Students at Trinity””and members of the Class of 2015 in particular””have seen the university grow and change as many of our majors and interests have. From the (finally) completed Center for Sciences and Innovation, the new admissions center and the departments moving to and from the houses on Oakmont Drive, the campus has changed physically. However, aside from its changing structures, Trinity’s academic and social climate is also transforming.
This year we welcomed 659 first years, one of the largest incoming classes to date, and they will begin their education on the cusp of university-wide rollouts. The long-discussed curriculum change is set to be complete in the upcoming years, and soon Trinity will have three new centers constructed through the strategic plan, all of which are aimed at centering the Trinity education on experiential and interdisciplinary learning techniques that (ideally) will prepare us for the “real” world. In conjunction, Trinity’s marketing department is in the midst of rebranding itself in what is arguably its first real campaign, and we are in the end stage of adopting a new sexual assault policy. Plus, this upcoming spring, the university will tentatively welcome a new president.
The moral of this story is not to take the change in stride or to embrace it blindly, but rather to be part of it. Make sure that you like the direction that the university is heading, because by choosing to become educated here, to “discover,” “grow” and “become,” as the marketing team advertises, we embed Trinity and its values into our identities. We become complicit in the changes that are taking place. So the challenge here is for you (student, faculty member, administrator, relative, etc.) to adopt the change and make it your own. Have an active voice in this small and rather open community now so that in the future, you are not afraid to speak up on the change you would like to see in other more challenging surroundings.
Take these changes and make them your own. This new “brand” offers many challenges for students to be “prepared to lead” or “engaged with the world.” It displays Trinity as a “community of discovery and growth.” So maybe ask yourself this: are we? These statements should not just be taglines to attract more students, but rather they should act as bright lines for achievement in an experimental and often forgiving environment. However, for most of us, this offer will expire in four years, so try the change on for size and don’t miss a moment while you are here.