Ask Susan Rost Monahan ’93 about her time as a Trinity student-athlete, and she recalls the exceptional talents of women’s lacrosse teammates and the impact of their coach, Robin Sheppard M’76, education teacher physical, emeritus, former associate director of athletics and former head coach of the field hockey and women’s lacrosse teams.
Monahan, a psychology-educated optometrist, downplays her own contributions to Trinity’s women’s lacrosse. But she will always remember the skills and leadership of three players in particular who remain her close friends and said of Sheppard: “She is such a charismatic leader and coach and has such an amazing history with Trinity. She influenced me, yes, but I think she influenced all the women on her teams in a very positive way.
Monahan met her husband, Joseph “Jay” W. Monahan ’93, at a freshman seminar, “The Underside of American History.” “Meeting each other was definitely the biggest and most important aspect of Trinity for both of us,” she says.
The Monahans are part of a close-knit group of friends — all of whom graduated in the 1990s, met their spouses at Trinity and competed on Bantam sports teams — who recently came together to donate joint leadership. by creating a new fund at Trinity, one dedicated to supporting equity in women’s athletics. Others who started this fund are Billy Hogan ’96 and Jennifer Martinelli Hogan ’98, Sam Kennedy ’95, H’19 and Amanda Johnson Kennedy ’94, and Dan Sullivan ’99 and Kate McLaren Sullivan ’99.
Upon learning of the fund’s plans, two other Trinity couples — James Kennedy ’99 and Tamara Wiley Kennedy ’97 and Brendan Monahan ’95 and Abigail Hudson Monahan ’94 — also made contributions. Jamie is Sam Kennedy’s brother and Brendan is Jay Monahan’s brother.
The 12 alumni attest that their time as Trinity students and athletes has had a huge impact on their lives. Trinity is where they met some of their closest friends and most stable mentors; in some cases, these mentors were other students. For all, participation in athletics was an important part of their college experience, and several went on to pursue athletic-related careers and great accomplishments in this field.
Jay Monahan, who played golf and ice hockey at Trinity and since 2017 has been a PGA Tour commissioner, said: “You see how much playing competitive college athletics contributes to the experience of Trinity and how it helps prepare people for challenges and opportunities in life. And, recognizing that we benefited from Trinity’s athleticism, it was a great way for us to lend a hand in a larger effort that the school has and, in particular, the president [Joanne] Berger- Sweeney has to address equity for female student-athletes.
“I am grateful to the Hogan, Kennedy, Monahan and Sullivan families for the significant and heartfelt contribution they have made in support of our student-athletes at Trinity, and in recognition of the meaningful experiences they have all had as as Trinity student-athletes. adds President Joanne Berger-Sweeney. “We have already been able to address some of the work outlined in the recent Title IX audit of the sports program. It is important to provide our female athletes with the conditions they need to thrive and for us to recommit to supporting gender equity.
Jen Hogan ’98, who was co-captain of her lacrosse and football teams at Trinity, says of her family’s 2014 move to England: “The move opened our eyes even more to this challenge. When we moved here, we wanted to find a football program for our eldest daughter – football in the United States – and it was difficult. England lags even further behind the United States in this move. So, we see it and I feel it every day with my daughters. And when we decided [to create the fund], I felt really excited about it.
Billy Hogan ’96, who was ice hockey captain at Trinity and now CEO of Liverpool Football Club, said: “I think the key part was identifying something that can have an impact and ensuring that the women who attend Trinity have the same opportunities as the men of Trinity. Ultimately, these things cost money.
“England won the Women’s Euro last summer, filling the biggest stadiums in the country,” he continues. “There were massive crowds, great TV ratings, and I think the trajectory for women’s sport is really positive. However, this requires investment. All of us in the sports industry are the beneficiaries of decades, if not centuries, of investment. I always think it’s unfair when people say, “Well, women’s sports aren’t the same as men’s sports. It’s because we haven’t invested.
Jen Hogan adds: “I hope we will open more people’s eyes. When someone reads this Trinity article, they might think, “Oh, I didn’t know this was something I could have an impact on.”
Sam Kennedy ’95, H’19 and Amanda Johnson Kennedy ’94 both had what he sums up as a “life-changing” experience at Trinity. “It was an incredible group of people that we had the chance to meet, and we had no idea we were going to be friends for life,” said Sam Kennedy, who played baseball at Trinity and is now president. and CEO of the Boston Red Sox. .
Amanda Kennedy says, “Even though I wasn’t a recruited athlete, I ended up swimming for Coach Chet McPhee and enjoyed being on the team. I remember the excitement of the opening of the new pool at Ferris in 1993 and have been impressed over the years – now decades – with the growth of the program since the school invested in it. expanded facilities.
Says Sam Kennedy, “When we thought of the College Bicentennial milestone, we wanted to do something as a group to give back to a place that has been so special to us and, in particular, to a school that has given prioritizing equity and opportunity for all students. -the athletes and especially the women’s programs, who have really grown and become a big part of Trinity’s success. Hopefully the statement this makes about the importance of equity and inclusion will resonate and lead to future female leaders coming out of Trinity College.
Dan Sullivan ’99 notes that he and Kate McLaren Sullivan ’99 became close friends with several band members after graduation. “Jamie Kennedy was in our class year and was my freshman roommate; then after college I joined a men’s hockey league [in the Boston area] with Jamie, Sam, Billy and Brendan,” he explains.
Staying informed about Trinity men’s ice hockey is important to Dan Sullivan, who is the general manager of a commercial real estate company, Cresa Boston. “I continue to receive regular email updates from head coach Matt Greason [’02, M’10], who was a freshman on the team when I was a senior player, so I know him well,” he said. “It’s always good to get those emails, and I’ve also been able to attend games over the years.”
Kate Sullivan, President of Churchill Forge Properties, said: ‘Dan and I have nieces and nephews applying to colleges so we encouraged them to consider Trinity and took them to see the school. Trinity remains a very important part of our daily lives because of the network of alumni we spend so much time with. This is, for us, the first time that we have made a substantial donation to the school, and we are delighted to give back to the college which has given us so much.
Having played softball at Trinity, Kate Sullivan says, “Sport was such an important part of my life and my development. The ability to continue to develop Trinity’s programs and ensure that equitable resources are allocated to them is really important. I think the future for women’s athletics is incredibly bright.
Jamie Kennedy ’99, who is vice-president, international, of the PGA Tour, and Tamara Wiley Kennedy ’97 shared: “Our daughter is an aspiring college football player who has always been involved in the sport, and we have seen first hand the positive effects. in terms of self-esteem, social life and discipline in time management. While a sporting career for our daughter is a current short-term goal, there is no doubt that the long-term support of women’s athletics, both at Trinity and beyond, is something near and dear to our hearts.
Brendan Monahan ’95, Managing Director of Marsh McLennan, and Abigail Hudson Monahan ’94 shared, “We are thrilled that our friends and family members have initiated this effort and we are thrilled to contribute. Trinity Women’s Athletics – all of the College’s athletics programs – is life changing. The more we can support equal opportunities and resources for all of our student-athletes, the more they will thrive and excel, on campus and after graduation.
Jay Monahan adds: “What really comes back is that Trinity women’s athleticism is a strength of the school, and it always has been. I think our support for this effort will add to that strength. We hope that other families and people who have gone through similar experiences will join in this, and it will become a collective effort.