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Bonnie Thackara Flake ’77

Former Trinity Alumni Director Now Professional Grandmother!

By Donna Parker

Bonnie Flake ’77 directed the Trinity Office of Alumni Relations for more than 15 years, but when she retired from that post two years ago (along with her husband Dr. Francisco Garcia-Treto, Trinity Religion Department) it was to pursue her personal dream of spending more time with their large blended family—his two children, her two children, and their 7 grandchildren.

“Admittedly, I’m thrilled to be retired and spend more time with our family than just week-long stretches. Frank’s son and his family live in Corpus Christi.  My son’s family live in town now which means each week I get to take my 4-year-old granddaughter, Sydney, to dance lessons!”

Bonnie is also dancing as fast as she can, completing work on a family history project, even as she audited two Trinity courses.

“I’ve coordinated that history with individual memories and pictures and all family members will get a copy of our findings, but I also studied Medieval Islamic History and Medieval Art History.  That gave me a year to transition into ‘grandmother-hood’ while staying connected to Trinity. I feel very fortunate for the gratifying work I had at Trinity and maintain relationships with the school and people there.  It’s wonderful to run into alumni and read about them in the magazines.”

Believing it’s never too early to expose her grandchildren to life’s possibilities, Bonnie regularly takes her granddaughters to the campus to “get used to higher education.”

“Who knows if they’ll go there?  It’s just nice for me to connect them in a personal way to higher education, so even at this age it is a part of their consciousness.”

Bonnie says her own time as a Trinity undergraduate student fulfilled her personal idea of what she thought college should be – small classes and a safe place to learn and talk with friends.  And she met her husband there!

Now actively involved in community service, Bonnie is the Scholarship Chair of the local chapter of the Association for Women in Communications.  She also serves on the board of the Dote Foundation; its major project is to support women and children with AIDS.

There’s always room for fun, though. 

“My sister and I went ice skating for the first time in 50 years. We just thought we would take it on!  Frankly, it’s also a luxury just to have time to read, and I do have an idea for a book on Muslim Spain in the 10th century.  And of course a trip to Spain is in the picture for next year.”

 “Right now, though, it’s Frank, family, and friendships.  My friendships are something which rank right up there with my kids.  My life is rich with friendships, family, and the drive to keep on learning.”

You may contact Bonnie at bflake@satx.rr.com