Trinity College is the second oldest college in Connecticut, with Yale University being the only older university. The student body of 2,300 students is considered small when compared with big universities and public colleges, but this small school is one of the little Ivies, or the schools that can rival the Ivy League universities when it comes to academic standards. Trinity College offers 38 majors and 26 minors, and maintains small class sizes to facilitate learning and improve student-faculty interaction.
In 1823, Rt. Rev. Thomas Brownell founded an institution in Hartford and called it Washington College, which would later be changed to Trinity College. Having been founded by an Episcopal bishop, Trinity College was initially not given a charter from the state. The charter was eventually given on the condition that the college must not force its religious standards on its students, teaching staff and other employees. Trinity’s first campus was made up of Greek Revival buildings, including a chapel, library, a dormitory and several lecture rooms. The college changed its name in 1845.
Trinity College at the end of the nineteenth century was more of a local institution than a regional one. When the University of Hartford was founded, Trinity College was able to concentrate on expanding the system and accepting students from the region. The iconic Gothic Chapel in Trinity College was completed in 1932 during the presidency of Remsen Ogilby. The need for a bigger chapel was due to the expanding school population, and Seabury chapel was not big enough to accommodate everyone.
In 1968, the board of trustees of Trinity College decided to accept more minority students, endowing financial aid to some that needed it. Originally a college for men, the school became coeducational in 1969.
Students can choose from over 100 student clubs and organizations. Active clubs reach out to the community and help each member build leadership skills. There are organizations that have international students as members, and this club celebrates culture as well as diversity. There are fund raising groups that organize charity events for worthwhile causes like the American Cancer Society. The Outing Club is one of the most popular because of the annual and monthly treks, scuba diving and travelling to various destinations.
The surrounding area makes life colorful for students, especially the civic centers and the theaters. Studying until the wee hours of the morning should not be too hard when there are plenty of 24-hour restaurants around that do deliveries on campus.
Trinity students strike a good balance between work and fun. The libraries are packed with students during the weekdays, while the social areas on campus such as Vernon Street are packed with students during the weekends. The routine to work hard and play hard is so compulsive that many new students fall into the habit of mimicking the upperclassmen when it comes to balancing parties and studies.
One of the major concerns about Trinity and its surrounding areas is the neighborhood surrounding the campus. The Campus Safety Department is on guard twenty-four hours a day and committed to securing the college community. There are hotlines to call for any emergency, including a hospital hotline and a campus security hotline.
Most students receive need-based financial assistance from scholarships and grants given by Trinity, and the qualifications for aid are determined based on the documents that the student submits. The rest receive financial assistance from federal, state, and private funds. The average debt at graduation is around $25,000.