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Response and Impact: Perspectives from Trinity University on COVID-19‌

Mission Statement and Purpose

The purpose of Response and Impact: Perspectives from Trinity University on COVID-19‌ is to document the effects the virus and pandemic will have on the institution and the Trinity community at large.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we conduct our business and lives. Specifically Trinity University, a small liberal arts college that prides itself on small students-to-faculty ratios and in-person learning, was upended by the necessary switch to a remote learning environment. Students returning from spring break were asked to move out of their dormitories. Faculty, instructors, librarians, and information technology staff worked together to migrate classes online.  As the university moved to suspend most on-campus operations and transition to conducting business remotely, Trinity employees who are parents were thrown into new roles as K-12 educators while trying to work from home. These were just some of the challenges despite the diligent work of the Crisis Management Team to mitigate the worst effects.

As an institution and community, we should look to this event and ask how our work and interactions with the student body changed.  Additionally, what are the implications in regards to planned gifts and development?  How will this impact admissions? These are the questions we are asking now, and these are some of the questions administrators, faculty, students, and researchers of higher education will be asking in the future.  By saving what we are doing now, the materials we assemble and archive will present insights unknown to us at this time.

Collection Development Policy

The guidelines for this project are as follows:

  • The project seeks material generated during the days leading to campus closure through the end of the first on-campus semester following the crisis (date range TBD).
  • The project will seek material from students, faculty, staff, administrators, parents and alumni. 
  • The project will collect all material regardless of format, though storage formats will be taken into consideration. 
  • Donors of material must coordinate directly with the University Archivist or a designated representative of the University Archives.
  • The University Archivist will retain donated material for the collection at her discretion.
  • Loaned material will not be accepted.
  • After materials have been organized, the collection will be accessible by means of a resource guide or finding aid, appointments in the archives, and an online exhibit.

Collecting Facets

Trinity's Special Collections and University Archives is conducting a collecting project on the effects of COVID-19 on the Trinity community. The project has three facets. First, share your thoughts through the questionnaire provided below. This is one way to develop a collection that will reflect what life was really like at Trinity during this pandemic. Second, we will be collecting digital and physical material. Please see the What to Give page on the types of material that will be accepted. The third stage will be an oral history project that will take place after a sense of normalcy has returned to campus. 

Please contact University Archivist Abra Schnur at for more information on the project.