Generations growing together:
Trinity Woods community a national model for support and innovation
It is more than a place to call home for sisters and seniors, mothers and children. From the moment the concept was introduced, Trinity Woods has garnered national attention as a landmark example of care and community.
20% of Mount Mary students are parents and we understand they face many additional challenges and barriers to achieving a college degree than those who are not parents. Trinity Woods provides a campus support system and resources for already enrolled single parents as well as an attractive option for new students to pursue their degrees on our campus.
This one-of-a-kind intergenerational housing community opened its doors in late 2021, and also includes an early childhood development center for up to 100 children managed by Wauwatosa Daycare.
The facility also provides myriad opportunities for practical training and relationship building for all Mount Mary students as a place for educational immersion and professional practice.
Trinity Woods provides an educational and supportive housing option for single mothers who are students at Mount Mary University and a vibrant, intergenerational living environment for School Sisters of Notre Dame and seniors.
All student housing units for single mothers and their families feature two bedrooms. Because Trinity Woods is an on-campus housing option, a student’s financial aid can contribute to the cost of room and board.
The Trinity Woods complex consists of 52 private assisted living residences for the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the order of sisters that founded and continues to sponsor Mount Mary University. Additionally, there are 24 units for single mothers enrolled as students at Mount Mary University and their young children under the age of 12, and 90 market rate, independent living apartments for individuals over age 62.
All buildings are fully interconnected by a Town Center that incorporates numerous spaces to bring people together in friendly conversation, dining, prayer, learning and socialization.
The addition of Trinity Woods to the Mount Mary campus has been an identity shifter for the university, welcoming the Sisters and seniors into the Mount Mary community. Residents of Trinity Woods are welcome to join in campus events and activities and enjoy the many outdoor features of campus.
There are ample opportunities for students and their children to interact with the SSNDs and senior residents at Trinity Woods. The community lounges on each student floor feature reading nooks for children and play areas. Many of the SSNDs enjoy eating meals and interacting with the children whenever possible, and some volunteer their time reading to the children in the book nooks.
To further address the challenges that student mothers and their children face, MMU is creating the Madonna Fund for single mothers, including those who live at Trinity Woods. The Madonna Fund will consist of two separate funds, one to address immediate needs of our growing number of student mothers now and one to provide long-term sustainability into the future. The Fund will not only provide academic support but will also provide direct support to meet the needs related to motherhood and raising children.
Trinity Woods has been open to students and their children since January 2022. Already, the intergenerational living model thrives for everyone in this community, regardless of age.
“Intergenerational living involves bringing the young, elderly, and those in-between together by introducing nurseries, child day care centers, and senior living residences in one common facility,” said Mount Mary Vice President for Student Affairs Keri Alioto. “It’s about sharing a meal together in a common area, or simply passing each other in the hallway and sharing a smile and a wave.
“It’s about being open to what you can learn from others, and acknowledging the importance of human connection and interaction in every possible way,” Alioto said.
What’s in a name?The name Trinity Woods has a special significance and was chosen with thoughtful consideration, including:
- Trinity simultaneously represents the Catholic/Christian faith and the three partners in this community, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Mount Mary University and Milwaukee Catholic Home.
- Woods reflects growth, wisdom and the beautiful, wooded grounds, including the 10-acre forested area adjacent to the site. This high-quality second-growth southern mesic forest is rare in Milwaukee County and is a treasured community resource.
Housing for Single Mothers
Early Childhood Education Center