Mike has been Head of the College for 13 years. Being a former resident during his undergraduate studies in the early ‘70s, he became a board member before becoming Head in 2005. His strongest connection is that he met his wife in College in 1974; they have been married since 1977 and still love being part of a college community!
Working here means working with people who value providing Trinity residents with the best experience possible. Meeting and engaging with young adults from so many different backgrounds. I love getting up from my desk and walking around the beautiful grounds, knowing that I’ll run into someone and have a chat.
What do you love about Trinity?
That it’s comfortable and everyone’s treated as a young adult. The fact that we have people from all around the world and we’re inclusive does mean that people feel comfortable rather quickly.
We talk all the time about when you see someone, you see another really interesting person to talk to and listen to – not to make any judgements until you’ve had a conversation.
What’s an important lesson that you hope residents take away from their time here?
I talk to the students when we’re doing the Leadership Course about being in the moment. Because all too often we’re worried about what we’ve just done or we’re thinking about what we might be doing, but it’s really important sometimes to enjoy the moment.
We’re pretty lucky here, it’s a great place, so I don’t put any importance on any one event.
What opportunities can residents expect?
We offer lots of opportunities for leadership in the College. The Leadership Course itself is held in three lots of four hour modules this year, but it’s really around emotional intelligence, being self-aware because if you’re managing yourself you can manage others. We’re a college which is run by residents, next year that team will be 25 students, the largest team ever. I’m a strong believer that young adults can manage themselves.
What else makes Trinity different?
We’ve stayed fully collegiate, which means that we feed everyone every meal, every day. The Dining Room is open 10 hours per day and you can come and go and eat as you please.
All the food is very good, but it’s not so much about the food, it’s about the Dining Room being a place where everyone goes and meets. So the fact that all meals are provided means that everyone goes to the Dining Room, and if you’re there, you’re going to meet other people. I guess that’s the whole philosophy of Trinity, that there’s always an opportunity for you to listen to stories of young adults from all around the world – and tell your story.
Tell us a little about your history with the College.
In the ‘70s I did my undergraduate studies at St Columba, which is one of the two colleges which amalgamated to form Trinity. I was on the Board for a while, and then the council of Trinity and the opportunity to become Head came up. I thought, ‘this will be a good career change for me’, and it definitely has been.
In my years studying at Columba, it was a new college. We had a fantastic principal and his views – which we often chatted about – had a big impact on how I conducted myself professionally. So it’s always been a very special place in my heart.
What advice do you have for new residents entering the College?
Two things; get involved, and take the time to listen to other residents’ stories.