Melina Korfonta ’25
Trinity College announced that it has received a $4 million gift from Everett “Ev” Elting Jr. ‘58, P’85, P’87 support Trinity’s Human Rights Program in an announcement posted on its website.
The donation, which was given to enhance “opportunities for the college’s students to study, and ultimately shape, the cause of human rights around the world,” will be used to offer additional resources for interdisciplinary study.
Elting’s donation was preceded by his $500,000 donation two decades ago to create the Human Rights Program. Due to the program’s impact, Elting has delegated his recent donation to create the Elting Fund for Human Rights and Global Citizenship. This donation is intended to build on the impact of the Human Rights Program and offer additional resources for interdisciplinary study. Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sonia Cardenas did not did not immediately respond to the Tripod’s inquiries into how the funds will be managed and used by the College.
“Ev’s transformational gift will markedly boost Trinity’s impact as a leader of undergraduate human rights education,” said Cardenas in the announcement. “Students across the academic spectrum will deepen their appreciation of human rights and global citizenship in their lives. They’ll experience unparalleled learning opportunities in this tremendously important field.” Cardenas further indicated that the funds would eventually be used to support a professorship.
Elting’s passion that resulted in the Human Rights Program began at Trinity more than 60 years ago, mentioning, “At Trinity, my interests broadened and provided me the basis for a much more enjoyable and enlightened life”. Combining his interests from Trinity, Elting was able to invest his time and experience with philanthropy in service to human rights causes. After his time at Trinity, Elting worked in advertising and marketing. He served as President and CEO of Grey Advertising in Canada which became the fourth-largest advertising firm in the nation under his leadership.
Benjamin C. Carbonetti, Director of the Human Rights Program and lecturer in human rights said, “The growth and success of our program is a tribute to our fantastic students who are passionate leaders on campus and in their communities.” “A remarkable percentage of our students go on to work with organizations and institutions that engage directly with the cause of human rights. This generous gift will help even more students take advantage of opportunities to gain valuable experience before graduating, which keeps me very optimistic about the future.”
During the 2021-22 academic year, the Human Rights Program has 31 students majoring and three students minoring, as well as 180 Trinity students were enrolled in Human Rights Program courses.
Recent graduates of the program include; Ana Stambolic ’21, a Yenching Scholar who is pursuing her master’s degree in China studies at Yenching Academy of Peking University with plans to become an expert in Chinese foreign policy. Kabelo Motsoeneng ’20, whose senior thesis project developed into a full-length novel exploring loss and queer identity within the context of South Africa, and who is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in creative writing at the University of Michigan. Marlén Miranda ’20, currently a program associate at the Pan American Development Foundation and a 2020 awardee of the U.S. Student Fulbright Binational Internship Grant in Mexico City, which was canceled due to the pandemic, with plans to pursue a career in business and international consulting.