A Relationship Etched in Lime
By Kathy Andrews
When Ian Loring ’88 and Isabelle Parsons Loring ’87 returned to campus to celebrate his 35th Reunion during Trinity’s Bicentennial year, the Boston-based couple delighted in spending time with close friends. Staying overnight in a Trinity residence hall made the experience even more special.
But what Isabelle and Ian say always makes coming back to campus particularly meaningful is the fact that they first met as Trinity students, in the fall of Ian’s first—Isabelle’s second—year at Trinity.
“Meeting each other, obviously, was the biggest highlight of our college experience,” said Ian.
By his senior year at Trinity, Ian knew popping the question would not be a huge surprise to Isabelle, but he wanted to make it fun and memorable. He enlisted Alpha Delta Phi brothers to help him spell out a message in powdered lime in the middle of a pasture on Nantucket Island on property belonging to his aunt.
Then Ian contrived for the two of them to board a plane set to fly over the island they loved, enabling Isabelle to look down and see the simple, three-word message below: “Iz—marry me.”
Attending the Trinity Reunion allowed the couple to reconnect with many close friends, including Ian’s fraternity brothers and lacrosse teammates. “We have many deep connections and wonderful friendships that have continued since graduation,” said Ian.
Isabelle also shares a Trinity bond with her father, Ira Manning Parsons III ’52. “I remember as a high school student, traveling from Baltimore with my dad to see Trinity; I immediately felt a visceral connection to the place. I saw the fun that students had hanging out on the Quad together, smiles on everyone’s faces, and it fit with what I had envisioned college to look like,” she said.
Trinity lived up to Isabelle’s initial impression. Among her favorite memories was being part of the Concert Choir and singing in the Trinity College Chapel.
An economics major, Ian notes that one of his most influential academic advisers was Diane Zannoni, G. Fox and Company Professor of Economics, with whom he served as a teaching assistant. “I remember talking with Professor Zannoni about my career choices. She’s an amazing person who not only got me inspired in economics but was a great mentor.”
Ian also holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and serves as senior managing director and executive chair of Haveli Investments, a private equity firm focused on the technology industry. Earlier in his career, he spent 24 years at Bain Capital. “Trinity did a terrific job of preparing me for the real world,” he said. “A Trinity education gave me an ability to work with a variety of people, and a strong work ethic. These are skills that helped me advance throughout my career.”
For Isabelle, Trinity’s Hartford location was a key factor in her academic pursuits. “There were opportunities to do great internships related to my psychology major,” she said, noting her internships with the Institute of Living and a local nursery school. After graduation, she also interned on campus for a year working closely with Tina Dow, director of residential affairs at the time, and with David Winer P’86, ’93, then dean of students.
“I realized I really liked working in an educational environment.” That experience led her to an admissions officer position at Barnard College in New York City. “And when we moved to Boston, I worked at the Harvard Art Museums in advancement. I was fortunate to have a solid knowledge of art history, from the many fantastic classes I took at Trinity—so that was a real asset.”
Today, the couple, parents of three children, gives back to the community philanthropically and by volunteering their time. Mostly, their efforts are in educational access and healthcare.
In the healthcare realm, Isabelle volunteers with cancer centers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital. “We also support medical research at Mass General Brigham involving CAR T-cell therapy, with the hope of ensuring better outcomes for cancer patients.”
For several years Isabelle also has served on the board—and is a former board chair—of the Steppingstone Foundation, a Boston-based educational nonprofit. At Trinity, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the couple supported financial aid for students affected by COVID-related financial challenges. “We see the transformational benefits of a college education, to which everyone should have access in life,” said Isabelle.
Additionally, Ian is passionate about sports and Isabelle feels the same about conservation. Ian is board chair of the Boston Amateur Basketball Club. “It’s an organization that helps talented kids become better basketball players and also get access to high quality education,” said Ian. And as a volunteer with the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, Isabelle said, “I wanted to give back to a place that’s really meaningful to our family.”
Added Ian, a recipient of Trinity’s Gary McQuaid Award, “Trinity is so important to us because of all that it’s given us over the years and continues to give us—that’s probably the core of it, the lifelong relationships and fantastic experiences. We are lucky and proud to be Bantams!”