Monday, April 22, 2019

What Does It Mean to Give Back at Trinity College

Sophia Gourley ’19

Contributing Writer

When I first arrived on campus in the fall of 2015, I had no idea what the next four years were going to bring. I definitely didn’t leave my hometown in Agawam thinking I would ever travel over 4000 miles to live in Rome, have the chance to become a mentor for first-year women through the Venture women’s leadership program, or have the chance to enhance my academic career by becoming a research assistant for the Economics department. All of these experiences shaped my four years here at Trinity. They helped me become a more effective theorist, a more engaged traveler, and a more sophisticated activist. None of these opportunities would have been possible without the Trinity College Fund.

Trinity is expensive. There is no denying that. Students all over the country are taking out loans, budgeting their finances, and stressing about their education. But what’s incredible to learn is that our tuition–all that money we can’t even fathom–does not fully cover our entire Trinity experience. The Trinity College Fund (TCF) finances almost everything we love about Trinity: financial aid, athletics, clubs, and organizations–even the electricity in our buildings.

What? How could that be? I know, I was shocked to hear that too. As it turns out, our tuition only covers 80% of a holistic Trinity education, and the remainder is covered by the TCF. The Trinity College Fund is essential to every single Bantam and something we all benefit from.

So what exactly is it? The TCF is a financial pool that is used to support a variety of initiatives on campus and is supported by alumni and past and present parents. Ever wonder how the science department is able to afford some lab equipment? Or where some student financial aid comes from? Or how some classes offer courses that allow them to travel or perform independent research? All that money comes from one place: the Trinity College Fund.

But the TCF isn’t just for these projects. It also gives the college flexibility in order to adapt to changes throughout the year.

Mariana Garcia, Assistant Director of Annual Giving, shares with the Tripod that as a recent graduate from Williams College, she was directly affected by alumni giving and has dedicated her career to support students in similar situations to herself. As a first generation graduate, Mariana was one of the first of her immediate family to graduate from college, which was made possible by receiving full financial aid. “What I didn’t know then, but what I know now, is that all the money I received for my education—including money to buy books, study abroad, even health insurance—came from alumni,” she shared.  “The Trinity College Fund is exactly that. It is the money that you give to future and current students. Giving to the Trinity College Fund honors those who have given before you and supports those who will come after you. I will never be able to thank enough the alumni who provided me with the opportunity to have a wonderful and enriching four years. But I will always be able and eager to support those who are just beginning their college journey.”

But philanthropy doesn’t start with alumni. It begins the moment we become Trinity students. Seniors have already started giving back by giving their Senior Class Gift, a monetary contribution to the Trinity College Fund. Brooke LePage ’19, one of the tri-chairs for the Senior Class Gift Committee, has been working with her fellow seniors to kick off the Senior Class Gift campaign: “As a past student caller and manager of the Student Calling Center, I know how important the Trinity College Fund and thereby the Senior Class Gift is.”

Jenna Behan ’19, a member of the Stella Society and the Women’s Field Hockey team, also gave to the Trinity College Fund this month. “I want future generations of Bantams to enjoy the same incredible experience that I did,” she said. 

With the Trinity College Fund’s significance in mind, I hope you will be inspired to give back. Although Bantams are welcome to give at any point during their college career, seniors are particularly encouraged to give to the Trinity College Fund as part of their Senior Class Gift. Help promote our community by demonstrating your passion towards the wellbeing of the college and its students. Seniors are encouraged to give $10 and pledge to give until their fifth reunion. Visit bit.ly/TrinSCG2019 or email mariana.garcia@trincoll.edu to learn more. 

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