Trinity University has received a $3 million gift from Ted and Laurie Beneski, parents of alumni Jeffrey ’11 and David ’14. In gratitude, Trinity’s new main entrance from Hildebrand Avenue will be named Beneski Parkway. The new name will be physically unveiled at a grand opening and ribbon cutting on Friday, Aug. 26, open to the campus community of faculty, staff, and students.
The Hildebrand entrance is a key part of the University’s Campus Master Plan, developed in a 2017 collaboration with Page, a Texas architecture firm with history and expertise in O’Neil Ford architecture. The new street and grand entrance, located on the far north side of campus off Hildebrand Avenue, serves as a welcoming beacon for students, alumni, and visitors alike. A meandering entry drive leads to a new drop-off plaza and a future welcome center. This combination crosswalk-intersection-entrance north of Coates Library and just west of City Vista has been taking shape since Summer 2020.
Ted and Laurie’s connection to Trinity developed as parents of Jeffrey ’11 and David ’14 when they navigated the college experience with their sons. They joined the Parent Council, co-chairing the group in 2012, and encouraged greater partnerships with parents to support the University’s mission. For the last decade, Ted has served on Trinity’s Board of Trustees and is the current vice-chair and chair-elect. The Beneskis have supported Trinity in the past by giving to scholarship funds, the construction of the Center for the Sciences and Innovation, and the president’s discretionary fund, which allows the University to quickly and thoughtfully respond to urgent needs.
“Our sons’ time at Trinity changed their lives for the better—we give back to the University to make that experience possible for thousands of students to come,” the Beneskis say. “We chose to support the parkway because it represents the warm welcome we personally felt at Trinity when we first arrived in 2007. This new entrance serves as a first impression for campus visitors, from prospective students and their families to alumni and local community members, and we want to ensure they feel the same welcome we did.”
Community is a key factor in the design of the new entrance, which features monument signage and landscaping to signal a clear arrival on the University’s campus. The new crosswalk and intersection at Hildebrand connects Trinity to City Vista, creating a safer crossing area for students living at the apartments. To encourage foot and bicycle traffic between the north end of campus and the City Vista apartments, sidewalks along Hildebrand both east and west of the new entrance have been widened to 10 feet. Acceleration and deceleration lanes for east bound Hildebrand vehicular traffic, as well as coordination with the traffic signal at Devine and Hildebrand, enhance safety in the area.
“At long last, the Beneski Parkway offers a visible and inviting entrance to Trinity’s campus, welcoming students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the broader community,” says Melody Meyer ’79, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Thank you, Ted and Laurie, for your transformative leadership.”
Editor’s Note: The photo above was taken mid-construction in Fall 2021.