October 27, 2020

Dear Trinity Faculty and Staff Members,

The recent commendations to faculty and to staff and administration from the trustees recognize your outstanding service and the considerable sacrifices you have made during the unprecedented challenge of responding to COVID-19. Let me reiterate my gratitude for the resilience and resolve you have shown as members of this very special community.

Staff across divisions had to work long hours in trying circumstances, on the front lines of reopening the campus. Many of you worked directly with students, and others did so behind the scenes to ensure that we could open safely. You designed and implemented countless protocols and logistics while advancing the everyday work that is so important to our success.

Faculty also have had to work more than ever, at record speed. You have had to train in new digital technologies, revamp your teaching, engage in new and sustained ways with students, set aside your research, and devote more time to service, resulting in changes to academic policies that have helped to support and retain students.

And our work as a community has paid off. As we shared with you, our student enrollment figures for fall 2020 were better than we expected in our July budget forecast. Our extraordinary preparations for students returning and the reopening of campus helped ensure that students would want to come back to our community. Exceeding our enrollment projections has had a positive impact on our budget, thanks to YOU, the faculty and staff members of this great college.

In light of the positive forecast, and recognizing the uncertainties ahead, we are carefully updating our budget outlook. I have authorized certain steps in this regard; in a separate message today, the co-chairs of the President’s Planning and Budget Council (PBC), Sonia Cardenas, acting dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs, and Dan Hitchell, vice president of finance and chief financial officer, will share with you more details about the budget.

My job as president is to express my gratitude to you for serving Trinity with such distinction this fall, under extraordinary circumstances. I am so proud to lead this college and dedicated community. Thank you for working together to accomplish great things.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience