What Does Trinity Mean to Me?

By Perky Vetter, PhD. Alumni, former professor, and member of the Board of Governors.

Memories of TJC continue to this day. Right while the Alumni Weekend was taking place on campus, 10 of us alumni from the early years with Dr. Hansen were on an Alaska Cruise together – making more memories and enjoying our friendship of over 50 years! This is a testament of what the time at Trinity has meant to so many – a year or two together in the dorms, taking classes, playing sports, being on committees, and chapel time have impacted us for a lifetime. When I try to describe this eternal friendship to others, they are amazed of how close so many of us continue to be. How can this happen? Well this is what Trinity was, is, and will be for years to come.

What is Trinity? Here are a few descriptors that exemplify this unique college/university like no other. Trinity is a place where:

  • God is honored in and out of the classroom
  • We do not doubt in the dark what God shows us in the light
  • If Christ is Lord, nothing is secular
  • All individuals – students, faculty, and staff are treated with respect
  • Learning occurs in spite of all night card playing and dorm fun
  • Young people grow up with nurturing from mature faculty & staff
  • A student can come back and be on the teaching staff (me) or even President (Bob)
  • It has gained respect in the secular educational community of the Canadian Universities
  • Athletes practiced their sport in a barn (volleyball, basketball, floor hockey)
  • All students could fit into a small chapel with room to spare (1962 – mid 1980’s)
  • The President, Dr. Hansen, would play tennis outside a class that was in session
  • Faculty would give up their summers to travel with a singing group
  • Women students living in the dorm had a curfew and the men did not
  • Sunday dress was required in order to eat Sunday dinner in the cafeteria
  • Theological doctrine has not changed and is founded on the word of God
  • Alumni have developed lasting friendships over 50 years after 1 year together at Trinity

I could go on with the list, however each alumni could write our own that would describe the uniqueness of Trinity past and the influence the people and teaching had on our lives.

I came to Trinity from Seattle where my father was the pastor of Ballard Evangelical Free Church and a good friend of Cal Hanson and his father. My first year at Trinity Junior College (1968-69) was very similar to a camp as many of us from Black Bible Camp in Olympia, WA attended. I played volleyball and basketball going to classes when I did not have practice or was not too tired from playing cards all night. It was not until my second year at Trinity that I decided to study and get serious about my grades. I worked hard and was able to transfer to Chico State College in CA, graduating in 1972 with a degree in Physical Education with minors in math and physical sciences. Shortly after graduation, Dr. Hanson called me and asked me to come back to TJC to teach women’s physical education and coach the women’s sports team. So for the 1972-73 academic year, just two years after leaving as a student, I returned as a faculty member. This experienced change my life and I soon realized that I wanted to teach at the college level. Upon returning to California, I got the chance in 1977 to join the faculty at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona where I stayed for 39 years, retiring September 2016.

So here is the full circle, in May 2016 I joined the Trinity Western University Board of Governors. My first teaching job was at Trinity and my last professional duty is on the Trinity Western University Board of Governors. God is good and has lead me over the years to various roles, but none has been more important than my first teaching job at Trinity Junior College where President Hanson believed in me, giving me the confidence to be a university professor for over 40 years.

What does Trinity mean to me? Everything! To God be the glory.


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