The Ontario Crew
Joshua Roebuck (’08) and Kelsey Wallace (’09) first met as teenagers at summer camp, where they became good friends. As they grew older, they eventually decided to study at Trinity Western together. Having each-other made it a lot easier to leave home and travel across the country.
It didn’t take long before they met other people from Ontario at the University.
They met Stephanie Weir (Wells, ’07) when she started dating Roebuck’s roommate, Gordon Weir (‘09), now her husband. These four—the self-dubbed ‘Ontario Crew’—got together often during their time on campus. When they graduated and all ended up in Toronto, they kept their community going.
“I get together with Josh’s wife, Natalie, a couple times a month,” says Weir. “Our boys were born within two weeks of each other, and our daughters are just a year apart.”
A New Idea
The idea to start their own chapter came while at Toronto’s 2017 Christmas in the City event. Wallace and Roebuck went to reconnect with the University, and were surprised to see how many Trinity Western alumni were living in the area.
“I had an amazing experience at Trinity Western, both academically and socially,” says Wallace. “I always wanted to continue the connection here in Toronto, but hadn’t put too much thought into it before. But after Josh and I talked, I decided I would do whatever I could to get a Toronto Chapter started ASAP.”
When they presented the idea to Weir, she was excited to get involved, too. “Party planning and seeing old TWU friends?! Sign me up!” Weir said on the spot.
The three friends reached out to the TWU Alumni Association, and before long plans were in motion.
Replicating the Trinity Western Community Experience
All three champions agree that Trinity Western had a big impact on their life, and they’re excited to get connected with their alumni neighbors.
“The friendships I made at Trinity Western continue to be some of the strongest and most impactful in my life,” says Weir. “I’m really excited to make some new friends and build a stronger Trinity Western presence in the GTA.”
Weir believes in the importance of community. “It’s our support system. It’s where we seek advice, mentorship, friendship. Living in community is how we raise our children without losing our minds. This chapter will expand our Christian community, locally. I think that’s really valuable.”
Wallace agrees, adding that she hadn’t ever experienced something quite like the community at Trinity Western before attending there.
“The small school created an inclusive culture full of opportunity,” says Wallace. “Every group I was involved with included people who were welcoming and engaging. That is what I am hoping to be a part of in the Alumni Chapter: a group of people who want to connect with others, have fun together, and support each-other in different ways.”
“We want to maintain these relationships over time,” adds Roebuck. “Eventually, our kids will be old enough to go to Trinity Western, and now they’ll all be connected too.”
Engaging Eastern Canadian Alumni
Roebuck says he was passionate about getting involved in starting a chapter because he believes it’s important to build connection for Trinity Western alumni in the eastern areas of Canada. “A lot of people have it in the west, because they’re closer to the University. But we don’t have that here.”
Wallace agrees, and feels engagement is a big problem facing Trinity Western Alumni in the east.
“It’s time for alumni (myself included) to give back to the school that gave us so much during our time there,” says Wallace. “Whether it be giving back through our time promoting the school to others, financially giving back, or engaging in alumni chapters to support others around us, Trinity Western Alumni need to be more engaged once they leave campus.”
“Community doesn’t just happen,” adds Wallace. “It requires one to take the steps to get involved.”
Roebuck, Wallace, and Weir hosted the first Toronto Chapter event on May 17th, 2018. The night was a great success and many new connections were formed. The three champions eagerly anticipate meeting with more alumni at the next event, happening on June 20th, 2018. Learn more here.
If you’re interested in getting involved, and live in the Greater Toronto Area, please contact these incredible champions and join the Toronto Facebook Chapter.