October 5, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

It’s hard to believe that we’re already one month into the fall semester. September flew by, and just this past weekend, we welcomed hundreds of Bantams to campus for an incredibly successful (and safe!) Homecoming Weekend—our first on-campus Homecoming celebration in two years. With our return to in-person work and learning (for some, it’s the very first time you have set foot on campus), there is a familiar texture to the semester. The rhythm of the academic year—Convocation, returning to the classroom, fall sports, summer research presentations, study sessions in the library—brings a reawakening of campus life. The positive energy among students, faculty, and staff is palpable as our community members reconnect with one another. The year feels like the Trinity experience we know and cherish.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be real and present in our lives, and it has an undeniable effect on all of us—it is exhausting. I want to say a heartfelt thank-you to all for your seemingly tireless work to ensure the health and safety of our community. Our public health measures—vaccine requirements, mask wearing, gathering guidelines, surveillance testing, and quarantine and isolation measures—continue to keep the incidence of coronavirus low in our community. While we can’t eliminate the presence of COVID-19, these measures help to make our campus environment safe. It takes the work of every individual to do their part, and we can see that it’s working. Thank you for protecting the nest!

One of Trinity’s greatest strengths is its close-knit community, which has remained resilient under the stress of the pandemic and being apart for so long. We have learned over the past 18 months that we can do many things remotely, but being apart reminds us that we thrive best when we are together. The dynamics of collaboration and collegiality are best served when we can nurture our relationships face to face: peer to peer, student to faculty member, and colleague to colleague. And though we all have returned to campus, the extended separation has had a profound impact on our sense of place and belonging. It helps when we remind ourselves that returning to campus is a transition. Please give yourselves and one another grace during this period.

I remain optimistic for an exciting year ahead. We have much to look forward to, including Family Weekend on November 5–6, a vibrant array of campus events, opportunities for students to engage with our new curriculum, and much more.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience