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Spring 2010

Trinity Reporter Spring 2010
along the walk
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New Director of Alumni Relations

Katy DeContiKatherine DeConti ’98 has been appointed as Trinity’s new director of alumni relations, succeeding Kathleen O’Connor Boelhouwer ’85. Katy majored in International studies, with a minor in Guided Studies.

She studied abroad in Tokyo and was involved with Habitat for Humanity while she was a student. After graduation, she moved to New York City and worked as a buyer for J.Crew Group and Ralph Lauren. She relocated to Connecticut in 2003 as a buyer for Adrienne Vittadini and started her career at Trinity in 2005 as an associate director of annual giving in the Office of College Advancement. Outside of Trinity, Katy is involved with the Junior League of Hartford and runs in marathons. Her late grandfather, John Sumner
Ellsworth ’34, was also a graduate of Trinity.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be serving Trinity in this position,” she says. “Our alma mater has an incredibly loyal and generous alumni body, and I am excited to kick-start a new program of alumni events, programming, and networking opportunities. Alumni satisfaction is crucial to the success of our College, so please do contact me with your thoughts and ideas—or just to say hello. I look forward to hearing from you.”

Writing by former slaves examined

emancipation illustrationOnly about 10 percent of slaves during the Civil War era in the United States were literate because most Southern states had stringent anti-literacy laws. This fed the notion that slaves and former slaves rarely wrote anything of value.

Christopher Hager, an assistant professor of English, believes differently. Through his preliminary research, Hager, whose graduate work at Northwestern University concentrated on 19th-century American literature in relation to slavery and the Civil War, says there is much to be learned from the diaries, journals, letters, and other forms of writing that slaves penned during the emancipation years.

Hager, who has taught at Trinity since 2007, is working on the manuscript of a book called A Colored Man’s Constitution: Emancipation and the Act of Writing. His efforts will be facilitated by a $50,400 stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the 2010-2011 academic year, when he will be on sabbatical. This project is further supported by a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.
“The emancipation of American slaves was not only a social and political revolution but also a singular moment in the history of written expression,” Hager says. “Untold thousands of African Americans, deprived of literacy, gained unprecedented access to education at the same time they achieved their freedom.”


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