About The Trinity Tripod

About The Trinity Tripod

The Trinity Tripod is the official student newspaper of Trinity College and was established in 1904. The Tripod has been published nearly continuously, a wartime delay excepted, and serves as the student record of the College. 

The paper strives to give complete coverage of campus news and is the primary medium for the expression of student opinion and criticism. The Tripod is published on Tuesdays while classes are in session and is available at a variety of locations on campus, including the Tripod news stands at Mather Hall and the Raether Library. The Tripod retains offices in the basement of Jackson Hall and also manages a robust advertising program during the semester. 

Famous alumni include Los Angeles Times sports writer Jim Murray ’43, syndicated Washington Post columnist George F. Will ’62 (see Feb. 2021 interview), Philadelphia Inquirer editor William K. Marimow ’69, and Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein ’73 – all four are Pulitzer Prize winners. Other notable alumni include New York Times features writer Peter Kilborn ’61, Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack ’88, and Sports Illustrated writer Stephanie Apstein ’10

The Tripod is an award-winning newspaper that has received national recognition. In 1960, the Tripod was awarded the College Newspaper Award for World News Reporting and Interpretation by the Overseas Press Club of America (OPC). The OPC awarded the Tripod the same prize again in 1963. In 1992, the Tripod was awarded first place with special merit by the American Scholastic Press Association. The Tripod received awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association in 1992 and 2001

The current Editor-in-Chief is Olivia Silvey ’25. Past Editors-in-Chief of the Tripod include Sammi Bray ’25 (co-Editor with Olivia Silvey, Fall 2023) and Skyler Simpkins ’23 (Fall 2022, Spring 2023). 

A comprehensive and detailed history of the Tripod was published at the request of the paper in November 2020 as part of our “Sunday Feature” series. Part I of that history, covering 1904-1968, is available here, and Part II covering 1969-2014 is available here

The Tripod is funded through the semesterly Student Activities Fee of the College, but is manifestly independent of both Trinity College and the Student Government Association. Funding is also received through advertising, subscriptions, and donations.

Support for the Tripod can also be given through a restricted gift to the College. If you are interested in making a substantial gift to support the Tripod‘s work specifically, please contact the College’s Office of Advancement at 1.800.771.6184. 

The Mission of the Tripod

The Trinity Tripod is the only student publication and the sole newspaper at Trinity College. We strive to cover the issues that matter most to the campus community and to do so with accuracy, integrity, and purpose. We believe in the truth and the fundamental importance of the journalistic practice to a free and Democratic society. Moreover, we believe that the bedrock of a civil society is affording an opportunity for the free interchange of ideas and resolve that it is our duty to do so.

Accordingly, we will not stifle beliefs and opinions in our Opinion Section merely because they are unpopular, nor will we pursue coverage of individuals and stories in our News Section with animosity or malice. We do not believe in emendations or retractions when the issue at hand is one of interpretation and believe that the only time change to a story is merited is when falsity is demonstrated. The truth needs to be heard and it is the solemn charge of the Tripod, for better or worse, to bear that burden.

“Now Then-Trinity”:

A Brief Note On Our Motto

The Tripod’s original motto from more than a century ago has recently become engrained once more on our masthead: “Now then-Trinity!” This motto appeared in the Tripod’s first issue of Sep. 23, 1904 and is drawn  from the words of then-President Flavel Sweeten Luther on the occasion of his inauguration, who remarked to undergraduates “now then, Trinity.” The Tripod included the motto beginning from its third issue of Sep. 30, 1904 and it appeared as the paper’s motto at various points throughout subsequent decades. 

At the time, the Tripod did not endeavor to explain Luther’s remarks, as they were no doubt aware of their meaning. However, we do not have the benefit of attending Luther’s inauguration and thus we can only speculate on his intentions. The Tripod likes to view the phrase not as an incidental remark encouraging the onward momentum of the College under Luther’s leadership. Rather, we would aver that the phrase indicates something greater: a positive outlook toward the future, with a reverential nod to tradition. 

Whatever the true motives, however, the Tripod is steeped in the traditions of this small liberal arts college. We are proud to recall our own heritage as we, together, embark upon the next decade, and so are bold to declare “Now then-Trinity!”

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