …  My move to Texas was the best and worst thing that happened to me.  I was the worst because I had a hard time adapting socially.  The best was when I realized that anything is possible, and the world as I grew seeing was completely different… I befriended people of races that I would never imagine had I not moved to Texas… I now see the world completely different.”

Your experiences with injustice due to race, ethnicity, gender or other conditions have made you fierce women warriors in the cause of justice:

“There are some Africans that go through hard times when they first arrive in the United States…when I first came to America [from Cameroon] I had low self-esteem…and loneliness that got me scared and terrified about America.  As I walked into the classroom for the first time, with short hair and an unflattering outfit, I had all eyes turned to me.  I felt scared and terrified, and wanted to go home and hide under my covers.   As I opened my mouth to ask a question, my accent made it hard for my classmates to comprehend…sometimes I listened to my classmates talk about my country disrespectfully, and I didn’t have the courage to standup for myself or my country because of my fear of them laughing at me…..As I grew older, I created a state of mind that didn’t care about what others think, wasn’t afraid to stand up for what I believe in, wasn’t afraid to take on a challenge and always strive to be better…When I look back I realized that everything that happened was for the best, it helped create a more confident person who feels that she can overcome anything… This experience created a person that is not afraid to tell you how proud she is to be a Cameroonian…To all those that tried to put Africans down, I now have a great amount of confidence to tell them that I am an African who is proud of her ethnicity…”

“Being a Latina, I feel as though it is my duty to stand up for what I believe in.  I believe that all Latinos in the US should have the right to live their live without the fear… the fear that they will be taken away from their family and their pursuit of a better life…I have been a very active person in many rallies and protests concerning the rights of Latino immigrants because of the many laws and policies that are in place which I believe are unfair and unjust… I hope to become an immigration lawyer… to fight for Latinos rights.”

How many “wise Latina women” do we have in this class?  Quite a few!

Life experience has motivated your vision for your future careers:

“The major experience that transformed my life was the death of my grandmother… As a young child born in Sierra Leone, Africa, I was raised by my grandmother, mother and extended family.   My mother had me at a very young age so my grandmother took care of me… My mother came to the United States to find a better life and have more opportunities than what was in Africa.  I stayed behind with my grandmother….” [She later came to the US with her grandmother, who then became ill]…. “Her illness gave me the desire to work in the medical field.  …I appreciated the nurses who took care of her every day and swore to myself that one day I too would take care of someone else’s grandmother…”

You have discovered your many talents:

“At age 5, my mother put me into a Folklore dance institution and ballet.  I began touring with my dance group…My first performance was in front of thousands at the Metropolitan Ethnicity Festival… At age 7, my father brought home my first piano… It was my love for the arts that shaped me into who I am today…”

You have a sense of obligation to your parents:

“I am a dedicated and driven Latina who deserves to continue my education in the United States.  I am a Latina who comes from immigrant parents who migrated to the United States from Guatemala.  My parents came to the United States in order to give me a better life and education.   My parents have given up a lot for me and I am willing to pay them back by fulfilling their dream and mine of being the first to go to college…To the United States I am considered another minority.  I am not just any other minority.  I am a human being with a bright mind and with many goals to fulfill…I am an intelligent, strong Latina in the United States…”

You have an especially well-developed sense of women’s rights and empowerment, the whole reason why Trinity exists:

“Trinity’s unparalleled commitment to women’s education… has been a model of inspiration for women seeking to pursue higher education.  As an immigrant from a developing nation I recognize that such a unique commitment can never be taken for granted.   Many women in developing nations face economic and social constraints that impede them from accessing quality education.  Trinity’s steadfast mission to educating women and providing global leadership through academic excellence resonates with my own deeply held convictions on diversity, justice, fairness and compassion…”

Trinity’s alumnae prove the worth of our mission in women’s education every day.   Just last week, Forbes Magazine published its annual list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World, and the list includes two Trinity Alumnae, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ’62 and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius ’70.   You are joining them and thousands of other alumnae in this great sisterhood of powerful women dedicated to improving conditions for all people around the world.

We asked you to name three people you’d like to invite for dinner some day, and you came up with the most intriguing list.  Some of the people you want to invite for dinner include:

  • Mother Theresa
  • Madeleine Albright
  • John Lewis
  • Your Grandmothers
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Madam CJ Walker
  • Florence Nightengale
  • Condoleeza Rice
  • Oprah
  • Harriett Tubman
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • The Octomom
  • Michelle Obama
  • Barack Obama
  • Will Smith
  • Barbara Jordan
  • Marvin Gaye

And, of course, your mothers.  Your reverence for your mothers is powerful:

“My mother is the sole provider to my brother and me because my father does not live with us [he is in El Salvador}  Yes, she is another single mother living in America but to me she is the best mother in the world... She has helped me through many hard times.  When I wanted to give up, my love for her would not allow it.  I want to be like her in many ways... She does not easily give up on her dreams... She could have gotten a college degree, but she selflessly relinquished her dreams to make a better life for my brother and me...In the end, I think her dream to become someone important came true --- she is the most important person in my life..."

"The most influential woman who holds a position of leadership in my life is my mom.  She is the manager and CEO of my family... I have ten siblings, five girls and five boys.  My mom somehow gets the energy to wake up at 5 am to get all of us ready for school.  Her primary job is to be a family counselor, a care giver, and financial manager."

"My mother...holds an important leadership role in my life.  She has taught me that being strong-willed and determined will take me past the struggles to fulfill my destiny.  My mother is my inspiration.   She has shown me that having a family and career at the same time is possible....Not only did she tell me that education is important, but she set an example for me to follow.  A few years ago, she made the decision to return to school to work on her bachelor's degree in social work.   When she first told me that she was going back to school, I thought she was crazy for going back at her age.  But, she simply said to me, 'how can I expect you to follow your dreams if I'm not following mine?'  ... she expects to graduate this June..."

Some of you are already mothers, yourselves, and the experience of motherhood has made you very serious about advancing your education:

"Being a mother is a big challenge and a responsibility I will have for the rest of my life.  .. Balancing school and raising a baby is difficult, and every day for the next 18 years I will have to balance work and child.  I even have to literally balance my work and baby when doing homework as I try to type with one hand type while the other balances the baby...You'll go on in life with that responsibility for the rest of your life... What I learned through this experiment was to better balance and prioritize things in my life.   Just because I have a baby, it is not an excuse to stop going to school... Whatever I do I'm going to do it for my son; he's the person for whom I'm going to be successful"

"[The birth of my son..] is the best thing that has happened to me… He is my life and I want the very best for him.  Before having him I was living my life carelessly, not thinking about anything besides working and having fun.  Now that he is here my life has transformed in a dramatic way… I have a 5 year plan to attend college, get my nursing degree, and begin my career.  I have to give my son the life that I didn’t have… Growing up for me was hard and I refuse to struggle with my child.   …I want his childhood to be the best….I want to be able to give my child the world…”

You admire many powerful and accomplished women, perhaps none so much as Michelle Obama:

“She has not always been in the position that we see her in today, she had to work for the things that she has… In a way I view myself as similar to Michelle because she is determined and I feel that I am determined as well when I set my mind to something I try my hardest to do what I can to reach my goal….I want to be a social worker to help people…”

Another inspiring woman, someone many of you may not know but her story is well known to us at Trinity, is the great Sister Dorothy Stang, a martyr for justice, a Sister of Notre Dame who was murdered while she served as a missionary in Brazil.

“I remember who gave me the inspiration and dedication to help people who are in need, my Great Aunt Dorothy (Sr Dorothy Stang).  She was a Sister for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and was a missionary in Brazil for over thirty years helping the poor and the environment and has inspired me greatly.   My Aunt Dorothy was martyred in February 2005 and has been the one to help guide me in my will to help others in extraordinary ways.   She has been the one to inspire me through rough times and has taught me to enjoy live as much as I can before leaving this earth…”

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur founded Trinity 112 years ago because they wanted women to have the best possible higher education.   At that time, women could not go to college here in the nation’s capital.   The SNDs changed all of that — they were revolutionaries in that time, and they are still revolutionaries for justice in our world.   You will inherit their tradition in justice, their passion for education and service to the people who need your leadership in every community you inhabit in the future.

You also found powerful inspiration in the events of the past year:

“I remember that November night while I watched the election coverage.  I understood why a person would have tears.  I can see why one would feel emotional in witnessing a minority [person] successfully pursue the United States presidency regardless of his race where historically the position has been held exclusively by white Americans.   It felt good to see that progressive change is indeed happening.  Yes, he is only one person, but I believe that one person can start a whole chain reaction.  Mr. Obama can be a young minority male’s inspiration to keep on the job hunt after several job denials.  Mr. Obama’s election can be a middle aged woman’s inspiration to continue her master’s degree despite the lack of family encouragement.   Barack Obama can be the person to  inspire others to fulfill their goals.  As for me, Mr. Obama is my inspiration not to waiver in my decision to further my education.   He has shown me that just because you are the fist one to attempt something does not mean you allow the unfamiliar to deter you.   Just as he refused to let being a minority presidential candidate frighten him, I will not let being the first person in my family to go to college frighten me.”

You have dreams of entrepreneurship.  You want to start businesses, open restaurants, become jet-setting fashion consultants after college.  You want to become nonprofit leaders, nurses, lawyers, doctors, professionals of in many fields:

“My passion is to open a house for young girls who have been sexually abused.  The house would offer around the clock counseling, support and tools of empowerment.  … I believe that it is important that children have a safe place to heal from this traumatic experience.  A place where true love is waiting to wrap them up.  A place where their spirits can be nurtured and fed.  The victims of this heinous crime need a voice.  They need an advocate for their rights.”

“I want to enroll in Trinity’s business program and learn new marketing strategies.  I will open up my own business in which I will sell gift baskets for pets.  … I also want to start a nonprofit organization that will be a program designed to keep teens off the streets…”

“In the future when I become a pediatrician, I would like to be able to diagnose every illness and develop a medicine that would completely cure them.   I would also like to find the medicine that would completely cure AIDS since it is a major sickness in the African American community…”

“Becoming a lawyer means a great deal to me because I believe I can make a difference in the lives of others… I want to live for justice…”

“My dream is to be Superintendent of the school system and to come up with ways to make children want to go to school and learn, and not live their lies on the streets…”

You have inspired others.  A counselor writes about you:

“[She] is the only person in her family that has made it to college.  Against all kinds of odds, she continues to persevere and is trying to accomplish her dream.  This past year, her mother got seriously ill and passed away.  She had the difficult responsibility of being the oldest child with several dependent siblings and no parent there to care for them.  With the support of relatives, she still managed to get her family situated and kept going to school… she is an awesome example of a person who is focused and committed to the dream of finishing her degree… I am humbled by her example..”

You have such amazing dreams, and big visions:

“Life is one big fire, until you put the flames out and you can see through the smoke…I am the …first in my family to attend college….I want to be recognized just as well as Martin Luther King Jr, Mae Jemison the first black woman astronaut, Barack Obama… I am happy I am alive in this century…My life is really what I make it; I cannot and will not blame anyone for my mistakes…”

“I want to help the world be at peace….the world is fighting about what some say is a war between two different cultures, and how it’s escalated and what others say is the result of a fight over oil and money.  Neither reason really matters except that we don’t even know why we’re fighting anymore.  For example, in Darfur there are many killings of innocent people and what is potentially looking like a mini-holocaust is being ignored by most of the world.   ….I would like to change this situation and study international studies… I want to teach other people that there are ways of settling our every changing differences peacefully…”

“In this society, where I may just be a young, black female, to the countless people whose stories and names are unknown to me, whose history is branded in my skin, who have bled, died and had a dream, I am their legacy.   My life is the freedom they never had…”

Our lives are the freedom our ancestors never had.   Whether we trace our family roots to El Salvador or Cameroon or Belfast or Ethiopia or Mexico or London or Mumbai or Hanoi or Nassau or New York, chances are that, for most of us, we are the first women in our families to have a higher education, the first in our family lines to have the chance to achieve executive positions in professional life, the first to be able to think that our dreams to be Supreme Court justices or members of the Senate or in the president’s cabinet, or maybe even the president — herself — we are the first to be able to think that all of this is really possible and not just an empty exhortation.

You are becoming Trinity Women because Trinity today stands at the apex of a great century of women’s education and achievement.   Today you are receiving your First Year Medals, symbols of your membership in the Trinity community.   You will also sign the Roll of Honor, your pledge to live by the Honor Code that has been our community way of life throughout Trinity’s history.

Our faculty and staff are here to open up to you every opportunity to acquire the knowledge, the skills, the competencies you need to achieve your dreams.   But only you can seize the opportunity, only you can make this education the true gateway for your future professional and personal success.  We have certain core values here at Trinity that are essential for you to understand and to embrace as your own if you are to make the most of this educational opportunity.

First, you must accept and embrace your own responsibility for your education.   Faculty members don’t give you grades — you earn your grades.   Attending class is not discretionary, like going to the shopping mall — you must attend all of your classes and follow the directions of your faculty members in all academic matters.   Your academic success is your choice — you can attend class, pay attention, do the assignments and work hard to master the material, or you can skip class, pay no attention, and, eventually, drop out of college.  Your success is your choice.

Second, we expect every student here to act like a mature woman.   You are no longer children.   We do not speak of “adult students” and “traditional students” here at Trinity.  You are all adults.  We expect to see adult conduct.   This is a matter for our community of honor as well.   Disrespecting each other, the faculty, the staff — any form of disrespect has no place here.  Not in the classrooms, on the corridors, or in the residence halls.   We have zero tolerance for fighting of any kind.  You are Trinity Women, and we expect you to exhibit the characteristics of smart, savvy, sophisticated, wise and caring Trinity Women every where you go.

Third, we really do take the Honor System seriously.   The Honor System is pervasive, affecting your life in residence, in the way you treat our staff in security or the dining hall, in the honesty you bring to paying your bills, in the way you speak of your classmates and teachers, in the ways you fulfill your academic obligations.   We have no tolerance for cheating or plagiarism.   Your faculty members will address this more directly with you, and please pay attention.   Some of the saddest days I have had as Trinity’s president are those days when I have to expel a student for cheating or violating the Honor Code in other ways.

Finally, this is also a community that takes faith seriously.   We are a community with many different beliefs and backgrounds in religion.   Trinity is Catholic in its faith tradition, welcoming and respecting our sisters and brothers from all faiths.   The Sisters of Notre Dame, those great women who founded Trinity 112 years ago, believed that a higher education was the bedrock of faith — they adopted a motto for Trinity that says, in Latin, Scientia Ancilla Fidei, which means “Knowledge is the Servant of Faith.”  This means that your education here can help you to develop spiritually as well, can help you to put your beliefs into action through the knowledge and talents you develop here.

Those great women, the Sisters of Notre Dame who founded Trinity, who sustained Trinity for the last century, are surely proud of you this morning.   You are the latest witnesses to the worth of their vision and courage, the exemplars of their values.  And I am quite sure that they are offering the Trinity prayer for you today, in the ways we say this prayer for each new Trinity generation;

May you find here in the Trinity the strength to learn well, to study hard, to break through ignorance to new realms of understanding and confidence;

May your Trinity education give you the power to move others to action for justice, to build new communities of peace and prosperity, to break the silence of surrender by giving voice to those who have never been heard;

May the wisdom you develop in your Trinity days be a source of healing for your families, encouragement for your colleagues, and delight for your friends;

May you come to know the most precious traditions of Trinity in the lifelong friendships and steadfast family you will cultivate here;

May the spirit of Trinity illuminate your days, a beacon for your journey through your first year of college and on to adventures as yet unimaginable.

May the power, wisdom and love of the Trinity be with you at every single moment of your Trinity lives.

Welcome, all new students of Trinity!


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

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