A New Era

The Inauguration of Joanne Berger-Sweeney, Trinity’s 22nd president
Al Ferreira and John Marinelli

15458613648_ffc95c706f_zMore than 1,000 people gathered in the Koeppel Community Sports Center on the chilly morning of October 26, 2014, to celebrate the Inauguration of Joanne Berger-Sweeney as 22nd president of Trinity College.

The festive academic procession, led by the Trinity Samba Ensemble, featured more than 100 delegates representing colleges and universities from across the country, as well as Trinity students holding international flags.

During the ceremony, representatives from alumni, students, faculty, parents, and staff offered their greetings, as did Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra. Four current or former college presidents–Lawrence Bacow, president emeritus of Tufts University; Lee Pelton, president of Emerson College; Kathleen McCartney, president of Smith College; and Diana Chapman Walsh, president emerita of Wellesley College–also offered their insights about higher education leadership and about Trinity’s new president.

A majestic poem, “Those Whom We Admire,” written and read by the prominent poet, journalist, and literary critic James Fenton, was created in honor of the Inauguration. A soaring piece of music–“Something Bold to Start With”–also was composed specifically for the occasion by John McDonald, professor of music at Tufts.

15621025526_444032e137_zBerger-Sweeney’s ascendance into the President’s Office marks a number of firsts for Trinity: first woman, first African American, first mother, and first neuroscientist. From her beginnings as an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Wellesley College in 1991, to her rise to Allene Lummis Russell Professor in Neuroscience, then associate dean and director of Wellesley’s Neuroscience Program, to dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts, she has marked her journey with a spirit that speaks to her willingness to try the untried, a courage that is quiet but determined.

In her inaugural address, Berger-Sweeney encouraged all in the Trinity community to come together to guide the College into the future. “Exciting things are happening here,” she said. “These are challenging times in higher education, in the nation, and in the world. Trinity will be a leader in this changing world. I ask that you join me in the leap of faith–that bold step– now to make a better Trinity College.”

Read President Berger-Sweeney’s Inaugural Address.

To watch the webcast, visit the Inauguration website and click on the “Watch the Webcast” button at the bottom of the page.

More photographs can be seen in the Flickr gallery of Inauguration weekend

Symposia-TC-416Other Inaugural Weekend Highlights

As part of the weekend’s celebration, the College presented the Academic Symposia, four gatherings that tackled the theme From Brownell to Berger-Sweeney: Bridging Trinity’s Traditions and the Future of a Liberal Arts Education. The symposia took place on Thursday, October 23 and Saturday, October 25 in the Washington Room of Mather Hall. Symposia topics and distinguished panelists were:

Bevil R. Conway, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Wellesley College
Mark Goodman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Boyer Coffee Company
Rhoden Monrose ’09, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, CariCorps
Moderator: Sarah Raskin, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Trinity College
Watch an archived stream of this event.

Xiangming Chen, Dean and Director, Center for Urban and Global Studies, and Paul E. Raether
Distinguished Professor of Global Urban Studies and Sociology, Trinity College
Venita Datta, Professor of French, Wellesley College
Shawn T. Wooden ’91, Partner, Day Pitney LLP, and Council President, City of Hartford
Moderator: Garth Myers, Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Urban International Studies, Trinity College
Watch an archived stream of this event.

John Agard P’18, Professor of Tropical Island Ecology and Head of the Department of Life Sciences, The University of the West Indies
Richard Eichenberg, Associate Professor of Political Science, Tufts University
Irene Mata, Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Wellesley College
Moderator: Zayde Antrim, Charles A. Dana Research Associate Professor of History and International Studies and International Studies Program Director, Trinity College
Watch an archived stream of this event.

Nancy Bauer, Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts and Sciences and Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University
Susannah Heschel ’73, Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College
Kris Manjapra, Associate Professor of History and Colonialism Studies Program Director, Tufts University
Moderator: Sean Cocco, Associate Professor of History, Trinity College
Watch an archived stream of this event.

Additional photographs may be seen in the Flickr gallery of Inauguration weekend.

A Special Organ Concert


Organist Christopher Houlihan ’09 returned to his alma mater on Friday, October 24 to play a concert in honor of the Inauguration of Joanne Berger-Sweeney.

Houlihan, who recently was named an artist-in-residence at Trinity, studied with John Rose, College organist, Chapel music director, and director of the Trinity College Choir, from the age of 12 through his time as a Trinity student. He recorded his first two CDs during his senior year, prompting classmates to form the “HouliFans,” a fan base that continues to grow on Facebook.

Houlihan went on to complete his graduate work at The Juilliard School in New York City. He now maintains a busy concert schedule, with his performances garnering enthusiastic critical acclaim.