To the Editor:
As I write this, Trinity is well into a month of remote learning. The pain of being separated from friends and colleagues is particularly acute in a residential college where we learn most from our daily interactions with each other. Zoom is a poor replacement for our most human of desires to be in touch with our friends, our teammates and coaches, our fraternity brothers and sorority sisters, our advisors and professors. We do know we will come out of this enforced hibernation. The question remains when.
The college has made an important and fast paced pivot to online teaching. The Trinity faculty has worked extremely hard to adjust and incorporate into their curriculum new technologies. They are committed to you having the best experience possible in this unforeseen environment. Fortunately, we also have an extremely dedicated technology staff that has rallied to address just about every hurdle. Students are still being taught, advised and counseled. And while it’s not what we believe is appropriate for the long-term, we Bantams are still learning and growing from this shared experience.
Everyone wants to get back to campus and the college is working through many scenarios to plan for our re-opening. Rapidly shifting facts continue to confound our ability to plan definitively. And, it is evident that every decision is now subject to revision. What does guide our planning is that we will only open when we believe it is safe to do so.
While circumstances have been distressing, they have taught us resilience. You have responded with great heart and caring for one another every step of the way. Einstein said, “No problem can be solved by the same level of consciousness that created it.” In the months ahead, as another wise sage from Apple indicated, we need to “Think Different” as we adjust to a new world. I am constantly inspired by you students, who not only meet difficult issues head on, but do so with thoughtfulness and grace. I am also deeply grateful to the faculty and staff who are tirelessly supporting you in these challenging times.
It is clear you will play a key role in our future, that your innovative ideas will inspire productive conversations, and eventually, positive change as we face what awaits us on the other side of the COVID pandemic.
Thank you for your words of encouragement and for continuing to make this community strong. Your feisty, never-quit spirit encourages us Trustees every day.
-Cornie Thornburgh ’80
Cornelia “Cornie” Thornburgh is an alumna and Chair of the Board of Trustees at Trinity College.