by  Aliza Holzman-Cantu —

Behind many successful Trinity students stands a proud parent. That parent is someone who has seen his or her child grow from infancy to those teen-age years that give some of us gray hair! Although I know it's tough to let go, sometimes the best parenting advice is to give your child "roots and wings."

I am certain our Trinity parents have done an exceptional job giving their student "roots" – roots in manners, in studying, in patience, and possibly even in sports competitions or other extracurricular events. Now it's time to trust those "wings" – to let your child fly into adulthood.

Along the way, you will not stop being a parent and you will probably follow information from Trinity and learn about our community. That's why I'm inviting you to become part of the Trinity University Parent Council, a group of parents who are ambassadors and investors in the University. Our Council serves as an advisory and advocacy group, helping to foster a sense of community among parents of students and alumni while supporting the unique

Trinity experience that inspires and empowers students to become successful.

Parents meet with faculty during Fall Family Weekend.

The Parent Council board and I are excited to be actively building and forming this organization, so there's no better time than the present to join us. Member responsibilities include: serving on a committee or committees, supporting the University by participating in special projects and sharing personal expertise and skills, representing the Council by attending events and connecting with other parents in an effort to encourage camaraderie, annually supporting the Parents Fund at a level of their choosing, and attending meetings as they are able (meetings are held during Fall Family Weekend and Spring Family Weekend).

The committees on our Council are varied and we hope you find one or more that you will join. To get involved with our council please follow this link: Join Our Parent Council. Please note that our newest committee, Diversity and Inclusion, may not yet be listed on the questionnaire. We are excited about the creation of this group that will advise the Parent Council and parent programs staff on issues related to diversity and campus climate to ensure that all members of our community are included in our efforts. To join this committee, simply select the final bubble in the survey: "Contact me for other participation opportunities." Let us know about your interests and we will be in contact with you shortly.

For more information about the Trinity University Parent Council, contact Aliza Holzman-Cantu at

About Aliza

Aliza Holzman-Cantu is director of Parent Giving and Engagement and truly loves getting to know Trinity parents. She received both her bachelor's degree in communication and Master of Arts 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 Texas Ex) and her two daughters, Sophie (12th grade) and Iliana (9th grade). Aliza is thrilled to be working at Trinity – “It feels like coming home.”
Trinity University student Lauren Pettinati and her mom

by Karie Pettinati--

Editor's note: Last week, the mother of a Trinity University sophomore wrote about her daughter's experience taking over the University's Twitter account. You can read her account here. This week, we are sharing the view from the mother of that student's roommate, who says she now has two daughters, by virtue of the "binding roommate contract," and is thrilled they are at Trinity. 

Finding the right roommate is an important part of the college experience. My daughter Lauren, a sophomore at Trinity University, couldn’t be more different from her roommate, Hannah, aka my newly adopted daughter by virtue of the “binding roommate contract.” Their differences are evident in their Twitter posts. One is a vegetarian and one doesn’t like breakfast tacos.

I really think the only thing they have in common is their love of baby animals. What is great about their friendship and this school for putting kids like this together is their kindness and respect for each other. They tease each other about everything, but the ribbing is taken with a grain of salt and a good sense of humor.

I love the fact that they can talk to each other bluntly, openly and honestly about their different beliefs on politics, religion, or who the greatest golfer is, and not be offended by their disagreement. Maybe it’s from kindness and consideration or a level of intelligence that makes someone open to listen as well as be heard. Maybe it’s just something in the water? I’m not sure, but I know it’s not just something these two possess.

On the subject of kindness and consideration, I recently had the pleasure of supporting my daughter and her Tiger Golfer teammates on the greens in beautiful Seguin. Afterward, Lauren and I grabbed a bite to eat and coincidentally met a Trinity football playing grad from the class of ’77! He agreed the campus is great and told us stories of how the football field has improved immensely. Props to the greens keepers…. wait, no that’s golf….props to the guys that spray on the lines. That can’t be an easy job! Anyway, our class of ’77 friend, like most every other TU student, faculty and staff from admissions to security and janitorial impressed me, of course, with his kindness and consideration.
Trinity University golfer Lauren Pettinati
Trinity University sophomore Lauren Pettinati is a member of the Tiger Women's Golf Team.
So when Lauren told me the University asked her and Hannah to take over the Trinity Twitter account, I asked, “Why you two?” My initial reaction was: “Why would they do that?” and “What are you doing?” I didn’t understand. It was confusing, and I thought I should say, “Congratulations…..right?”

After a little enlightening, I learned a little more about Twitter and stopped questioning the decision makers who chose Lauren and Hannah for the Twitter Takeover. There are so many kids on this campus that represent skill in bringing people together instead of pulling them apart and in listening and learning instead of judging and condemning. I guess I’m just proud that they live this way, proud that they go to a school that encourages this behavior. The world could use a little more of that.

Actually, I’m really proud – proud of the girls and proud of this school.

In closing:

1. No, those are not puppy noises coming from the dorm room.

2. I can’t wait to see who you talk into doing this next.

3. Go Tigers!

by Trudi-Brooke Mann –

Editor’s note: To get a student’s-eye view of the first week of school this fall semester, Trinity University turned the keys to the social media platform Twitter over to sophomores Hannah-Elyse Konyecsni (@bahannahsplit27) and Lauren Pettinati (@laurenpettinati) for a week. You can read about their experience on the student blog, The Trinity Perspective, here.

When I first heard that Hannah and her roommate Lauren were going to take over Trinity University’s Twitter account, I’ll admit I was excited because Hannah was excited. I didn’t really grasp the significance of the “takeover.”

Hannah and her mom.
I wasn’t a Twitter user. That was Hannah’s private space because Twitter “wasn’t for parents.” That’s okay because I really wasn’t that interested anyway. That all changed on Twitter Day #1. She woke up early and started texting me trying to get ideas for that all important first tweet. I gave her a dozen ideas, some interesting, some great in my opinion and some absolute crap. Hannah ended up doing what she always does, ignoring my ideas and coming up with something that’s totally her. A little retro, a little quirky and a lot funny.

That first day was a whirlwind. It was so much bigger than I imagined. Over the next few days there were radio interviews, two television interviews, and lots of attention. There were funny tweets, inspirational tweets, and tweets I didn’t always understand. It seemed to be a hit. I made my own Twitter account just to be able to follow the Takeover Twins.

Lauren and her mom.
Trinity provides its students with such amazing opportunities to explore and grow. Interestingly it’s managed to do the same for this Trinity parent.

About Trudi-Brooke

Trudi-Brooke Mann is the mom of a sophomore from Austin, Texas. She fills the time when she’s not at work with fluffing her empty nest, doing Pilates, and stalking her only child on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Trinity University equestrienne Chelsea Runacres

by Roger Runacres —

In discussions with our oldest daughter, Chelsea, about where she would like to attend college, two things kept coming up: warm climate and horse friendly. Okay, fair enough. We really couldn’t expect a sixth grader to place academics at the top of her list. As time went on, these two requirements remained very important to her, as well as educational opportunities, in selection of a college. As parents, we were committed to letting our kids make their own college decision. After all, they would be the ones attending, not us. In the end, we put our strong opinions aside and are thrilled Chelsea ultimately decided on Trinity University.

An avid equestrian by age 7, Chelsea will always have horses in her life. To her, riding is a normal part of her weekly agenda like going to the gym for a workout might be to another. It has helped her be organized and time efficient. It has helped her keep perspective, focus her energies, and accept responsibility. Consequently, riding in college was to be included, not as a distraction to her academics but as an enhancement to her educational experience and healthy partner to her class and study schedule. She had also decided she would rather ride on a club team than a varsity team as she was not prepared to commit to the rigors required of varsity equestrian competition. We fully endorsed her decision.

As Chelsea’s high school days passed, we toured many college campuses near our home in Washington State and in the southern part of the U.S. as well. Options in life are always a good thing except when confronted by too much information. I worried we had looked at too many colleges: how would she choose out of the dozen or so places we visited? All were great schools, capable of providing her what she wanted educationally as well as socially and recreationally. Thankfully, we had enlisted the help of an independent college advisor in Seattle, who suggested we meet with Trinity’s advisor who was scheduled to be in town. Without a doubt, that was the single best action Chelsea took in finding the right school.

Trinity University English class outdoors
English professor Jenny Browne conducts class outdoors.
At a local Starbucks (this is Seattle after all) we sat down with the Trinity advisor I now consider a good friend. Chelsea and he hit it off right away. I simply sat and listened. He painted a great, realistic picture of life at Trinity and in San Antonio that could not be found on any website or glossy college brochure. His enthusiasm was contagious. I decided if Chelsea was not interested, I would sign up myself! The hour and a half went by rapidly and when it was over, Chelsea, (to her parents’ delight) voiced her keen interest in attending Trinity.

The application process at Trinity was straight forward. She was accepted and was also pleased to learn she was awarded a generous academic scholarship. We made a trip to campus during spring break of her senior year to tour the school and meet professors, her recruitment advisor, and current students. Chelsea spent the night on campus with a student host as well, enhancing her introductory experience. The next morning, when I picked her up at campus, she exclaimed, “Where do we sign?” I was so happy in her decision, as I was certain Trinity offered her everything she needed in a first-rate education and healthy atmosphere. I nearly ran to the Admissions office to place our deposit right then and there.

After letting Admissions know she was committing, I had a huge smile on my face as we drove the half hour north to the equestrian training location where Trinity’s riding team practices. We met a coach named Stephanie, toured the facility, and of course met all the horses. Although diminutive in size, Stephanie has shown herself huge in skill, leadership, and heart. Two riding seasons now completed, Chelsea looks at Stephanie as much as a mentoring aunt as equestrian coach. Stephanie is a great role model and gives much of herself and her facilities for the benefit of the team. I should also point out that the riding team at Trinity is not at all an elitist club sport. Rider enthusiasm matters.

Two seasons ago when Chelsea was a freshman rider, the team consisted of four women. At the end of her first season, Chelsea became team captain. Last season, the team had 11 women riding. Now, there are nine returning riders, which bodes well for another successful show season. Trinity was very competitive last season even though they are the second smallest team in their showing region. Of the six schools in their region, four are larger, better funded teams. Trinity has bested those teams in several showing events and will continue to do so. This speaks to the team’s skill, dedication, and coaching.

Trinity University student in the Writing Center
Trinity University's Writing Center is a resource for students.
For Trinity, the show season starts in October and runs through the end of April. There are regional and zone events after that. Chelsea qualified and attended regionals, the Sunday after the team’s last event of the season in Baton Rouge. Based on her placing in this regional event, she qualified and competed in the zone event held in Savannah, Georgia, on the first weekend in May. I’d better point out that I am not one of those Dads who believes it is all about winning medals and beating everyone else. As parents, we want our kids to be winners at life. To us, this means joining the team, making good friends, trying their best, learning what lessons losing and winning can offer while striving to improve. Academics plays a very big role in this development. Recreational pursuits certainly do also.

You may be wondering why all the attention on the riding team? Clearly Trinity is not solely focused on sports, but not only academics either. Trinity prepares their students to be successful in the rest of their lives as defined by the whole individual. The educational opportunities are first rate at Trinity and of primary importance. In looking at the whole student however, interests outside of the classroom and library are also important to the betterment of the student. Trinity affords their student body a multitude of recreational opportunities where inclusion is the norm.

Trinity understands the importance of providing these varied varsity and club level sports. Friendships that last throughout their lives are formed in college with team members and in classrooms and dorms. Interests are explored and expanded, new knowledge and experiences fuel a life lived with interest and passion. Sports can enhance these college experiences most certainly. I see it in my daughter’s life at Trinity: in the way she talks about her favorite English professor, in her description of the horse she rode in their last show, in her awe of her brilliant roommate, of her recounting of Jane Goodall’s presentation in Laurie Auditorium. Trinity has continued to cultivate our daughter’s passion for life. As parents, for what more could we hope?

About Roger

Roger Runacres graduated from the University of Washington and is a managing partner with Contech Services, a specialty construction firm in Seattle. He enjoys watching his oldest daughter show horses and his youngest daughter play competitive volleyball.He is a serial three-putter and motorcycle enthusiast. Chelsea Runacres is an English major starting her junior year as a Trinity Tiger..