HARTFORD, CT, August 29, 2012 – The arrival of about 590 first-year students on Thursday will mark the official opening of the College’s 189th academic year, as well as the beginning of their personal transition from teenagers to educated adults ready to tackle life’s challenges and the workaday world.
The members of the Class of 2016 were drawn from an applicant pool of 7,720 the largest in Trinity’s history. About half of the students are male and half female, with 22 percent students of color and 26 countries represented.
“Once more, Trinity is fortunate to have attracted such a robust number of strong candidates, and we look forward to the broad variety of talents and interests that these students will bring to campus,” said Larry Dow, dean of admissions and financial aid.
The first-year students will be joined shortly by upperclassmen, who will arrive over Labor Day weekend in anticipation of the first day of classes on Tuesday, Sept. 4. The returning students will find a campus that has undergone a significant facelift, especially with regard to the heavily trafficked Mather Quadrangle and Ferris Athletic Center, with its upgraded lobby decked out in Trinity gold and blue. Watch the lobby renovation
in one minute.
Also, improvements have been made to McCook Hall, which houses faculty offices, classrooms and an auditorium. And a kosher kitchen was added to the College’s culinary offerings in the spring, thanks to gifts totaling more than $125,000 from individuals and organizations, including the Zachs family, the Samuel Roskin Trust at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the law firm of Rogan Nassau LLC.
The eatery, located inside the Mather Hall dining room, was dedicated on May 3 and is named in honor of two distinguished members of the Trinity community: Lisa Pleskow Kassow, director of Trinity College Hillel, and Samuel D. Kassow ’66, Charles H. Northam Professor of History.
Visually, the most obvious change to returning students and faculty will be Mather Quad, which has undergone a $2.65 million redesign. The reconfigured quad wouldn’t have been possible without a generous donation from John Gates, Jr. ’76, P’13, and a member of the Board of Trustees. Upon completion, the area will be renamed the Gates Quad, and a formal dedication will take place later this fall.
Mather Hall, the Clement Chemistry Building, Raether Library, Austin Arts Center, Hallden and McCook Halls and Jones Dormitory surround the dramatically transformed quad, which will now have five sculptural mounded lawns surrounded by pedestrian walkways. Exactly 70,167 paving stones were laid, creating a unifying effect with the Long Walk. New trees were planted and signature lighting was installed.
Just as important to the academic life of the campus, but not as striking, is the addition of nine new faculty members in several disciplines, eight of them tenure-track and one, Tennyson O’Donnell, who was named Allan K. Smith Lecturer in English and the director of the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric. Altogether, 25 new faculty have been hired over the past four years, ensuring “that Trinity’s academic core remains strong and responsive to the needs of [Trinity] students for generations to come,” according to President James F. Jones, Jr.
The College is also introducing a new master’s degree program in health care policy, which will educate much-needed professionals in this rapidly growing and changing field. The first course was taught during the summer and the program will get fully launched this semester.
Before classes start, however, the first-year students will have five days of orientation programs, ranging from a lecture by Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, to walking tours of Hartford to placement tests to social, religious and recreation activities. There will be concerts and block parties, auditions for musical groups and meetings with advisers – all in all, a busy and challenging five days.
Highlights will include the President’s Convocation on the Main Quad on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. and Matriculation at the Chapel on Friday at 10:45 a.m. Both are required activities.
“While we were planning this year’s Orientation, we tried to strike a balance between events that introduce you to everything the College and its surrounding community [have] to offer and events that help foster lifelong friendships,” said Will Hermann ’14, an orientation intern. “During Orientation, we encourage you to try new things that you would not normally consider, because these experiences can be the most rewarding.”
Indeed. Welcome Class of 2016 – and returning upperclassmen, as well. For a complete schedule of orientation events, click here. Keep up with event throughout the day on Twitter @TrinityCollege, using the #TrinColl2016 hashtag, and on Facebook.