With summer rapidly drawing to a close, I find myself reflecting on the summer season. Summer is a great time of the year for all who work at colleges and universities. Often the pace slows, time is less of a premium and many faculty and staff find a bit of time to recharge and renew their spirit for the academic year that lies ahead. I am so inspired by the efforts and care our faculty and staff display daily at Trinity. I hope this summer was a good time of renewal for many.
I write to tell you about the encouragement I have felt for Trinity over the past several months. I know many of you have kept us in your prayers and supported us financially for many years. Many of these years have been a struggle and we have operated in obscurity. Well, I want to share with you how this is changing.
I want to be sure you understand this is not to brag or pat ourselves on t he back in anyway, rather to share with you and allow you, too,to celebrate God’s faithfulness to this wonderful little place…Trinity. We are seeing a change as people learn of our vision and priorities, rather than our need, and want to be part of the exciting adventure we are on. I believe it is my job to be sure you are aware of what we are up to and how you too can get involved in direct ways in helping us fulfill our mission.
- In late June I met with George and Jackie Brammer, a couple living in a small community in central Idaho, who have a successful farming business and who have chosen with their resources to support the church universal and its ministries. They learned about our strategic plan and our hope to continue to lead our students to biblical understanding and servant leadership through our vision for vocational discernment. In response, they graciously committed $700,000 dollars to renovate and name a new Brammer Chapel at our Campus Center.
- In May, as we celebrated our new rooftop garden with our neighbors, a key leader in the downtown Everett community wanted me to know that Trinity being in downtown Everett was the very best thing that had happened to the community in a long time. I thought of our strategic plan theme, being a “light on a hill.”
- Recently, I had a letter on my desk from a long-time leader in the Lutheran church, an academic leader and a person of influence. He stated, “I like what I read about innovations being introduced and how you are making it clear that you are establishing a curriculum and approach to education that reflects what best prepares students for making a meaningful impact in today’s world. I look forward to making a significant gift to Trinity.”
- A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail encouragement from a prospective student’s father who works in development at one of our nation’s leading private colleges. He mentioned reading The Malibu Miracle, a book about Pepperdine University, and said “The book’s description of the ambitious, innovative and courageous 1972 campus move and recreation of an institution reminds me of what a momentous transition you are leading in the Trinity Lutheran College story which is, from my perspective, similar to and equally exciting as the story of Pepperdine University.”
- In late July, I had a great opportunity to deliver an address at the national conference on student recruitment, marketing and retention on the Changing Face of Academic Leadership and many of my examples where about Trinity and our Living-Learning Model. I had people talking!
- I had an e-mail in early August from Professor Beth Elness-Hanson, who is leading the renovation and redevelopment of our CORE curriculum. The proposed new name is the “CRUX,” Latin for “cross,” which she cites is fitting for a Lutheran college upholding the theology of the cross. She states one of the definitions of CRUX is the main or central feature, which is so true of the Trinity Core. How exciting!
I hope each of these examples is an encouragement to you. I hope you see your college on the move, attempting to make a difference in this crazy world of ours. Even though this encouragement comes to us, I am reminded by our finance office, our development staff, and long-time alumni who tell me to keep reminding our friends how far we still have to go and how much we still need your sacrificial financial support to move Trinity forward.
Thanks for reading — and go catch the last of the rays!