July 11, 2014

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

In the world in which we live, the only thing constant is change. Knowing the significant roles that they have played at Trinity, I have mixed emotions as I announce the retirements of two long-serving members of my senior team.

Larry Dow, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, has informed me of his wish to retire from Trinity after 41 years in the Office of Admissions. Larry has been a central member of the President’s staff and a pivotal figure at Trinity, the author of thousands of letters of acceptance to the new students who have walked through our arches. Larry is finishing a remarkable career at his alma mater, having entered Trinity as a  member of the Class of 1973 and beginning his work in Admissions following graduation. Since then, he has played an important role in the enrollment of every entering class at Trinity since the Class of 1978. For the last 15 years, Larry has served as the College’s chief admissions officer and has also overseen the Office of Financial Aid. Larry’s distinguished reputation has resulted in his receiving numerous awards and honors, including being named Connecticut’s Admissions Counselor of the Year by the New England Association for College Admission Counseling, receiving the College’s Alumni Medal for Excellence, and being chosen as the Trinity Club of Hartford’s 2011 Person of the Year. Larry has expressed to me his deep appreciation for the privilege of interacting with so many fine students, administrators, and faculty over the years, as well as for his good fortune to have been part of a process that is so critical to sustaining Trinity’s value and strength.

Fred Alford, Dean of Students, has also informed me he will retire this year, his 12th at Trinity. Fred, too, has been a key member of the President’s staff and has served the College tirelessly and well through myriad changes. Fred served as dean at Union College for 16 years before coming to Trinity. Always the active voice of support and opportunity for students, Fred knows many, many of our students on a first-name basis. I have heard numerous colleagues praise Fred for his calm, unflappable presence in the face of difficult situations and for his quick and ready sense of humor. He has encouraged students to put their mark on the College and make some corner of the campus different than it was before, an instinct that led to the development of the Mill, the I-House, the House of Peace, and the Treehouse. Fred has played a central role in developing and implementing plans to improve community life and was a member of the Charter Committee for Building Social Community and the Council on Campus Climate, and he serves on the Planning and Budget Council (PBC). He is also the College’s representative to the Consortium on Financing Higher Education (COFHE). Fred can often be seen eating lunch with groups of students in Mather or pedaling his bike around campus, and he is a past winner of the David Winer Award given by students to someone who has made a significant contribution to student life.

We will commence the searches to fill these positions, and both Larry and Fred will stay in their roles until their successors are identified. While we will have time to thank them in a more formal way, I know that you will join me now in thanking Fred and Larry for their stalwart support of Trinity and for leaving the institution better for their service.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College
Professor of Neuroscience