Elaina Rollins ’16, News Editor
Trinity College’s annual Scholars Reception was hosted this past Thursday, April 18 in the Washington Room of Mather Hall. The Scholars Reception honors the donors and recipients of over 350 named scholarships at Trinity. The Reception also specifically honors members of the Elms Society, a group of alumni who support student scholarships through their estate planning.
The Scholars Reception brings together students receiving scholarships and the giving individuals who are responsible for those scholarships. Although not all donors go to the Reception, students are notified in advance if their individual donor is planning to attend so that the College ensures that the donor and recipient can meet in person.
After students and donors got a chance to chat among one another, President Jones introduced the speakers for the evening: Rae Haynes, Jr. ’13 and Merrill Yavinsky ’65. Haynes’ scholarship comes from the Merrill A. Yavinsky ’65 Scholarship Fund.
Haynes’ introduction talked about what he and Yavinsky have in common. Both grew up in Hartford, graduated from Bulkeley High School, and went attended Trinity. Haynes is an economic major, and so was Yavinsky. Haynes plays for the Trinity football team, and so did Yavinsky.
During his brief speech, Yavsinky talked about his humble roots in Hartford. He explained that as an applicant to the College, he could have easily been denied. But Trinity took a chance on him. Yavinsky’s family could not afford to send him to Trinity, so without a financial scholarship, Yavinsky would have had to pay for his tuition by himself. Trinity’s scholarship took a massive financial burden off of his shoulders.
Yavsinky emphasized that, “every little bit counts.” Small contributions add up to make big changes in a student’s life. His message rang true with those at the Reception, many of whom are at Trinity only because of someone else’s generosity.
Alex Montiero ’16 explained that, “I really enjoyed being able to talk to alumnae, parents, and donors, but I think the event would have been more meaningful had I been able to connect with the representatives of my scholarship.” The Office of Donor Relations always invites scholars to write a letter to their donor discussing their academic and social life at the College – but a letter is never the same as a conversation in person.
Even if scholars did not get to speak with their donors, the Reception is a great place for students to meet other scholars on campus whom they may never have interacted with otherwise. The laid-back atmosphere of the Reception, combined with delicious appetizers and lively conversation, made for a pleasurable night for all those in attendance.