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Trinity College Records

Identifier: mss-689

Scope and Content Note

The Trinity College Collection consists of files generated and assembled by staff and faculty members. The collection includes the following types of materials: board of trustees and committee meeting minutes; correspondence; memoranda; accreditation and planning reports; external and internal publications, including brochures, posters, admissions viewbooks, programs, invitations, press releases, newsletters, and newspapers; notes written by faculty and staff members; transcripts of speeches given to and by members of the Trinity community; contracts; financial records; course catalogues and academic calendars; faculty and student handbooks; faculty, student, and alumni directories; student and alumni surveys; grant proposals and reports; architectural plans; scrapbooks; yearbooks; audio and video recordings; musical scores; and photographs in album, print, contact sheet, negative, and slide formats.

The collection is arranged in record groups by subject. Files generated or assembled by identifiable individuals or college departments are arranged in series within the record groups. The record groups are organized by number according to the following broad categories:

100--All-College Governance

200--Departments and Curriculum

300--Academic Programs and Support Services

400--Academic Affairs

500--Student Affairs

600--Student Activities

700--Finance and Administration

800--Development and Public Relations


1000--People of the College

1100--Final Disposition of the College


  • Bulk, 1980-2001 Bulk, 1980-2001 1917-2004
  • Majority of material found within 1980-2001


Language of Materials



The bulk of the Trinity College Collection is open for research. In accordance with the privacy guidelines described above, some files containing sensitive student, personnel, and legal information are restricted for fifty years from the latest date of the materials in those files.

Advisement to Researchers: It is possible that additional student, personnel, and legal records containing private or privileged information might be found scattered throughout the collection. Researchers retain the responsibility to handle this information with sensitivity and in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

Administrative History

Trinity College was founded in 1925 by the Burlington, Vermont chapter of the Religious Order of the Sisters of Mercy. In the early twentieth century, many of the Sisters served as parochial school teachers in the local area. Evolving state professional standards for teachers led the Sisters of Mercy to seek a way to provide their members with college degrees. In the spring of 1925, after several years of lobbying efforts, the Vermont State Legislature granted the Sisters a charter to establish an undergraduate women's college. Trinity College officially opened in the fall of that year with twenty students, seven of them Sisters of Mercy. In 1988, in an effort to distinguish the school from other American colleges of the same name, Trinity's board of trustees voted to legally change the organization's name from Trinity College to Trinity College of Vermont.

Throughout its history, Trinity College provided a liberal arts education to Sisters and lay women, many of whom were part of the first generation of their family to attend college. In addition to serving young female students with associate's and bachelor's degree programs, in the late twentieth century, Trinity also enrolled adult learners of both genders in undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The school established its PACE (Program for Adult Continuing Education) Program in 1971, launched its Weekend College Program in 1979, and established its Evening Degree Program in 1983. Graduate offerings, introduced in the 1980s and 1990s, included master's degrees in the Administration of Justice, Community Mental Health, and Education. Trinity was well-known for its social service programs, including education, special education, and social work; its ENHANCE Program, which offered developmentally disabled young adults the opportunity to attend college; and its Community Service Scholars Program, which provided scholarships and support to single parents on welfare.

Trinity College's enrollment peaked in the 1980s, when the student body comprised approximately 800 to 1,000. Throughout its history, traditional undergraduate students were offered the option of living on campus in dormitories or commuting from off-campus residences. Trinity's Catholic traditions greatly influenced student life on campus; for much of the school's history, students attended daily Mass in a campus chapel, and their conduct on campus was overseen by Sisters of Mercy, some of whom lived in the dormitories alongside their students. In the 1960s and 1970s, changing social mores for college life led to negotiations between the student body and school administrators for a loosening of restrictions on campus life, including the admittance of men to dormitory rooms. In the late twentieth century, Trinity's Catholic traditions also influenced an emphasis on community service. Among other activities, the college offered an Alternative Spring Break program, in which students spent their annual spring break conducting service projects.

In its early years, Trinity College was almost entirely staffed by members of the Burlington chapter of the Sisters of Mercy. The sister holding the office of Mother Superior served as college president from 1925 to 1957. In 1957, the chapter decided to separate the two positions due to increasing responsibilities caused by growth of the school and potential conflicts of interest between the two organizational bodies. In 1970, the college's bylaws were revised to include lay persons on the board of trustees. By the late twentieth century, Trinity's faculty and staff were also almost entirely comprised of lay people. The college hired its first lay president, Lorna Duphiney Edmundson, in 1997.

Trinity College occupied a section of Mount St. Mary's Academy, a parochial high school in Burlington, Vermont, from 1925 to 1940. In 1933, the college purchased its first building, a large house on Colchester Avenue in Burlington, to serve as a dormitory called St. Joseph's Villa. In 1938, Trinity acquired property on Colchester Avenue adjoining the Villa building to establish a campus. Its first academic building, Mann Hall, was constructed in 1939-1940. In succeeding years, the campus expanded to include the following buildings: the Fine Arts Building (acquired in 1948); McAuley Hall (built in 1956-1958); Mercy Hall (built in 1961-1962); Delehanty Hall (built in 1965-1966); Hunt, McCann, Ready, Richardson, and Sichel Halls (built in 1972); the Ira Allen Building (acquired in 1980); the Farrell Family Library (built in 1984-1985); and four former single-family residences renamed the Cottages (acquired in 1996).

In the late twentieth century, Trinity College experienced serious financial difficulties. Its traditional undergraduate student enrollment declined as women's and religious schools became less popular with young women entering college. Trinity's commitment to student financial aid reduced its income, while its possession of substantial debt from capital improvements and its efforts to improve faculty and staff salary parity compounded its expenses. After efforts to either refocus its academic offerings or merge the school with other institution(s) failed, Trinity closed its academic programs in 2001. The campus was sold to the University of Vermont in 2002, and the nonprofit organization that managed Trinity College was dissolved in 2004.

College Presidents

Following is a list of college presidents:

1925-1926, 1932-1935 - Mary Magdalen (Alice Delehanty), RSM, Mother Superior & College President

1926-1932 - Alphonsus Cassidy, RSM, Mother Superior & College President

1935-1941 - Thecla O'Brien, RSM, Mother Superior & College President

1941-47, 1952-57 - Emmanuel Mann (Francis Mann), RSM, Mother Superior & College President

1947-1952 - Collette Delehanty, RSM, Mother Superior & College President

1957-1966 - Ruth Ready (Mary Claver), RSM, Ph.D., College President

1966-1976 - Elizabeth Candon (Mary Patrick), RSM, Ph.D., College President

1976-1979 - Catherine McNamee, CSJ, Ph.D., College President

1979 - Janice Ryan, RSM, MA, Acting College President

1980-1996 - Janice Ryan, RSM, MA, College President

1996-1998 - Lorna Duphiney Edmundson, Ed.D., College President

1998-1999 - Louis C. Vaccaro, Ph.D., Interim College President

1999-2001 - Jacqueline Marie Kieslich, RSM, Ph.D., College President

Names of Creators

The following individuals, departments, committees, offices, and companies are the creators of materials in this collection:

Academic Dean's Office

Academic Standards Council

Admissions Office


Francois Asselin - Contract Photographer, 1990

Nancy Audette, RSM - Dean of Students, 1969-1970; Instructor in French, 1969-1972; Assistant Professor of French, 1972-1979; Academic Dean, 1978-1979; Associate Professor of Humanities, 1981-1985, 1992-; Chairperson of the Curriculum Committee, 1982-1983; Adjunct Lecturer in Humanities, 1989-1991

Mary Beth Barritt - Career Counselor, 1984-1985; Director of Career Counseling and Placement, 1986; Director of Career Development, 1987, 1990-1999; Admissions Counselor, 1989; Lecturer in Education, 1997-1999

Kathleen Berard - [position unknown], circa 1995-1998

Bruce Bergland - Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean, 1997-1999; Professor of Basic & Applied Social Sciences, 1998

Paul Boisvert - Contract photographer, circa 1980-1985

Karin Begg Borei - Library Director, 1993-1998; Assistant Professor, 1993-1998

Charlie Brown Productions - Contract photography, 1986-1987

William "Bill" Burke - Contract photographer, 1993

Elizabeth Candon (Sister Mary Patrick), RSM - Director of Admissions, 1953-1965; Instructor in English, 1953-1959; Assistant Professor of English 1960-1972; Associate Professor of English 1972-1973; Professor of English, 1973-1981; President, 1966-1976; Professor of Humanities, 1981-1999; Special Assistant to the President, 1984-1997; Vice President for Academic Affairs, 1991; Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, 1992

Career Development Office

Mary Carty - Contract photographer, circa 1980-1986

Florence Childs - Student, Class of 1926

Jeff Clarke - Contract photographer, 1985-1995

Gladys Coates (later Gladys Coates Hart) - Controller, 1987-1997

Tammie Colburn - [position unknown], circa 1996

Patricia "Pat" Connelly, RSM - Director of Financial Aid, 1972-1973; Dean of Students, 1973-1987; Dean of Students and Enrollment Management, 1988-1989; Assistant Professor of Education, 1986-1997; Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs, 1990-1997

Roger Crouse - Director of Information Technology Services, 1997-1999

Curriculum Affairs Council

Donna Dalton - Assistant Professor of Basic and Applied Social Sciences, 1991-1992; Associate Professor of Basic and Applied Social Sciences, 1993-1999; Chairperson of the Basic and Applied Social Sciences Department, 1991-1998; Associate Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Academic Dean, 1999

Oren Davis - Instructor in Philosophy, 1971-1972; Assistant Professor of Philosophy, 1972-1981; Chairperson of the Philosophy Department, 1976, 1986-1988; Associate Professor of Humanities, 1981-1989; Faith P. Waters Endowed Chair of Humanities, c. 1989-2000; Professor of Humanities, 1990-1999

Dean of Student's Office

Didier Delmas - Contract photographer, 1990

Development Office

Michael Donnellan - Academic Dean, 1979-1984

Lorna Duphiney Edmundson - College President, 1996-1998; Professor of Basic & Applied Social Sciences and Education, 1997

J. Kirk Edwards - Contract photographer, 1996

Joyce A. Engelken - Assistant Treasurer, 1981-1983; Treasurer-Business Manager, 1984-1989; Vice President of Finance and Administration, 1990-1998

Faculty Development Council

Gwen Fenno - Academic Dean's Office [position title unknown], circa 1990-1995

Finance Office

Dolly Fleming - Director of the Institute for Program Development, 1999

Nancy Goodrich - Director of External Affairs, 1983-1986; Director of Institutional Advancement, 1987

Robert Hahn - Academic Dean, 1984-1989; Assistant Professor of Humanities, 1985-1990; Associate Professor of Humanities, 1991; Vice President for Academic Affairs, 1990-1991

Gladys Coates Hart (first Gladys Coates) - Controller, 1987-1997

Laurie Tremblay Hickey - Director of Development 1993-1998

Patricia Hodge, RSM - Library Director, 1978-1981

Bonnie Hughes - Director of Public Relations, 1985-1988

Dorothy Hunt - Associate Professor of Music, 1931-1972; Professor Emerita, 1972-1992

Institutional Advancement Office

Pamela Jarvis - Assistant Professor of Business & Economics, 1990-1992; Associate Professor of Business & Economics, 1993-1999; Vice President of Finance and Administration, 1999

Susan Jones - Director of Career Development, 1983; Assistant Dean of Students, 1984-1987; Lecturer in Education, 1986-1991; Associate Dean of Students, 1988-1989; Dean of Students, 1990-1991

Jan Kenney - Public Relations Office [exact position unknown], circa 1998

Jacqueline Marie Kieslich, RSM - Instructor of Education, 1976-1981; Assistant Professor of Education, 1981-1983; Chairperson of Education Department, c. 1982; Associate Professor of Education, 1987-1999; Associate Academic Dean, 1987-1998; Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, 1998; Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, 1999; President, 1999-2004

Tammy Lenski - Dean of Students 1992-1996; Assistant Professor of Education, 1995; Acting Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, 1997

B. Leslie [first name unknown] - Contract Photographer, 1990

Library Department

Vernon "Vern" Lindquist - Associate Professor of Humanities, 1983-1989; Department Chairperson of Humanities, 1989-1992; Professor of Humanities, 1990-1992

Kathryn Lorraine - Director of Alumni Affairs, 2000

Virginia Lyons - Instructor in Biology, 1974-1975; Assistant Professor of Biology, 1976-1981; Assistant Professor of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, 1981-1986; Associate Professor of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, 1987-1992; Professor of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, 1993-1999; Chairperson, Curriculum Committee, 1981-1982

Elizabeth Mansfield - Director of Alumni Affairs, 1995-1997

Stella Mazon, Class of 1937

Agnes McCann, RSM (Sr. Mary Cephas) - Professor of Philosophy, 1925-1970; Academic Dean, 1946-1952, 1958-1966; Registrar, 1952-1957

David McKay - Director of Institutional Advancement, 1989; Vice President for Institutional Advancement, 1990-1998

John McKenna - Instructor in Human Services, 1976-1978; Director of PACE Program, 1976-1978; Assistant Professor of Human Services, 1979-1981; Assistant Professor of Basic and Applied Social Services, 1981-1989; Associate Professor of Basic and Applied Social Services, 1990-1997; Professor of Basic and Applied Social Services, 1998-1999

Catherine McNamee, CSJ - College President, 1976-1979

Jessica Brugger Meserve - Director of Admissions, 1979-1983

Elizabeth Messina - Contract photographer, 1994-1996

Linda Murray - Director, Enhance Program, circa 1994-1996

Gertrude Myrick (Sister Mary Charles), RSM - Instructor in English, 1962-1968; Assistant Professor of English, 1969-1971; Academic Dean, 1966-1978; Special Assistant to the President, 1979; Assistant Director of Admissions, 1979-1983; Associate Director of Admissions, 1983-1985; Director of Campus Ministry, 1992-1995

Katherine Orthman - [position unknown], circa 1997-1999

Mark Pendergrast - Technical Services Librarian, 1981-1990

Physical Plant Office

Brent William Poppenhagen - Vice President for Academic Affairs, 1993-1997; Associate Professor of Business & Economics, 1993-1995

President's Office

Lois Price - Director of Special Events and Conferences, 1993-1998

Public Relations Department

Ruth Ravey, RSM - Instructor in English, 1972-1973; Assistant Professor of English, 1976-1981; Assistant Professor of Humanities, 1981; Director of Development and Public Relations, 1972-1976; Chairperson of the Curriculum Committee, c. 1966-1980

Registrar's Office

Carl Riden - Director of Physical Plant, 1984-1998

Lisa Ritter - Public Relations Office [exact position unknown], circa 1991

Joyce Rodham - Public Relations Office [exact position unknown], circa 1989

Frances Roth - Instructor in Education, 1974-1976

Alice Rouleau - Bookstore Manager, 1983; Registrar, 1984-1998; Registrar and Director of Institutional Research, 1999

Janice Ryan, RSM - Instructor in Special Education, 1969-1972; Director of Publicity, 1969-1971; Assistant Professor of Education, 1972-1979; Professor of Education, 1979-1995; Acting College President, 1979; College President, 1980-1996; Professor Emerita of Education, 1997-1998

Inge Schaefer - Director of Public Relations and Alumnae Affairs, 1978-1981; Director of Public Relations, 1981-1983

Bruce Spector - Director of Community Service Learning and Leadership Program, 1990-1998; Adjunct Lecturer in Basic & Applied Social Services, 1990-1999; Lecturer in Humanities, 1995; Assistant Dean of Students, 1998; Interim Dean of Student Affairs c. 1999

Paul Sutherland - College Counsel, circa 1993-1997

Kathleen "Kathy" O'Dell Thompson - Director of Public Relations, 1992-1998; Acting Vice President for Institutional Advancement, 1999

Bonnie Trombly - President's Office [exact position unknown], circa 2001

Julie Trottier - Reach-Up Case Manager, circa 1993-1998

Unknown Office Files - [office unidentified]

Louis Vaccaro - Interim College President, 1998-1999

Suzanne Villanti - Alumnae Secretary, 1974-1976; Alumnae Director, 1976-1978; Director of the Annual Fund, 1978-1979; Director of Development, 1979-1981

R. Timm Vogelsberg - Director, Transitions II Program circa 1985

Dorothy Watson - Director of Traditional Admissions, 1997

Kelly Watt - AmeriCorps VISTA Alternative Spring Break Coordinator, 1999-2000

Thomas Way - Contract Photographer, date unknown

John Williams - Contract Photographer

Elizabeth "Betty" Wilson - Director of Human Resources, 1997-1998

Timothy Whiteford - Assistant Professor of Education, 1983-1985; Associate Professor of Education, 1986-1992; Professor of Education, 1993-1999

Elizabeth "Peg" Whitson - Library Archivist, 1986-1993

Mark Yerburgh - Library Director, 1983-1989; Associate Professor of Humanities, 1985-1989

Vanessa Phelan Zerillo - Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in Education, 1997-1999


230.6 Linear Feet


The Trinity College Collection contains the records of Trinity College of Vermont, a private Catholic college founded by the Burlington, Vermont chapter of the Religious Order of the Sisters of Mercy. The school offered a liberal arts undergraduate degree program for women from 1925 to 2001, when it closed due to financial difficulties. In the last twenty years of its operation, Trinity also enrolled adult students of both genders in undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The Trinity College Collection is comprised of materials documenting the founding, administration, academic programs, facilities, student affairs, and closure of the school, including manuscripts, financial papers, newspaper clippings, photographs, scrapbooks, and audio and video recordings.

Arrangement Note

The record groups were established by school administrators following the college's closing in 2001, when the collection was assembled from the files of individual staff and faculty members by Sr. Jacqueline Marie Kieslich, Trinity's last president, and faculty member Richard Hunt. Kieslich and Hunt gathered materials found in the possession of the college's existing archives and special collections, department chairmen, faculty members, administrative offices, and staff members. They selected items that they felt were essential to understanding the history of the institution, especially the period from the mid-1970s to 2001, which was not represented in a published history of the school. The collection was processed at the University of Vermont by Erica Donnis between 2007 and 2009. During processing, files generated or assembled by identifiable individuals or college departments were placed in series within the record groups.

Also during processing, student and personnel records in the collection were reviewed for potential privacy and confidentiality concerns. The following guidelines were developed and implemented in accordance with federal privacy laws, the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, and privacy and confidentiality guidelines of the Society of American Archivists:

1. Records that were judged to provide insight into the broader history of Trinity College and were associated with individual(s) who cannot be identified were retained. Examples include: anonymous survey responses and anonymous student correspondence with Trinity staff and faculty.

2. Records pertaining to specific aspects of an identifiable individual's studies or employment at Trinity College were either destroyed, redacted, or restricted, as follows:

A. Records were destroyed if (a) they were judged to contain sensitive information that did not provide insight into the broader history of the school, or (b) they contained indefinitely privileged information as defined by attorney-client confidentiality laws. Examples include correspondence with Trinity College's general counsel regarding litigation proceedings.

B. Groups of records that were judged to provide insight into the broader history of the school were restricted at the folder, sub-series, series, or record group level for a term of 50 years from the date of the most recent document in the file to protect identifiable individuals' privacy during their lifetimes. Examples include evaluations of applications for professional development leave by the Faculty Development Council.

C. Identifying information was redacted from individual records scattered throughout the collection when they were judged to provide insight into the broader history of the school, and the identifying information they contained could easily be removed without obscuring the meaning of the documents. Examples include letters or memoranda in which students' names and addresses were redacted.

The following exceptions were made for student and personnel records: Records containing information that was disseminated to the Trinity community and/or general public at the time in which they were created, or in which the individuals had an explicit or implicit understanding that the information could be publicly disseminated, were retained. Examples include: press releases, newspaper and newsletter articles, convocation programs, grant applications, and memoranda distributed to Trinity faculty and/or staff at large.

Physical Location

Library Research Annex

Custodial History Note

The Trinity College Collection was donated to the University of Vermont by Trinity College in 2004.

Related Materials

The Dorothy B. Hunt Collection, also at the University of Vermont, consists of additional papers amassed by Trinity music professor Dorothy Hunt. The collection includes teaching and other arts-related materials.

Additional administrative records of Trinity College, particularly early financial papers, are located in the Sisters of Mercy Northeast Community Archives (Vermont Section, H Boxes #52 to 64 and vertical files). The Sisters of Mercy Northeast Community Archives is located at 21 Searles Road, P.O. Box 420, Windham, NH 03087.

Student academic records, consisting of transcripts and grade books, are located in the Saint Michael's College Archives and administered by the college registrar. St. Michael's College is located at 1 Winooski Park, Colchester, VT 05439, (802) 654-2000,

Guide to the Trinity College Records mss.689
Erica Donnis
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)