National Volunteer Week (April 16-22, 2023) is an opportunity to celebrate the generosity and spirit of Trinity’s incredible volunteers. We spoke with three alumni ranging from just over a decade to 65 years post-graduation to learn about their “why” for giving back.
Meet three amazing Trinity alumni from different generations, each of whom continues to enrich the College community through their ongoing connections:
Nancy Graham ’58 is in the process of helping to organize her class’ 65th reunion. A retired educator, she has been one of her class reps since she graduated. She has also served as head of Convocation, as a member of the Trinity Board of Trustees, Corporation, and the Trinity Senate; and as a member and past president of the Friends of the Library. Nancy is also an unofficial wellspring of College memory for the Alumni Affairs team and the nurturer of many Trinity connections. In 2020, she was honoured for her volunteerism with the Chancellor William C. Graham Award.
Charles Pick ’90 has been one of his class reps since his first year at Trinity. Currently Senior Vice President of Science and Innovation for Aurora Cannabis, he volunteers his time as a member of the Trinity Board of Trustees (he is currently chair of the board’s Development Committee), and as a member of Convocation. Charles was recognized for his dedication to Trinity with the 2022 Arbor Award, U of T’s highest honour for volunteer service.
Min Hee Margaret Kim ’11 was busy in her student days studying Political Science and Ethics, Society & Law, but she made time to serve on the U of T Governing Council for three years. Now building her career as Crown Counsel at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, she is also making time to serve as a member of the Trinity Board of Trustees.
Our Trinity connections
CHARLES: I toured the Trinity campus just before completing my university applications, and once I saw the College it was hard to imagine going anywhere else. I lived in residence all four years and I really enjoyed that. In my first year I was class rep, in second and third year I was an orientation leader and worked on Conversat. After graduation I continued as one of my class reps, helping to plan Reunion events. I’ve kept in touch with some friends from my Trinity days, like Philip Lee-Shanok—we met in second year. What I’ve found throughout my life is that my Trinity connections continue to surface in all kinds of unexpected and wonderful ways.
MARGARET: I was planning on attending McGill. Then Margaret MacMillan, who was Trinity’s Provost at the time, made a presentation at my high school about the Trinity One program. I applied the next day.
I lived in residence for the first two years. The girls I lived with became my closest friends and remain so to this day. We’re all married now and were in each other’s weddings. We still talk about studying together at the Graham Library, going for all-you-can-eat sushi on Spadina after an intense library session, and the experiences we shared at Trinity. We are spread out around the world, but we are all still connected—in that sense we bring Trin with us wherever we go.
NANCY: I enjoyed every minute of my time at Trinity. The sense of spreading my wings was just astonishing. I was involved with the drama society, College sports, the magazine. In my fourth year I was an elected member of what was then the Students Administrative Council. It was a privilege to meet people from all over campus and I loved that. So, when I was asked when I graduated if I would be year rep, I thought, why not?
Why we give
CHARLES: I found the Trinity experience to be unique and formative. And I think it’s super important that we continue to offer that experience to others. My wife and I support Trinity financially as well. From the standpoint of investing time as a volunteer as well as money, I think if you look at all the different places you can support, this is almost like investing in the stock market. Because if you create the conditions where someone who is already incredibly smart and bright and ambitious can come and thrive, then they’re going to turn out to be someone who can really contribute to society going forward. Your contribution gets multiplied, because now the next generation can go out and change things in the world.
MARGARET: Representation is important to me. As a woman and a visible minority, I think it’s great to have people who look similar and have similar values and backgrounds in positions of influence and decision-making. I have been honing my governance skills by serving on the executive of the Korean Canadian Lawyers Association and the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to bring my perspective to the Trinity Board of Trustees.
NANCY: Over the past 65 years I’ve had multiple, sometimes parallel and tangled ways of being involved with the Trinity community, from governance roles to the Friends of the Library to reunion planning. I’ve maintained so many connections from my College days, and the more time that passes, the more intense and precious those friendships become.
What we get back
CHARLES: I personally find it really interesting to see how the College works behind the scenes. And as a father of two daughters, I know how expensive it is to send kids to school for four years. I feel good knowing I’m playing a part in a system that helps students to get there.
MARGARET: When I was young, I thought that donating was something only very successful people do. But I’ve since learned that is not the case. You can contribute at different stages of your life in different ways, and I want my fellow young alumni to know they have something to offer. I feel good showing my support for a cause I think is important, and helping to enable future students to have the same experience I did. I am also learning a lot through my involvement with College governance—[Board of Trustees Chair] Sharon Geraghty is an amazing leader.
NANCY: Trinity meant a lot to me. It is my good fortune to be part of these threads that bind us to one another in the Trinity community. In all my volunteer roles I feel good knowing that I am supporting an institution that I believe in—and meeting extraordinary people.
By Jennifer Matthews
Are you interested in becoming a Trinity volunteer? Visit our web site to learn more or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.