Family of Trinity U student Mason Meredith

by John Meredith—

As the parent of a Trinity University student who just finished his freshman year, the summer provides an opportunity to reflect on his decision to attend Trinity and first year of college. Our son, Mason, attended a Houston high school with more students than Trinity, so my wife, Shirley, and I wondered if he would want to attend a small college. When Mason narrowed his decision to Trinity and the Big 12 colleges that we attended, the main two factors that helped him choose Trinity were Trinity’s stellar academic reputation and the high-quality Trinity baseball program.

Orientation

The first time that we understood why Trinity was the right choice was in August when we pulled up to unload Mason’s bags and boxes at the start of school. There were so many smiling volunteers that we were amazed as everything was moved from the car to his dorm room. The orientation process was designed for students to learn what it means to be a Trinity student and helped us, as parents, begin the process of having our child make more of his own decisions.

Trinity Alumni

Being on campus confirmed what we had heard from Trinity alumni about what a special place Trinity is for students. There are few questions where 100% of the responses are positive, but I have yet to find any Trinity alums who are not pleased with their decisions to attend Trinity. Seeing the campus and the caring environment in person provided us with a glimpse of what students and faculty experience throughout the school year.
Trinity U baseball player Mason Meredith
Baseball has helped Trinity student Mason Meredith adjust to college life.
Lessons Learned

While I wish that I could say the first year was a breeze and that Mason liked every minute of it, there were challenges he had to overcome. First, he learned how to study better and participate in class, as professors would not let him just be a nameless student since there are fewer students in class than typical freshman classes in larger schools. When Mason came home for winter break, we were amazed with how much he had learned in one semester and we even had several thought-provoking discussions about important world issues. Second, Mason learned to make new friends with students from all over the country and world. Mason only knew two or three Trinity students when he arrived, so he had to get outside his comfort zone to develop friendships. Fortunately, being on the baseball team helped as he interacted daily with his teammates. Finally, he expanded his food choices; and it was nice to hear him compliment home-cooked meals after experiencing school food.

Tips for Parents
One tip for parents is to get a subscription to “The Trinitonian.” The student newspaper helps parents keep up with the activities and issues that are being discussed and experienced on campus. Getting the Trinity students’ perspectives on local, national, and international issues helped us understand what Mason was learning and experiencing.

Another tip is to join the Trinity Parent Council. The information received and the connections among other parents and the Trinity staff provide a better understanding of the Trinity “college experience.”

Shirley and I are pleased that Mason is looking forward to being at Trinity for his sophomore year. He is living with fellow sophomores that he did not know a year ago. Even better, he seems to be on the same trajectory that Trinity alumni end up reaching as they enthusiastically and fondly recall their time on campus.




About John

John Meredith is the Chief Operating Officer for Chamberlain Hrdlicka law firm.

Parents at Trinity University

by David Tuttle—

Every summer the Trinity University residential life staff fields questions from parents before their sons or daughters move to campus, receiving many queries about room dimensions and configurations, the length of the clothes bars in the closet, and more. Planning and setting up a room is fun. Helping one’s offspring prepare is an important ritual in sending a child off to college. Nevertheless, there is some other preparation that is even more pressing.

I remember asking one mom why she insisted in setting up her son's room. She told me it was because if she didn't, nothing would happen beyond move-in day. Indeed, it doesn’t take long before most students’ rooms are in disarray. (At check-out in May, parents often ask, “What is all of this stuff?”) Plans for clean rooms and organizational systems are quickly forgotten amid papers, pizza boxes, and piles of laundry.

In the meantime, students will struggle with homesickness, poor time management, freedom and the consequences that come with it, opportunities for alcohol consumption and other substance use, and poor grades. While many of you have addressed things as life lessons for the past 18 years, you may want to reinforce some of these messages or address new ones specific to the college years prior to August.

So send your child to Trinity, not only with stackable bins from the Container Store and little sewing and tool kits (that they will probably never use) but also with anticipation of how they will manage real and important issues and experiences.

The answers to many of these questions are obvious as to what they should or should not do:

Safety

Will they lock their room doors when they aren’t there? Will they sleep with their doors locked? Will they drink and drive? Will they get in a car with a drunk driver? Will they leave parties alone or with friends? Do they know they can call the Trinity University Police Department for on-campus escorts?

Health issues

Can they survive on pizza and soda alone? Will they be able to develop a regular sleep pattern? Will they budget their meal points? Will they take advantage of excellent recreational facilities and the intramural program on campus? Will they take their medications?

Alcohol

Will they drink alcohol? What will they do to take care of themselves or a friend? Will they ride with a designated sober driver or just the person who is least drunk? Do they know the consequences of alcohol violations on campus? Do they know the alcohol policy?

Sex
Do they know that Trinity has a sexual misconduct policy? Do they know how to protect themselves? What do they think about “hooking up”?

Roommate issues

Will they be assertive? Will they be respectful of a roommate’s reasonable habits and requests? How will they ask for that respect in return? Will they stand up to a roommate who brings in a guest and tries to kick them out of the room? Will they ever treat their roommate this way?

Parent-child relationship
How often will you communicate and by what means? How often will you visit one another? For the first visit home: What will the house rules be applied on visits and holiday breaks?

Finances

Which bills will they be responsible for paying? How often will you send money or add funds to their Tiger Bucks account? What is your philosophy on credit cards? Should they look for a part-time job to offset costs?

Trinity University students at the Writing Center
Students can get help with essays at the Writing Center. 
Academics

What are their academic strengths? How will they get to know professors? What questions will they ask the faculty adviser? In terms of study habits, what will they do differently than in high school? What are the important dates on the academic calendar? What kind of support do they like to receive from you?

Campus involvement


What clubs or organizations are they interested in joining? How will they make new friends?

Game systems, video games, instant messaging

Will they take their game systems with them? How much will they play each day in relation to doing homework? Will they use the systems to break the ice and have fun with others? Will they play so much that they don’t get involved on campus? Will they text during class? Will they live on social media and neglect studies?

Responsible citizenship


Will they work to make the campus a better place? Will they take time to understand campus rules? Will they treat campus neighbors respectfully? Will they pre-judge people because they are different? Will they embrace diversity and learn from others? Will they care for the University facilities they are using?

Career exploration

Will they meet with staff from Career Services and their professors to relate their interests to different majors and careers? Will they investigate job shadowing, internships, volunteering, research, or other career-building endeavors, beginning as early as their first year?

That is a lot to cover. Maybe there are some topics that are more pressing than others. Even our New Student Orientation uses a triage approach to the most critical messages being shared first, usually issues related to safety. You have lots to talk about this summer. Help them get ready for college, not just ready for setting up their first room.

About David

David M. Tuttle is an associate vice president and Dean of Students at Trinity University. You can read his blog, The Dean's List, here.

Trinity University Chamber choir

(Editor's note: Although the 2016-17 academic year has ended, we want to share one more story from a proud parent of a student who sang at the Tobin Center during the spring semester.)

by Lee Carter —

On Feb. 22, 2017 our son, Zachary “Zack” Carter, sang in the Mozart “Great” Mass in C minor at the Tobin Center. Zachary is a bass in the Trinity University Choir. His father and I traveled from Atlanta, Georgia and invited another couple who reside in San Antonio to join us. We all thoroughly enjoyed the concert. The quality of the performance was outstanding. It was amazing to witness the collaboration between the San Antonio Choral Society, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Choir, and Trinity University Choir, along with the four soloists and orchestra. It was also very nice to see our son dressed in his tux.

Zachary is a physics major at Trinity University. However, music has always played a huge part in his life. He has been in chorus since the 4th grade, and was in the Chamber Choir and two musicals during high school. At Trinity, all students are eligible to participate in the choir. That allows for a diverse and substantial volume of talent

The Mozart Mass was like hearing the angels singing; prayer put to music. It makes one feel closer to God. It was wonderful seeing Zack singing again. We look forward to future concerts with the Trinity University Choir. In addition, we love San Antonio!

I totally agree that “At Trinity, each and every person matters—every student, every alumnus, every member of the staff and faculty…Trinity respects and nurtures each person’s unique talents, spiritual growth, skills, passions, leadership, and potential...(While) preparing our students to make a tangible, positive difference wherever they go.”

Trinity student Zack Carter
First-year student Zack Carter at a HUMA presentation.


College is a time for challenging oneself and discovering God’s plan. During Zack’s college search we discovered Trinity University offered excellent academics, a broad range of opportunities, small class sizes, and close connections with faculty and fellow students. During his first semester at Trinity, one of Zack’s professors hosted a dinner at her home for her entire class. Wow!!

I have been a nurse for 34 years. I can attest to the health benefits of music: It eases pain, relieves depression, improves sleep, enhances recovery after surgery or illness, strengthens learning and memory in both the young and old, boosts immunity, and decreases stress. This is significant since “Seventy-five percent to 90 percent of all doctor’s visits are for stress-related illnesses and complaints.”

How many times have you been in your car, when a song comes on the radio and it can change your whole mood. It can make you relaxed, sentimental, joyous, energized, and even inspired. Besides the shower, and church, my the car is the only other place where I sing! Zack got that talent.

In closing, I want to quote from the late musician John Denver: “ Music does bring people together. It allow us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics, or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same.”

About Lee


Lee Carter is a registered nurse who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She is grateful to be able to express appreciation for such a great concert.


by Aliza Holzman-Cantu—

Today it finally hit me. Like a ton of bricks - that too-often used phrase that describes perfectly the weight of emotions that pummeled me on my drive to work.

It began with innocently looking at my Timehop app while drinking my coffee. This morning my memory of six years ago was, “With as many graduation special events Sophie has this month, one would think she was graduating from high school, not elementary school!” But now that memory is really about today. High school graduation is less than one month away. I am not ready.

As I smiled about the memory, I looked up to see Sophie (my high school senior) sitting in the living room playing with the puppy. She was dressed in her typical “uniform” (oversized T-shirt and Nike shorts) with no makeup on. She looked just like she did seven years ago as a fifth grader ready to take on middle school. How can college be just a few short months away?

It is not that I don’t think she is ready. She is. She had the benefit of wonderful educators to prepare her for university life. It is that I am still in disbelief that my first baby is truly a young adult, not a child.

All those vacations spent visiting campuses and U.S. regions to see where she would like to go to college have culminated in her finding the school that felt just right to her. The truth is, it is not a university that I would have chosen for myself, but it is a terrific place with so much to offer a young scholar and of course, I am not the one going. She has chosen to attend an SEC (Southeastern Conference) school, known for its school spirit, gorgeous campus, and friendly atmosphere. It is a school where she has found the majors and minors that she dreams of pursuing. AND, above all, it is a university that understands what the ton of bricks feels like to parents and makes my husband and me feel secure that my daughter’s best interests are theirs.

You, as Trinity parents, have probably felt these same emotions. And you, with college graduates, have certainly felt them more than once. Being a parent is certainly an emotional roller coaster, with hopefully more highs than lows. Trusting others to educate your “child” is not an easy decision. Working at Trinity has helped me to understand what I did not comprehend as an undergraduate here. It takes a community to provide an education. I am privileged to work with dedicated professionals throughout campus who ensure the full Trinity experience is accessible to all our students. It is this team of people, and the parents that I get to meet through my job, that are getting me ready for this next phase of life. Thank you. I am almost ready.

About Aliza

Aliza Holzman-Cantu ’92 ’94 is director of Parent Giving and Engagement and truly loves getting to know Trinity parents. She received both her BA in Communication and MA in Teaching from Trinity and is grateful for the opportunities both of those degrees have afforded her. She lives in San Antonio with her husband Willie (a TexasEx) and her two daughters, Sophie (12th grade) and Iliana (9th grade).


(Editor’s note: This Trinity mom reflects on her new grad’s college years.)

by Jennifer Mackender—

It seems like yesterday, my daughter, Ally, and her dad were sitting on the floor in our Colorado home looking up at the office walls admiring the bubble letter, colored marker, college hunt spreadsheets she had made. Each piece of typing paper, taped side by side in a perfect horizontal line, listed the name of the college and had bullet points showing the well-researched strengths and weaknesses of each school.

I remember on the weekends, as these lists would be created, edited, and sometimes torn from the wall and tossed in the trash, I would listen from another room as Ally and her dad would chat, laugh, and argue while discussing her college search. I was not necessarily drawn into their conversations, sometimes feeling left out and jealous of their commitment to the process. It wasn’t that they weren’t willing to include me – believe me they were! However, instead of joining the conversation, I tried to quietly walk past or find an errand to run so that I could remove myself from the activity.

I was at peace and I didn’t know why.

Why, at a time when I should have been hovering, talking more than listening, and giving my advice, had I become absent? After all, I am a stay-at-home mom. And like all stay-at-home moms, I was committed, I was sometimes annoying, and I was certainly the stereotypical helicopter parent. So why wasn’t I doing my job?

I had always been there to help Ally make those important life decisions. Which Build-a-Bear should I buy? Should I spend all my money on a Justin Bieber concert T-shirt? Am I a vegetarian or should I eat the burger? So why wasn’t I there now? How had I become quiet, peaceful, and confident at a time like this? Why was I confident in her ability to make this HUGE decision without me bothering her every step of the way?

As my daughter graduates from Trinity University, I now realize that the years of hovering, teaching, guiding, inspiring, modeling, and loving paid off. It led Ally to make the huge decision to attend Trinity, a school that has the same values that we instilled in her and our son, Ethan. It just felt right; she had found a university that mirrored everything we had been working so hard to impart on our children.

Trinity, like our home, provides love and support, but encourages her to take risks and face challenges.

Trinity, like our home, provides friends and professors that become family and provides her with connections to never feel alone.

Trinity, like our home, provides her with enrichment and the opportunity to nourish her talents.

Trinity University mom Jennifer Mackender and Allyson
Trinity mom Jennifer Mackender with daughter Allyson '17
Trinity, like our home, emphasizes the importance of embracing and accepting diversity and helping others.

So, prospective parents, as you watch your son or daughter make their huge college decision, be quiet as they process, be thoughtful as they share, and be confident as they waver. Most importantly, though, know that if they choose Trinity University, the students, faculty, and community will be there to pick up from where you left off. You’ve done well, mom and dad.

About Jennifer

Jennifer Mackender resides in Denver, Colorado. Her daughter, Allyson, graduated Saturday, May 13 with a bachelor’s degree in English. Her son, Ethan, is finishing his first year as a business student at Carthage College in Wisconsin. She is most proud of raising her two college-aged kids to be happy, healthy, and independent. She is a public health educator and enjoys spending time with her family, watching ’Husker football and breathing in the fresh air of the Rocky Mountains.
Trinity University student Brenna Hill, right, and her mom

(Editor’s note: In advance of Trinity’s Commencement on Saturday, May 13, this mom reflects on The Hunt for the right college and just how right Trinity was for her daughter.)

by Barrie Page Hill—

I knew we were in trouble when the plane made yet another merry-go-round swoop, circling the sprawling Atlanta area, waiting for clearance to land. Flight attendants buckled into jump seats; the red warning light kept crew and passengers tethered. The kind man in the aisle seat directed the overheat vents toward my daughter, who sat, motionless, ashen, gripping the armrests. The plane dipped and banked as the tiny houses below whirled in a colorful, patchwork kaleidoscope.

I rummaged in the seat pocket and ferreted out the crumpled white bag and thrust it into action just as my daughter lurched and wretched. The plane made a final swoop, straightened, and frazzled passengers exhaled a collective sigh when the wheels finally bumped the pavement.

After the plane rolled to the gate and passengers crowded the aisles, tugging open overhead bins, a flight attendant offered up a bottle of water and dampened paper towels. My flummoxed and abashed daughter sheepishly apologized for the disruption. The kind man in the aisle seat patted her arm, told her he had daughters of his own at home, hoped that she felt better and that her college visits would go well.

This was one of the first of many adventures my daughter and I shared when we started the exciting -- yet daunting -- challenge of narrowing down her long list of potential colleges. Our trip to Atlanta was flanked by visits to LA and Little Rock, Oklahoma and New Orleans.

For this mom, packing a suitcase and heading out to visit a campus was a perfect excuse for packing in another memorable trip with my soon-to-grad-high-school daughter. I was racking up mileage and memories while she earnestly tried to picture herself in the campuses’ hallowed halls.

We dusted ourselves with white powdered beignets and bustled through the bawdy crowds on Bourbon Street. We posed under the Hollywood sign and marveled at the hilltop view from a posh college in Malibu. We sampled street food and hailed yellow cabs in New York. We yelled “Boomer Sooner” and warbled “Oklahoma” as we crossed the Red River to visit my mom’s alma mater. At the campus bookstore, my daughter bought a coffee mug to cart home for her grandmother.

Together, my daughter and I trampled across the Lone Star State on long, lovely, weekend road trips. We’d pin on name badges and meet up with bouncy tour guides who rattled off college facts and pointed out campus amenities.

During The College Hunt, my daughter kept a huge whiteboard, using it to chart applications, essay deadlines, acceptance letters, and scheduled visits. She tallied tuition costs, national rankings and potential scholarship opportunities.

I was giddy to be part of The Hunt, thrilled that my serious, studious and pragmatic daughter was weighing the pros and cons of each school and not swayed by whether the football team made it to the Final 10 or if the party scene was adequate for a sheltered kid from the suburbs with strict parents who would soon dismiss curfews and make her own decisions.

I was honored to be part of The Hunt, humbled that my daughter wanted me to ride shotgun on visits as she narrowed the field. We visited small towns and big cities; Campuses touting co-ed dorms and religious classes. We visited party towns and sleepy hamlets. As the months went by and airline miles grew, more red Xs colored the board when potential destinations didn’t make the cut.

Trinity University student government presidents Nick Santulli and Brenna Hill
Brenna Hill, right, is a former SGA president who helped bring B-cycle service to Trinity. 
It was really no surprise when one university rose to the top of the list -- and after an impressive and impressionable campus visit -- my daughter was officially smitten with her No. 1 choice. I was secretly relieved that my daughter’s ultimate selection was not taking her out of state or across the country.

I had felt the same when we visited the campus -- some intrinsic feeling that this was my daughter’s place, that she belonged here, that this is the school I’d secretly hoped she would select. I kept my opinions to myself and carefully gauged my daughter’s reactions when we visited classrooms, dorms, Mabee Cafeteria. I was pleased when she met two other girls on the visit, the trio chatting like longtime chums.

Likewise, I met up with a wonderful and charming group of parents. Under colorful umbrellas on the meandering River Walk, we spent a pleasant evening dining and sipping margaritas while our kids were off learning more about their potential college. After our amazing weekend visit, my daughter was giddy and excited on the drive back.

I came home from work one day to find my daughter dragging the whiteboard down the hall to stow in the garage. She filled out her acceptance form and started calling herself a Trinity University Tiger. Soon high school T shirts were replaced by a TU jersey. When she posted about her decision on social media, it started to sink in; I started to believe it. The Hunt was over. My daughter had made one of the most important decisions of her life and a whole new adventure was about to begin.

I have not once regretted my daughter’s choice of schools. Trinity has been my student’s ideal match. As a mom, I am amazed and awed to have had the privilege of watching my daughter’s transformation from shy First Year to confident and capable Senior in the four years she has called Trinity and San Antonio home.

I think about to those early college visits when my smart, but very shy, daughter wouldn’t even consider a dorm stay to learn more about the school. I think about the lunches in crowded cafeterias, when my shy kiddo was hesitant to join a table of other parent-student teams. I think about that Atlanta flight, thinking then, that there was no way my daughter could leave home and travel across the country. She was too young. She’d never find her luggage at baggage claim. She’d lose her airline ticket. She’d get snatched while hailing a cab. She was my baby.

I think about that Atlanta flight and remember how worried I was -- not that my 17-year-old was sick from turbulence -- but that stern and severe gut punch every parent gets when they finally realize they’re about to have to let go and let their child figure out how to find the air sick sack on their own.

Unbelievably, I soon found us packing up the family sedan, buying dorm room essentials, and she was off. My little girl was about to grow up.

My daughter’s four years at Trinity have been, quite simply, amazing. Once she made up her mind, she set forth on her educational journey, seizing every opportunity, embracing her quest for knowledge in the classroom and through her associations with an amazing group of professors, administrators, friends and colleagues. She has experienced dorm life, sorority sisterhood, frat parties, afternoon teas, fine dining, nights of take-out pizza, her first crush, first apartment, grocery shopping, budgeting, and balancing the transition from student to soon-be-grad. She has learned the yin and yang of work and play, juggling and prioritizing and keeping it all in perspective; (something her driven, OCD-prone mom has yet to master.) I am in awe of my daughter’s drive, determination, and dedication.

Through Trinity, my daughter claims a close posse of smart and amazing friends who have become her second family. They are ambitious and humble, loyal and funny. After graduation, they will scatter like dandelion seeds on the wind, to do great and wonderful things. They will, no doubt, keep in touch. These friends will remain, lifelong and true. Likewise, my daughter has assembled an impressive team of mentors -- professors and staff and colleagues and associates from whom she has learned so much. It is to these amazing minds she will, no doubt, continue to turn for professional and personal advice in the years to come. She is a part of something special: A legacy of learning. A community of caring. Alumna of an amazing university that fosters the very best in its students.

Trinity student Brenna Hill with her mom in New York
Barrie and Brenna Hill in New York City.
My daughter is loyal, trustworthy and does what she says she will do. She thinks critically, analyzes aptly and has a world perspective that many my age will never possess. Through Trinity, my daughter has become an intrepid traveler, studying abroad in Germany and Spain. She wasn’t snatched while hailing a cab. She did, however, get stung by some strange insect while sunning in a Madrid park and her ankle swelled up like a tree stump. (No, this neurotic mom did not board a hastily booked flight, though it was tempting when I first saw the texted pictures of the swollen and misshapen ankle.) My daughter and her host family managed just fine without me, and she recovered to enjoy an incredible summer. She has hundreds of photos documenting her adventures. At the end of the trip, my traveler’s flight back was uneventful and non-turbulent. She never even needed the white bag.

For my daughter, Trinity has provided an incredible education; a place where she was encouraged to explore, experiment, learn, listen, engage, evolve -- and become herself.

In a few days, my husband and I will pack a suitcase. We’ll be making another road trip. This time, we’ll gather with other proud parents, watch through misty eyes as our little girl, our daughter, accepts her diploma. Four years of tests and teamwork, research papers and projects, exploration and adventure will be acknowledged. We are proud of our daughter’s scholarship. We are proud of her perseverance. Mostly, we are proud that she has become the person we always hoped she would be. She is capable and confident, able to take on life’s blessings and bounty and bumps in the road. She is Herself.

And this mom has absolutely no doubt my daughter will be able to find that little white bag should she ever need it.

Fly, my little bird, fly. You have wings and places to go.

About Barrie

Barrie Page Hill, proud mom of Brenna Hill (TU class of 2017), is a former broadcast and print reporter currently serving as an academic advisor at a large public university to students entering the field of communication. Barrie still accepts occasional freelance writing assignments and contributes randomly to her blog at https://barriepagehill.wordpress.com/author/barriepagehill/ where she chronicles experiences as primary caregiver for her mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Barrie and her family live in Arlington, Texas, with a menagerie of rescue pets.

Brenna will graduate with majors in urban studies and sociology and minors in political science and Spanish. At her next stop, she will be a development coordinator with the Make-A-Wish office for central and south Texas.


(Editor's note: In honor of Earth Week, we are sharing an essay by a family that chose Trinity University because of its commitment to sustainability.)

by Jill and Mary Cooper --

In 2013, we were on the circuit tour of university campuses in search for the best match for our daughter. Lindsey always had a passion for the environment and the protection of natural resources, and as her parents, we wanted to foster that appreciation. It quickly became apparent that the campus she chose would not only have to be of high academic quality, but to also be the greenest campus possible.

Our first steps on Trinity University's grounds led us to the stream of recycled water that flowed throughout the middle of campus. As we toured various buildings, Lindsey pointed out the plaques stating LEED certifications. She immediately explained to us that LEED certifications required stringent criteria given to projects that exhibited “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.”

Additionally, at every turn we were happy to discover recycling bins next to trash cans for sorting and collecting not only garbage but recyclables. Although not every prospective student and parent probably notices these things, we were immediately drawn to them! Knowing that Trinity supports sustainability issues and is on the forefront of research to advance that study was, and continues to be, most impressive.

Mary Cooper, Lindsey Yazbek, and Jill Cooper celebrate Lindsey's "Unsung Hero" Award.

In Lindsey’s first year she joined SOS (Students for Sustainability) and jumped right into furthering her interests. Promoting the sustainable garden, enhancing recycling issues, and studying geosciences and environmental studies was the perfect trifecta for our “green inclined” daughter. The following year she became co-president of the student organization. We were proud of the direction she took in leading the renamed organization, Eco Allies, with sponsored displays, demonstrations, and work on campus promoting sustainability.

The faculty and staff at Trinity were and continue to be supportive of those efforts as she was given the “green” light on all proposed ideas and requests. Lindsey was even able to work with professors on research with reclaimed and recycled water and its value. The epitome of all that hard work combined with her passion culminated this month when she was named the recipient of the “Unsung Hero Award” in honor of her work in sustainability at Trinity. This most green campus was certainly the best fit for our greenest daughter.

About Jill and Mary Cooper

Jill and Mary reside in Buda, Texas, outside Austin. They have had similar career paths. Both are retired kindergarten teachers from the Austin Independent School District, each with 30 years’ experience in the classroom. Mary is currently employed as an administrative assistant for an aerospace engineering firm in Kyle, Texas, and is also a professional scorer for nationwide student standardized testing. Jill is a part-time tutor in reading and math for fourth and fifth grade students in Austin, and also drives for a local ridesharing company (Ride/Austin) in her spare time.