The Whitacre Thorne family poses for a photo with the event sign for the CELCS reopening
CELCS Hosts an Open House for Newly Renamed Whitacre Thorne Suite
Trinity community celebrates CELCS’ continued mission of supporting student success

On Tuesday, January 30, 2024, the Center for Experiential Learning and Career Success (CELCS) hosted an open house event to mark the renaming of the Whitacre Thorne Suite, its home. Students, faculty, staff, and distinguished guests from the Whitacre Thorne family gathered to celebrate the reopening of the space and CELCS’ tradition of excellence in preparing and empowering Tigers for success from their first day at Trinity to the first day of their careers.

"Through the support of the Whitacre Family Foundation and Trinity trustee and alumna Jessica Thorne ’91, we will amplify the amazing things this Center is doing to strive not only to be the best in our state but to be the best in the country," says Trinity President Vanessa B. Beasley, Ph.D.

This generous gift ensures that CELCS can continue to provide opportunities for career exploration and other career development initiatives, setting Trinity on a path to be a leader in shaping the careers of its graduates. "This gift is extremely generous and will have a direct, life-changing impact on the students we serve. We're incredibly thankful for the way that this gift will allow us to continue to change lives, and scale up some of our activities," says Katie Ramirez, director of CELCS.

"CELCS has been instrumental in shaping my trajectory and preparing me for the future," says CELCS student representative Alé Caballero Piñedo ’24. This senior economics and political science major has worked with CELCS during all four of her years at Trinity. From internships with the Intercultural Development Research Association to studying abroad in Madrid and working for the National Immigration Law Center, CELCS helped Piñedo through the process of securing numerous hands-on learning opportunities that have led her to pursue a legal career after graduation.  

"I am proud to share that with the support of CELCS, I successfully navigated the challenging journey of applying to law school. CELCS helped me so much in looking over resumes, cover letters, the full application," Piñedo says. Piñedo has recently been accepted into law schools at the American University Washington College of Law and the University of North Texas at Dallas, and she’s excited to start her legal career.

CELCS student representative Alé Caballero Piñedo ’24 shared how CELCS has helped her along her academic and professional journey.

“I have the privilege to see the hard work, focus, and determination that our Trinity students apply to their studies, their work and internship opportunities, their career searches, and as they launch into graduate studies or their first professional roles,” says Ramirez. “While Alé’s experience is unique to her, it’s not atypical for a student here at Trinity. This powerful connection with our students, employers, and community is what makes our work so meaningful and impactful.”

As the event concluded, attendees were encouraged to enjoy conversations and refreshments, make use of the digital headshot station to capture the perfect LinkedIn profile photo, and explore the images of the Center's impactful work displayed throughout the Whitacre Thorne Suite.

Attendees of CELCS’ open house enjoyed snacks and conversation in the newly renamed Whitacre Thorne Suite.

“Thank you to the Whitacre Family Foundation for helping pave the road for our Center and for opening doors for our Tigers for generations to come,” Ramirez says. “Your support will change lives, and we’re incredibly grateful to you for making this possible.”

Upcoming initiatives for CELCS include the Career and Internship Fair on February 21, 2024, where Ramirez says CELCS expects a sold-out auditorium of employers on hand to recruit, many of whom are typically alumni.

First and second-years who might not be ready for a career fair yet also have something to look forward to, Ramirez notes, in Trinity's VIP Career Fair Tours. This special initiative takes on small groups of first and second-year Tigers and helps them understand the mechanics and layout of career fairs, so Tigers are coached up in advance of their first recruiting experiences.

CELCS will also be running Resume Rush in advance of the fair on February 5, so that students can help put their best foot forward. "We'll have all hands on deck to review everyone's resume and get them career fair ready," Ramirez adds.

Spring is a heavy recruiting time for employers, so Ramirez suggests that all Tigers visit Handshake for other upcoming CELCS events and recruiting opportunities, or email CELCS at with any questions.  

You can relive CELCS’ open house event by watching the live takeover or viewing the photo album. And be sure to follow CELCS on Instagram at @trinitycelcs to learn about upcoming career and networking events, internship opportunities, community service opportunities, and more!

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