On Friday, September 3, the combined President’s Convocation and Matriculation ceremonies at Murren Family Field at DiBenedetto Stadium marked the official beginning of the 198th academic year at Trinity College. “You, the Class of 2025, are survivors,” said President Joanne Berger-Sweeney in her address to the class. “You are surviving a pandemic; you survived a high school senior year where so many elements were remote for many of you; you survived a tumultuous year of racial and political reckoning—and with all of this turmoil, you pursued your academics, and you are here at one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country.”
Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management Joe DiChristina echoed similar comments during the ceremony. “All of you and your families have met many challenges these past 18 months. … The sacrifices you and your families made to arrive at this moment are significant. Through hard work and determination, you arrive at Trinity College at a key juncture in your lives.”
The college welcomed 535 first-year students and 22 transfer students. Included among the members of the Class of 2025, DiChristina said, are students who launched non-profits to support the needs of others, students who built computers, activists, researchers, and even a nationally ranked Rubik’s cube solver. He said that because of their experiences, he knows they are ready to engage in important opportunities during their time at Trinity.
“You are ready to see the world through your own eyes and to develop informed opinions and ideas that can help our society find its way through the myriad of global challenges we face,” said DiChristina. “We know you will inspire our community to be the best that we can be. I know this because together, we have a great cohort of students.”
On behalf of the faculty, Susan Masino, secretary of the faculty and Vernon D. Roosa Professor of Applied Science, advised the students to engage with professors in their pursuit of scholarship. “As your professors, we want you to explore widely and deeply. We want you to be challenged. We want you to ask for help. We want you to grow. We want you to succeed,” Masino said.
Jederick Estrella ’22, president of the Student Government Association, delivered greetings on behalf of the student body, describing the lessons he had learned in his three years at Trinity and advice he hoped to impart to new students. “Embrace the difficulty. It may be difficult to make friends, get that good grade, or even get that internship, but it’s in the pursuit of your goals where you will find the best journey. Nothing that comes easy is as worthy as overcoming the obstacle.”
Due to recent severe weather, the President’s Convocation was rescheduled from its original date of Thursday, September 2, and combined with the Matriculation Ceremony, the oldest continuously observed tradition at Trinity. Matriculation is the symbolic act of enrolling at the college. Every incoming first-year student is asked to sign “The Charter and Standing Rules,” first penned in 1826. Three students representing the Class of 2025, transfer students, and IDP students signed the book during the ceremony; the book signing for all new students is scheduled for later in the day.
“Welcome to the new academic year and, for many of you, the formal beginning to your life as a member of the Trinity College family,” said Berger-Sweeney after the Oath of Matriculation. “This is a community of people who care for one another, hold one another responsible for our actions, take an active role in advancing the college, and enthusiastically support the next generations, paying forward the opportunities we’ve received.”
The ceremony concluded with a traditional lemonade toast, using the historic wooden lemon squeezer, by Berger-Sweeney. Estrella, and other members of the platform party before Dean of the Faculty Sonia Cardenas declared the academic year under way.
The Class of 2025 at a Glance:
- 49 percent female and 51 percent male
- 13 percent international students; with the arrival of this class, 82 countries are now represented in the overall student body
- 12 percent first-generation students (who would be the first in their families to earn a four-year college degree)
- 23 percent domestic students of color
- Includes students from 37 U.S. States and the District of Columbia
- 78 students from Connecticut
- Scholars include 7 Presidential Scholars, 29 Davis United World College Scholars, 61 1823 Scholars, and 10 Posse Scholars
- Drawn from an applicant pool of 5,705 this year
Watch the video below to see the full President’s Convocation.