by Jay and Brian Wenzel –

As our daughter, Samantha Wenzel, graduated from Trinity University’s Masters in Accounting program and prepared to enter the “real world,” we found ourselves amazed at the transformation she went through during her five years at Trinity University. Trinity provided a close-knit and comfortable environment that allowed our daughter to not only find her career, but also grow her integrity and maturity.

Sami went to Trinity not knowing what she wanted to study or even what she wanted to do after college. She now leaves with dreams, direction, and a zest for life that is already opening doors as she makes her own way in the world.

As an institution, Trinity understands its role to help develop, guide, and inspire young adults. In our view, Trinity performed this role with flying colors. From our very first interactions with the Trinity Admissions staff to the day Sami moved into her dorm as a first-year student, the Trinity faculty, staff, and students made it abundantly clear that they sincerely wanted her to join their community. Ultimately, this played a large role in our daughter’s decision to attend.

Although her mother and I both attended Colorado College, a small liberal arts school similar to Trinity, it was the setting and the feel of Trinity, along with the breadth of degree options, which ultimately convinced our daughter to choose Trinity University.

The liberal arts curriculum at Trinity allows students to pursue scientific and mathematical degrees, such as accounting, while also gaining a broader understanding of the arts and humanities. In her time at Trinity, Sami was able to explore numerous areas unrelated to her accounting degree. In addition to pursuing minors in both english and economics, Sami took courses in photography, religion, racquetball, and a myriad of other unique topics.

This breadth of knowledge fostered creativity and problem-solving skills that helped Sami stand out when she began applying for internships with the Big Four accounting firms. By the spring of her senior year, Sami had already completed an internship with Deloitte & Touche and accepted a full-time position – over a year before she would even start working.

Mike Wilkins, the Jesse H. Jones Professor of Accounting, shares insights during class.
Aside from the wide range of courses Sami was able to take at Trinity, the most unique aspect of Sami’s college experience was the relationships she formed with her professors. Trinity’s qualified professors inspire an enthusiasm for learning that is not easily achieved. Sami’s professors were engaging and effective in the classroom, but they also went above and beyond to develop personal relationships with Sami outside of the classroom and push her to do her best. These relationships created a depth of learning that allowed Sami to truly engage in her education. Several of Sami’s professors have become mentors with whom she will keep in touch even after college.

Sami now graduates from Trinity with confidence, determination, and technical skills to pursue her goals. Trinity has given her an excellent foundation for starting her career as an auditor at Deloitte & Touche in Houston.

About Jay and Brian

Jay and Brian obtained their undergraduate degrees from Colorado College – Jay’s in sociology, Brian’s in chemistry. Brian went on to get his MBA from the McCombs School of Business and Jay later obtained her Master’s of Special Education from the University of Anchorage, Alaska. Brian’s job with Phillips 66 took the family to Oklahoma, Qatar, Australia, Alaska, and eventually Texas, where they currently reside. Both parents are pictured above with Sami and her brother, Zach, who will be a freshman at Auburn University in the fall.

by Marilyn McCullough

Congratulations! If you are reading this, then you’ve probably been asked to tag along with your son or daughter on a college campus tour, which is always a plus.

Now what?

As a parent, you will inevitably have different questions than your child when going on a college tour. And, there is a fine line between how many questions you ask the tour guide before you get kicked under the table and are on the receiving end of a snarky glare. However, we are parents…it is our job to ask lots of questions and sometimes embarrass our kids, right?

Here are several questions I asked when visiting Trinity University. 
  • What is the academic experience? What is the curriculum structure, size of classes, and accessibility to faculty?
  • Who teaches the classes? Teaching assistants? Professors? And, inquire whether this is the case for all four years.
  • Outcomes – what are some prominent alumni?
  • What is the institution’s emphasis and availability to the Career Services office?
  • What is the campus life experience? How would your tour guide describe his or her time on campus and what would they say about their quality of life, e.g., dorms, food options, sense of community, etc.?
  • Graduation rates – what percentage of students graduate in four years?
Trinity University student points to the solution.

Accessibility, health, and counseling services. What resources are in place and readily available for students?

Campus safety – Is there an escort service? 24/7 dispatch service? What types of alert systems are in place? For more on this topic, see “What Makes A Safe College Campus?”

Costs and financial aid, of course. Ask where you can find more detailed resources as well. Note: the cost and financial aid question should probably be researched a bit before stepping foot on campus.

What parent resources are available? How does the institution connect with parents?

Finally, get your tour guide to give as many personal examples as you can. It is about the facts and figures, but also about a student’s authentic perspective.

What is there to do in the city? Do students stay on campus on the weekend or is it empty?

Trinity University students and faculty take part in Moth Night at the Alamo Brewery.
If you are starting the touring process over the summer, and coupling this with summer vacations, you are brilliant and ahead of the game. The fall is when touring season ramps up – or at least it did for our family. Regardless of when you visit college campuses, a tour is invaluable because it really allows you to get a sense of the place. It also allows your child to reflect on what it might be like to call this institution home for the next four years.

Best of luck! You are embarking on an exciting process.

About Marilyn

Marilyn McCullough, an Arizona resident by way of New York, is a docent at Ft. Tuthill Military Museum and retired teacher. She sent two children to Trinity University.

by Leslie Wan –

I wanted my daughter to complete her undergraduate education after gaining lots of new experiences. High up there with academic success and opportunities for her future, I wanted her to become a global citizen with exposure to all kinds of culture this world has to offer.

Fortunately, we agreed that the university she attended would be one that celebrated international students and international study. My preference was for a school that would be small enough that students of cultures are integrated fully in the university community, but not so small they stayed isolated because integration into the mainstream would be difficult. My daughter had always had international friends, and I knew that was something that would continue. As an international student to Trinity University from Jamaica, I had seen firsthand what a privilege and growth that international exposure had been for her. Jamaica is a true melting pot of cultures. "Out of many - one people" is the island motto, and Trinity was the bridge for taking that even further.

Her choice of Trinity as her undergraduate university had much to do with the above and also much to do with its location in San Antonio, which is an amazing city, rich with culture and history. She immersed herself in the international club and international students, while enjoying ALL the other activities the university had to offer and its interesting and diverse curriculum. She chose to study abroad in her junior year which is another of the opportunities that Trinity truly encourages. Every phone call I received as she studied abroad was full of tales of joy, laughter, and cultural immersion. I might add that Trinity’s study abroad staff does a BANG UP job of preparing them for their travels and giving them a full understanding of dos and don'ts.

As her mother, I watched the global celebration and global perspective those four years at Trinity gave her. At graduation she had become the culturally exposed woman that would take on today's globally connected and diverse world. Ultimately it also became the initial steps that lead to her career path. I remain a true ambassador for Trinity and the opportunities it gave Christina to celebrate how amazing the world can really be if you become a participant in understanding its diversity and global complexities. Let's just say that Jamaica's "Out of many one people" grew exponentially more significant at Trinity University.

International fast facts From Trinity:

1. Trinity students hail from 65 different countries. (It varies from year to year.)

2. In any given year, Trinity students study abroad in approximately 35 different countries. Latin America, Africa, Oceania, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and domestic study opportunities as well. These are all places where Trinity students diverge and immerse themselves.

3. There is a vibrant international club that holds many activities within the full Trinity community and exposes the student body to some cultural perspective from their home countries. What college student doesn't want to try new foods or hear new music trends from around the world?

4. Part of Trinity's 10 year strategic plan (Trinity Tomorrow) includes as an objective to "Enhance International Engagement and Awareness." Its objective further states, "In an increasingly diverse and interconnected world, students must develop the knowledge and skills to be effective citizens of the world, able to communicate, understand and do business with non-Americans. Trinity will develop our students by enabling them to live, work and study abroad as well as through academic and co-curricular offerings on our San Antonio campus."

5. A few high points of that above objective (paraphrased)

  • Strengthen international engagement and awareness by sending Trinity to international destinations and enrolling a significant population of students from countries outside the U.S. 
  • Provide an education that emphasizes international engagement and staff a variety of courses across the disciplines and regions of the globe.
  • Create a center for International Citizenship that will serve as a home for the campus's international activities. Its functions are many tiered but all are related to raising the visibility and magnifying the impact of Trinity's global efforts.

About Leslie
Leslie's daughter graduated from Trinity in 2010, but the mom remains a true ambassador for the University.  Her daughter Christina now works as a university student administration professional, and Leslie continues to pursue special needs work and her passion for personal/professional writing and public speaking. She writes a blog (, and speaks and volunteers in support of the special needs community in Jamaica.