June 23, 2021

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

As we look back on all that we accomplished together and look ahead to the fall semester and a new academic year, we do so with optimism that an end to the global pandemic may finally be in sight.

But simply welcoming everyone back and easing COVID-19 restrictions alone won’t fully restore our sense of place or belonging in the Trinity community. Our individual and shared experiences throughout the pandemic have been enormously challenging, and often isolating. The extended separation that many of us have experienced from the physical campus and normal campus operations has taken a toll on our sense of unity. Therefore, when we come back together again this fall, my focus will be squarely on renewing the thriving learning and social community that we all love.

Face-to-face interactions are an essential part of our mission and the distinctive mode of education we deliver, and they are core to our culture. And despite our best efforts and our successful pivots, some aspects of our community—casual conversations, informal mentoring, participation in campus and neighborhood events—could not thrive during the pandemic. I am eager to welcome back to campus every member of the community so that we may emerge from the pandemic resilient and better than before, and so that we may redouble our efforts to support what was and is so special about our vibrant, close-knit Trinity community.

Beginning this summer and continuing through the fall semester, my office will offer the following series of activities as a part of our campaign to restore the vitality of our community post-pandemic. We will begin this summer with two community picnics. The first will take place on Wednesday, July 21, in conjunction with the return of the Summer Carillon Concert Series. The college will provide attendees with a picnic meal for four that you can enjoy on the main quad as you listen to the beautiful sounds of our carillon.

The second picnic will take place on Tuesday, August 3. We look forward to having faculty, staff, and students come together as a community for great fun and great conversation about the year ahead. In the fall, we will host food trucks at lunchtime for the entire campus community once a month in September, October, and November. In December, we will host a community ice skate at the Koeppel Center with hot chocolate and snacks to usher in the holidays in true Trinity style.

Additionally, my office will provide as many as 10 $500 grants to members of our community to propose and plan fall events/activities that bring people together for friendship community building. We will share more information about the activities and this funding opportunity in future communications.

For now, I would like to thank you for being a partner in restoring Trinity to a vital residential community and for supporting our important educational mission. Please take an opportunity over the summer to rest and renew before what promises to be an active, engaged fall semester.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience