Provost’s Message: May 2023 Update to the Community

Posted: May 15, 2023

Dear Members of the Trinity College Community:

Whether you are working, learning or taking some well-deserved time off over the coming months, I hope you are having a wonderful start to the summer. It is thrilling as always to see the sudden arrival of springtime at our beautiful college.

Front entrance to Trinity College: May 9, 2023

(Above) Front entrance to Trinity College with pink Kanzan (or Kwanzan) cherry blossoms and white crabapple blossoms in bloom: May 9, 2023

I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to report that 2022-2023 was a terrific year – the first undisrupted academic year since 2019. I want to thank our wonderful faculty, staff and students for everything they did to make it so successful and for continuing to be creative and flexible as we transitioned back to a more normal range of college activities. I am also so grateful to our alumni and volunteers for their continued support. Speaking of volunteers – one of our long-time volunteers is taking on the ultimate role at Trinity as the highest-ranking volunteer officer. Alumnus Brian Lawson was recently appointed our 13th Chancellor! We are delighted and feel so fortunate to have such a thoughtful leader in sustainability in this important role. We all look forward to working more closely with Chancellor Lawson and introducing him to the Trinity community in months to come.

Though it may sound odd, I think all of you will understand when I say how special it has been to return to “normal” and resume in-person connections. The College calendar has been full, with a wide variety of events for students, co-curricular sessions that brought our academic community together with students, and key talks and lectures for our wider alumni community held once again in our wonderful spaces. We all feel a new kind of gratitude for what we had taken a bit for granted!

Divinity graduates of the Class of 2023 and honoree in the Trinity Chapel

(Above: left) Celebrating with members of the Divinity Class of 2023 at the Convocation reception in the Quad; (right) Acting Dean Marsha Hewitt, Chancellor Brian Lawson, Provost Mayo Moran, and honoree, Archbishop Fred Hiltz in the Trinity Chapel.

Last week, we held our second in-person Faculty of Divinity Convocation since the start of the pandemic. It was a wonderful event, and I want to thank all those involved in organizing the ceremony and family, friends and distinguished guests for joining us. Although Chancellor Lawson will be installed at Matriculation Convocation in September, he generously agreed to preside over the ceremony, which was greatly appreciated by all. We celebrated with our outstanding Divinity graduates, presented prizes to Divinity students, and conferred an honorary degree upon the Most Rev’d Fred Hiltz. Archbishop Fred Hiltz has had a long and distinguished service in the Anglican Church of Canada, and worked to promote unity, the full inclusion of LGBTQ+ peoples in the church, and reconciliation and justice for Indigenous people within the Anglican Church of Canada. You can learn more about Divinity Convocation 2023 here, view photos on our Facebook page here, and get to know members of the graduating class here.

For our Arts & Science graduands, so many of you entered first year during the start of the pandemic (2019-2020) – meaning that an entire undergrad experience has been affected by COVID-19. We are so proud of all that you accomplished and learned despite the many challenges that came your way. I also hope your university days were filled with memorable experiences, accomplishments and happy moments. We are excited once again to be able to celebrate in-person with recipients of Trinity Graduation Awards on June 14, and with all graduates at Convocation on June 15.

To our alumni who graduated during the height of COVID-19 and to those who graduated many years ago, we are looking forward to seeing you return to campus for Trinity Reunion 2023 on May 31 to June 4. There are also some virtual events for those who are unable to join us in person. Once again, it will be wonderful to be able to join together – we are all especially looking forward to the return of the famous Garden Party!

One individual who we will sorely miss at reunion and other College events is Professor Derek Allen – an alumnus (Class of 1969), long-serving Dean of Arts & Vice-Provost (1996-2012) and Honorary Fellow. Derek was so central to Trinity, and the entire Trinity and U of T community was saddened by his recent passing. His funeral was held in the Trinity Chapel, and I know his wife Margaret and family members were very touched by all those who came to pay their respects and for kind condolences. The College is considering how to honour his legacy and we will provide an update to the community once details are confirmed.

Images of tour of the construction site and aerial of the site on May 12, 2023

(Above) Upper Row: Provost Mayo Moran and Assistant Provost Jonathan Steels take a tour of the construction site for the Lawson Centre for Sustainability on May 8, 2023: (left) selfie in front of the eco-friendly construction banner; (middle) one of the crane bases on the construction site; (right) streamlining of construction site waste materials. Lower: View of the entire construction site from our solar-powered camera: May 12, 2023.

If it’s been some time since you’ve visited the Trinity campus you’ll see a lot of construction activity on the north end of our site as we build our new Lawson Centre for Sustainability! The new residence and academic mass-timber building will achieve boundary-pushing sustainability and will integrate features of student wellness and accessibility. The building is designed to the highest environmental standards and is targeting LEED Platinum and Zero Carbon certification. You can view our progress here, view the sustainability features of the new building here, and learn more about the Living Trinity campaign here.

On a last note, I wanted to extend a warm congratulations to all our Divinity and Arts & Science Class of 2023 – we are so proud of you! We look forward to where your journey takes you and we welcome you to our alumni community.

You will hear from me again later in June with highlights from the 2022-2023 academic year. Until then, I wish you all the best.

Yours truly,

Mayo Moran
Provost & Vice-Chancellor