A school and a city: Trinity University’s new president shares her vision

Dr. Vanessa Beasley is Trinity University’s 20th President

SAN ANTONIO – Trinity University is entering a new chapter with Dr. Vanessa Beasley, the institution’s 20th and newest president, who plans to transform the campus.

The institution is 154 years old, traditionally ranked among the best colleges in the nation, and has a campus that rose from what was once a limestone quarry to become a San Antonio gem. Trinity’s next step will be Beasley’s position.

Beasley, Trinity University’s 20th president, said she wants Trinity visible and active in San Antonio.

“What’s important to me is that we are seen as part of the community, not separate from it,” said Beasley.

Service projects, internships, and leaders -- it’s all part of the plan when it comes to Trinity’s new president.

“We want to lean into the experiences that give our students the chance to practice what they are learning and reading about in the classroom, out in the real world, if you will, through more experiences, she said.

Beasley was raised in Florida, went to Vanderbilt University, then went to grad school at the University of Texas. She has taught at SMU and Texas A&M, but when asked about her biggest surprise so far, she said it’s that Trinity already feels like home.

“I have to tell you I’ve felt so welcomed by the community, and I really feel like I’ve found my people, so I’m just really happy to be here and also fiercely protective of this community,” Beasley said.

Media, communications, and American Presidents are all part of her background.

She also loves traveling and live music. Something perhaps unusual in leaders of major universities is her escape comes in heavy metal -- not Whitesnake but weight lifting.

“One of the things I need is time when my brain stops, and you know what makes your brain focus pretty intently -- holding something over your head that could crush your skull in, so I find it’s a great mental health exercise,” says Beasley.

Weightlifting is a hobby that takes strength, so perhaps Vanessa Beasley is the perfect person to push, nudge, or even lift Trinity into its next phase.

“We really want Trinity to change San Antonio, and the way we do that is through our education and the way we put leaders out there to take us all to the next level,” Beasley said.

Saturday, Feb. 11, will be President Beasley’s Investiture, and on Friday, as part of the celebration of the new president, Trinity is promising to light up the sky. They have not given details on what exactly that means, so we will have to wait and see.

If you’d like to see more of Steve Spriester’s interview with Dr. Vanessa Beasley, it’s the latest version of Spriester Sessions. Watch the full-length video below:

About the Author

Steve Spriester started at KSAT in 1995 as a general assignments reporter. Now, he anchors the station's top-rated 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

Recommended Videos