May 30, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

The last few months have brought unprecedented stress and anxiety for everyone, and in countless ways our community has met the challenges of this pandemic with heart, hope, and care for one another and our wider world.

Today, it seems those aims are in even greater demand, as we all confront again—and again—the inhumane brutality against people of color, most recently against George Floyd in Minneapolis. And so, as we mourn the incomprehensible COVID-19-related deaths of more than 365,000 people around the world, including more than 100,000 Americans, we find ourselves angry and outraged by this latest violence, perpetrated by those who are sworn to protect us.

If we were together on campus, I can well imagine joining you all in a solidarity protest or a vigil honoring the life of George Floyd and so many others who have lost their lives to racial violence. I can imagine our faculty and staff reaching out to provide support and comfort to students. I can imagine our students lifting up one another, and I can imagine us all coming together as a community to do anything and everything we could to contribute to the work of achieving a just society, free of racism. Because, at this moment and at every moment, I see and believe deeply in the power of our college community and higher education more broadly to effect change.

I am sorry we can’t be together in this moment and that those of us here at the college can’t provide the in-person support that so many of you may need right now. But please know that we are thinking of you, and if you are struggling, please reach out—to the Counseling and Wellness Center (860-297-2415), to the college chaplains (860-297-2013), to the Employee Assistance Program (800-225-2527), or to anyone in the Trinity community who can be a support for you.

On this evening, my hope for all of you is the same as my hope for humanity: that you may know peace, justice, health, and safety, and that we may all come together to achieve these goals.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience