New Bantams Arrive on Campus and Join Their “Nests”

2015 Convocation Launches New Trinity Tradition: the Bantam Network

Hartford, Connecticut, September 3, 2015 – When members of the Class of 2019 arrived on campus this week, they weren’t just greeted by the iconic Long Walk, the hum of Hartford, and a fresh room to make all their own. They were also welcomed at check-in by five new Trinsition Fellows, recent college graduates who will be an integral part of the new Bantam Network, a program designed by Trinity students to provide new students the tools to succeed and quickly acclimate to college life from their very first days on campus. The fellows handed each first-year student a brown paper parcel tied with ribbon and instructions to hold onto it, to not open it, and to bring it to Convocation. And after the time-honored ceremony with a presidential address to the incoming students and their families, the lemon squeezer toast, and a reading of Trinity’s traditions, President Berger-Sweeney returned to the podium. As she reminded the first-years, “Earlier I mentioned that you would find out soon about which Nest would be your home base at Trinity College. It is now time. I ask that you unwrap your parcel. Inside you will find a T-shirt with a certain Nest name and color. And now you may put it on.”

Students untied ribbon, ripped paper, unfolded their T-shirts of 10 distinct colors – one for each Bantam Network Nest – and donned them over their clothes or slung them over their shoulders in the summer heat. Lockwood Nest members sporting cornflower blue looked beside them to find plum-colored Minty Nest members, kiwi green Book Nest members found themselves next to appropriately yellow Lemon Nest members. The randomly seated first-years underwent a rainbow sprinkles effect. As Berger-Sweeney initiated the recessional, she instructed students to “please look around the Quad for others wearing your T-shirt color, and together find the table bearing your Nest name.” There the first-years and their families met up with the staff, faculty, and peer mentors associated with their individual Nests and explanations of the Nest names, which all highlight aspects of Trinity’s history: Book, Brownell, Cannon, Elms, Lockwood, Lemon, Minty, Olmsted, Roosevelt, and Washington. To tie it all together in the spirit of tradition and to refresh all those in attendance on this hot day, everyone toasted each other with lemonade. 

These incoming first-years experienced all the thrills and customs that have been cherished hallmarks of the Trinity experience for decades while also taking the first steps toward Trinity’s newest tradition: the Bantam Network.

Written by Molly Jane Thoms ’17