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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Homegrown Talent

I had a nice dinner with Trinity Alumna Noelle (Stockman) MacGregor (2001) and her friend from Houston recently. Noelle and Lori were here for a meeting and brought Lori's high school senior daughter Alex for a campus visit. Alex would be a perfect fit for Trinity and we would fit her like a glove. Lori told me that Noelle has been raving about Trinity for some time. This is not a new narrative. So many alumni spread the gospel of Trinity to others. More than once I have talked to a student whose neighbor or family friend went to Trinity and pitched it for its wonderful quality.

This is a special place. So special, that a number of graduates have become boomerang employees. A quick snapshot reveals that currently we have over 90 employees who graduated from Trinity. They have multiple experiences and stories, but it is very telling to me, that like our network of alumni cheerleaders, such as Noelle, so many talented people just can't get enough of this place. They turn their academic careers into professional ones.

When employers hire Trinity graduates, they almost always gain a superior employee: someone who can see the big picture; a person with social skills; a strong communicator; a person who can dig into the minutiae; a hard worker; and most commonly, someone who is extremely bright. When we hire Trinity graduates we are almost never disappointed. Of course we have tremendous employees who have come from elsewhere. Interestingly, they generally mirror the qualities of the Trinity alumni we hire.

This summer, in a bit of a coup, alumnus Mike Bacon was hired as the VP for Advancement and Alumni Relations. He embodies the Trinity spirit and news of his selection rippled through the alumni community like a tsunami. An insider was at the helm. One reason, besides their skill levels, is that alumni already know us and get us. It takes others awhile to learn and embrace the Trinity culture. It is elusive to define and it is unique. This is one reason why Mike's selection resonated so well.

I have worked here for over 25 years. I have probably eaten more meals in Mabee Hall in the history of Trinity than anyone else. I have probably climbed the tower more times, too. I have sat through more retirement receptions, been in every dorm room multiple times, and likely have more Trinity t-shirts than anyone... ever. But I am still an outsider. Meanwhile, people who have graduated from here will always have something I don't: a Trinity degree. I will always be Ned Stark's Jon Snow. But that is how it should be. Blood is thicker than water, and Trinity's worldwide family is just as robust on campus. We all win when we hire Trinity graduates. A Trinity graduate and a Trinity employee... That's usually an inspiring combination.


Roro said...

You forgot to highlight Trinity's academic rigor and the hard lessons of (not) getting involved in too many extracurriculars. Life at Trinity prepared me to handle stressful situations; think on my feet; and make decisions and lead under pressure both at work and in graduate school. Both my sister (current student) and I endorse Trinity every chance we get and my family truly believes that it's the best decision that we've made.

Amy McGee said...

"Jon Snow" made me laugh, David, as did your impressive record at Mabee. Getting Mike Bacon onto campus will repair alumni relationships that would have otherwise taken decades to heal. Brilliant move, Trinity. -- Amy McGee, '89