Dear Members of the Trinity College Community:
As we start the 2022-2023 academic year, I want to extend my warm welcome to all new and returning members of the Trinity community! We are so thrilled to have your energy and excitement livening up our campus once again.
I hope you have all had a great summer and am sure that like us you are looking forward to a more normal school year. The Trinity campus is again abuzz with activity – the energy is palpable as is the excitement about the year ahead. It’s so fantastic to have you all back in-person. I have loved meeting so many students (both incoming and upper years who are on campus for the first time) during Orientation Week and having a chance to connect with so many members of the community.
I wanted to take a moment to thank all our incredible staff, faculty, student-staff and volunteers for their hard work in preparing for the start of the new year – from residence move-in and orientation events, to preparing for classes, and readying our facilities and student services and supports. From the feedback I’ve received, our new students had a great introduction to college life, and they really appreciated all the orientation events (and the food!). Thank you to everyone for going above-and-beyond to welcome students to our special community.
Last Wednesday night, we held our first in-person Matriculation Convocation since 2019! It was such a wonderful evening, bringing us together to celebrate as a community. It was also bittersweet, as we missed our beloved Chancellor Bill Graham who always presided over this ceremony. Matriculation was one of Bill’s favourite Trinity traditions – he loved meeting new students and giving them a warm introduction to our College and we especially missed him that evening.
At the Matriculation ceremony, we formally welcomed our incoming class to the College, and we also conferred honorary degrees upon Joannah and Brian Lawson for their outstanding volunteerism and exemplary leadership. The Lawsons are passionate champions for many critically important and interconnected issues, including human health and sustainability. In their remarks to students, the Lawsons’ positive values shone through as they reminded us of the importance of a healthy body, mind and soul in our daily lives. New students and returning students then joined us for a wonderful reception in our glorious Quad, which I don’t believe has ever looked more beautiful (thanks to Jerome Chang and Quain Buchanan for improved lighting). What a fantastic way to celebrate a return to our lovely campus!
For those new to the community, the Lawsons’ visionary support led to the launch of the College’s innovative Integrated Sustainability Initiative in the fall of 2019. Our new state-of-the-art building – the Lawson Centre for Sustainability – is named in their honour in recognition of their inspirational leadership. That building will be absolutely vital to our future, especially given the unprecedented demand for residence space and the shortage of affordable housing for students, as well as the critical need for more learning and community space at Trinity. You can learn more about the new Lawson Centre and the Living Trinity Campaign here.
Speaking of the Lawson Centre, in the coming weeks, there will be some early construction activity for site preparation (north end of the Trinity campus), including the installation of fencing and staging, and the arrival of equipment. We will post notices of disruptions on our website, so please stay tuned for updates.
We are deeply committed to providing the best possible experience for our outstanding students and all of us continue to work to ensure Trinity is a welcoming, positive and inclusive community for everyone. And as always, I welcome your ideas for community building and ways to connect with one another. So much of what we are able to do for our students is only possible because of the support we receive from our community – from all of you. I am so grateful for your generosity. We feel the impact of it every day, but especially now as our students come back to campus. Your support enables us to do so much – enhance our rich learning environments, support important projects including the new Lawson Centre as well as programs like our Mental Health Program and the Anne Steacy Counselling Initiative, and provide much-needed financial support to our excellent students. Thank you for making such a difference in their lives!
Safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the whole community continues to be a top priority especially since COVID-19 has not disappeared. Given that so many of our students live with us, it is important that our residential campus is as safe as possible for our students so that their lives are not disrupted. So, although our buildings are open, we are taking a cautious approach and will initially be focusing on in-person activities related to academic programs and student life. Our hope however is that we will be able to gradually open up for other indoor in-person activities beyond this as the term goes on. If you have questions about specific activities, please contact the appropriate office at the College.
On a final note, to the entire community – students, staff, faculty, alumni and volunteers – thank you for your unwavering support, enthusiasm and commitment to make the College the special place that it is. As the term gets underway, I hope you enjoy making new friends and reconnecting with classmates and colleagues. I wish you all the very best for the year ahead – let us hope that it will be a smoother one for everyone!
Provost & Vice-Chancellor
Note: If you are on the university campus, you will see that all flags are lowered to half-mast in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.