Trinity Celebrating the Inauguration of President Joanne Berger-Sweeney

Weekend’s Events Formally Recognize the Start of 22nd President’s Leadership

Hartford, CT, October 24, 2014 – Trinity College, founded in 1823, will celebrate the inauguration of President Joanne Berger-Sweeney, the school’s 22nd president, with an October 26 ceremony prefaced by three days of events. Berger-Sweeney, who is the first woman and first African American to serve as president of Trinity, was selected by the Board of Trustees to chart a course toward the College’s 200th anniversary in 2023—a course that advances the future of the liberal arts education that has been a hallmark of Trinity’s distinguished history.

The inaugural festivities kicked off on Thursday with parts one and two of the inaugural academic symposia, “From Brownell to Berger-Sweeney: Bridging Trinity’s Traditions and the Future of a Liberal Arts Education.” Moderators Sarah Raskin, professor of psychology and neuroscience, and Garth Myers, Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Urban International Studies, were joined by scholars, Trinity alumni, and business and political leaders to discuss issues related to the liberal arts and urban engagement.

Continuing the celebration, at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 24, organist Christopher Houlihan ’09, artist-in-residence at Trinity, will perform in the Chapel. The series of academic symposia continues at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 25, with two more symposia, “Engaging with a Diverse World” and “Thinking about a Liberal Arts Education in Nontraditional Ways.”

On Sunday, October 26, Trinity will officially inaugurate Berger-Sweeney in a ceremony at the Koeppel Community Sports Center at 11:00 a.m. The academic procession will begin at 10:50 a.m., including more than 100 delegates representing colleges and universities from across the country. The ceremony is open to the public, and guests may register by sending an e-mail to Those unable to attend in person can join in by watching the live webcast and engaging on social media with the hashtag #JBS22.

Berger-Sweeney was elected Trinity’s 22nd president in March of this year and assumed the role on July 1. Berger-Sweeney served as the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University for four years prior to joining Trinity. Before her time at Tufts, she served for 19 years as a faculty member and associate dean at Wellesley College. Berger-Sweeney received her undergraduate degree in psychobiology from Wellesley College, her M.P.H. in environmental health sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in neurotoxicology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

An accomplished neuroscientist, Berger-Sweeney has received numerous awards and honors, including the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award and a Lifetime Mentoring Achievement Award from the Society for Neuroscience. She and her husband, Urs V. Berger, Ph.D., also a neuroscientist, are the parents of two teenage children: Clara and Tommy.