Decades after graduating, Carolyn Kearns and her husband, Bob Hutchison, continue to be active members of the Trinity community. The former cheerleader and hockey player are generous donors and engaged volunteers. Carolyn, who has participated in Trinity boards since 2002, including roles as chair of the Trinity Board of Trustees and chair of the College’s strategic planning process in 2009, has been honored with a U of T Arbor Award for her commitment to Trinity. She has been co-chair of the Living Trinity Campaign since 2019.



CAROLYN: I was the first in my family to attend Trinity. At that time, it was known as an Anglican college, and as a practicing Anglican who was a strong student, it made sense for me to apply.

BOB: My mother, Margaret (Paine) Hutchison ’42, was very proud of her Trinity education. She was the first in her family to attend post-secondary school, and my siblings and I grew up hearing many stories about her experiences attending Trinity during the Second World War. She was also an active alumna throughout her life. My sister Elizabeth “Liza” Hutchison ’69 started at Trinity a few years before I did, and although I applied to a few schools, Trinity was always my first choice.

CAROLYN: Bob and I met in our first year at Trinity, on a “scholars’ night” in Strachan Hall. He was an “H” and I was a “K,” so we were sitting next to each other. The Chancellor was speaking in Latin, which I had never studied. I leaned over and made a comment to Bob wondering what he was saying, and Bob promptly translated for me.

BOB: I’ll never tell whether it was a fully accurate translation or not! We became friends and then dated through our undergrad years, and while I was at law school and Carolyn at urban planning school. We married in 1974, and had three wonderful children, one of whom also attended Trinity.

CAROLYN: Our wedding was filled with Trinity people. Our nucleus of friends has been and continues to be from the College.


CAROLYN: Bob and I were both raised with an expectation that you give back to your community in whatever ways you are able. We have been financial donors for many years, but hadn’t been actively involved with Trinity until our daughter Jane became a student there. At that time, we ran into another Trinity alum by chance, and he recruited us to join as parent representatives on the Development Committee. That was in 2002. From there I became a member of Corporation, and then a trustee, and then chair of the Trinity board. During that time, I became very involved with developing a strategic plan for the College, which was challenging and gratifying work.

BOB: We got involved at first because we were proud of what the College was doing. We’ve continued to be active on Trinity’s boards because seeing the College continually improving has been really encouraging.

CAROLYN: Over the years we’ve seen Trinity’s leadership only get stronger. That’s why I didn’t hesitate when I was asked to co-chair the Living Trinity Campaign. It’s the most ambitious and exciting undertaking in the College’s history and I enjoy working with my co-chair, Michael Royce, very much, along with a dedicated campaign cabinet of volunteers. I am also inspired by so many people in the Trinity community who are giving back in so many ways. Chancellor Bill Graham is one exceptional example, and continues to be a role model for me and for many others.


BOB: There’s an energy, a spirit, and a lot of pride in being part of Trinity and its plans for the future. It feels good to be part of a vibrant, high-quality organization that is boldly moving forward.

CAROLYN: I get back much more than I give! Trinity’s people are fantastic, engaging, interesting individuals. It’s always rejuvenating working with them toward our common goals. We have an ambitious plan, and I have no doubt that we will achieve it and shape an even better Trinity experience for future generations.

Carolyn and Bob on their wedding day, 1974.