Update from President Kurt Dykstra, April 17, 2020

Dear Beloved Trinity Students!

As I look out of my window this morning, ending week five of quarantine, gazing upon the snowy ground (beautiful – but, come on, it is April!) I could not help but think of that line from C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:  “Always winter, but never Christmas.”

Maybe you, too, are feeling the strain of these weeks which add to the pressure of the end of the semester.  Let me offer to you an encouragement that is so much more powerful than even words from Lewis’ pen:  “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.”  (You knew that it was coming, right?)  Yes, these are tough times; no one will disagree with that.  At the same time, we are children of a “tougher” God – one who literally has been bruised and bloodied to defeat death because he loves you and me and this unbelievably amazing world all around us.

I surely will survive this snow – and, in the shadow of the resurrection, even enjoy its beauty as it blankets this amazing corner of God’s good creation here in Palos Heights.  (There will be no Bing Crosby on my Spotify playlist today, however; I draw the line somewhere!)

I write also to give you a short update from your campus home.  (Remember that there is a lot of information, too, at trnty.edu/covid19, including all of the update emails, health information, and a regularly-updated FAQ page.)

A Reminder:  Summer Classes 2020 are Entirely Online & Registration is Open
As I mentioned to you in my email of April 6, summer courses will be entirely on-line in 2020.  Summer courses are an economical way to focus on a few courses – whether for Foundations requirements, major/minor fulfillment, or simply to learn new things.  There are summer offerings for traditional undergraduates, adult undergraduates, and graduate students.

We have had record numbers of students enroll for summer courses – but there surely still is room for you!  Your friends from other institutions are generally also eligible to enroll in Trinity summer courses.  Information about summer courses, including pricing and schedules, can be found on the Registrar’s page.

Also, remember that a limited, modified version of Student Success Coaches will be offered during the summer sessions.  This extra bit of human contact in these “distant” and uncertain times is one way that we are here to support you!

And do not forget about Semester in Spain and Chicago Semester.  Both Chicago Semester and Semester in Spain are actively working to offer remote summer options.  Plans and details will be forthcoming, so watch your email (or reach out directly to those programs with your questions).

An “Updated Update” on Credit Adjustments Related to Room and Board.
For every student who this semester lived in Trinity housing and/or had a Trinity meal plan, we are finalizing our review of every particular situation to make the proper credit .  Additionally, we are evaluating new guidance that was released over the last week by the U.S. Department of Education on related topics.

We are very close to concluding this work so that we can issue credits to students, taking into account the varied financial aid packages that were tailored to fit every individual student’s situation.  We hope to issue these credits next week, prior to the final examination week.  Thank you for your continued patience; we know that this is important to you and to your families.

Stay Connected!
Did you know that Chapel and Outcry are happening like usual?  (Well, okay, at the usual times at least:  Chapel on Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m. and Outcry on Thursday evening at 10 p.m.)  These are wonderful ways to stay connected with one another and nourish your spirit.  Chapel is “IG Live” on Trinity’s Instagram account and Outcry is “IG Live” on the Outcry Instagram account.  There are other community gathering occurring, too (for example Wellness webinars at 4:30 p.m. every Wednesday sponsored by Trinity’s Counseling Center).

Like our virtual OPUS celebration that happened on Tuesday, other end of the year events that mark the moments of achievement during this academic year will also move to a virtual format.  Keep checking Trinity’s Instagram and Twitter accounts – not to mention your email – for information about those events.

In Conclusion…
As you have heard now many, many times:  stay safe, stay healthy, and stay faithful!  We are a Romans 12:12 kind of people!  Your diligence in your studies, your intentional ways of staying connected, your love for God and for one another all bring joy, even if is it joy shared at a distance.  Keep it up and finish strong!

Kurt D. Dykstra, President

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