Trinity University’s 20th president, Vanessa B. Beasley, Ph.D., is officially in the house.
Trinity celebrated Beasley’s inauguration through a series of successful events from Tuesday, Feb. 7, through Saturday, Feb. 11, each themed around the enduring values that ignite the imaginations of the University community.
At Trinity, we are committed to enduring excellence, which lets us thrive in a changing world; intentional inclusion, which connects and builds without leaving any driven mind behind; and perpetual discovery, which impels a lifelong curiosity for new knowledge and empowers us to act on that knowledge. These values energize us to become a dynamic force in motion—and this week, we were moving!
Through Trinity’s Service Ignited community service events, participants kicked off the weeklong celebration by making a positive impact in the San Antonio community through service projects on and off campus. More than 200 Trinity participants united to log more than 500 combined hours of volunteer service Together our Tigers accomplished some astonishing feats:
- Nearly 1500 care kits packed for donation with the Assistance League of San Antonio
- Jackets sorted, packed, and delivered for EVERY child at a west side elementary school
- 30,000 diapers sorted and repackaged at the Texas Diaper Bank
- 23,000 lbs of food sorted at the San Antonio Food Bank
- Days worth of work completed for landscaping and park preparation at Morgan's Wonderland, an accessibility-focused theme park in San Antonio
- Days worth of trail maintenance at Mitchell Lake Audubon Center to create a safer space for all to enjoy
At Pathways Ignited, Trinity faculty and students explored and re-envisioned the future roles of academic imagination through a panel discussion on scholarly and creative activities as well as the process of teaching and learning.
Panelists included students Jade Bondy ’23 and Omarree Kimbrough ’25, English professor Jenny Browne, MFA., business administration associate professor Mario V. Gonzalez, Ph.D., computer science professor Matthew Hibbs, Ph.D., anthropology and sociology professor Jennifer Mathews, Ph.D., associate vice president for Academic Affairs/Inclusive Excellence Wilson Terrell Jr., Ph.D., and alumnus and business founder John Burnam '10, MTS.
At Harmony Ignited, the Trinity Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Trinity University Jazz Ensemble ignited our souls through an inauguration concert, themed around how imagination brings music to life.
The students performing through these ensembles represented more than 20 different majors, all united by their passion for music.
First, Trinity’s Wind Ensemble, directed by James Worman, Ph.D., and featuring soprano soloist Lydia Beasley Kneer, D.M.A.; took listeners on a journey through concepts related to creativity, invention, and emotion; pieces included Alfred Reed’s Festival Prelude; Ancient Desert Drone, by Henry Cowell; and Morning Alleluias for the Winter Solstice, by Ron Nelson, among others.
Trinity University Jazz Ensemble, directed by Brian Christiansen, joined the evening to, as Chrstiansen put it, “throw a wrench into things” with pieces like Jimmy Webb’s Wichita Exchange.
The performance was followed by a special drone show surprise and campus reception. Viewers looked on in delight as 150 drones took to the sky for a sparkling display under the stars.
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And through the formal investiture ceremony, Imagination Ignited, President Beasley delivered a rousing speech before the present delegates of institutions of higher learning and Trinity’s students, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters and friends watching in-person and worldwide. She called upon the Trinity community to view this inauguration as a chance to reaffirm and reinvigorate the passions and enduring values that drive each of us.
“Here at Trinity University, we must have enough commitment to uphold existing scholarly traditions of inquiry, while also having enough humility to admit that we all have so much to learn, and so much to learn by listening to each other,” Beasley spoke. “We must question answers even as we answer questions. We must pair knowledge with critical thinking and we must be guided by Trinity's values of enduring excellence, perpetual discovery, and intentional inclusion … Now is our moment. Now is our time to strengthen our community, learn from each other, and ignite imaginations for generations to come.”
These enduring values can best endure through a University that remains a dynamic force in motion. Under President Beasley, Trinity will continue to strengthen its reputation as a place where students and faculty alike can redefine the liberal arts in a way that bridges barriers, imbues career pathways with action and purpose, and ignites imaginations.
And at the core of this initiative, President Beasley will continue to place a commitment to enriching and empowering the experiences of Trinity students.
All it takes to ignite an imagination is one spark. And at Trinity University, one spark just became many.