April 15, 2024

Dear Trinity Community,

As is my usual custom after every Board of Trustees meeting, I share updates with the community. This time my update is atypical, as I informed members of the board my intention to retire from Trinity College as its 22nd president in June 2025, after the next academic year. At that time, I will have had the privilege of serving the College for 11 years.

From the moment I stepped through the Williams Arch to view the beautiful Chapel on the left, the majestic Long Walk on the right, and the statue of the bishop in front of me, I knew that I would love this place. When I met the diverse and passionate members of the Bantam community, I knew that I was home.

To say that my time here at Trinity has been “a most excellent adventure” would be an understatement. I take pride in many things that I’ve overseen over the last decade, including increasing the quality—on virtually every dimension—of our entering classes; creating new, innovative academic programs and centers; increasing the dynamism and diversity of our outstanding faculty and staff; strengthening effective partnerships with the Board of Trustees, the City of Hartford, and the State of Connecticut; and overseeing significant enhancements to our buildings and the infrastructure of one of the most beautiful college campuses in the country. Mostly, I am grateful for the extraordinary students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, parents, and friends who have generously given of their time, talent, and treasure to Trinity and who have supported me through both easy and difficult times. Doesn’t the COVID disruption feel like a distant memory?

We have much to look forward to as we end this academic year. In May 2024, our Bicentennial celebration is ending, and what remarkable festivities we have offered! We hosted thousands for symposia, celebrations, concerts, and fireworks, and we built memories for a lifetime. Please consider coming to our closing Bicentennial Gala as we raise financial support to offer opportunities to Hartford students to attend Trinity. And, we will mark the end of this academic year with the 198th Commencement ceremony.

Next year will be another meaningful academic year at Trinity. As is customary, we will welcome new individuals to the College with our mission to educate bold independent thinkers to lead transformative lives. I look forward to another year as the leader of this dynamic institution, wrapping up unfinished projects related to the strategic plan, governance, buildings, and, of course, the urgency of completing the All In campaign to lay a strong financial foundation for my successor. Many observers are anticipating a tumultuous end to 2024 with a U.S. presidential election and global conflicts that consume our hearts and minds. But we will continue, as we always have, to dialogue, to debate, to think, and to grow together as a community committed to engaged listening, empathetic understanding, and open-mindedness. As I like to say, we will continue to evolve into the learning community we wish to be.

We will have many times to reminisce together in the coming months, as I still have another full academic year to lead this great college. But now it is time to begin the planning and transitions necessary to welcome a new leader.

Under separate cover, I will share the other updates of consequence from this most recent meeting of the Board of Trustees.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney

President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience