Trinity College has received a $365,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish a Center for Teaching and Learning.
“This generous grant from the Mellon Foundation affirms the centrality of teaching excellence at Trinity. We are exhilarated about realizing our vision for the Center for Teaching and Learning to support our faculty as they respond to the changing imperatives of an emerging global culture, and in keeping their teaching fresh, vital, and effective,” said President James F. Jones, Jr.
Two experienced and celebrated members of the faculty have been appointed co-directors of the Center: Professor of History Gary Reger and Associate Professor of Psychology Dina Anselmi. “Both are outstanding teachers and scholars, who are well regarded by their colleagues and bring years of experience and boundless enthusiasm to the task,” said Jones.
The move to establish a teaching center at Trinity comes at a time when changes have been made recently to the College’s general education requirements. The faculty has approved a second-language requirement for all undergraduates and a requirement that all students take a writing-intensive course in the first semester of their first year and another such course in their major. Also approved was a “global” requirement designed to ensure that students, irrespective of their major, take at least one course that will help them better understand global phenomena. These curriculum changes, together with ongoing changes in technology available for use in the classroom, present challenges – and opportunities – for Trinity’s faculty as they seek the most effective means to educate their students.
Dean of Faculty Rena Fraden said, “Trinity’s faculty are intensely committed to their students and their profession. Our Center for Teaching and Learning will be a hub of intellectual activity, one that draws faculty in and promotes a broad spectrum of workshops, seminars, discussion groups, and perspectives.”
Over the course of the four years of the Mellon grant, Trinity will institutionalize the Center by establishing an endowment through gifts from alumni, parents and friends to the Cornerstone Campaign for Trinity, a $350 million fund-raising effort that was launched publicly in the fall of 2007.
In reflecting on this investment in Trinity’s future, Jones said, “Trinity is honored to partner with the Mellon Foundation on an initiative that is so important to the advancement of the College and fulfillment of its mission. We are committed to exceptional undergraduate teaching, and to educating young people who will change lives and make a very real difference in the world.”