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President's Office | Letter Re: Kresge Challenge

The Kresge Challenge

To: The Trinity Community

Fresh from a glorious Commencement ceremony during which Trinity conferred 281 baccalaureate and master’s degrees on the Class of 2002 (a Green Class!), our campus community is now looking forward to welcoming hundreds of alumnae for the Alumnae Reunion Weekend on May 31, June 1 and 2. Welcome to the “2’s and 7’s”! Commencement and Reunion cap a remarkable year for Trinity. Thanks to major grants from AOL Time Warner and the Kimsey Foundation, and the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor and Defense, Trinity has been able to install pervasive classroom technologies and develop cutting-edge programs for the education of teachers and the workforce in the use of new technologies for educational and business purposes. Major grants from the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations support the Caribbean Project and studies on Haiti as part of our expanded International Affairs Program, and a Fulbright Scholar will take up residence on campus in the fall. Also in the fall, Trinity will launch a new M.B.A. program, and baccalaureate and master’s programs in computer science, information technology and information assurance.

The most promising development of all at Trinity is the dramatic increase in applications and deposits for the full-time undergraduate freshman class that will enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences in the Fall of 2002. A major factor contributing to the enrollment boom is the new emphasis on sports and excellence in competitive athletics; prospective students who happen to be soccer, field hockey and lacrosse players are thrilled to see the lush green plain of our beautiful new playing field – one of the ten best in the nation, according to our consultants! Prospective students who enjoy swimming, volleyball, basketball and indoor fitness activities are awed by the sight of the new athletic center rising in the middle of the campus. By the end of the project, new tennis courts will complete this athletic complex, the Trinity Center for Women and Girls in Sports.

We have come this far thanks to the great generosity and loyal support of thousands of alumnae and alumni, parents and friends, and great support from the corporate and foundation community as well. Our Centennial Campaign is close to $9.5 million as of this writing. Now, a very significant challenge calls us to action: we must reach $12 million by January 1, 2003 in order to secure the Kresge Challenge Grant. During the next seven months, we will be asking every member of the Trinity family to make a special capital gift, in addition to your annual gift, to ensure that Trinity meets the Kresge Challenge on time.

I cannot stress enough the importance of the Kresge Grant. The Kresge Foundation is one of the nation’s most prestigious foundations, and carefully selects the projects it funds. Kresge looks particularly closely at an institution’s mission, and affirms that it is true to its stated mission. Receiving a Kresge grant is, in the world of foundations, higher education and fundraising, tantamount to the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.”

What Is The Kresge Challenge For Trinity?

The Kresge Foundation is the largest foundation in the country that specifically supports “bricks and mortar” building projects. Kresge intentionally provides challenge grants in order to stimulate giving to complete a capital campaign; the Challenge is particularly focused on bringing new donors to an institution to enhance its capacity for future fundraising efforts.

The Kresge Foundation will award Trinity a $650,000 grant if we reach our $12 million Centennial Campaign goal by January 1, 2003. To date, we have received close to $9.5 million in the Centennial Campaign, a wonderful outpouring of support from alumnae, parents, friends, corporations and foundations. We are confident that we can raise the balance of $2.5 million in time to secure the Kresge Grant. To achieve this goal, we will be asking every member of the Trinity family to make a multi-year pledge to the Centennial Campaign, payable over a period of time up to five years.

What Does The Kresge Challenge Support?

The Kresge Challenge and the Centennial Campaign for Trinity raises funds to support the creation of the Trinity Center for Women and Girls in Sports, the first major construction project on Trinity’s campus since 1965. The Trinity Center has already generated considerable excitement in the world of women’s sports, since it is one of the largest women’s sports facilities in the nation. The Women’s Sports Foundation has given enthusiastic support to this project, along with the Girl Scouts, and other organizations serving girls and women. Equally important, the project has already received more than $1.5 million in financial support from corporate sponsors and foundations, including KPMG LLP, Deloitte & Touche, Chevy Chase Bank, MBNA, Pepco, the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, the Fannie Mae Foundation, the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, the Arcana Foundation, and other corporate and foundation sources. Major benefactors including numerous Trinity alumnae have been highly supportive of the Centennial Campaign, pledging more than $8 million in leadership gifts.

How Will The Trinity Center Help The College?

Already, we are seeing a tremendous boost in enrollment and applications because of Trinity’s new sports facilities. This spring, we are ahead in applications over last year by 30%, and we are ahead in confirmed students over last year by 50%. This increase is quite simply, remarkable, and continues the excellent news of last fall, when we welcomed to campus the largest freshman class in nearly 20 years!

Women going to college today expect to find excellent athletic facilities and competitive teams; they are the heirs of 30 years of progress under Title IX, the 1972 law that required universities to provide equal funding for women’s and men’s sports. Women’s colleges like Trinity need to provide first-rate facilities with competitive teams if we expect to recruit and retain excellent women students who also desire excellent sports. Many studies show that women who are competitive athletes also are outstanding students and scholars, and Trinity’s student athletes are fine examples of this fact.

The Trinity Center will also be a location for major sporting events, including demonstration Olympic sports and Olympic practice if Washington is successful in its bid for the 2012 Olympics. The Center will help Trinity to raise its visibility and extend its reputation among important audiences who will also be sources of new students and additional funding for the College.

How Will This Strengthen Trinity’s Academic Programs And Reputation?

The Trinity Center has already boosted Trinity College’s image and reputation in the Washington community, and as the sports program develops, Trinity will be on a much firmer footing to recruit and retain more students nationally. As our enrollment increases, we will then be in a position to undertake the other kinds of campus development and renovations we also need. So, in effect, by supporting a project that is already generating larger enrollments, the Centennial Campaign also will have a very positive impact over the longer term on Trinity’s academic and co-curricular development.

The Trinity Center has also enabled Trinity to gain some significant friends who will help us with programming in the Center. Tennis Champion Billie Jean King, founder of the Women’s Sports Foundation, recently visited Trinity’s campus as part of the WSF’s annual scholar-athlete award ceremony, and she was quite impressed with our plans for the Center – especially the new tennis courts! Olympians like Dominique Dawes and Jair Lynch have expressed a keen interest in working with Trinity to develop programs for the Center. Equally exciting, Washington’s 2012 Olympic Coalition has recognized the value of this project by including Trinity College as a site for the Washington region’s Olympic bid, and we have already received requests from various amateur sports organizations to conduct competitions and demonstration games in these facilities.

When Will You Be Asked To Make A Gift?

This summer and throughout the fall, we will ask every member of the Trinity family – alumnae, alumni, parents and friends – to make a gift to the Kresge Challenge. You do not need to pay such a gift immediately; we are delighted to receive pledges payable over a period of time of up to five years. Such pledges usually reflect an amount significantly greater than annual gifts, and often, pledges are paid from appreciated assets like stocks and bonds. We are also happy to work with you to construct a planned gift, such as a charitable remainder trust or gift annuity.

We also have numerous opportunities to name a room or space, pay tribute to a loved one or dear friend, or a beloved professor through plaque inscriptions. Our Development Office can provide a full list of the recognition opportunities.

Your capital gift pledge will help to ensure that Trinity meets the Kresge Challenge and finishes the Centennial Campaign in a timely way. Trinity’s vitality today is due in large measure to the outstanding support we have always received from our extensive Trinity family. By making a pledge to the Centennial Campaign, you are truly walking in the footsteps of our Founders and all of the Sisters of Notre Dame, alumnae, alumni, parents and friends who made Trinity such a great college for so many thousands of women in the past. We will continue this grand tradition long into the future, thanks to your great generosity.

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



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