Sidewalk Symposium: Trinity’s new ranking

Despite faculty’s excitement, most students appear ambivalent about Trinity’s new ranking

We rank our sports. We rank our grades. We even rank our school itself. Recently Vanessa B. Beasley, Trinity’s president, made an announcement that the U.S. News and World Report had released its National Liberal Arts College Rankings for 2022 to 2023. In its first year on the list, Trinity was ranked 55, placing it in the top third of liberal arts colleges in the United States.

There was great celebration among faculty and staff with emails being sent out to make the announcement, and it has quickly become the talk of campus. However, some expressed disappointment. Christina Cooley, associate professor of chemistry, thinks that Trinity should have ranked higher.

“I was a little disappointed we were 55, and from a STEM perspective, a lot of the other institutions that are equal to us are not nearly as … productive as us research-wise. I was a bit disappointed, but it is nice for us. I think it’s our first year [so] we have to take that with a grain of salt. We’re kind of making our way into something and so we have to realize that since we haven’t been here before, we have to see where we land and not over-interpret it,” Cooley said.

Christopher Jones, Trinity parent. (Ava Gleason)

Others were more ambivalent, such as Christopher Jones, a Trinity parent.“I don’t see anything different [from before] at all, no,” Jones said.

Tedi del Prete, junior geoscience major. (Ava Gleason)

Tedi del Prete, a junior geoscience major, expressed similar sentiments.
“I don’t think it really affects [my view of Trinity],” Prete said.
However, others were more excited about what this might mean for Trinity’s future.

Anayan Bhogaraju, sophomore biology major. (Ava Gleason)

“I do care. Going to Trinity I feel like we all have some sort of school spirit and us going, moving up in the ranking, I think it means a lot to us,” said Ananya Bhogaraju, sophomore biology major.

Yasmine Subawalla, senior political science and economics double-major. (Ava Gleason)

Yasmine Subawalla, senior political science and economics double-major, also expressed hope for the implications of the new ranking. “I think, kind of makes me more hopeful for future classes and what the school’s gonna look like for the next, kind of, incoming class,” Subawalla said.

Overall, Trinity students seemed unaffected by the new announcement. Most said that hearing about the new ranking would not have changed their opinion of the school nor their decision to come had they been incoming first-years.

In her video announcing the ranking, Beasley details why this is such an important step for Trinity. She states that the U.S. News and World Report’s metrics for ranking align with values Trinity would like to maintain and improve upon, causing it to serve as a self-evaluation for the university. It may also help Trinity gain visibility in the community, academically and otherwise. This would help the university gain traction when it comes to enrollment and financial support.