May 5, 2023

Dear Trinity College Community,

After more than a year of planning, it is my distinct honor to welcome you to the yearlong celebration of Trinity College’s Bicentennial!

You are a part of Trinity’s living history. Over the course of this year, we will present a full slate of events and programs designed to connect us with all that makes Trinity extraordinary—our people, our places, and an exceptional liberal arts education.

We selected the theme “Committed to the Future since 1823” because we want to both honor our past and inspire every one of us to create a better future. Since our founding by Bishop Thomas Church Brownell in 1823, we have educated generations of students of different religions and creeds to become leaders who turn ideas into action. At this moment, I ask that we reflect on what defines leadership and how we can demonstrate our commitments to the future through purposeful actions to make the world a better place.

I invite you to explore the richness of Trinity’s history and alumni remembrances on the new Bicentennial website. Over the course of the next year, we will collect and share stories that represent the experiences that define Trinity and the impact we have had; some of these stories were previously published, others are personal recollections and original content. We also have published a fuller telling of Trinity’s history that provides new, as well as traditional, lenses with which to interpret the past two centuries. This year, I encourage you to collaborate with classmates, colleagues, and friends to submit communal stories that honor your time at Trinity, ’neath the elms. Trinity does not have a single history from a single point of view; rather we have a rich, full, complex history steeped in the common value of a liberal arts education.

Please join us for events throughout the year that will promote intergenerational conversations and will include times to celebrate our community values. You will receive a monthly Bicentennial e-newsletter starting on Charter Day, May 16, that will announce upcoming or newly added events and content. With so much happening, please visit the website often and be sure to read your e-newsletter, as well as engage with us on social media using the hashtag #Trin200. This Bicentennial is designed to highlight and celebrate you.

We have an impressive year ahead. To promote the Bicentennial spirit, we hope you enjoy this video teaser that shows 200 years in 30 seconds.

A special thank-you goes to the Bicentennial committees for their leadership, which included receiving input from hundreds of members of the Trinity community. My appreciation also goes to the co-chairs of the Bicentennial Steering Committee, Philip S. Khoury ’71, H’21 and Kelli Harrington Tomlinson ’94, for their unwavering commitment to celebrating our community well, and to Hellen Hom-Diamond, vice president for strategic marketing and communications, and Mitch Polin ’96, associate dean for curriculum and professor of theater and dance, who co-chair the Bicentennial Core Planning Committee that is making the magic happen.

Let us honor our past and lead the future with the commitments we will make throughout the year. We only turn 200 once! Let’s make it memorable.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience