October 17, 2019 was a night to remember for the Trinity College community. The Chair’s Reception, an event created to thank and celebrate the many individuals whose gifts make a difference in the lives of Trinity students, was the setting for a historic announcement.
Alumni and friends representing seven decades of philanthropy came together in Strachan Hall at the invitation of Board Chair Andrew McFarlane. They included members of the Gerald Larkin Society (those who have remembered Trinity College in their estate plans), of the Salterrae Society (donors who have cumulatively given over $100,000), and of the Provost’s Leadership Circle (donors who have given $1,000 and above to Trinity over the past year). Many of these individuals have generously given their time, expertise and funds over many years to the College, and remember well Trinity’s Strength to Strength campaign more than a decade ago. Provost Mayo Moran thanked them for their support and shared that, inspired by that campaign, the College’s fundraising has reached new heights, with over $36 million raised since 2012.
That recent success inspired the creation of Living Trinity, the next phase of the College’s fundraising and its most ambitious campaign to date. Living Trinity aims to raise $40 million in new money, which would take the College to an astounding $75 million raised since Strength to Strength. After letting the guests take that in, Provost Moran shared an exciting update including three transformational gifts to Living Trinity, already totalling more than $20 million.
She especially thanked both Nevil Thomas ’61 and Jack Whiteside ’63 for their early leadership support for the new building. The structure, to be built on the north end of Trinity’s beautiful campus, aims to enhance our historic campus and transform the student experience. With the addition of more than 300 residence spaces, significantly more of Trinity’s existing students will be able to call the College home. The new space will also provide all Trinity students with much-needed common areas for collaboration, dining, studying and socializing. Innovative academic spaces will embrace technology and encourage dynamic interaction between faculty and students. New teaching rooms will also ensure that we are able to host our outstanding academic programs at the College.
Building on this exciting news was the announcement of a landmark $10 million gift from Joannah and Brian Lawson ’82, the largest single gift ever received by Trinity College. The gift will fuel the launch of the Integrated Sustainability Initiative, a strategy that extends to all facets of College life, from the built environment to academic programming to dining and volunteer opportunities at the College. The new building is at the heart of the Initiative, providing us with a unique opportunity to create a structure of global significance.
The new building will be a model of sustainability in action, with spaces for indoor and outdoor urban farming where students can complement their sustainability studies in the classroom. An innovative Farm to Table program will enable students to participate in the entire life cycle of food, from growth through to waste, right here on our campus. The “table” component will include a beautiful community kitchen space that will serve as a hub for engagement around food and sustainability. The design team is also exploring alternative energy sources such as solar and geothermal heating and cooling, the use of cross-laminated timber structures, small-footprint kitchens, advanced composting technologies, and new approaches to minimizing food waste.
Within this green building Trinity’s students will have the opportunity to not only be inspired by the environment surrounding them, but also by their sustainability studies, which will be integrated into all of our academic programs. Building on the successful introduction, in 2018, of the Butterfield Environment and Sustainability Stream for first-year students in the Margaret MacMillan Trinity One Program, the Lawsons’ support will now make it possible for Trinity to weave sustainability into its upper-year and co-curricular programs as well.
As part of the Integrated Sustainability Initiative, the College will also increase course offerings, research opportunities and internships, and connect with partners at U of T and in the community. The Initiative will transform the College into a “living lab,” creating connections across academic offerings and enabling research projects focused on the new building.
At the Chair’s Reception, members of the Trinity community also learned more about the $40-million Living Trinity Campaign, a visionary effort to create an unparalleled educational opportunity by making strategic investments to support students and enhance academic programming in both the undergraduate programs and the Faculty of Divinity. The new building is the centrepiece of the campaign, promising to enhance our historic campus and transform the experience of the entire student body.
Living Trinity is a campaign that will build on decades of support from alumni and friends who continue to “Live Trinity” by belonging to a supportive and tight-knit community that values shared experiences rooted in excellence and achievement. We will share more information on the campaign and our building planning progress in the weeks and months ahead.
“This was a night I’ll never forget, and the beginning of an exciting, historic chapter for Trinity College,” said Provost Mayo Moran. “We couldn’t be more grateful for – and humbled by – the engagement and support of our incredible community.”
The celebration ended with Nicolas Ferreira, the Male Head of College, thanking all those gathered in the room for the wonderful experience that they make possible for students and offering a heartfelt toast to the “New Trinity”.
Here are a few moments captured at the Chair’s Reception. For more, visit the Trinity Facebook page.