Celebrating 150 years of Trinity


illustration by Julia Poage, staff illustrator

Trinity will celebrate its 150th anniversary at the beginning of 2019, less than a year from now. In the mind of a college student, 11 months can seem like an eternity. Within that time span, your course load, extracurricular involvements and personal relationships can all change dramatically.

From the perspective of an institution that has endured almost one-and-a half centuries, however, a single year is more like a wrinkle. That’s why now is the time to kick-start preparations for Trinity’s 150th anniversary, an occasion in which each of us has a distinct and important role to play.

I know what you’re probably thinking: That incessant Strategic Communications and Marketing office is at it again! #TigerPride!

While this sentiment is not entirely false, the 150th anniversary is about far more than the university’s self-promotion. The sesquicentennial provides a unique opportunity for us, as a community, to reflect on our past, relish in our present and prepare for our future.

We will highlight the milestones that have defined Trinity’s upward trajectory and celebrate the individuals who have enabled the university to thrive. However, in order to paint an accurate picture of our history, we will also look back at the challenges Trinity has overcome along the way.

Examined collectively through the lens of the university’s enduring values, these stories will compose a roadmap that will point us toward 150 more years of discovery, growth and excellence.

All of that sounds great, right? Well, here’s the thing: None of it will happen without the help of faculty, staff, alumni and especially students. It is up to us, as members of the Trinity community, to decide which stories are told and how the university commemorates this milestone. The sole purpose of Trinity’s 150th Anniversary Committee is to facilitate the celebration, not to micromanage it.

The student body, on the other hand, holds a much loftier task. Students will plan the year’s events through organizations like Student Programming Board, determine whether activities are successful through their level of engagement, and document the celebration for future generations via official channels such as the Trinitonian and informal outlets like social media. It’s a big job and the 150th anniversary will only be worth commemorating if each of us does our part.

Luckily, there are numerous ways to get involved in the 150th anniversary celebration, and the university committee is here to provide you with any support you need. First and foremost, all students are strongly encouraged to actively participate in next year’s activities, ensuring that the celebration is truly campus-wide.

For those of you involved in a student organization, your club can stake its claim to the anniversary by either (1) elevating — adding some sesquicentennial flair to a pre-existing event, or (2) creating — planning an entirely new event in honor of the occasion.

Whichever route your organization pursues, you can get your event on the official calendar by submitting the short application available on the university committee website. If your organization would like to contribute to the celebration but needs suggestions or support, including planning and/or funding help, feel free to contact the 150th Anniversary Committee co-chair, Angela Breidenstein, at [email protected].

She will forward your request to a committee member who will provide assistance as quickly as possible.  We also invite you to come to Student Involvement’s Milk and Cookies on March 1 as a follow up to our Super Nacho Hour on Feb. 28.  

Thanks to all of you who make the Trinity community worth celebrating — we look forward to helping facilitate a celebration that will propel the university towards 150 more years of progress.