Trinity College’s Class of 2021 Arrives with Academic Brawn, Record-Setting Diversity

Campus Community Welcomes First-Year Students for Move-In Day, Convocation, Orientation

Herman Brito ’12 (in suit and tie) joins peer mentors and staff helping lead the first-generation pre-orientation program. Brito spoke with members of the Class of 2021 participating in the program about his
own first-generation experience at Trinity and his path to success
post-graduation. (Photo by John Atashian)

Hartford, Connecticut, August 30, 2017 – Trinity College is poised to usher in the start of the 2017-18 academic year as the campus community welcomes 586 members of the Class of 2021—an academically gifted first-year class enrolled from an applicant pool of 6,085 students. Hailing from 28 countries and 38 U.S. states or territories, the entering class demonstrates both academic brawn and an unprecedented level of diversity.

The Class of 2021 has twice as many students at the top of Trinity’s academic profile as did last year’s entering class. New records have been set, as well, in terms of the diverse makeup of the class, with 24 percent domestic students of color, 14 percent international students, and 15 percent first-generation students (who would be the first members of their families to earn a four-year college degree). Fifty-six percent of students in the class come from outside of New England. Closer to home, members of the entering class include 10 students from public schools in Hartford, all of whom are receiving full scholarships to Trinity.

This is the second consecutive year that the entering class is composed of more women than men—52 percent to 48 percent—a few years ahead of when Trinity will mark, in 2019, its 50th anniversary of coeducation.

“I am tremendously excited about both the academic quality and the incredible diversity that our newest students bring to Trinity,” said Trinity President Joanne Berger-Sweeney. “Every day we learn more about the array of experiences and perspectives among the members of the Class of 2021—including one who founded an online broadcasting network and another who served as secretary general of Jordan’s Model Parliament. I look forward to getting to know all of our newest Bantams and to learning more about their passions and interests.”

Among the entering class are recipients of several prestigious Trinity academic honors: Presidential Scholarships, Kelter Scholarships, Tozer Scholarships, Global Scholarships, and 1823 Scholarships, as well as student leaders identified through the Posse Foundation or graduates of Davis United World Colleges. Many of the students in the Class of 2021 represent affiliations with more than 50 community-based college-access organizations.

Trinity’s overall acceptance rate this year was 33 percent. For the second year in a row, the College’s yield—the percentage of students who say yes to Trinity’s offer of admission—was 30 percent, up from 22 percent in 2015.

In addition to the first-year students, this semester the College welcomes 18 transfer students, eight new Individualized Degree Program (IDP) students, and five exchange students.

Participants in the Hartford by Bike pre-orientation program
head out to explore the city. (Photo by Rita Law)
 About half of the first-year students are participating in optional pre-orientation programs, which provide three- to 10-day opportunities to get a jump on making the transition to college. A first-generation pre-orientation program is among the new offerings this year.

Move-In Day for new Trinity students is Thursday, August 31, as is the official kickoff of the new academic year, the President’s Convocation, which will take place at 3:30 p.m. on the Main Quad. Faculty members in full regalia and first-year students will gather at the Fuller Arch at Northam Towers as music from Trinity’s famous 49-bell carillon beckons all on campus.

During the Convocation ceremony, students’ family members, faculty, student leaders, and members of the administrative staff will be seated on all four sides of the first-year class, forming a symbolic matrix of support as the class begins its journey at Trinity. Highlights of the event include the welcome and introduction of the Class of 2021 by Angel B. Pérez, vice president for enrollment and student success; President Joanne Berger-Sweeney’s Convocation address; and the official declaration of the opening of the College’s 194th academic year by Tim Cresswell, dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs.

Following the ceremony, Dean of Campus Life and Vice President for Student Affairs Joe DiChristina will host a Bantam Network/Orientation Kickoff Cookout for new students and their families on the Gates Quad and Cave Patio. Joining new students and families for the cookout will be President Berger-Sweeney, Bantam Network nest mentors, Trinsition Fellows, Orientation leaders, and other student leaders.

Orientation for all first-year and transfer students runs August 31 through September 4, in advance of the first day of classes on September 5. Current Trinity students play an important role in leading pre-orientation and Orientation workshops and activities.

“We see it as our job as Orientation leaders to ensure that every first-year who comes to Trinity feels that this is their home and this is where they belong,” said Alicia Abbaspour ’18, a double major in English literature and international studies who is an Orientation chair. “That means connecting first-years to relevant academic resources, student organizations, mental health and wellness resources, and anything else students need to ensure their success here.”

Anthony Davis ’20, a student leader of Trinity’s first-generation pre-orientation program, agreed wholeheartedly. “Research shows the number one reason college students decide to transfer is that they feel they don’t belong,” said Davis, a double major in public policy and law and educational studies. “We’re helping to show students that this is their Trinity and there are so many people on campus advocating on their behalf. We get to help them create their experiences at Trinity and begin building their networks of support. Together we are building a community here at Trinity, and we are all responsible for each other.”

View more photos here and follow the conversation on social media using #trincoll2021.
Written by Kathy Andrews