Maggie Elias ’17, Staff Writer
On October 18th, a sunny, but chilly afternoon, President James Jones, Board of Trustees chairman Paul Raether, and the president of the class of 2014, Brittany Viola gathered behind the Fuller Arch on the Long Walk to speak at the Trinity College Wall of Honor Induction Ceremony.
The Wall of Honor recognizes Trinity College’s most generous and significant philanthropists. Started in 2000, there will now be 123 names engrained on the walls beneath the Fuller Arch, dating back to 1823, with eight additions this year. This wall was created to honor those members of our community who have had the largest impact on Trinity and its students through their generosity. These donors have shaped and transformed our campus and community through establishing scholarships, endowing professorships, founding remarkable programs, and in many other ways. The generosity of these members has not only benefitted Trinity’s students and faculty but also families and friends, the local Hartford community, and colleagues all over the world.
This year’s ceremony was particularly special because for both President Jones and Chairman Raether it would be the final Wall of Honor induction at which they would preside, since both are set to retire this spring. President Jones reflected on the past and the future, speaking about the inductee’s histories and the excitement about what lies ahead for Trinity as a result of these donations. He spoke fondly about his time at Trinity and remarked on the new perspectives and ideas that are to come with the new president. Chairman Raether, who has been serving the Trinity College Board of Trustees since 1988 and was elected chair in 2002, spoke fondly of all of the inductees. He spoke of how each and every member has set an exceptional example of what it is to be a leader. In addition, they have set a standard that should aspire alumni, parents, and students alike to have an impact like these members have done.
Senior Class President Brittany Viola ’14 was asked to speak at the Wall of Honor Induction ceremony and the organizers were extremely grateful to her for filling in for SGA President Ambar Paulino who had a last-minute scheduling conflict. Brittany reflected fondly of her past four years and the many experiences here at this beloved college. She spoke beautifully about the quality of professors, enduring friendships, and intimate community, all of which are unique to Trinity. In addition, she spoke of how the education at Trinity provides a foundation for each student’s future success. Both members of the Wall of Honor and current students have developed skills of creativity, critical thinking, and effective communication and collaboration here at Trinity. She thanked the philanthropists greatly and credited Trinity’s reputation as a leading liberal arts college to their efforts and hard work. When reflecting on the ceremony, Brittany said, “The Wall of Honor Ceremony was a wonderful celebration of the most generous philanthropists in the college’s history. It was a great experience to have the opportunity to meet Trinity alumni and their families who have so profoundly impacted our time at Trinity.”
This year’s inductees were Leslie Warner-Maloney and Kevin J. Maloney ’79, the Marie and John Zimmermann Fund, Jennifer B. and Jeffrey E. Kelter ’76, Heidi M. Greene ’78 and Michael J. Kluger ’78, P’13, David F. and Karen Kelsey Thomas ’78, P’13, Richard E. and Corneila Parsons Thornburgh ’80, Weezie and John S. Gates, Jr. ’76, P’13, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the family of the late Dorothy “Becky” Beckemeyer and Evald L. Skau, Class of 1919. These members have funded many different areas of Trinity, including the Jones-Zimmermann Academic Mentoring program at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy, the theme houses on Vernon Street and Allen Place, specifically the Mill, I-House, TREEHouse, and House of Peace, the Maloney Family Professorship in Economics, which supports Professor Mark Setterfield, and the Kelter Family Scholarship, which provides financial aid for students from Western Long Island. In addition, these members’ donations have contributed to recent renovations such as the Gates Quad and Vernon Social. At the ceremony, the inductees who could attend were recognized and received a token of appreciation.
These are only a few examples of the generosity of all of the members of the Wall of Honor. Each of these members set an incredible example of alumni who are truly fond of their alma mater and wish to see it grow to its fullest potential. Their hard work, dedication, and loyalty to Trinity College and our community is greatly appreciated and much gratitude is owed to them.