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STATE OF THE COLLEGE ADDRESS CITES GROWTH FOR TRINITY

Trinity Christian College is on track for another productive academic year, according to Interim President Tony Diekema and other administrative leaders. The speakers expressed optimism and anticipation during Trinity's annual State of the College address last week. This August marked the beginning of its 44th year of educating Christian scholars.

"We're moving forward with a great deal of positive momentum," Diekema said. "Trinity has become a significant institution within the larger mosaic of Christian higher education, fulfilling an important role locally and nationally."

In recent years, Trinity has grown steadily, as evidenced by its rising student population. For the 2002-03 academic year, 904 students will take undergraduate classes. Another 231 are enrolled in TRACS, the College's adult education program, which boosts the total figure to an all-time high of 1135.

"We couldn't be happier with our student enrollment numbers," said Pete Hamstra, vice president for advancement and admissions. "More people are hearing about us, and more high school students are putting Trinity at the top of their lists of college choices."

The increase in the student body impacts the need for adequate housing to accommodate them. Trinity purchased two apartment buildings in nearby Crestwood in 2001 to alleviate some of the crowding, and plans are in the works for a new residence hall on campus, to be named Alumni Hall, that will lodge 180 students. The College hopes to break ground on that facility in the spring.

Along with more students, the College has added nine faces to its faculty. The curriculum has broadened with the addition of a political science major, and the science department begins its first full year in the newly constructed Heritage Science Center.

The search for a permanent president is the most pressing priority for Trinity. Interim President Diekema has a goal "to be out of a job by the end of this academic year." He will work with the search committee to identify the candidate whose experience and credentials best match the College's needs.

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