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Hedrick practiced what she preached

Magazine profile of Joan HedrickYour recognition as the spring 2017 issue’s Trinity Treasure is, I hope, one of many accolades to be lavished on Joan Hedrick as she heads into retirement in 2018. In your piece, Professor Robert Corber noted that Hedrick “tirelessly dedicated herself to the important task of mentoring young women at Trinity.” I’d like to credit her with mentoring young men as well.

Numbering five in a classroom of about a hundred students in “Women Studies 101,” we males felt the unfamiliar discomfort of being massively outnumbered. But Professor Hedrick did nothing to make us self-conscious; no small feat, considering how inherently personal the topics of sex and gender still seemed in the early 1990s. She neither asked the few of us to be spokesmen for half the world’s population nor coddled us for any “bravery” we might have harbored for enrolling in the course.

On the contrary, Joan Hedrick challenged and encouraged the men in her class the same way she did the women in the room. In other words, she practiced exactly the equality that she preached. 

In so doing, she certainly shaped this former student’s view of the world. So much so that I can honestly say, two and a half decades later, that no other teacher influenced my latest professional pursuits as much as Professor Hedrick did. I’m not persuaded the ideals of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland are wholly desirable, let alone achievable, but I do appreciate the ambition of a society free of violence and physical domination. And I’m utterly convinced that the financial freedom espoused by Virginia Woolf in A Room of One’s Own is an essential ingredient for both sexes to reach their potential for fulfilling lives.

Trinity has been very fortunate to have Joan Hedrick on its faculty for the better part of four decades. She inspired more young women and men than she may realize. And as she did, she made the college—and the world—a more hospitable place for all.

Rick Zednik ’93
Brussels, Belgium

FROM THE EDITOR

You may have noticed a few changes in this magazine, starting with a new look for the cover. Trinity recently engaged in a design “refresh” with Baltimore-based firm Fastspot that is reflected in new typefaces, colors, and more. Also, as you make your way through this issue, you’ll find that we’re relying on our Bantam Sports website and social media accounts to give you the most up-to-date information about our athletics teams rather than reporting old news in the magazine. We will continue to cover important happenings and achievements from the realm of Trinity Athletics in Along the Walk and in various related feature stories (please see our cover story on Trinity alumnae in coaching). We hope you enjoy the changes.

For more on Trinity Athletics on the web, please visit www.BantamSports.com.