Connecting Students with Campus History


Director of Athletics Rick Hazelton poses in the lobby of the Ferris Athletic Center with a plaque honoring Joseph Buffington, class of 1875, creator of the Trinity Bantam.

In an effort to encourage current students to recognize those who came before them, the College has launched a new phase of the Historical Marker Project. The latest stage of the ongoing initiative involves placing plaques identifying distinguished alumni/ae in the dorm rooms where they lived as first-year students. A handful of the plaques are already in the process of being installed, including those identifying the rooms of three-time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Edward Albee ’50 and Pulitzer Prize winning author and syndicated columnist George Will ’62. A plaque celebrating the Honorable Joseph Buffington, Class of 1875, has also been installed in the lobby of the Ferris Athletic Center. Buffington—who also received an honorary degree from his alma mater in 1890—created the Trinity Bantam mascot, which was adopted by the student body in 1899.

The marker project began as part of the Student Life Master Plan in the late 1990s as a way to honor Trinity traditions and mark the College’s vibrant history. Class Day, which had been observed at Trinity since before the Civil War up through 1968, was also revived around the same time.

The Historical Marker Project has so far included installing informational plaques in the entryway of each residence hall explaining the origins of the building name as well as placing plaques featuring Trinity graduates who went on to become faculty members next to the rooms where they lived, usually as first-year students. Each year, new plaques and other markers of historical significance to the College will be installed in an effort to inspire students by showcasing former students, their accomplishments, and their legacy.

“This is a wonderful way to recognize our former students who have gone on to live exciting and successful lives, while at the same time inspiring our current students to reach for new heights in their own lives,” explains Vice President for Strategic Planning and Administration Sharon Herzberger. “It’s important that they have a sense of the rich history and lore of Trinity College and that now they are contributing to that tradition.”

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