Trinity Back Together for the First Day of Classes

Aug 30, 2021

The first day of fall classes is always an exciting time, with campus dorms bursting with new friends and roommates, halls buzzing with students and professors, athletics teams launching into the new season, and a community gathered together in the pursuit of knowledge.

At Trinity, Aug. 30 marked a particularly special back-to-school occasion, after the challenges of the COVID pandemic. Students, professors, and staff reported a new appreciation for being together again.

“I just kept telling my students how good it was to see their real faces (even behind the masks!),” said Associate Professor of Physical Education, Recreation and Kinesiology (PERK) and Department Chair Shari L. Jurgens ‘92, Ph.D. “Being able to connect with their faces is so important for learning, and I am excited to be able to be in a classroom or gym with them again! Teaching PERK classes in the gym over Zoom was not fun or easy, but it was what we had to do and our students did great at adjusting and learning, despite the challenges. We are just glad to be back together, moving and learning together again!

Associate Professor of Chemistry Jon Vander Woude ’10, Ph.D., said it is wonderful to have students back in the classroom and laboratory full time this fall. “We all did our best when COVID forced us to turn online, but there is something lost when class is on a computer screen instead of in person, and I am looking forward to once again building meaningful relationships with my students as I get to know them face to face,” he said.

Trinity’s Student Government Association (SGA) is also excited to be back in-person and has planned many activities for the upcoming semester. “We will be aiming in encouraging more student voices on campus and their activeness to join clubs and organizations to make Trinity a place where students can feel belonging,” said RanitaLuhur’22, SGA president. “As a student and a member of SGA, the last 18 months have been interesting. We were able to innovate and look at things where we haven’t thought of before, such as having half virtual and half in-person SGA meetings. So, I’m excited to see what SGA can come up with more this year, I’m certain that this would be a great year for SGA as we return fully in person.”

President Kurt D. Dykstra also shared in greeting everyone back to campus. “This is the start of another year, one filled with great adventures,” he said in a message to students. “ God has brought us together in this time at this place for distinct purposes. Let us joyfully discover those purposes together, fully with one another.”