Beasley’s inauguration comes with a number of events

Week before the ceremony offers chances for service, music and talking Trinity’s future


Courtesy of Tiger Network

President Vanessa B. Beasley at her inaugural ceremony on Saturday.

Beyond the investiture ceremony of President Vanessa Beasley, the week of Feb. 6-12 also brought about new community-wide events to celebrate and commemorate the investiture of a new president. Each event connected to the inauguration theme of imagination and the ceremonial passing of the torch from the former president to President Beasley.

The week began with a day of service — a tradition carried over from Danny Anderson’s inauguration — followed by new events such as an academic panel and an inaugural concert.

Service Ignited took place on Tuesday, Feb. 7, an event where Trinity students on and off campus were invited to volunteer for various non-profits in the San Antonio community. Participating organizations included the San Antonio Food Bank, the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center and Morgan’s Wonderland.

The on-campus service opportunity was in partnership with the Assistance League of San Antonio, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing basic necessities like toiletries and clothing to school-aged children in the area. This program is denoted as Operation School Bell, and it has been growing successfully since its establishment in 1984. Today, this initiative has reached nearly 100,000 families, aiding numerous children in the San Antonio area.

Gwyn Kemmerzehl, the current chairman of Operation School Bell, was excited to be working with Trinity University for the event. “This partnership has given us a new opportunity to reach out and help more children in a different kind of way,” Kemmerzehl said.

Volunteers used the secondary room in Mabee Dining Hall to make the hygiene kits.

“The location is wonderful. We got plenty of workspace, everybody pitches in and helps with whatever needs to be done. It’s perfect,” Kemmerzehl said.

On Wednesday, Feb. 8, an event titled “Imagination in the Academy” was held as an open forum for Trinity faculty, students and an alum to speak on imagination’s role in higher education. Moderated by JJ Lopez, general manager of KRTU, the forum featured a panel discussion on the topic of imagination and its role in both STEM and humanities fields.

Lopez emphasized that imagination is key to understanding what we can’t see, like the operations in our laptops, and allows us to exhibit feelings of grief and joy through what we write and say.

Madeline Freeman, senior English and Latin double major, emphasized the panel’s relevance and resonance with the audience.

“I could relate to what they were saying: how do we feel about imagination as professors, students or as human beings? … I just hope they have more events like this where [students] have access to those people and those opportunities,” Freeman said.

Ruth Agather, member of the Trinity Board of Trustees, noted that she enjoyed hearing faculty speak about their passions. “I love to see how the faculty interact with each other and their interdisciplinary quality of their discourse and how they feed off of each other. It’s great to see that excitement and energy,” Agather said.

The inaugural concert Harmony Ignited was held last Friday and featured performances by the Trinity University Wind and Jazz ensembles. President Beasley introduced the event and emphasized music’s ability to unite people.

“A melody can say so much more than we can convey with words alone,” Beasley said in her introduction. “And when we listen to music together we create a very special form of community. One that ignites our imagination and spreads harmony.”

The night featured classical music with booming brass instrumentation, such as “A Festival Prelude” by Alfred Reed, and more melancholic pieces like “Morning Alleluias for the Winter Solstice” by Ron Nelson. The jazz ensemble pieces added a dynamic layer to the evening by featuring lively, energetic pieces like “Sabotage” by Jared Schonig.

According to Faith Perry, junior psychology major and clarinet player, the concert was an opportunity for the public to observe student talent beyond academics.

“I think it was really smart to showcase students and how they contribute to the university in different ways. As President Beasley mentioned, Trinity is very flexible and allows us to express our talents while letting us be successful in school,” Perry said.

After the concert, the night sky above the Magic Stones came to life with an eight-minute drone display. The audience of alumni, board members, students and faculty was able to look up and see LeeRoy and the iconic Murchison Tower in drone form.

Mia Spigel, senior associate director of admissions, attended all of the inauguration events and emphasized the overarching theme of imagination throughout the event.

“Everything has been so wonderful, all the themes of imagination have blended together and the different creativity spread throughout has been a lovely celebration,” Spigel said.