Trinity claims that a biblically centered education changes lives. Would this year’s graduates agree? Perhaps I can shed some light on the subject; I completed my B.A. at Trinity this year.
I’ve been serving as the Alumni Relations Coordinator, and now I’m honored to be an alumna! I had a hunch that it would be a powerful experience. I never knew how transformative it would be for me. I started taking college classes before my two sons were born. Now that they are 13 and 9 years old, they are a bit more self-sufficient and Trinity gave me the chance to discover my passion—psychology—and do so with a diverse group of peers.
Fellow students who graduated this year with me were a key contribution to the value of my education. Take Tracy. Like me, she has come back to college after several years in the workplace to have a life-changing education. At the senior banquet she thanked the board of directors for having the courage to move the college to Everett; without that decision to move to an urban setting, Trinity would have been too far away.
For each of us, Trinity has been a place to grow and develop our strengths and calling. Who would have guessed that non-traditional students like Tracy and I would be so well received by the rest of the community?
Most importantly, my study at Trinity has been a profound spiritual experience. Perhaps you remember LBI or Trinity as a place where you grew in faith. Perhaps it is hard to imagine that that still goes on with all the changes. I understand. When I first started college in the 1990s, the questions we were asking about church and faith seemed, somehow, a bit less cluttered. There have always been tough issues, but today’s challenge for Christians seems somehow more complex. I’m sure things are different. For one thing, the spiritual journey for students at Trinity isn’t simplistic or easy. Given the challenges our world faces, I like it that way. For, despite all the different voices, a strong theme emerges in the whole process: we encountered Jesus and took that encounter with us into our relationships and out into the community.
There are several stories I could tell about the last few months of college, but one thing stood out—highlighted by Campus Pastor, Erik Samuelson’s Baccalaureate sermon—Trinity is about training Christian leaders who will follow Jesus and lead others to Christ’s good gifts. Guests like my sister instantly saw that we are a community that invites others into a serious conversation about faith.
I wish you could have been there when all the graduates knelt at a rail at Baccalaureate, and received ribbons and blessings from faculty, friends, and other students. People wept. People laughed. Many prayed. At that moment, feeling the love for each other and what we accomplished together, I knew how special it was to have been a part of the community known as Trinity Lutheran College. I hope the class of 2011 can live up to the legacy established by the prior 67 graduating classes.
-Stacie Mallinson, Class of 2011