January 25, 2023

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Welcome to the first week of classes for the spring 2023 semester! I hope you had an enjoyable and restorative break and a very happy start to the new year. For those who taught or took courses during the January Term, I hope your winter study was productive. As for me, I didn’t travel as much as I normally do during the break, which was a welcome change of pace. I enjoyed the respite of home and of our beautiful campus.

The beginning of a new semester is always a special time filled with energy and discovery, and I know each of you is excited to continue your hard work, studies, research, and personal and professional development. As classes and activities get underway, we start fresh in our ongoing pursuit to prepare bold, independent thinkers.

Without a doubt, we are entering a truly special time for all Trinity community members—past, present, and future. The countdown to Trinity College’s Bicentennial year—set to kick off on May 5, 2023—officially has begun! As the College turns 200, we find ourselves at a time to honor our past and to look toward the future by making meaningful commitments through the force of our collective actions.

During the break, I had some time to reflect on Trinity’s history. I think the story of the College has been that of community, innovation, inquiry, and advancing knowledge and the liberal arts for the better. We have a proven track record of looking at problems from all angles, asking questions many refuse to ask, and devising solutions that will move society forward. Indeed, we continue to make tremendous strides through our strategic plan, Summit. And at the core of our progress is the uncommon motivation I see each day on our campus, proving we are determined to create a more promising future through our concerted and collective efforts.

As I harken back on the great work to affirm our shared values as a College, I am comforted to know we are truly realizing the community we wish to be, which I called for in the Campaign for Community in 2015. And while the pandemic may have slowed our progress, we have much to build upon; our Bicentennial is an opportune time to reflect on our esteemed past to help lay the groundwork for the future.

Throughout our Bicentennial, we will have a series of dialogues that will bring together members of the Trinity family from multiple generations, recognizing the interdependence among our collective experiences as a tool to create the vision we want for our future. When the time comes, I hope you’ll participate and commit to Trinity’s next 200 years!

I look forward to this new semester with you and to preparing for this milestone in our College’s history. Led by your example, Trinity will continue into its third century as a marketplace of ideas where change begins and a diverse community of learning supports all Bantams in finding the collegiate experiences they cherish and the paths they wish to lead into the future.

Welcome to the final semester of Trinity’s second century. In May, we turn 200! I’m excited to share in celebration with you. And before then, my best to you for a wonderful spring.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience