TCAA President Jamie Szal ’06 Resigns, New Executive Committee Members Announced

5 min read

Jack P. Carroll ‘24

Contributing Writer

President of the Trinity College Alumni Association (TCAA) Jamie Szal ’06 resigned from her
post in July after it was discovered that she was no longer eligible to be an officer, according to a
joint statement from the TCAA Transition Committee and Szal that was obtained by the Tripod.

Szal’s resignation follows the TCAA’s adoption of new bylaws which are reviewed every five

Under the old bylaws that were in effect until Thursday, Jun. 16, an Executive Committee
member who was elected an officer (President, Vice President, or Secretary) during their fifth or
sixth year as an Executive Committee member remained an Executive Committee member until
the end of their term in that officer position. However, the new bylaws do not similarly extend
membership. In addition, the new bylaws, like the previous ones, limit Executive Committee
membership to two consecutive three-year terms.

After the new bylaws were adopted, Szal, as President, created a Transition Committee for
planning and advisory purposes. The Transition Committee, which includes the Bylaws
Committee, consists of the following members: Terrie Rouse-Rosario ’74, Andrew Terhune ’78,
Bob Kehoe ’69, Joe Gross ’94, and Tom Casey ’80. The Transition Committee is supplemented
with the chair of the Nominating Committee Juan Hernandez ’13.

Since the new bylaws reserve some appointments for those serving a second term, members of
the Transition Committee researched the election and re-election dates of each Executive
Committee member and the six nominees who were awaiting their election on Jul. 20. While the
Transition Committee was compiling a table of election and re-election dates for each Executive
Committee member, Szal was discovered to no longer be an Executive Committee member or
eligible to be President.

Szal was elected to the Executive Committee in 2013 and served two terms. She was elected
Vice President of the TCAA in 2019 during her sixth year as a member of the Executive
Committee; Szal, under the old bylaws, was automatically extended membership on the
Executive Committee for two years. However, at or around the time Eric Estes’ ’91 tenure as
President ended in mid-2021, so did Szal’s extended term to serve as Vice President as well as
her eligibility to serve as an Executive Committee member. These discrepancies were not caught
at the time.

Under the old bylaws, the Executive Committee hosted elections for officers at the TCAA’s
annual meeting which was held during Trinity’s annual reunion weekend. However, Trinity’s
COVID safety protocols during the 2020-2021 academic year prevented the College from
hosting reunions and, as a result, the TCAA did not meet in 2020 and 2021. In the absence of any
clear authority for a virtual annual meeting, the TCAA decided not to hold officer elections or
Executive Committee member elections during either of those years. In mid-2021, Estes gave his
position as President to Szal who then asked Gross to succeed her as Vice President and Taniqua
Huguley ’15 to continue for a second term as Secretary. If there had been elections, Szal would
not have been eligible to serve as an officer again.

Szal was notified of the Transition Committee’s findings on Jun. 23, and she submitted her letter
of resignation two weeks later on Jul. 8.

“As you are aware, two weeks ago a concern was brought to my attention about my eligibility to
continue serving the TCAA as President. The concern was in no way related to my actions while
serving as an officer, but related to the operational procedures for nominating officers under a
close reading of the now-former by-laws of the TCAA,” wrote Szal in her resignation letter that
was obtained by the Tripod.
Szal continued, explaining that “After very careful evaluation of the
concern, seeking counsel not only from you but also from other individuals formerly connected
with the TCAA as well as the college’s General Counsel, and after consulting the available
minutes of the association over my tenure as officer, I have determined that the concern raised is
a valid one.”

Following her resignation, the Transition Committee recommended that Szal become the
TCAA’s Immediate Past President and preside over the Jul. 20 meeting. The Transition
Committee plans to conduct officer nominations and elections before mid-September which is
over a month before the next Executive Committee meeting scheduled for October 20 and 21.
In a statement emailed to the Tripod, Szal wrote that “It has been my privilege to serve the
alumni on the Executive Committee in all the various roles I have held (Chair of the Nominating
Committee, Secretary, Vice President, President). Through my service on the Executive
Committee, I have had the honor of getting to know so many alumnae and alumni from all over,
to learn from them, and to represent them to the school. I will remain a very active, committed
alumna.” She also noted, “[I]t is my understanding that following the election of new officers of
the Executive Committee I will be elected to the position of Immediate Past President of the
TCAA, a new officer role created under our new by-laws.”

In the spring edition of The Trinity Reporter, Trinity’s alumni news magazine, the new Executive
Committee Members were announced
. They include Haben S. Abraham ’10, Alec J. Buffmonte
’17, Brendan W. Clark ’21, Francesca Borges Gordon ’82, Robert E. Kehoe Jr. ’69, Colin S.
Levy ’06, Lilliana Polley IDP ’21, and Aina I.O. Williams ’96.

This article was updated on Monday, Oct. 3 to correct details regarding the TCAA Bylaws.

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