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Trinity University is a private, independent, primarily undergraduate, university in San Antoniomarker, Texasmarker. Its campus is located in the Monte Vista Historical District and adjacent to Brackenridge Park.

The student body consists of over 2,400 undergraduate and 200 graduate students, and awarded 649 degrees in 2007-2008. The university employs 243 full-time faculty and 75 part-time or adjunct faculty members in 2007.[58421] The university offers 39 majors and 52 minors among 6 degree programs.[58422]

Trinity opened in 1869 in Tehuacana, Texas and was formed from the remnants of three smaller colleges. Its current campus in San Antonio opened in 1952.


Trinity was founded in 1869 by Cumberland Presbyterian in Tehuacana, Texasmarker. The school was formed from the remnants of three small Cumberland Presbyterian colleges that had failed during the American Civil War. Feeling that the school needed the support of a larger community, the university moved in 1902 to Waxahachie, Texasmarker. In 1906, the university, along with many Cumberland Presbyterian churches, affiliated with the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.

In 1942, the Methodist-affiliated University of San Antonio was failing. Trinity was solicited by community leaders in San Antonio who wished to maintain a Protestant-related college in the city. The university left Waxahachie and took over the campus and alumni of the University of San Antonio. The old Waxahachie campus is currently home to Southwestern Assemblies of God University. In 1945, the school acquired a former limestone quarry for a new campus. Texas architect O'Neil Ford was hired to design a master plan and many of the buildings. Construction began in 1950, and the current campus opened in 1952. Since 1969, Trinity has been governed by an independent board of trustees and has maintained a covenant relationship with the Presbyterian Church .

Under the leadership of Dr. James W. Laurie, the university’s 14th president, Trinity took advantage of its new location in a rapidly growing major urban center to grow in academic stature. Dr. Laurie was responsible for drastically increasing Trinity’s endowment. This allowed it to construct a new, modern campus in its “University on the Hill” location and to increase the quality and range of its faculty while maintaining an extremely high faculty to student ratio. This in turn allowed Trinity to be more selective in student recruitment. This work was continued by Laurie’s successor Ronald Calgaard. Current president John R. Brazil has focused on replacing outdated campus buildings and improving the school's financial resources. The "Campaign for Trinity University," which launched in September 2005, sought to raise US $200 million for a variety of purposes. At its conclusion on September 25, 2009, the Campaign raised US $205.9 million, surpassing the original goal. [58423] On January 23, 2009 it was announced that Dr. Brazil will retire as Trinity's President in January 2010. That same day he was awarded Trinity's Distinguished Service Award, Trinity's most prestigious honor, by the Board of Trustees. [58424] On September 25, 2009 it was announced that Dr. Dennis Ahlburg will assume the presidency in January 2010. [58425]

Today Trinity is widely regarded as one of the best undergraduate universities in America. Trinity was recognized by Princeton Review in their 2007 edition of "The Best 361 Colleges," its annual college guide. Trinity has also been ranked #1 in its category ("Masters' Universities - Western") for 17 straight years in U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges." The engineering program at Trinity has received specific praise, being cited in the same report as one of the best in the nation.

"Large Interior Form," a sculpture on Trinity's Coates Esplanade


Trinity overlooks downtown San Antonio, adjacent to the Monte Vista Historic District and just south of the Olmos Parkmarker and Alamo Heightsmarker neighborhoods. The Skyline Campus, the university's fourth location, is noted for its distinctive red brick architecture and well-maintained grounds, modeled after an Italian village by late architect O'Neil Ford.


The environmental movement at Trinity is known as Red Bricks, Green Campus. Trinity is a member of the Presidents' Climate Commitment and is actively working towards carbon neutrality. Trinity was ranked 5th in the RecycleMania Challenge. Students pushed for fair trade options, and now all coffee sold at the university is certified fair trade. In 2009, Trinity University scored a C- on the College Sustainability Report Card, also known as the Green Report Card.

Notable buildings and structures

  • The tall Murchison Tower is the most dominant landmark on the campus. It was previously the highest point in San Antonio. The tower is now lit at night (excepting evenings when the lighting interferes with on-campus astronomical observances), a tradition begun on September 22, 2002 to commemorate Trinity's 60th anniversary in San Antonio.

  • The Elizabeth Huth Coates Library houses (as of 2007) 937,000 books and bound periodical volumes. The library, an advanced facility for a school of Trinity's size, also houses over 200,000 volumes of government documents, over 1.3 million microforms, over 65,000 media items, and maintains 2,400 periodical subscriptions and access to over 20,000 electronic periodicals. The library's annual acquisition budget is over US $1.5 million. [58426] In 2007, the library was awarded the Excellence in Academic Libraries Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). Sponsored by ACRL and Blackwell’s Book Services, the award recognizes the staff of a college library for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution.[58427]

  • In 2006, the Jim and Janet Dicke Art Building, the Campbell and Eloise Smith Music Building, and the Ruth Taylor Recital Hall were substantially renovated under the guidance of Kell Muñoz Architects, providing greatly improved facilities and 20,000 additional square feet of space. [58428]

  • The Margarite B. Parker Chapel seats six hundred and is known for its large Hoffmann-Ballard pipe organ comprising 5 divisions, 102 stops, 112 ranks, and over 6000 pipes. A state-of-the art four-manual console was installed in Summer 2007, with the aid of the University's Calvert Trust Fund [58429]. Non-denominational services are led by the campus chaplain Sunday evenings.

  • The newly constructed Northrup Hall, finished in 2004 and designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects, is used for administrative and faculty offices and classrooms.

  • Sixteen residence halls - as a residential campus, students are required to live on campus for three years and many stay for their fourth. As a result, Trinity has a variety of residence halls located on lower campus. Halls reserved for first-year students include Beze, Calvert, Herndon, Miller, Winn and Witt. Upperclassmen halls include Isabel, Lightner, Murchison, Myrtle, North, Prassel, Thomas, South and Susanna. One residence hall, McLean, houses both first-year and upperclass students.

  • The Coates University Center houses an information desk, dining areas, post office, bookstore, bar, meeting rooms, offices and a number of student organizations.

  • "Conversation with Magic Stones" (or, more commonly, simply "Magic Stones"), a series of metal sculptures created by Dame Barbara Hepworth.


The university offers 37 majors and 49 minors in the traditional liberal arts and sciences, fine arts, and engineering, and graduate programs in accounting, teaching, school psychology, school administration, and health care administration. Across all disciplines, Trinity stresses close interaction between students and faculty members, evident in the 10:1 student/faculty ratio. The full-time faculty numbers 228, 98% of whom hold a Ph.D. or other terminal degree in their field.

About 52% of the student body has studied abroad, in over 35 countries.

Student body

Trinity's 2,693 students come from 48 states plus 66 countries. Minority enrollment is 23 percent for all undergraduate and graduate students. For the class of 2011 admissions received over 4,500 applicants, a 16% increase over last year. The acceptance rate was just a fraction over 50%. In every measure of academic performance, the incoming class has higher average numbers than the classes that preceded it, to include grade point average, class rank, ACT mean, and an SAT average that is a full 10 points above last year’s (1300). [58430]

83% of the student body receives financial aid. [58431]

Student life

Student organizations

Trinity hosts several local social fraternities and sororities. Fraternities include Iota Chi Rho, Bengal Lancers, Chi Delta Tau, Kappa Kappa Delta, Omega Phi, and Phi Sigma Chi. Sororities include Alpha Chi Lambda, Chi Beta Epsilon, Gamma Chi Delta, Phi Delta Kappa, Sigma Theta Tau, SPURS, and Zeta Chi.

One fraternity, Alpha Theta Chi, dissolved their charter and left the university voluntarily due to judicial violations during the 2007-2008 academic year. Two other fraternities, the Triniteers and Alpha Delta Epsilon had charters revoked for hazing violations, and do not exist officially.

In the fall of 2008, Trinity's first colony of a national Greek organization, Pi Kappa Alpha, often shortened to Pikes, was officially recognized by the school.

Additionally, the school hosts chapters of several academic honor organizations, including Blue Key, Mortar Board, and Phi Beta Kappa. The school also has a couple of national co-ed organizations, Alpha Kappa Psi (Nu Pi Chapter), a national co-ed business fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega (Delta Pi Chapter) a national co-ed service fraternity, and Phi Alpha Delta, a national co-ed Pre-Law fraternity.

Service opportunities can be found through the largest single student organization, the Trinity University Voluntary Action Community, or TUVAC, which provides opportunities for students to give back to the surrounding community. The national co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega is also represented. Student government takes the form of the Association of Student Representatives which oversees the Trinity University Honor Council, TIGER Council, the Trinity Multicultural Network, and a Student Conduct Board. The Trinity University Student Ambassadors maintain Trinity traditions and encourage philanthropic activity among students, alumni, and friends of the University.

In addition, a number of interest groups attract students. Religious organizations include The Well, InterVarsity, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Jewish Student Association, Catholic Student Group, the Muslim Student Association, Orthodox Christian Fellowship, and Students Creating Awareness of the Sikh Faith. Cultural and ethnic groups include the Asian Sub-Continental Association, African Student Association, Black Student Union, Chinese Culture Club, Filipino Student Association, International Club, Latino Exchange, the Hindu Student Union, the Gaelic Cultural Society, Sexual Diversity Alliance, and the Vietnamese Student Association. Political interests can be pursued in College Republicans, College Democrats, and the Coalition for Peace and Justice. Trinity's radio station, KRTU 91.7 FM, broadcasts jazz during the day, the only station in San Antonio to do so. At night, students, and a good deal of the station's community volunteers play indie rock. TigerTV serves as the campus TV station. In addition to movies, the channel broadcasts three main shows: Studio 21, Newswave, and the Not So Late Show. The Not So Late Show also includes a show titled The Floor. The Trinitonian has been the weekly campus newspaper for 103 years, and has a print circulation of 2,500.

Intramural sports are also popular at Trinity. Students may participate in swimming, flag football, racquetball, table tennis, cross country, indoor and outdoor soccer, the home run derby, track and field, wrestling, tennis, volleyball, basketball, checkers, chess and spades.


Trinity's Bell Center serves as the hub of athletic activity on campus
Organized traditions at Trinity over the years have included students climbing Murchison Tower at the beginning and end of their time at Trinity, the Last Great Reception, the Golf Cart Parade during the homecoming football game, TigerFest, the Ring Ceremony, Spotlight, the talent show, and Christmas Vespers, a candlelit Christmas concert. Traditions that students perpetuate through word of mouth include being thrown into the Miller fountain on one's birthday and sorority candelights to announce engagements. Another recent tradition, reserved solely for first-years, is "Calvert Ghosts" in which the residents of Calvert Hall cover themselves in nothing but flour and streak through the first-year quad on Halloween Night. Originally this tradition was specifically for the third floor of the residence hall, which was traditionally male. However, for the 2003-2004 school year, residential changes led to a reversal of the floor's gender assignment. In response, students from other floors (and residence halls) cobbled together a traditionally male ancillary streaking expedition, though some females joined in as well. Tempered by this hardship, the tradition continues in a co-ed incarnation that is less Calvert-centric, welcoming students from all floors of Calvert, as well as from neighboring halls. The newest student led tradition on campus is the bi-annual "Coates Library Flash Rave". Student driven, this event occurs late at night inside the main lobby of the Coates Library. For approximately 10 minuets, techno dance music is played over the speakers throughout the library. The event encourages studying students to take a break and dance in a club-like atmosphere. The event is frequented mostly by students not currently studying who plan an arrival time and dress in all sorts of costumes.

Throughout the years, various traditions have fallen to the wayside. These include the Sperm and Ova dance (done during the homecoming football game), Senior Disorientation (a full year celebration for graduating seniors), The Rites of Spring (a springtime celebration on Prassel Lawn), and Primal Scream (an organized stress release prior to finals), and Spontaneous Erections (constructions made from random objects that showed up overnight on the Esplanade). To take their place, new student traditions have been introduced, including a procession to Laurie Auditorium from the Esplanade prior to the first year convocation, and from Laurie Auditorium to the Esplanade following graduation ceremonies. Other new traditions include the Chocolate Festival, Trinity Idol, and "This is my story," a variety show that demonstrates the diversity of life experiences of Trinity students.

Tigers athletics logo


The Trinity Tigers is the nickname for the sports teams of Trinity University. They participate in the NCAA's Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The school mascot is LeeRoy, a Bengal Tiger. In the 1950s, LeeRoy was an actual tiger who was brought to sporting events, but today LeeRoy is portrayed by a student wearing a tiger suit.

Trinity has historically had a strong tennis program. Under the tutelage of Coach Clarence Mabry, Trinity player Chuck McKinley won the Wimbledon singles championship in 1963 and was rated the number one men's singles player in the world. With partner Dennis Ralston, McKinley won the US men's doubles championship in 1961, 1963, and 1964. McKinley and Ralston also played all of the matches while winning the Davis Cup for the US in 1963. All of these accomplishments occurred while McKinley was a Trinity undergraduate. In 1972 Trinity won the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championship. The tiger captain that year, Dick Stockton, won the NCAA men's singles championship. The women's team won the USTA collegiate national championship in 1968, 1969, 1973, 1975, and 1976. As recently as 2000, the men's and women's programs each won NCAA Division III national championships. Trinity also has won national championships in women's basketball (Spring 2003) and men's soccer (Fall 2003).Club sports include men's and women's Tennis, Lacrosse, Water Polo, Fencing, and Trap and Skeet.

In the 2007 Trinity vs. Millsaps football game on October 27 2007, trailing by two points with two seconds left, the Tigers used 15 laterals covering 60 yards for a touchdown to give Trinity the win as time expired. The unlikely play was named the top sports moment of the year by Time Magazine [58432] as well as the "Game Changing Performance of the Year" by Pontiac [58433] [58434].
Men's football team, 1915

Notable alumni

Arts & Entertainment


  • Todd Bender (B.S., 1982, Business Administration) - All American skeet shooter, 3 time National Collegiate Shooting Champion
  • Frank Conner (B.S. Business Administration 1970) - Professional golfer PGA and Champions Tour and Tennis player.
  • Tim Derk (1979, B.S. Business Administration) - The original coyote mascot of the San Antonio Spurs.
  • Brian Gottfried, professional tennis player.
  • Jerry Grote(1962), Former Major League baseball player.
  • Lance Key (2000), Former Major League Soccer Player for the Colorado Rapids
  • Chuck McKinley (B.S., 1964, Mathematics) - Amateur tennis player, Men's Wimbledonmarker Singles Champion in 1963, ranked No. 1 men's singles player in the world, 1963
  • Anne Smith (B.A., 1993, psychology) - Professional tennis player, numerous tennis Grand Slam doubles titles.
  • Dick Stockton (B.A., 1972, sociology) - Professional tennis player, ranked as high as No. 8 tennis player in the 70's
  • Daniel South (B.S., 1978, Medicinal Economics) - Former Wide Receiver for Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League
  • Marvin Upshaw(1968) - Former NFL defensive lineman, Cleveland Browns (1968-1969),Kansas City Chiefs(1970-1975),St. Louis Cardinals(1976)
  • Jerheme Urban (B.A. 2003) - NFL wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks (2003-2006), Dallas Cowboys (2006-2007), Arizona Cardinals (2007-) - First Trinity alumnus to appear in a Super Bowl


  • Adam Lee (B.A. History, 1987) - Founder, Owner, and Winemaker, Siduri Wines, Santa Rosa, CA
  • Gavin Maloof (B.A., 1979, Speech and Communications) - Co-owner of the Sacramento Kings
  • Christopher Hart [58435] (B.A., 1990 - History, German) Founder of Minder, Inc.
  • David Weekley (1975) - CEO of David Weekley Homes
  • Sardar Biglari - Chairman, President and CEO of Western Sizzlin', member of the board of Steak n' Shake, and Manager of The Lion Fund.
  • John D. Thornton (1987) - Austin Ventures
  • Dirk Elmendorf (B.A. International Economics) - Co-Founder of Rackspace

Government & Military

  • John Cornyn (B.A., 1973, Print Journalism) - United States Senator from Texas
  • General James T. Hill (B.A. Political Science, 1968) - Former commander, U.S. Southern Command.
  • Michael McCaul (B.S., 1984) - Representative for Texas U.S. House District 10.
  • William K. Suter (B.A. Sociology 1959) - Clerk of the United States Supreme Court and former Major General in the United States Army
  • Henry T. Waskow (1939) - noted US Army officer in World War II


  • Mario Bosquez (B.S.,1978 Journalism)- First Hispanic Anchor in NYC and Author
  • John Hagee (B.S., 1964, History)[58436] - Prominent evangelical Christian leader and author
  • Hasan Bülent Paksoy - Historian
  • Uma Pemmeraju (B.A., Political Science, 1980) - Fox News Journalist
  • John Silber (B.A. - Philosophy 1947) - Chancellor and former President of Boston Universitymarker and candidate for governor of Massachusettsmarker in 1990
  • Ana Unruh Cohen [58437] (B.S. Chemistry, 1996) - Trinity's first Rhodes Scholar
  • Alice Walton (B.S. Business Administration, 1971) - Daughter of Walmartmarker founder Sam Walton
  • Megan Walton (B.S. Accounting, 1990) - Granddaughter of Walmartmarker founder Sam Walton
  • Daniel Lubetzky (B.A. 1990) - Founder, The PeaceWorks Foundation.
  • Scott A. Williams (B.A. 1989) - Managing Director, Changing Our World, Inc. and Board member, RSF Social Finance, and the Association of Waldorf Schools of N.A.

Notable faculty

  • Steven M. Bachrach (Chemistry) - Dr. D. R. Semmes Distinguished Professor
  • Mark R. Brodl (Biology) - George W. Brackenridge Distinguished Professor
  • C. Mackenzie Brown (Religion) - Jennie Farris Railey King Professor of Religion
  • Erwin Cook (Classical Studies) - T. Frank Murchison Distinguished Professor of the Humanities
  • Thomas Gardner (Geosciences) - Herndon Distinguished Professor
  • Sammye Johnson (Communications) - Carlos Augustus de Lozano Chair in Journalism
  • Gordon MacAlpine (Physics and Astronomy) - Zilker Distinguished Professor
  • David A. Macpherson (Economics) - E.M. Stevens Distinguished Professor of Economics
  • Arturo Madrid (Modern Languages and Literatures) - Norine R. and T. Frank Murchison Distinguished Professor of the Humanities
  • Gerald Pitts (Computer Science) - Caruth Distinguished Professor
  • Thomas Sergiovanni (Education) - Lilian Radford Distinguished Professor of Education
  • Norman Sherry (English) - Mitchell Professor of Literature and official biographer of novelist Graham Greene
  • Mary Ann Tetreault (Political Science) - Una Chapman Cox Distinguished Professor of International Affairs
  • Philip L. Cooley (Business Administration) - Prassell Distinguished Professor of Business Administration


External links

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