Monday, October 31, 2011

"Movin' on Up"...

I recently was reading the Trinity Dean's List blog and, several clicks later, found myself reading about the schedule for Move-In Day 2011. I was immediately flashed back to a time, too long ago, when I too was pulling up to the school with a carload of stuff and a 'ready to attack the world' attitude.

I remember Move-In Day like it was yesterday - and trust me, it wasn't! But what strikes me the most is how I still remember vividly the first friends, first activities, first food, first classes….first impressions of everything. Do you?

I would bet that most of you, like me, had a lot of extra energy, open mindedness, and zeal to be make great connections and good impressions on that first day. You probably succeeded. Do you think that's a coincidence? I think not.

As networking chair, I'm supposed to write a little bit about networking. Effective networking. Things we can do to help each other. I'll start with this tiny bit of advice: Think of every day as Move-In Day!

In that light, I’d like to invite to the “Making Connections” event this year on January 6th. We had a wonderful time last year and hopefully we can do even better. It is a great opportunity to offer your help to new graduates, make new friends, and reconnect with others.


PS - Let's hear about some of your favorite first day / first week experiences! For me, it was life changing. I just didn't know it yet. Come to Making Connections this year and I'll tell you why.

Fritz Hesse ‘87

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Guest Blog: Engaging Retired Alumni

I'd like to thank Tom Braddock his devout interest and participation as a board member in San Diego's alumni chapter and for sharing his thoughts on engaging alumni. 

~Sara Quarterman '04

This year I was presented with some statistics about Trinity alumni that didn't surprise me so much as baffle me because it seems contrary to what I might have expected. Did you know that the class representation of Trinity alumni who graduated prior to 1970 drops significantly by each preceding decade? See the statistics below:

Tom Braddock, '57 and '66
COL, US Army, Retired
2010-2011 ranking of class representation at alumni events
              ·         ’10-’19: 5%
              ·         ’00-’09: 28% ( up 9% from previous year)
              ·         ’90-’99: 13% (up 3% from PY)
              ·         ’80-‘89: 8% (up 1% from PY)
              ·         ’70-’79: 7% (no change from PY)
              ·         ’60-’69: 3% (no change from PY)
              ·         ’50-’59: 1% (no change from PY)
              ·         ’40-’49: less than 1% (no change from PY)

What does this mean? First of all, there is an incredible turnout of newly graduated alumni—the alumni office must be working hard on campus to encourage soon-to-be alumni to seek out and get involved in their local chapters. I suspect that as a result of the increasingly competitive job market, new graduates are turning to the vast networks of Trinity alumni through local chapters and professional networking sites such as LinkedIn* in search of job leads. Another highly active demographic-those who graduated in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s-are likely mid-career and in the midst of family rearing with highly complex schedules. As the demographics age, you discover that retired alumni, with more potential for free time then the younger demographics, are participating in fewer numbers. 

Hopefully you can you see the conundrum this causes the rational mind. The question then is: Why do alumni with full schedules choose to be active in an ancillary activity while those with free time elect not to participate? With the addendum: How do we engage older alumni? 

As an aside, I recently had the privilege of spending a couple of hours with a 1970 TU graduate who was among the last of the full football scholarship players who after graduation went on to local notoriety in San Francisco and San Diego as a TV news anchor for CBS and NBC. We thoroughly enjoyed discussing anything and everything about our respective time at Trinity and I believe we could have gone on for another two hours if I hadn’t needed to leave. Subsequent emails to me attested to his profound interest in our local chapter in particular and Trinity in general. Go figure when set side by side with my previous comments!

Tom Braddock, '57 and '66
COL, US Army, Retired

* ‘Trinity University Alumni’ is a members only group on LinkedIn. If you wish to utilize this platform to network with fellow alumni simply search for the group and request to become a member.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

San Diego Aficionados

This post is dedicated to the things we love in San Diego. I for one am always curious to know what are the places and things my friends and coworkers love most about the area. It seems as though the local options for restaurants, outdoor activities, and neighborhood gems are boundless. 

After home, work, and the grocery store, I probably frequent Bird Rock Coffee Roasters more than any other establishment in San Diego. Despite having been a barista at Starbucks to get me through an 18 unit semester at Trinity, my appreciation for coffee grew exponentially once I discovered this local coffee shop. 

From their website: "At Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, we are all about quality. From the farmer to the beans, to the roasting, to the brewing, to our service, to our relationship with our neighborhood and our impact on the environment." 

This is a business that I'll gladly support with any excuse I can justify. For example, a pound of beans is my standard gift to my hosts when I travel. It is also wildly popular at holiday gift exchanges. You'll find me there most Saturday mornings when I pick up a fresh pound of espresso-Dirty Sweet is the current season's offering-and sample another one of their brews from somewhere around the world. Since the BRCR roasts their beans on a weekly basis, each cup is as fresh and close to perfection as I've ever had. Should you ever find yourself in Bird Rock (La Jolla) and want a fine cup of coffee and company, let me know! I'll meet you there.

So, what is your favorite place in San Diego?

Thursday, August 11, 2011


The reality of life after college doesn't always align with one's expectations just after graduation. Finding a community to be a part of can be challenging. I am constantly amazed by the sense of community I feel when I meet a fellow Trinity alum. Knowing someone from "home" brings such a sense of comfort. Sharing memories--even if they occurred at separate times--of professors, hang out spots on campus and around town, and what living on your own was like for the first time is so wonderful.

What fond memories do you have of life at Trinity?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What can your alumni chapter do for you?

People participate in organizations for a variety of reasons including the need for a social outlet, professional networking, health benefits, continued education, and community service to name just a few. With limited time and resources, it is increasingly important for individuals and families to find value in their affiliations and extracurricular activities.

The TU Alumni Association in San Diego has great potential for providing opportunities for local alumni to participate in events that reconnect us to our alma mater and classmates, as well as build new relationships with fellow alumni.

There are a plethora of untapped resources and possibilities in our community. The SD alumni board is committed to exploring ways to engage and interact with alumni. But first, we want to know, what do you value? What types of organizations are you currently involved in?  What impact, if any, has your education had on your life?

Monday, July 25, 2011

What brought you to San Diego?

Despite the vast distance between San Diego, CA and San Antonio, TX, I found many similarities between the two cities that made moving to the West coast easier to digest. To name a few:

  • The population of each city is roughly 1.3 million. 
  • Even with their top ten population rankings, the character of each of the cities is more laid-back than many of the other cities in their respective states.
  • There is long history of Hispanic culture that is infused in the architecture, cuisine, and language of the cities. 
  •  There is an absence of cold winters along the general line of latitude where these cities were founded - a characteristic that I am particularly attracted to.

There are also plenty of wonderful differences that make each city unique. When I first discovered that more than 160 alumni lived in San Diego county, I was pleased to know that others who have a common educational background found themselves living 1,275 miles from Trinity University. I wonder, what was the appeal or impetus for your moving to San Diego? What keeps you here?

Sara Quarterman


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thank you to all TU alumni in San Diego for helping us establish a successful local chapter!

A recap of alumni events in 2010-11

Cindy '87, Tom '57, Sue, Fritz '87
Last fall the San Diego chapter held its third-ever alumni event, welcoming new participants on a wine tour of Temecula, CA. Despite the record heat wave, TU alumni enjoyed a variety of wines from some of Southern California's finest vineyards as they became better acquainted with fellow Trinitonians and reminisced about the campus and favorite hangout spots around San Antonio.

The San Diego chapter was excited to have a fantastic showing at our first Making Connections event. Nearly half of the current San Diego students were in attendance as well as students and alumni from nearby Orange County. Parents, students, spouses, and alumni gathered to make new connections and reconnect with friends from the past. The event was hosted at the home of Fritz Hesse ’87 and Cindy (Guldan) Hesse ’87. It is exciting to see this chapter getting off the ground to a great start. Go Trinity!

Martin '10, Sara '04, Kit '02, Fritz, '87
During Trinity’s annual national community service campaign, Trinity Cares, the San Diego chapter partnered with The San Diego River Park Foundation to pull weeds and beautify the walking paths throughout the Point Loma Native Plant Garden. It was a great opportunity to look into the history of the region and observe many rare and endangered plants as this is one of the few remaining gardens home to flora not found anywhere else in the world.

Cornyation King and Queen 
In the spirit of our alma mater's local fiesta season, eleven alumni and their families came out to North Island Naval Station to celebrate a Day in Old San Diego. The "Spanish Colonial Revival" architecture of the officer's quarters and historic I-Bar proved to be a wonderful setting for the fiesta-themed afternoon. Many parents were able to connect as their children played together. Another highlight included the fortuitous timing of 2 active marines and current alumni, First Lieutenant Chris Latimer and operations officer Zach Flechsig, who were able join us for the festivities.