December 3, 2014

Dear Members of the Trinity College Community,

I am pleased to share with you a strategic move on behalf of Trinity College. Last week a local alumnus alerted us to an educational facility in downtown Hartford that was placed into auction this week.  We followed up with multiple site visits and asked the Trustees to support a bid for the property.  We have just received notification that we are the winning bidder for 200 Constitution Plaza. This long-term strategic move aligns with our goal for urban engagement and collaborative partnerships in Hartford.

Having a downtown footprint will allow us to connect our students with the heart of the city and its endless possibilities for internships, educational partnerships and interactive learning.  It opens the door to new relationships for our whole community, including faculty, staff and local alumni.

This building was used at one time by the Traveler’s Insurance Company as its corporate training and educational facility and is well-suited to educational needs, including a 200-seat amphitheater, multiple classrooms, lounge areas, a library and a teleconference center. The size and location of the building will enable us to lease space that we choose not to occupy, and thus could provide revenue enhancement for the College.

The property could be purchased with Trinity College endowment funds and remain a real estate asset within the endowment portfolio.

We have made no decisions about the use of the facility, as we will first need to obtain feedback from multiple constituencies within our community.  We will be discussing the process for determining possible uses with the Planning and Budget Council, and then forming a multi-disciplinary group on campus to discuss the uses of a downtown footprint. Several options for use of the building have been suggested to me, such as graduate studies, performance arts, Urban and Global Studies, studio space, collaborations with other downtown academic institutions, and other possibilities.

As with any real estate transaction, many details must be worked out before the sale is final; in rare cases, the transaction cannot be completed.  We hope that all will go well and that Trinity will be the official owner of the property by the beginning of 2015.

I believe taking advantage of this unique opportunity moves us toward building a sustainable future for Trinity that is built on vision and integrity.   A presence for our College in downtown Hartford opens many doors for us to strengthen our campus culture, ensure academic excellence, reach financial equilibrium and foster institutional pride.

This is an exciting opportunity for us to go boldly and engage more fully with our city.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College Professor
of Neuroscience