September 4, 2018


Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Welcome to the start of the 2018–19 academic year! If you’ve been participating here on campus or living vicariously through our social media channels, you know that these last several days have been a whirlwind of fun and excitement as we welcomed new students during Pre-Orientation and Orientation, including a mercifully air-conditioned Convocation last week.

On this first day of classes, it’s my great pleasure to officially welcome our exceptional group of eight new tenure-track faculty members and staff who’ve joined the college recently. We have at least two staff members who are in new roles that are deeply important to the entire campus. One is Rose Rodriguez, who started in August as the college’s first sustainability coordinator (we announced the creation of this position back in the spring). Rose earned both a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and Hispanic studies and a master’s degree in American studies from Trinity, and she has served for the past three years as program coordinator at Trinfo.Café. In her new role, she will coordinate and promote sustainability initiatives at the college, foster collaborations across campus and with vendors, and push us to further develop and achieve ambitious goals for environmental sustainability.

I’m delighted to say that Anita Davis, our new vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion, has now joined us. Anita’s work will be interwoven throughout Trinity, and I know she’ll be spending a good portion of her early days on campus building relationships with students, faculty, and staff.

Her arrival comes as I’ve just reaffirmed—in my remarks at Convocation—our values as a diverse, inclusive community committed to treating one another with respect. Over the summer, we saw more than one social media incident involving Trinity students whose words and/or actions were disturbing and offensive. As I said at Convocation, words matter. They can lift up a community or tear it down. We will continue to hold members of this community accountable for their actions, and we will not tolerate hateful, hurtful speech that hinders the ability of any members of this community to thrive and to fully claim Trinity as their own. Anita’s arrival will help us advance toward a truly inclusive community, but this is not the job of a single person. It is the challenging, ongoing work of every one of us.

Speaking of our work, as you use and peruse our terrific new website, take a look at the new video celebrating your accomplishments over the past year. Before we dive fully into this year, I think it’s fitting to pause and be proud of all the great work you accomplished last year. I’m inspired by your dedication to Trinity. And I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together in this new academic year!



Joanne Berger-Sweeney

President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience