During Trinity’s biannual Johnson Coffee House, sophomore Arthur Williams found a way to inspire and reach out to others. Over time, he found himself meeting and getting to know more people than he could ever imagine.
Arthur is not a man of many words. He tends to be quiet and reserved, preferring to hang back in a crowd and listen rather than join in. Even so, he is well known around campus. If asked, many would say that they got to know him during the Coffee House.
The Coffee House is a long-standing tradition that comes together in Johnson Hall, a residence dorm on campus. It’s an event for students to hang out, enjoy each other’s company and celebrate their talents. Coffee House performances feature comedy skits, dance routines, poetry readings and music.
Before attending his first Coffee House freshman year, Arthur remembers how he liked to stay under the radar, not drawing attention to himself. He wasn’t sure how to get to know others, and felt invisible sometimes. But at this Coffee House, he thought about taking a risk, putting himself out there and singing on stage.
“I didn’t really think anything would come of it. Just a way for me to share my love of music,” he says.
So at the next Coffee House, Arthur dove in and took to the stage. After his first performance, people he barely knew started calling out his name as he crossed campus. As time went by, he began to feel more and more a part of the campus community.
For the past four semesters, Arthur has performed one or two songs─mostly pop and gospel. Some of his fan favorites are “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi, “Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur and “Shallow” by Bradley Cooper. And nearly every time, he has made a new friend in the process.
But what really surprised Arthur is that sharing his talent didn’t just benefit him, it also impacted other students in meaningful ways.
During this past semester’s Coffee House, he was amazed to see the effect his performing had on others. After the event, several people came up to him to thank him and to tell him how well he did and what his singing meant to them. One player on the baseball team told Arthur about how he used to sing in the church choir when he was young, but as he got older, he stopped. Now whenever he hears Arthur sing, he’s inspired to pick up singing again.
“The Coffee House was a great way for me to get to know all kinds of students from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and places around the world. This experience has impacted my life as a student through my new connections with people, being able to share my love of music and inspiring others to do the same.”