The importance of being all in

In our third century, what do we want Trinity’s impact to be?

Last November, I had the pleasure of attending the Bicentennial Fall Symposium, an all-day campus event that engaged more than 700 people with 30 thought-provoking sessions created by faculty, staff, and students. The day was a demonstration of the power of Trinity, tying together intellectual discussions, cultural explorations, and hands-on workshops. It was truly heartening to see the entire Trinity community—including alumni—come together to reconnect in dialogues about our past, present, and future.

The most important mission that any academic institution holds is ensuring the creation, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge. I argue that the Trinity impact goes deeper. We educate those who use knowledge to influence and reshape fields of study, industries, communities, and cultures around the world.

Most importantly, we do it through the power of community. Faculty members, coaches, mentors, advisers, classmates—all are dedicated to educating our students. They intentionally cultivate intriguing discourse and advise attentively, often leading to a result that is lifelong—one that alumni often recognize and appreciate with the benefit of time away from campus.

In November, we launched the public phase of Trinity’s most ambitious fundraising effort to date, the historic All In comprehensive campaign. At the launch, we heard from a number of alumni who spoke about their powerful experiences and the relationships that were fostered.

Trustee Paul Mounds ’07, who steered the State of Connecticut through the unprecedented COVID response, credited coach Jeff Devanney ’93 for teaching him invaluable lessons on and off the football field: “Jeff Devanney is the most influential person in my life aside from my own father.”

Entrepreneur and award-winning restauranteur Danny Meyer ’80, P’20 spoke about how Trinity’s Rome Campus “opened so many doors, and so many of our restaurants are based on what I learned in that very semester.”

These stories are not unique; we have heard countless variations on the same theme. Our people and this place have a profound impact on those we graduate—this is what I call the “All In effect.”

As Trinity enters its third century, I ask all alumni to remember how Trinity touched their lives and to help ensure that this indelible impact continues for future generations. I am proud of the progress we have made through our strategic plan, Summit. Now it is time that we ensure that Trinity delivers fully on this plan and on our mission well into the future.

We already have seen remarkable progress based on investments made during the campaign’s quiet phase, including spaces designed for today’s students. The rest of the campaign will focus on supporting our dedicated faculty and the academic program, ensuring a distinctive student experience, and building generous financial aid to promote access.

Our faculty will benefit from expanded support and programmatic enhancements, such as increased professional development and named professorships that provide resources for sustaining academic excellence. While we evolved the Trinity Plus curriculum by pairing liberal arts learning with time and credit for experiential learning, the campaign will allow us to fulfill the goal of adding more co-curricular opportunities so we become known for our distinctively ample and flexible options.

Bolstering financial aid that supports more middle-income families will bring greater socioeconomic diversity to Trinity. This campaign can make the difference for many deserving families who currently believe that Trinity is out of the question financially.

I was honored to have worked with the late Vice President for Advancement Michael Casey, and I am deeply grateful to fundraising veteran Carrie Pelzel ’74, who graciously stepped in with alacrity and skill. Along with our campaign co-chairs, Carrie is leading our team by demonstrating the grit and grace that Trinity alumni are known for—the spirit of being “all in.”

I strongly encourage you to visit the Campaign’s website at to learn more. Join us and be all in, for the sake of today’s students and generations to come.