Large new freshman class at Trinity ready for start of fall semester
Trinity CommunicationsAugust 21, 2018
As Lexi Garcia made the 21-hour road trip to Trinity’s Deerfield campus from her home in Laredo, Texas, she thought about how nice it will be to delve into a detailed study of music for the first time.
“No one’s ever really taught me how to dissect music and really understand it,” said Garcia, who plans to major in music education. “To understand all of that fully is going to be so exciting.”
Garcia is one of 150 true freshman (in addition to 55 upperclassmen transfer students) entering undergraduate classes for the first time at Trinity this week. That number represents an increase over last year’s total and over the three-year average of freshman enrollees at TIU. Those who helped recruit the class say it is marked by quality as well as quantity.
“This group is special,” director of undergraduate admissions Jordan Bryant said. “They are dynamic students from all over the country. I am very excited to see the impact they make on the Trinity community and beyond.”
This freshman class represents 26 states and eight other countries. One of Trinity’s newest pre-med students is from Nigeria.
Blossom Edoh is from Abia State in southeastern Nigeria, 15 hours away by plane from Chicago. But she lived for the past year in St. Louis while her mother was doing research there. Her church youth group went to the EFCA Challenge 2018 youth conference in Kansas City, where she began learning about scholarships that were available at TIU. She said Christian college options in Nigeria were too expensive for her to consider.
“As a Christian, I want to study with other Christians who see the world from our perspective,” Edoh said.
In neighboring Cameroon, Ryan and Kristin Gerbrandt have served for four years as EFCA ReachGlobal missionaries in the capital city of Yaounde. Their daughter Abigail began looking at colleges in the United States nearly two years ago.
“I visited a lot of colleges, and Trinity just felt right,” Gerbrandt said.
She participated in the Presidential Scholars Weekend in January and earned a dean’s scholarship during the competition. Gerbrandt will study in a pre-nursing curriculum.
“I love nursing because I’ll be able to keep many options open,” Gerbrandt said.
Garcia started her college search unaware of TIU. But a youth group leader at her church in Laredo announced that scholarship money was available, and she thought it was worth making applications to see what might be offered.
“This summer has been all about God providing for me,” Garcia said. “There are a few moments in your life when you feel like God is telling you ‘this is it.’ I began to know that this was where I was supposed to be.”
For Garcia, the final confirmation came when she learned she had landed a music scholarship following an audition.
“I started crying, and I knew I was meant to come here,” Garcia said. “Even though Trinity is so far away (from Laredo), I feel so at home here.”
Feeling at home is important for Jake Rust, who hails from Park City, Utah. He was set to attend another college until a last-minute summer visit to TIU. He and his father prayed about what he should do on the flight back to Utah.
“The school I had decided on before Trinity was in a small farming community,” Rust said. “That’s really not me. I love the diversity and the opportunities of living near Chicago.”
Rust adds: “I really felt the Lord calling me here,” Rust said. “Everyone is so welcoming and the campus is so fun.”