Update from President Kurt Dykstra, April 29, 2020

Dear Trinity Parents and Families:

Greetings from a rainy Trinity Christian College campus!

As you likely know from conversations with your Trinity student, we are in the middle of final exam week here “on campus.”  It surely can be a stressful time – but I also trust that it is a time when our students confidently demonstrate how the semester’s hard work has paid off.  It is a wonderful thing to see our students learn, grow, and develop into wise and mature people who have a God-given direction in their lives.  This, after all, is why Trinity exists!

During a more normal time, this also is the week where the Trinity campus community has those celebratory last gatherings before the traditional academic year ends – culminating parties and socials, awards ceremonies, final chapel and Outcry services, and the like.  And, of course, this week usually ends with one of the best days on campus:  commencement and all of the emotions that surround it.

Well, this end of the year looks and feels so different.  That is a huge disappointment to our students and to you, their families.  It is a huge disappointment to all Trinity faculty and staff, too.  This year is not normal for any of us!

In the midst of all the upheaval, we have tried to create intentional “moments” to recognize the relationships and achievements that have occurred among the campus community this year.  Many of these items have been featured on Trinity’s social media accounts and I hope that you have had the opportunity to check them out.

Over the last number of days, we have provided more details to our students about a rescheduled commencement date and a “marking of the moment” virtual ceremony to end this semester.  Permit me to share some of those details with you, too, in the chance that your student did not pass this information along.  (And, as the parent of two students, I speak on good authority that not everything shared with students makes its way to parents!)

Spring 2020 Commencement Rescheduled to December 19 at 2 p.m.

As we announced earlier, the official Saturday, May 2 commencement ceremony regrettably has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting public health measures.

That ceremony now will occur on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 2 p.m.  While this is the same day as the Winter 2020 Commencement ceremony (which occurs at 10 a.m.), the Spring 2020 Commencement ceremony will be a separate and distinct ceremony at 2 p.m. for our Spring 2020 graduates.  We hope that the Class of 2020 will return to campus for their ceremony – and that life will have returned to “normal” long before then!

May 2 Virtual Degree Conferral Ceremony.

Though the commencement ceremony will occur in December, as a College, we strongly want to mark this important moment for our graduates on May 2, as well.  I know that you do, too.

We recently announced to our graduates that Trinity will offer a short, virtual “conferral of degrees ceremony” on May 2 at 10 a.m. (Central) – i.e., at the time and date that, under normal circumstances, the commencement ceremony would have occurred.  This is not meant to be a full or replacement commencement ceremony!  However, we as a college community want to mark this significant moment of achievement for our graduates and, frankly, celebrate with them and their families even if at a distance.

To this end, we have sent to each graduate a package containing their cap and gown (with honor cords, if applicable), alumni medallion, and diploma cover.  (I’ll let you in on a poorly-kept secret:  the actual diploma document always arrives sometime after the commencement ceremony.)  It is our sincere hope that our graduates will receive these items as a symbol of their significant accomplishments and experiences during these important years of their lives at Trinity.  Those packages were sent over the weekend; we have heard that they have started to arrive.  Today, I have seen a few social media posts documenting our graduates opening their Trinity packages.  That is heart-warming to see for us “on campus;” I trust that you have appreciated the experience, too.

At 10 a.m. (Central) on Saturday, May 2, we will “broadcast” a short degree conferral ceremony.  This virtual ceremony will be “live” at 10 a.m. CDT and also playable on-demand immediately afterwards for those who are either unable to view it at that time or would prefer to do so at a later, more convenient, time.  Links to do so are available at Trinity’s website and its YouTube channel, and will be promoted on Trinity’s various social media accounts as well.

Especially at this time, a time like none other, the world needs Trinity Christian College graduates!  It needs their wisdom, their faithfulness, their gifts, their skill.  We are all a Romans 12:12 people – wherever we are in the world and whatever we are called to do for God, for Good, and for the World.

Yours most sincerely,

Kurt D. Dykstra, President

PS:  Remember to keep checking www.trnty.edu/covid19 for information related to Trinity’s response to the pandemic.

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