Hearing the tower bell chimes, feeling the mist of the fountain, shuffling up Cardiac Hill, chasing campus cats, the noises and sensations of our four years at Trinity are embedded in us, but the empathetic service and will to thrive in our interactions here are what will take us forward.
Liberal arts universities glorify the humanities and sciences because, in the end, Trinity strives to nurture our strong spirits and creative minds so we can, in turn, bring this enriched energy to the world. Trinity yields doers, thinkers, believers, seers and renders us apt for society. We come out maybe knowing where we’re going or not, but either way, whether you know the next step, you do have the desire to take it because these past four years have made us seekers of betterment and providers of possibilities.
In a century of fast innovation and social progression, you have to be malleable with interdisciplinary capabilities and the ability to bend when others break. Whatever your major or minor, you have the capability to tie loose ends together and create intricate ideas because Trinity melds notions, practices and theories across academic fields to make us cognizant of the interwoven connections of our globalized world and ways. To be human is to be multifaceted, and we leave this university assured that we are capable of making bridges where there are social barriers and gaps of ignorance or indifference.
Trinity makes people who care and people who are willing to give themselves to the world. We serve our community and we know when to right a wrong, whether in social activism or in our personal relationships. University life makes you more than aware of others; you see people unfold and break apart; you sympathize with people pulling endless all nighters; you bump into people at parties; you awkwardly glance at your classmates; you read each other’s stories and you unintentionally listen to each other through the paper-thin walls of freshman quad. You are embedded in a sea of others, and after a while you’ll start to wonder when people are missing from class or you’ll notice when a stranger is crying walking across campus, and whether you are a misanthrope or a lover, you inevitably will care about in some way about the individuals that make up your community. In this way, Trinity creates empathetic citizens who will speak out against an injustice, stand up for each other’s rights, and they’ll do more than just ask if someone’s okay – they’ll find a way to make it better.
We step outside of the Trinity bubble to bring our services, stories, and changes to others as we have brought them to each other. When people exist together in such a community, something grows between them that embodies a part of each individual and presents a spectrum of personhood, thoughts, emotions and actions to form a single vigorous entity.
Together we are Trinity Tigers, and as we disperse out across the states and countries, we will always find that binding strength within us, the university embedded in our veins, our professors in our hearts and our peers in our hopes for tomorrow. Some of us may never see each other again, but we’ll recognize a name of a former classmate in a campaign or know the founder of a nonprofit from that one time at that one party.
We came to this place, we became one in this place, and now we will bring what we learned and found and cherish in this place to others as we leave and find our own footholds on the mountain. With people comes power, and we can choose to take on the challenge of improving the lives around us for the greater welfare, or we can choose to take everything we got in the past four years and let it wither in solitude. Each of you has something to give to this world, and Trinity has given you the opportunity to enhance your abilities to improve our current social structures and inseparable lives.
We are all tangled together, and to weave through life one must bend with others and become one shape with one reason – to make this place, the world, a little better than it was before. So, we can take these degrees and hang them on our walls and go back to the way things were before, or we can take these educations and spread the wealth of knowledge, liberal arts ideas and empathetic humanity to ensure that things only get better. You’re a Trinity undergraduate and you have the power for change.