Team Trinity on move in day

by Susie P. Gonzalez -- 

Sitting on the floor of his daughter’s room at Trinity University’s Witt-Winn Residence Hall to assemble a shelf, a tired and sweat-soaked Paul Kennedy said, “We couldn’t have done it without the army of gray shirts.”

Kennedy was talking about Team Trinity, the administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni who annually help move in first-year students when they and their families drive up to their residence hall. Cheers and waves greeted the newcomers, followed by shouts of, “Welcome to Trinity!” Then, in a flash, people adorned in gray T-shirts whisked suitcases, boxes, bags, and other items to the student’s room. The shirts for 2016 were gray, although the color changes annually. But for Kennedy and his family, it was the perfect color and the perfect number of people.

“I’d heard about Team Trinity,” said his wife, Domi Long. “We knew what to expect but I thought I’d see about 20 people.”
Kennedy-Long family at Trinity University
The Kennedy-Long Family on move-in day: mom Domi Long, first year Frannie Kennedy-Long, and dad Paul Kennedy.
Instead, there were more than 300. The spirited assemblage included University president Danny Anderson, who donned a gray shirt along with his wife, Kimberly. At one point, the Stand Band performed to liven up the atmosphere outside Beze Residence Hall as cars pulled up. Sprinkles of rain fell, but most people were glad the drizzle kept temperatures in the 80s instead of the seasonal high of 100 degrees recorded the previous week.

Kennedy and Long had driven three days from Silver Spring, Md., to deliver daughter Frannie Kennedy-Long to Trinity. “I was very impressed,” the mom said of the move-in helpers.

Frannie’s roommate, Logan Felton, and her parents trekked to campus from Houston and said the move-in process was “a lot better” at Trinity than at another San Antonio school where their older daughter attends.

Logan’s father, Guy Felton, had spent the previous day hoisting boxes for the other daughter and was grateful for the help from Team Trinity. “It was very well organized,” said Logan’s mom, Cassandra Felton.
Felton family at Trinity University
The Logan Family: mom Cassandra, first year Logan, and dad Guy.
Frannie and Logan are one of about 660 first-year students at Trinity this fall, representing one of the largest and most diverse classes in the University’s history. More than 37 percent are students of color, 18 percent of first-years are Pell eligible, and 15 percent are first-generation college students. Nearly 46 percent are male, 24 percent are from outside Texas and the U.S., and nine students are National Merit Scholars.

In Hernden Residence Hall, Janeen Bogue and her husband Darrin were putting sheets on son Max’s bed while he went to get his student ID. Their generosity was fueled by a tip from athletes and alumni gathered at the Colorado Send Off to prepare first-year students headed for Trinity so they feel part of the Tiger community. The Bogues, who hail from Boulder, drove 14 ½ hours and said the move-in process took “all of five minutes.”
Kennedy-Long family at Trinity University
Hernden Hall families, from left,  Janeen Bogue with first year Griffin Gaedke and his mom Gina Gaedke, and Darrin Bogue. 
Son Max was thrilled to meet his roommate, Griffin Gaedke, whose mom Gina is a Trinity alumna from the class of 1989 and her dad graduated in 1990. Gina said she also lived in Hernden her sophomore year but on another floor. She recalled a ban on microwaves and refrigerators at that time, unlike today when both appliances are furnished.

The Gaedkes, who are from San Antonio, already relate to “Team Trinity” since both are alumni and because Griffin’s grandfather, Rudolph Gaedke, is an emeritus professor of physics.

About Susie

Susie P. Gonzalez, senior manager of public relations at Trinity, can be reached at susie.gonzalez@trinity.edu or @susiegonz.








Trinity University students on move in day

by Dave Taylor—

It’s a bit hard for me to wrap my head around the concept, but the truth is staring me in the face, the calendar doesn’t lie and my oldest, A-, is heading off for college on Monday, a college that’s almost 1,000 miles away from home. It’s been quite a journey for all of us to get here and in many ways she has borne the brunt of my divorce and the subsequent decade of living a two-household life.

As a result, I’d be remiss if I didn’t start this with huge props to her for getting to this point, being accepted to a really good college and having the courage to say “yes”, show up on move-in day and begin the next chapter of her young life!

Still, one consequence of a decade of dual-house living is that she’s been clear since the beginning of the discussion that she wanted to “get outta Dodge” and refused to even consider any colleges in our home state of Colorado. And I respect her for that decision and contrast it with my own less adventurous choice to attend the University of California, San Diego, a mere 140 miles from my parents’ home in greater Los Angeles all those years ago when I was an undergrad.

Much of the journey into college is about what high-falutin’ shrinks call “individuation” and it’s a delight to watch A- become her own woman, making her own decisions about what she believes is best for her and her future, not just agreeing with whatever her mother or I suggest. This is not without its occasional conflict, of course, but that’s part of the process too.

Trinity University students dance at All Campus Picnic
Trinity students having fun before the All-Campus Picnic during New Student Orientation.
Of course, the college she’s chosen, Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, is her Mom’s alma mater, but I trust that A- has assessed all of her college options and determined that it’s her best choice, whether or not Mom attended many years ago. And if it’s not the perfect fit? People do transfer, and there are many other colleges and universities that would be darn lucky to have her as an undergrad student and member of the campus community.

Here’s what’s weird, though: I’ve never stepped foot on campus and my girl’s moving there in less than a week!

Fortunately, there’s the Internet, and so I now know that Trinity is located in the heart of historic San Antonio, Texas (remember the Alamo?), it’s a small liberal arts school with just over 2,200 students and has a respectable 9:1 student / teacher ratio. The average incoming freshman has a 3.52 GPA and she fits right in with those stats, having gone to a small private school where classes were measured in dozens, not hundreds.

I’ve also been to San Antonio before – I actually co-hosted a conference there many years ago – and fondly remember the beautiful San Antonio Riverwalk.

The Riverwalk area is a fun and very tourist-friendly place with some terrific food options and there’s lots else to see in and around “San Antone,” as locals call it, including, yes, the Alamo, scene of the famous battle where Davy Crockett lost his life.

But just as my undergrad life had little to do with the nightlife and attractions in San Diego, I somehow expect that A-‘s experience is going to be much more defined by her residence hall, her dorm room — and roommate! — and the ever-popular dining hall.

Add to the list classrooms and the library and you have most of an undergrad’s first year covered. Actually, a modern college might have so much information available online through the campus intranet that perhaps libraries are obsolete?

My undergrad degree was in computer science, so the computer labs were all important to us, particularly in the first year or two, but I have a feeling that A- will find the gym a better place to work off the stress of her college adventures and challenges, since after all, the computer she’ll have on her desk is far more sophisticated than the big, expensive mainframes we had back in the day!

Move in day at Trinity University
Trinity University students on move in day.
Still, as much as I’m excited and proud to see her poised to open a new chapter in her life, a chapter that really marks the transition from child to adult, I’m also a bit nostalgic for when I was a major player in her life. It’s been a journey with its turbulence and challenges, but it’s been quite an adventure nonetheless and I couldn’t be prouder of her!

Ahhh… ultimately it’s all good, this is how transitions go, but yeah, there might just be a slight hint of moisture in my eyes when I watch her head on down the highway and into the bright sunshine of her future.


About Dave

Denver/Boulder blogger Dave Taylor writes about his experiences as a single dad with three great kids and his occasionally tenuous grip on sanity. Pretty sure they’re related. You can find (or subscribe!) to his blog, Go Fatherhood, by going here
Trinity University student in dorm
by Alfred Rodriguez –

The transition into adulthood carries many new experiences, responsibilities, and choices. Each year, Trinity University is honored to host an exceptional class of new students and to facilitate this transition by providing support and assistance to both parents and students in what can be a trying time.

Something new in the college adventure is the role of Trinity students as advocates for themselves regarding their learning experience. They must bear primary responsibility for directing their own progress and achieving their own goals. Of course, parents and others may offer their support, and the vast majority of our students are eager to receive such support.

The University encourages student responsibility and individual initiative while maintaining compliance with federal legislation and recommended principles of confidentiality. Trinity complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended. This Act was designed to protect students’ rights by maintaining the privacy of educational records, establishing the rights of students to review their education records, and providing guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading information.
Trinity University students
Federal laws protect the privacy of college students.
Upon enrollment in college, the rights afforded under FERPA are transferred from the parent to the individual student. Therefore, it is important to note that in many circumstances, Trinity University may not be permitted to release education records to parents.

Because parents have significant concern for, and a legitimate interest in their child's academic performance, it is important for parents and students to arrive at a mutually satisfactory agreement regarding the release of education records. Parents who would like to receive grade reports or access to other protected education records should request that their son or daughter sign a Student Consent to Release Educational Records form (available online or in the Office of the Registrar). If this form is completed, parents may receive grade reports upon written request unless the student revokes the consent in writing. Although certain exceptions apply, under FERPA, grades, financial information, and other education records are not to be disclosed to parents or anyone else outside the University without a student's prior written permission.
Trinity University students
Students must sign a form to share certain information, such as grades, with parents.

Students’ employment records, medical treatment records, and most counseling records are not educational records as defined in FERPA. Other laws as well as professional ethics protect their confidentiality. The University is not permitted to disclose information contained in medical treatment records or protected counseling records to anyone, including parents, without specific prior written consent of the student, if the student is at least 18 years old. Certain exceptions apply to protect the health or safety of the student.

Parents with questions about the University's policies concerning disclosure of academic records are invited to contact the University Registrar (Roffice@trinity.edu). For questions regarding disciplinary or other records, parents may contact the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (Student.Affairs@trinity.edu).


About Alfred

Alfred “Fred” Rodriguez has been the Registrar at Trinity University since 2000. He also is the proud father of a college sophomore.