The Trinity University Alumni Association Board (TUAAB) plays an active role in strengthening bonds within the University community. Comprised of 36 individuals, this all-volunteer board of directors seeks to increase alumni interaction and support while strengthening the relevance and voice of Trinity's alumni within the broader Tiger family.
To get to know the board directors a little better, we recently sat down with TUAAB President Michelle Collette ’06 and asked her to share her perspective and story:
What drew you to Trinity as a prospective student?
The day I stepped foot onto the Trinity campus, my heart skipped a beat. Something about the beauty of the red brick buildings and green grass against the bright blue San Antonio sky made the campus feel like home. Trinity had a strong reputation within my high school, and once I saw the campus and met the staff, faculty, and students, I knew it was where I needed to be.
As an Alumni Association Board member, you regularly volunteer your time for the betterment of all Tiger alumni. What motivated you to give back to your alma mater in this way?
As a Trinity student, I felt like I was part of a family. People like Sheryl Tynes, Ph.D., Carey Latimore, Ph.D., and Wanda Olsen in Residential Life made a special effort to not only get to know me but also challenged me to grow. Once I graduated and moved off campus, I felt like a part of my heart was missing. Eventually, one of my Trinity friends invited me to attend a meeting for the San Antonio Alumni Club and I immediately felt like I was home again! I feel so much gratitude in my heart for the opportunities and connections—past and present—from my involvement in Trinity, so I continue to volunteer to help build community and offer life-changing experiences for the Tigers of today and our future.
What did you major in, and does/did your major directly relate to your professional career?
I majored in history because I loved to learn about the past. Today, I am the head of foodservice for a plant-based protein business called the LiveKindly Collective—so although my major does not directly relate to my line of work, the skills I acquired through my Trinity education continue to help me propel forward in my career. My love for culture and history only grew while I was at Trinity and I know that the foundational skills of communication, love for learning, and critical thinking will stay with me ongoing.
What is the most unique or impactful thing that has happened to you since graduation?
Because she volunteered to serve on the Board of Visitors, I was able to connect with fellow alumna Denny Marie Post ’78. Denny has had a wildly successful career in the same industry as myself, and after I reached out to her, she immediately offered guidance to help me navigate my own career. She has since challenged me, connected me to others, and been a mentor who has deeply shaped my career and my life.
What four words would your friends use to best describe you?
Happy, tenacious, warrior, assertive
What was/is your favorite way to pass time during the pandemic lock-downs or quarantine(s)?
During the initial stages of the pandemic, I had the opportunity to stay home—whereas I normally travel for work— which allowed me to spend more time with my two kids. I became a teacher, a playmate, a chef, and so much more. I had the opportunity to learn and get to know my kids in a way I wouldn't have had otherwise. Life slowed down and I was able to enjoy what life is truly all about: love for your family.
What advice would you share with your college self? What would you share with a current student today?
Slow down: In order to maximize my financial aid package, I graduated in three years. If I could offer any advice, it would be to take time to enjoy your experience. Include some "white space" in your daily calendar to reflect, enjoy something that brings you joy each day, and just take time to feel a sense of gratitude.