May 4, 2020

Dear Trinity College Community Members,

With equal parts pride and sadness, I write to share the news that Angel B. Pérez, our vice president for enrollment and student success, has been named the next chief executive officer of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). In this role, Angel will be at the helm of one of the most powerful voices in higher education and the preeminent authority on college admission counseling. It is a role well suited for Angel, whose visionary leadership in higher education is long established and has helped build the visibility and enhance the reputation of Trinity College nationally and globally.

It’s certainly easy to see why I’m proud of Angel. I’m sad because, as many of you will remember, he was the first senior hire I made as president of Trinity back in 2014. He has been my closest partner in rethinking our admissions strategies, which have been at the center of Trinity’s spiraling up. Making each admitted class stronger than the previous one is what Angel promised, and he delivered in full measure. He has been a steadfast champion for expanding access to a Trinity education to talented students from all backgrounds and all parts of the world, including right here in Hartford. The exceptional student body that defines Trinity today is a reflection of Angel’s vision and passion, along with his tireless dedication.

I can’t say enough about the scope and scale of positive impact that Angel has had on Trinity throughout the last five years. He led the college’s decision to go to test-optional and to employ a holistic approach to admissions, and he implemented measures to reduce financial barriers for first-generation and low-income students, all of which have helped make Trinity even more of a first-choice destination. Our yield rates are higher and the academic profiles of our incoming students are stronger. Furthermore, our students now hail from a broader geographic and socioeconomic range; in short, we are a stronger and more diverse community of student scholars. Angel also recognized that stronger students need to be met with stronger experiences on campus, and he worked with partners across the college as he created the Office of Student Success and revamped the Career Development Center. He reminded us that “it takes a village,” as we focused on student retention and success, personalizing advising and introducing innovative career preparation and exploration—including design thinking—to help students find meaning and purpose in all aspects of their lives. Most importantly, he reminded us of the necessity to remain student focused in our work.

As is true for so many of us who have devoted our careers to higher education, this work for him is not just a job but rather a calling, and it shows. To say Angel is an ardent advocate for Trinity and the liberal arts is a vast understatement. His unwavering positivity has had a great impact on Trinity, too. That’s something that Trinity and our wider world could use much more of, especially in these challenging times.

NACAC is very fortunate, indeed, to have Angel as its next CEO. Angel has told me how excited he is to be taking on this role, which will allow him to be even more influential in higher education policymaking. His commitment to access will benefit us all. And he shared with me that his work over the last several years at Trinity has prepared him well for the position.

Angel will begin at NACAC in July. You can read NACAC’s announcement here. We have not yet determined plans for the future, but Angel has built an extraordinary team to carry on the mission, and rest assured that I am committed to continuing Trinity’s upward trajectory. I also hope to share with you soon some plans for us to celebrate and thank Angel—virtually if we must!—before he heads to Washington, D.C., this summer. For now, please join me in extending a warm, heartfelt congratulations to Angel!


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience