Trinity College Community Mourns the Loss of Friend and Colleague Calvin Johnson, Jr.

Trinity Alumnus Was Cultural House Supervisor and P.R.I.D.E. Coordinator in Multicultural Affairs Office

March 22, 2017

Dear Members of the Trinity Community,

We write to share with you details of arrangements to honor our friend and colleague Calvin Johnson, Jr., who died last week while on an Alternative Spring Break trip in New Orleans.

A viewing and visitation for family and friends will be held tomorrow evening, Thursday, March 23, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Trinity College Chapel. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 24, also in the Chapel. Burial will follow immediately at Mt. St. Benedict Cemetery, 1 Cottage Grove Road in Bloomfield, Conn. After the burial, a reception will take place on campus in Hamlin Hall at approximately 2:00 p.m.

All are welcome to join Calvin’s family in celebrating his life at each of these gatherings.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Johnson family and all those whose lives Calvin touched.


Christopher D. Card, Dean of Students

The Rev. Allison Read, College Chaplain and Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life


March 15, 2017

Dear Members of the Trinity Community,

It is with great sadness that we write to inform you that our friend and colleague Calvin Johnson, Jr., 36, died in his sleep this weekend while on an Alternative Spring Break trip in New Orleans. The Cultural House supervisor and P.R.I.D.E. coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Affairs was in New Orleans with another member of the staff and half a dozen Trinity students to visit former slave plantation sites.

The cause of Calvin’s death is still to be determined; we know only that he hadn’t been feeling well for a few days. Those who had gone to New Orleans for this trip have now returned to Hartford and are receiving support from Trinity staff.

This loss is extremely painful. We think especially of Calvin's family, and in particular his parents, Calvin Johnson, Sr., and Carol Johnson; his daughter, Alyssa Johnson; and his fiancée, Delania Barbee, and her daughter, Saryah Brantley. Our colleagues in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, P.R.I.D.E. leaders and Cultural House coordinators, and all of the students whom Calvin knew and mentored face tremendous grief, and many in our community will feel this loss deeply. May we find within and among us the strength and love to care for one another in the days ahead. For those in need of support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Chaplain’s Office, and the Trinity College Counseling Center.

A graduate of Hartford’s Weaver High School, Calvin matriculated at Trinity College as an undergraduate in 1998. In 2002, he took some time off from his studies, eventually returning to earn his bachelor's degree last year. For several years, he worked for FM Facility Maintenance in Hartford, and he volunteered as a tutor and mentor with Our Piece of the Pie, a Hartford nonprofit organization helping urban youth become economically independent adults.

Arrangements for a memorial service will be announced at a later date. In the meantime, Trinity mourns the loss of this beloved member of our community. Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences are with Calvin’s family and many friends. 


Christopher D. Card, Dean of Students

Joe DiChristina, Dean of Campus Life and Vice President for Student Affairs

Karla Spurlock-Evans, Dean of Multicultural Affairs and Senior Diversity Officer