Provost Mayo Moran's Message to the Community

Posted Jun 20, 2019 12:54 pm

Dear Members of the Trinity Community:

The 2018-2019 academic year was a wonderful year in so many ways. I want to share a few of these milestones that touch upon what’s most important to us. 

Students are at the very heart of Trinity College. Above all, we strive to provide them with an exceptional educational experience and to create a supportive environment that helps our students flourish in every way.

Today’s university climate is likely different than when many of us went to school. Students are under extraordinary pressure to excel, which is part of the reason the demand for mental health services is growing across Canadian campuses. Universities are focusing their efforts to ensure students get the help they need to thrive. At Trinity, we led the way with the Anne Steacy Counselling Initiative. No other student services program at the College has resonated as deeply as mental health. We continue to make every effort to ensure that all of our students have the support to flourish and we are so grateful to our amazing alumni for their ongoing support for this critical initiative. 

We also know that peer-to-peer contact plays an important role, especially when students have personal questions or need help. Our Student Heads have been invaluable this year – but it places a heavy load on the shoulders of a few. So to that end, we are thrilled to launch the Community Advisors (CAs) pilot program in September. These CAs – upper year students who are trained and know the resources available – will work with our other programs to promote supportive and inclusive residence communities at Trinity. The applicant pool for the eight CA positions was outstanding, and we look forward to introducing them to the community in September. 

Talking about residence – it’s an exciting time as we develop our plans for the future of our campus! We have been working hard on the planning details for the proposed new Trinity College building, which will provide critical residential, academic and community spaces, and make the full collegiate experience available to more of our current students. 

The City of Toronto is currently reviewing our development application and we have just finalized our architect search (look for an announcement very soon!). The team will work with the Trinity community to design a community-enhancing building that is not only thoughtful and beautiful, but also functional and environmentally forward thinking. The architects will be asked to focus on how to develop spaces that evoke a strong sense of community and spaces that help people to thrive, and how to build while respecting our environment. I extend a sincere thank you to our alumni who volunteer their time to serve on our Architect Selection Advisory Committee and Building Project Steering Committee. Their expertise in planning, architecture, finance, construction law and sustainability are invaluable for this landmark project.

As we transform the student experience here at the College, we are also mindful of the importance of our magnificent historic buildings. Over the last year, we have renovated the front hall in the main building to create a beautiful new Student Services Centre. It brings key student services such as the Registrar’s Office and the Dean of Students Office together into one location, providing a more accessible experience for students and a warmer welcome for all campus visitors. We are very excited to be able to welcome our students to this amazing new space in September. And we were delighted to offer a sneak peek of the new Centre to alumni and friends attending Reunion 2019 

Through the generosity of our alumni, the College’s academic programs are growing. We have just finished the first incredibly successful year of the Butterfield Environment & Sustainability stream of the Margaret MacMillan Trinity One Program. And our Chancellor’s tremendous gift allowed for a new partnership in contemporary international history, resulting in a new Trinity faculty position and the development of a master’s in contemporary international history in partnership with the Department of History, which will launch this coming September. 

Making a difference has always been an important part of the Trinity way. Although we are small in size, our public-spirited students led the way (again!) in the largest number of U of T Cressy Awards among all university divisions. In addition, five members of the Trinity community received U of T Awards of Excellence for high achievement and enhancing the university experience for their peers. In the fall, eight Trinity alumni were recognized with Arbor Awards for their dedication and generosity to the U of T community. And since last summer, eight members of the Trinity community were appointed to the Order of Canada (June 2018 and December 2018). We congratulate these individuals and countless others for improving the world and inspiring others to do the same.

Speaking of leadership, our student leaders this year were absolutely stellar and a pleasure to work with, often going above and beyond the call of duty. As a result, I know that the College is a safer, more inclusive and welcoming environment for all students. 

To our graduating students, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.  At our Divinity Convocation 2019, 17 fantastic Faculty of Divinity Master and Doctoral students graduated and we conferred honorary degrees upon the Rev’d Nadim Nassar and Mr. John H. Whiteside. And on June 11, we celebrated with our accomplished Arts & Science graduates and their families. To all of our wonderful graduates, we look forward to finding out where your journey takes you and we warmly welcome you to our alumni community. Please stay in touch.

Although we had much to celebrate this year, we will also remember those members of the community we have lost, including The Hon. Michael Wilson, The Rev. Dr. Margaret Fleck and Carey Davis. Along with so many others, they exemplify the spirit of Trinity and we miss them. 

On a final note, I want to take a moment to thank our alumni for giving back to the College – your ongoing philanthropic support allows our students to succeed while they are here. Equally importantly, thank you for sharing your time, talents and experiences with our students. And to our staff, faculty and academic community – thank you for your unwavering dedication to our students and for everything you do for Trinity to make it the community that is it. 

I am honoured to serve the College for a second term as Provost and I look forward to all the amazing milestones to come over the course of the next five years. I also want to extend our gratitude to our generous Chancellor for extending his third term at this important time for the College. 

I often hear people say that it is the community that makes Trinity so special. We feel it at Convocation, we feel it at Reunion and all of the other times when the Trinity community comes together, whether in joy or in sorrow. It is so clear, in those moments and so many others, that there is something very special here. I am honoured to be a part of this remarkable community. 

I wish you all a great summer. And for those returning in the fall, I look forward to welcoming you back to campus in September.

Yours truly,

Mayo Moran
Provost and Vice-Chancellor