Trinity College Celebrates Its Scholarship Donors and Recipients at Scholars Reception

Jeffrey Brooks Hawkins ’92 and Noor Malik ’18 Share Stories of Challenge and Success as Trinity Scholars

​Hartford, Connecticut, May 9, 2018 — “My experience here made me realize that Trinity is a special place.” These were the heartfelt remarks of Jeffrey Brooks Hawkins ’92, managing director and chief operating officer of Bain Capital Credit, and the featured speaker at the 19th Annual Trinity College Scholars Reception on April 19.

​Jeffrey Brooks Hawkins ’92, Noor Malik ’18, and Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney at the Scholars Reception. Photo by John Marinelli. Click here to see more photos.
As an undergraduate at Trinity, Hawkins worked on the staff of The Trinity Tripod and received the Micki and Hy C. Dworin Award for outstanding scholarship in Eastern European studies. Hawkins, a Soviet studies major, found that when he graduated, his major became superfluous as the world changed. He did have an advantage: his experience at Trinity prepared him to go beyond his major and employ the skills he gained through his liberal arts education. “It’s not what you study or how your study, it’s who you become while you are at Trinity that is so much more important,” Hawkins said.

He reassured the scholars in the room that the courses they took were not what qualified them as Trinity scholars. As he addressed a crowd of more than 150, his overarching message was simple: “What got you into this room was the quality of your character. That’s why Trinity is such a special place.”

The annual event honors donors who invest in the future of Trinity students and recognizes the recipients of more than 450 named scholarships. President Joanne Berger-Sweeney opened the celebration by recognizing students and donors and their connections to the college. “We celebrate the role that philanthropy plays in shaping our campus community and how critical it is in supporting the dreams and ambitions of our students,” Berger-Sweeney said.

Graduating senior Noor Malik ’18, the Stanley J. and Rosemary D. Marcuss Scholar and guest speaker for the evening, faced challenges before she even arrived on Trinity’s campus. On her trip to the United States from Pakistan, she was robbed of the money her parents had painstakingly saved for her education. She persevered and arrived at Trinity, bowed but not broken. In recalling her journey, Malik spoke with wisdom and appreciation about what it meant to come to Trinity. “If it were not for the scholarship I received, I never would have been able to start and continue my education here. It opened the door and gave me opportunities I never even imagined,” she said. Malik has received numerous awards for her academic achievements and has taken advantage of countless opportunities during her four years at Trinity.

After graduation in May, Malik is headed to Oxford University to begin graduate studies in global governance and diplomacy. She expressed gratitude for the chance to attend Trinity on scholarship and also conveyed a personal sense of duty to give back. “To be a scholar is both an honor and a responsibility because you know that whatever has been invested in you, you have to return,” Malik said.

Berger-Sweeney also recognized the Wrobel family. Ed Wrobel ’80, P’07 is a member of the Sharp 5 Jazz Ensemble, which performed during the reception. He was a scholarship recipient while a student at Trinity, and he and wife Carol are now scholarship donors. “The Wrobel family is a shining example of the full circle of philanthropy. That’s what the Trinity experience is all about,” Berger-Sweeney said.

Click here to see photos of the Scholars Reception.

Written by Anita Ford Saunders