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Trinity College
Latin: Collegium Trinitatis Sanctae
Former names
Washington College (1823–1845)
MottoPro Ecclesia Et Patria (Latin)
Motto in English
For Church and Country
TypePrivate liberal arts college
EstablishedMay 1823; 200 years ago (1823-05)
Academic affiliations
Endowment$780 million (2022)[1]
PresidentJoanne Berger-Sweeney
Academic staff
230 full-time and 45 part-time (spring 2022)[2]
Students2,241 (spring 2022)[2]
Undergraduates2,200 (spring 2022)[2]
Postgraduates41 (spring 2021)[3]

41°44′49″N 72°41′24″W / 41.747°N 72.690°W / 41.747; -72.690
CampusUrban, 100 acres (40 ha)
Colors    Blue and gold
Sporting affiliations
MascotBantam Edit this at Wikidata

Trinity College is a private liberal arts college in Hartford, Connecticut. Founded as Washington College in 1823, it is the second-oldest college in the state of Connecticut.

Coeducational since 1969, the college enrolls 2,235 students.[3] Trinity offers 41 majors and 28 interdisciplinary minors.[4] The college is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).


19th century

Trinity College founder Thomas Church Brownell
William Burges's original plan for the Trinity College campus

Bishop Thomas Brownell opened Washington College in 1824 to nine male students[5] and the vigorous protest of Yale alumni.[clarification needed] A 14-acre site was chosen, at the time about a half-mile from the city of Hartford. Over time Bushnell Park was laid out to the north and the east, creating a beautiful space.[6]

The college was renamed Trinity College in 1845; the original campus consisted of two Greek Revival buildings. One of the Greek Revival buildings housed a chapel, library, and lecture rooms. The other was a dormitory for the male students who attended the college.[7]

The site next to Bushnell Park, where Trinity College then stood, was deemed an ideal location for building a statehouse.[6] So the trustees were persuaded to sell the entire campus to the city in 1872 for $600,000.[6] The trustees moved the college to an 80-acre site on a ridge on the western edge of Hartford.[6] Then-president Abner Jackson hired an English architect to draw up plans for an entire campus.[6] Construction of the new campus was begun under the presidency of Thomas Ruggles Pynchon (1874–1883).[6]

In 1872, Trinity College was persuaded by the state to move from its downtown "College Hill" location (now Capitol Hill, site of the state capitol building) to its current 100-acre (40 ha) campus a mile southwest. Although the college sold its land overlooking the Park River and Bushnell Park in 1872, it did not complete its move to its Gallows Hill campus until 1878.[8] The original plans for the Gallows Hill site were drawn by the noted Victorian architect William Burges but were too ambitious and too expensive to be fully realized. Only one section of the proposed campus plan, the Long Walk, was completed.

By 1889, the library contained 30,000 volumes, and the school boasted over 900 graduates.[6] Enrollment reached 122 in 1892.

20th century

President Remsen Ogilby (1920–1943) enlarged the campus, and more than doubled the endowment. The faculty grew from 25 to 62, and the student body from 167 to 530 men. Under President Keith Funston (1943–1951), returning veterans expanded the enrollment to 900.[5]

In 1962, Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) began its first broadcasts in the Trinity College Public Library, and later in Boardman Hall, a science building on campus.[9][10]

In 1968, the trustees voted to withdraw from the Association of Episcopal Colleges.[11]

Also in 1968, the trustees of Trinity College voted to make a commitment to enroll more minority students, providing financial aid as needed. This decision was preceded by a siege of the administrative offices in the Downes and Williams Memorial buildings during which Trinity students would not allow the president or trustees to leave until they agreed to the resolution.[12]

Less than one year later, Trinity College became coeducational and admitted its first female students, as transfers from Vassar College and Smith College.[13]


Trinity College, showing the Long Walk and three attached buildings: Northam (center), Jarvis (right), Seabury (left)

Trinity offers three degrees: the B.A., B.S., and M.A. (in a few subjects). The college offers 41 majors, as well as the options of creating a self-designed major or adding an interdisciplinary or departmental minor. Trinity is part of a small group of liberal arts schools that offer degrees in engineering. Trinity has a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1.[14] Its most popular undergraduate majors, by number out of 517 graduates in 2022, were:

Trinity College, Rome Campus

Trinity College, Rome Campus (TCRC), is a study abroad campus of Trinity College. It was established in 1970 and is in a residential area of Rome on the Aventine Hill close to the Basilica of Santa Sabina within the precincts of a convent run by an order of nuns.[16]


Admissions building

The 2020 annual ranking by U.S. News & World Report categorizes Trinity as "more selective".[17]

For the Class of 2022 (enrolling fall 2018), Trinity received 6,096 applications, accepted 2,045 (33.5%) and enrolled 579.[18]

As of fall 2015, Trinity College does not require the SAT or ACT for students applying for admission.[19] Of the 31% of enrolled freshmen submitting SAT scores, the middle 50% range was 630–710 for evidence-based reading and writing, and 670–750 for math, while of the 23% of enrolled freshmen submitting ACT results, the middle 50% range for the composite score was 29–32.[18]

Rankings and reputation

Academic rankings
Liberal arts colleges
U.S. News & World Report[20]39
Washington Monthly[21]38
THE / WSJ[23]104

Trinity is known as one of the Little Ivies.[24] In 2022, Forbes magazine ranked Trinity College 12th amongst all liberal arts universities and 62nd amongst all colleges and universities.[25] U.S. News & World Report ranked Trinity 39th in its 2022 ranking of best national liberal arts colleges in the United States. It was also ranked 46th for best value school.[26] However, these US News rankings likely reflect that Trinity joined the "Annapolis Group" in August 2007, an organization of more than 100 of the nation's liberal arts schools, in refusing to participate in the magazine's rankings.[27][28] Trinity College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.[29]

In 2016, authors Howard and Matthew Greene continued to include Trinity in the third edition of Hidden Ivies: 63 Top Colleges that Rival the Ivy League.[30] In addition, The Princeton Review has given Trinity a 93 (out of 99) for selectivity and in 2017 named Trinity as a best value college. magazine ranked Trinity College 55th among all colleges and universities in the nation.[31][32]

Academic regalia

Trinity followed the European pattern of using academic regalia from its foundation,[33] and was one of only four US institutions (all associated with the Episcopal Church) to assign gowns and hoods for its degrees in 1883.[34] There were six degrees awarded at the time, all taking a black gown of silk or stuff and a hood of black silk lined according to the degree: BA white silk, MA dove-colored silk, BD crimson silk, DD scarlet silk, LLD pink silk, MusD purple silk.[34]

In 1894, a year before the introduction of the intercollegiate code on academic costume, the college brought in a new scheme of academic regalia. The hoods and gowns followed the shape of those used at the University of Oxford except that the hood for Doctors of Divinity was of the shape used at the University of Cambridge.

A variety of different colours and fabrics were used for the hoods: BA black stuff edged palatinate purple, BS black stuff edged light blue silk, BLitt black stuff edged russet brown silk, BD black silk edged scarlet silk (not in use by 1957), LLB black silk edged dark blue silk (not in use by 1957), MusB black silk edged pink silk (not in use by 1957), MA black silk lined palatinate purple silk, MS black stuff lined light blue silk, DD scarlet cloth lined black silk, DLitt scarlet silk-lined russet brown silk, LLD scarlet silk lined dark blue silk, DCL crimson silk lined black silk, MusD white silk-lined pink silk, DSc black silk lined light blue silk, PhD black silk lined people silk (not in use by 1957), MD scarlet silk lined maroon silk (not in use by 1957).[33][35]

DPH black cloth lined salmon pink silk (1945), DHLitt scarlet silk-lined people silk (1947), DHum white silk-lined crimson (1957), and DST scarlet silk-lined blue with a gold chevron (1957) were later added.[33]

As of 2018, the hoods for doctorates (except the PhD and MD) and for the MMus remain in use for honorary degrees, with the further addition since 1957 of the DFA wrote lined white with a red Chevron.[36]

Student life


The Bantam, Trinity's mascot

Trinity's mascot, the bantam, was conceived by Joseph Buffington, class of 1875, who was a federal judge and trustee of the college.[37]

Student publication

Main article: The Trinity Tripod

The Trinity Tripod, founded in 1904, is Trinity College's student newspaper.

Fraternities and sororities

Officially, approximately 18% of the student body are affiliated with a Greek organization.[38]

In 2012, then-president James F. Jones proposed a social policy for Trinity College which made a commitment, among other things, to require all sororities and fraternities to achieve gender parity within two years (i.e., for each sorority and fraternity to have an equal number of male and female members) or face closure. Trinity College's co-ed mandate for fraternities and sororities was withdrawn in September 2015 and replaced with the "Campaign for Community" effort to establish more inclusive social traditions on campus.[39]

Trinity currently has the following sororities and fraternities:[40]

Hartford campus

Seabury Hall, part of a $32.9 million renovation and restoration of the Long Walk buildings

Long Walk buildings

The first buildings completed on the current campus were Seabury and Jarvis halls in 1878. Together with Northam Towers, these make up what is known as the "Long Walk". These buildings are an early example of Collegiate Gothic architecture in the United States, built to plans drawn up by William Burges, with F.H. Kimball as supervising architect. The Long Walk has been expanded and is connected with several other buildings. On the northernmost end there is the chapel, whose western side is connected to the Downes and Williams Memorial building. Heading south, the next building is Jarvis Hall, named after Abraham Jarvis. Jarvis becomes Northam Towers heading south, then Seabury Hall. Seabury Hall, named for Samuel Seabury, is connected to Hamlin Hall. To Hamlin's east is Cook, then Goodwin and then Woodward. The dormitories on the Long Walk end there, and the terminal building on the south end of the long walk is Clement/Cinestudio. Clement is the chemistry building; Cinestudio a student run movie theater. If one travels to the south of Hamlin there will be Mather Hall and the Dean of Students Office.[41]

Main quadrangle

The Downes Memorial clock tower
An English elm tree on Trinity Quad

Trinity's campus features a central green known as the Main Quad, designed by famed architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The large expanse of grass is bound on the west by the Long Walk, on the east by the Lower Long Walk, on the north by the chapel, and on the south by the Cook and Goodwin-Woodward dormitories. While a central green is a feature of many college campuses, Trinity's is notable for its unusually large, rectangular size, running the entire length of the Long Walk and with no walkways traversing it. Trees on the Quad have been planted in a 'T' configuration (for Trinity) with the letter's base at the statue of Bishop Brownell (built 1867).[42] and its top running the length of the Long Walk.



Cinestudio is an art cinema with 1930s-style design. An article in the Hartford Advocate described this non-profit organization, which depends solely on grants and the efforts of volunteer workers who are paid in free movies.[43]


Trinity also hosts the annual Trinity International Hip Hop Festival. A three-day celebration of global hip hop culture, the festival features lectures, panel discussions, workshops and live performances. The festival was founded in 2006 with the goal of unifying Trinity with the city of Hartford.[44]

Since 2006, the station has broadcast the Trinity Samba Fest from the Hartford waterfront featuring regional and international talent.[45][46][47]

Notable alumni

Main article: List of Trinity College (Connecticut) people

Trinity College's distinguished alumni include many influential and historical people, including governors, US Cabinet members, federal judges, political commentators and journalists, and senior executives in business and industry.

Notable alumni of Trinity College includes:


  1. ^ As of March 7, 2022. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2021 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY20 to FY21 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. 2022. Retrieved June 5, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c "College Navigator - Trinity College".
  3. ^ a b "Common Data Set 2018–2019, Part B" (PDF). Trinity College.
  4. ^ "Majors and Minors". Academics. Trinity College. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Albert E. Van Dusen, Connecticut (1961) pp 362-63
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Hartford, Conn., as a manufacturing, business and commercial center; with brief sketches of its history, attractions, leading industries, and institutions . Hartford, CT: Hartford (Conn) Board of Trade. 1889. pp. 182–187. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  7. ^ Albert E. Van Dusen, Connecticut (1961) pp 362–63
  8. ^ "Trinity College". Archived from the original on January 10, 2011. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  9. ^ "Our History | Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network". Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  10. ^ "CPTV Celebrates 50 Years: Present at the Creation - Connecticut Magazine - April 2013 - Connecticut". October 1, 1962. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  11. ^ Knapp, Peter J. (Peter Jonathan), 1943- (2000). Trinity College in the twentieth century : a history. Knapp, Anne H. Hartford, Conn.: Trinity College. p. 209. ISBN 0-911534-59-8. OCLC 45273021.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ "Exit Interview with Dr. Theodore Davidge Lockwood". Publications About Trinity. May 1981. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  13. ^ Carlesso, Jenna (January 24, 2019). "Former Trinity College president, known for admitting the school's first female students, dies". Hartford Courant. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  14. ^ "Overview". U.S. News Best Colleges. U.S. News. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  15. ^ "Trinity College". U.S. Dept of Education. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  16. ^ "The Trinity College Rome Campus".
  17. ^ "Trinity College". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  18. ^ a b "Common Data Set 2018–2019, Part C" (PDF). Trinity College.
  19. ^ "Application Process". Trinity College. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  20. ^ "Best Colleges 2021: National Liberal Arts Colleges". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  21. ^ "2021 Liberal Arts Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  22. ^ "Forbes America's Top Colleges List 2022". Forbes. Retrieved September 13, 2022.
  23. ^ "Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2022". The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Retrieved July 26, 2022.
  24. ^ "Little Good News for the Little Ivies – Bloomberg Businessweek". Bloomberg. December 22, 2016. Archived from the original on January 3, 2020.
  25. ^ "Trinity College (CT)". Forbes. Retrieved November 28, 2022.
  26. ^ "Trinity College – Profile, Rankings and Data | US News Best Colleges".
  27. ^ "Best National Liberal Arts Colleges". April 6, 2015.
  28. ^ "TRINITY COLLEGE JOINS GROUP OF TOP LIBERAL ARTS SCHOOLS WITHDRAWING FROM U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT'S COLLEGE RANKINGS" (Press release). Trinity College. August 16, 2007. Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  29. ^ Connecticut Institutions – NECHE, New England Commission of Higher Education, retrieved May 26, 2021
  30. ^ Greene, Howard; Greene, Matthew (2016). The Hidden Ivies, third Edition: 63 of America's Top Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-242090-9.
  31. ^ "Trinity College (CT) – the Princeton Review College Rankings & Reviews".
  32. ^ "The Best Colleges in America, Ranked by Value". May 16, 2022. Archived from the original on May 27, 2022.
  33. ^ a b c Academic Costume. May 1957. p. 7. ((cite book)): |work= ignored (help)
  34. ^ a b T. W. Wood (1883). The degrees, gowns and hoods of the British, Colonial, Indian and American universities and colleges. Thomas Pratt and Sons, London. pp. 31–36.
  35. ^ C. A. Ealand, ed. (1920). Athena. Macmillan, New York. p. 118.
  36. ^ "Commencement Program" (PDF). 2018. p. 34. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  37. ^ "Trinity Traditions". Archived from the original on September 22, 2009.
  38. ^ e. "Trinity College - College Facts". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  39. ^ "Important Message about Student Life". Archived from the original on September 30, 2017. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  40. ^ "Organizations". Trinity College (Connecticut). Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  41. ^[dead link]
  42. ^ Thomas, Grace Powers (1898). Where to educate, 1898-1899. A guide to the best private schools, higher institutions of learning, etc., in the United States. Boston: Brown and Company. p. 26. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  43. ^ "About". Cinestudio. September 25, 2008. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  44. ^ "World hip-hop questions US rap". BBC News. April 29, 2006. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  45. ^ "Samba Fest" (Press release). Trinity College.
  46. ^ Hamad, Michael (April 30, 2015). "Samba Fest: A Day Of Brazilian Culture, Music, Food". Hartford Courant.
  47. ^ Boyer, Brian; Dell, Barbara Glassman. "Ninth Annual Samba Fest at Hartford Riverfront, May 2". MetroHartford Alliance.