Trinity University is turning 150.
On Tuesday night, Trinity University officials announced the school would implement a new test-optional policy in its admissions process. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Trinity University plans to establish a new endowment that will help improve services for students with disabilities, using money from a $5 million donation from an anonymous benefactor.

The Student Accessibility Services Endowment, totaling $4.5 million, will give the university funding for more programs, professional development, and new technology for students with disabilities to foster a more “inclusive and pluralistic campus,” according to a press release Monday.

The remaining $500,000 from the donation can be used immediately for software and equipment related to the endowment, while allowing the endowment to mature over time.

Some of the funding will go to support the school’s Student Accessibility Services department, which works to provide equal access and opportunities to students with disabilities. It serves more than 100 students annually, according to the department’s website.

The existing department provides diagnostic referrals, housing accommodations, note-taking help, and sign language interpreters.

The endowment will fund a full-time student accessibility specialist and three more full-time positions, effectively doubling the department’s staff. It will also pay for professional development for faculty and staff and the roll-out of software and equipment needed to accommodate students.

“Trinity University is excited, humbled, and honored that we may have an opportunity to become a national leader in student accessibility,” Director of Academic Support Betty Curry said in a written statement. “More than that, we welcome the chance to be able to meet each student’s needs more completely to ensure their success at Trinity and in their professional lives as alumni.”

Trinity’s total endowment is worth $1.3 billion, according to the university.

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.