You’ve arrived at your residence hall and found your new room. Inside waits a twin bed, a dresser, a desk, a door to a balcony, and a 100-pound, 60,000-page “bible” detailing every single course and program offered at Trinity, ever.
Okay, okay. Maybe the book wasn’t that big and scary. But Trinity’s Courses of Study Bulletin did start out as the guidebook for all things Trinity. The First Annual Catalogue of Trinity University was published for Trinity’s inaugural academic year, 1869-70. In addition to outlining the required courses for each year of study and the faculty members who taught them, the 16-page book detailed every aspect of campus and community life, from the state of endowments to musical instruments available for student use.
As the University added departments, programs, and courses, so too did it add pages to the Courses of Study Bulletin. For students in the pre-digital age, the guide served as a road map to graduation with all of the proper twists and turns in tow. Ragged spines and dog-eared corners signified a foray into biology and chemistry before taking that life-changing sociology class and switching majors sophomore year. (And for those who had abandoned all hope, at least it was a nice booster seat for the Thunderbird.)
Eventually, the Courses of Study Bulletin was migrated to a fully digital format, allowing students to effortlessly search through hundreds of requirements before finding the one they needed to argue with their adviser about. Approximately 400 hard copies are still printed each year.