Instant Impact
Trinity’s annual 1869 Challenge lasts for just 1,869 minutes, but its impact lasts for much longer.
Monday, September 9, 2019
academics collage

Year over year, the entire Trinity family comes together through the 1869 Challenge to make a difference for Tigers of all stripes. From academic excellence and experiential opportunities to athletic success, see the impact your generosity is already making:


Computer science 

In 2018-19, the department sent one student to attend an international conference in Austria,  two students to attend two domestic conferences, and five women students to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. 


The program runs a summer research fund, directly funded by alumni, allows students to stay on campus while conducting their summer research.


This department now provides students with a state-of-the-art machine shop which allows in-house production of designed projects, and has also been able to sponsor several service learning projects for local charity organizations and human rights organizations; these projects include designing and building engineering stations which can be deployed in disaster areas all over the world. 


Professor Cabral Balreira, in partnership with other faculty, is leading an interdisciplinary team of students to tackle partisan electoral gerrymandering through the lens of geometry. Alumni support will enable them to attend conferences to present their findings. 


The department uses donations to support the Trinity Review, a magazine which provides vital experiential learning and publishing opportunities for Trinity students. 

Classical Studies 

The department has been able to fund trips for our students to see productions of classical theater in San Antonio and Austin.

Human Communication and Theatre

In addition to producing a range of successful shows, this department was fortunate to have Andrea Cavarra, a guest artist from Milan, Italy, who taught our students mask-making and commedia dell’arte, in residence. 

Political science 

The department continues to send students on impactful study away courses at The Hague, the former Yugoslavia, Germany. The department also runs a successful “Career Day” event, which costs money to fly in alumni from a variety of career backgrounds. 


Thanks to donors, the department was able to defray student expenses to present data from Trinity labs at national conferences in 2018-19, where 61 students co-authored conference presentations. 

Sociology and Anthropology 

The department has enacted the Mike Kearl Award for Aspiring Sociologists and the John Donahue Award for Social Justice, both of which have been funded entirely through alumni donations. 

The John Donahue Award for Social Justice is named in honor of esteemed anthropologist and Trinity professor John Donahue, who wanted to share the marvels of different cultures with his students, and encouraged them to study abroad. Even though John is no longer with us, this award and the projects that it funds are part of John’s legacy. The award allows Trinity students to continue John’s passion and efforts, while expanding student learning horizons and allowing them to give back to communities in San Antonio and beyond.

Chloe Sonnier ’20, a recipient of the John Donahue Award, was able to join the Pride Center and the San Antonio Strengthening Colors of PRIDE (SCoP) team do to the vital work of reaching out to the local LGBTQ community with a comprehensive needs assessment survey.

Chloe’s work  will help LGBTQ-serving organizations, healthcare providers, and government organizations identify shortcomings in their services to the LGBTQ community, and improve them throughout the 24 rural counties surrounding San Antonio.

Diana Long ’21, another John Donahue recipient, was able to spend her summer interning with the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District's Healthy Start Program. Healthy Start offers the nation’s most vulnerable women and families high-quality services and resources for healthy pregnancies and healthy births. 

Athletics collage


Women’s Volleyball

The team is using donations from last year to provide a salary for beloved assistant coach, Brad Bulycz, who’s been tirelessly providing his expertise and guidance to the team on a volunteer basis for a decade.

Men's Basketball

The program is now able to subsidize a trip to Europe every three years, making the invaluable, international excursion more affordable for all players. Former player Charles Houston ’09, a member of Trinity’s 25-5 squad, says the trip to Europe “allowed our team to build an incredible bond before most other teams even stepped on a practice court. The experiences we had off the court are what really built that team. The foundation we built on that trip absolutely played a role in our success.”

Men’s Soccer

The team has been able to purchase heart monitors, improving their high-tech approach to training and conditioning.

When you donate to the 1869 Challenge, you’re not just giving to Trinity. You’re donating through Trinity, directly empowering the student experience through scholarships, funds and invaluable opportunities.

To continue to empower student experiences and opportunities like these, get a head start by visiting the 1869 Challenge website at or mark your calendars for the Challenge itself, starting at 5 p.m. CDT on September 18 until 11:59 p.m. CDT on September 19.

For 150 years, Trinity University has transformed challenge into boundless opportunity. Join the force in motion at

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