Trinity parents benefited from the ‘army of gray shirts’

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.








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