Students walk on the sidewalk beside the Trinity University entrance sign
Celebrating the Journey and the Destination
Meet four students who've found joy on the path to success not just at the finish line

Student success means everything to universities striving to reach positive outcomes. And Trinity University has a unique take on this goal: What if success means finding joy on the path instead of only focusing on the finish line?

Trinity’s joyful celebrations happen at big events such as the University’s newly established Major Declaration Day, where students choosing their academic paths are cheered on by their professors and peers. They happen through robust and flexible academic resources, where innovative curricular pathways prompt fearless exploration and collaboration. And they happen through a rich set of hands-on experiences on and off campus, driving students to make discoveries about themselves, their career fields, and their worlds.

Proof this is working? Trinity’s recent graduates have achieved a 98% positive outcomes rate. This means within six months of graduating, 98% of undergraduate alumni in the Classes of 2021 and 2022 were either employed, accepted to graduate school, enlisted in the military, or engaged in volunteer-oriented service.

“When people ask me how a positive outcomes rate like this is possible, I point them immediately to the resources we have for academic success, advising, and career placement,” says Vanessa B. Beasley, Ph.D., Trinity University president. “Of course, part of the fabric of the education at Trinity is hands-on learning. When students are in interviews for jobs or for graduate schools, they can talk about the things they did themselves: the research they discovered, the problems they engaged with, the solutions they developed.”

And this path of celebration starts before most students even reach campus, says Eric Maloof, Trinity’s vice president for Enrollment Management.

“As each new Trinity first-year class takes shape from a skyrocketing pool of talented and ambitious applicants, this University has—and will remain—committed to bringing a diversity of skills, backgrounds, and life experiences to our San Antonio campus,” Maloof says. “Every year, we are increasingly proud to see the potential that each of these first-years display—the potential beyond just being hired four years later. We see the passion to lead, discover, and create new paths to success, both for these students and for the ones following in their footsteps.”

Trinity believes this is why passion must show up at every moment in higher education. Passion must transcend disciplines, enrich groundbreaking hands-on opportunities, and flow through lifelong ties that bind students and their faculty mentors. Driven by this passion, Trinity students use their degrees to do more than succeed: They discover continually, they lead inclusively, and given the chance, they transform themselves and their world thoroughly.

At Trinity University, the path ahead for higher education is too exciting to do anything but celebrate. Meet four Trinity students who shared their major moments with us.

a portrait of Cal Taylor

Cal Taylor '24 

History and Philosophy | Plano, Texas

A donkey, an orange peel, and a Greek nun walk into a fortress. The rest is Cal Taylor’s Trinity experience, one in which he gained new perspectives and reconnected with his roots on campus and abroad.

“Through study abroad, I spent time in the Peloponnese, which is where my great-grandparents are from. I got to explore a lot of stuff that I wouldn’t have got to otherwise, to see what life was like outside of the U.S., which is different, you know—hugely different.”

a portrait of Sena Saygili

Sena Saygili '23

Neuroscience and Spanish | Katy, Texas 

Even against tough odds, Trinity pre-med student Sena Saygili never gave up on her dream of becoming a doctor. A neuroscience major from Katy, Texas, with family in Turkey, she’s always kept her unique heartbeat necklace close to
remind her of home. Ultimately, that heart led her to medical school.

“It wasn’t enough that COVID-19 took part of my college experience away. During the two pandemic years, we lost our family restaurant, and I was diagnosed with a chronic illness,” she says. “But Trinity University supported me through it all. My classmates saw me. My professors saw me. And now, I’m seeing myself achieve a lifelong goal of attending medical school!”

a portrait of Jalen White

Jalen White '23

International Business and Entrepreneurship | Ferguson, Missouri

Jalen White came to Trinity unsure of his future. Recruited as a basketball player, he reinvented himself as the founder of a startup that aims to make traffic stops safer, and has graduated with an international business major. Now, he’s starting his career as an analyst at Amazon.

“At Trinity, I learned how to work with people, and I learned how to think,” he says. “To me, college is the most defining four years of your life. I’ve been defined in ways that I cannot have imagined here at Trinity. And I hope the next Tiger realizes that too.”

A portrait of Ayanna Blake

Ayanna Blake ’25

Psychology | Houston, Texas

Prioritizing mental health is one of the most important parts of college life, and Ayanna Blake, a psychology major from Houston, admits she had a tough time adjusting to college life before discovering the strong social, academic, and mental wellness support networks and services that Trinity brings to the table.

“Getting the help I needed motivates me to know that I can go above and beyond, because Trinity is a very rigorous school, but it has the help needed to excel,” she says. “With the help of my professors and on-campus therapists, I was able to excel academically, mentally, and physically.”

Watch these students—and more Tigers—share their Trinity journeys by watching our The Trinity University Journey video series or visiting trinity.edu/outcomes.

Jeremy Gerlach contributed to writing for this article. Photos by Ryan Sedillo and Mackenzie Gasner ’23.

Jeanna Goodrich Balreira '08 is the director for content strategy for Trinity University Strategic Communications and Marketing.

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